Tom Ford Black Orchid

...oozy over-ripeness and high-class groins.

Even before I took my debut sniff of Tom Ford’s mainstream fragrance line, the retro-glam bottles captivated me. The opaque glass flasks are textured like needle-rib corduroy, with possible off-label use as a cellulite massager.

The elegant bottle is what drew me to Ford’s White Patchouli first. “Oooh...” I crooned as I fondled the bottle’s milky-white ridges. “Arghh!” I yelped as the eau de parfum seared my sinuses with synthetic-smelling florals the size and shape of a skyscraper. (And depleted a week's supply of words beginning with “s”.)

After sulking for a bit, I begrudgingly approached Black Orchid, which had already gotten the thumbs-up from men and women I knew who lived for loucheness and grand statements. You know, “theatre types”. And sure enough, Black Orchid is nothing if not theatrical: a little showy, a little contrived, but always entertaining. Encore!

Black Orchid is available from, and, starting at $64 for 30 ml


  1. YES! The bottle is amazing and it is a creation of Della Chuang, also an amazing chic!
    Nice fragrance.
    +Q Perfume Blog

    kissy kissy

  2. This is the third time in 2 days that Della Chuang's name has been mentioned to me! (Both Nathan Branch and Avery Gilbert were telling me about their very festive little dinner together with Della.)

    And I was not aware that she was the creator of those glamorous Tom Ford bottles! Thanks for this info.

  3. Ohh I love those bottles too! Do you smell (Balmain's) Ambergris in this or am I crazy?

    I just got White Suede this afternoon- it's not very interesting but I think it'll be pretty with gray cashmere sweaters this winter at the office.

  4. Gypsy Bride, hey, you crazy kook, I never thought to connect the dots between Black Orchid and Balmain Ambergris, but I think you might have something, there! Ambergris is totally soft and "watercolored" and gentle, but you could take it as a sort of long-distance echo of Black Orchid. Neato! Thanks for the observation.

  5. Oh, and I disagree that White Suede is not very interesting. It seems pretty interesting to me. But I find that doesn't really gel on me. If you're digging that White Suede's smokiness, then you should get a load of Cartier's brand new XIII La Treizième Heure. That will float your charred, smoky suede boat, babe!

  6. "Bold and pleasingly weird"-- You got that right!! I think BO (Oh, wait... that can't be a coincidence, can it?) is the essence of derangement out of the bottle, but I agree with you that when it settles down, it's spent.

    But the aquatic part? I'm going to go have to crack my bottle and look for that-- I missed that altogether...

    Rita @leftcoastnose

  7. Rita, what I'm calling aquatic is perceived by others as cucumbers. Whichever way you slice it, there's a fresh wetness lurking in Black Orchid.

  8. Great, entertaining review as always...'shoots its wad at the top," god thats brilliant.

    Katie, have you tried any of the new D&G's? I have to say I'm disappointed in the ones I've sampled. # 1 Le Bateleur is OK, but how some of them could be labeled unisex I have no idea. I'm pretty open minded about fragrances (I wear Lovely sometimes, for crying out loud)...but how # 3 L'Imperatrice could be worn by anyone other than young women is beyond me.

    Maybe I'm just missing something.

  9. BooRad, I'm getting my act together for a YouTube review of some of the D&G Anthologies. I agree that #3 is the one "for the kids". The girl kids.

  10. My crotch smells like Tom fords black orchid don't even own it yet weird huh

  11. Hey Katie, I love Black Orchid. It is a metamorphosis perfume: in the winter is menthol-y gardenia and mushrooms, while in the summer it is woody-sensual. I love it, definitely unisex, but never dull. It is VaVaVoom, but it does have something to say.

  12. I find Black Orchid to smell like in decadence. It's dark, sensual...mysterious. It's what I imagine an opium den in 1930s Shanghai smelling like. I am a guy and think it works well for me, especially for a night out (it may be a bit strong for the office).