Tom Ford Neroli Portofino





My video review may be about the de-lovely Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford, but this bloggy blurb is concerned with swellegant Tom Ford himself. Specifically, with his declared four-bath-a-day habit.

The dapper neatnik manages a global empire of glamour, a long-term committed relationship, perfectly manicured stubble, and a rigorous schedule of executive-level bathing. Hats off (or everything off, if it's bathtime -- which is all the time for Tom Ford) to you, sir!

Non-stop splashy-splashy (or to quote TF, "meditative soaking") is on my mind, because I'm writing this in the 100-degree-plus heat of my un-air conditioned Los Angeles apartment. Externally, my skin is an arid expanse of roasted parchment. Internally, my organs are reconfiguring into stewed prune versions of themselves.

I'm coping by taking a page out of Tom's (deerskin leather-bound, limited edition of one) book and indulging in frequent bathing. I've had a bath and a shower so far today, and I foresee two more showers before the moon is high.

Attractive nudists gamely smile through their somewhat slipshod aim.

(In my desperation, I've also invented a portable cooling device: a gallon-sized baggie of frozen plastic ice cubes, nestled tenderly on my crotch. I'm going to invent an anatomical reason and say that a cool groin regulates the rest of the body's temperature. Feel free to try it out, Tom Ford and the rest of you non-Tom Fords. Note: this technique works only while sitting, unless you're keen to invent an unwieldy form of hacky sack.)

It turns out that Neroli Portofino body oil is the perfect addition to my urban desert survival tactics. It smells just like the namesake eau de parfum, but has added moisturizing benefits, returning my roasted parchment to suavely soft skin.

Until the next bath.

Neroli Portofino is available from TomFord.com and Sephora.com

36 comments:

  1. "Nestled tenderly on my crotch" made me laugh so much! Can you think of any other unisex-masculine summer scents that have some staying power? Have you ever smelled Hermes Rose Ikebana? Did you like it? Thanks!--Dana

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    1. Dana! Can't remember what I thought of Rose Ikebana. But 2 frags that fit the "unisex-masculine summer scents with staying power" bill are Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin and Marni.

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  2. Does it really smell like neroli? That's one of my recent essential oil faves. So relaxing!

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    1. Yep, NP is certainly "neroli-forward".

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    1. I'm in a creaky old LA apt, Diana - fully analogue.

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  4. A friend of mine moved to New Orleans about 10 years ago. It gets pretty hot (and muggy) in the summertime. She asked her husband's grandma what people did back in the day before AC to keep cool. She said they used big blocks of ice and fans.

    You'll always be cool in my book, Katie! Sorry, nerd alert.

    Nora B.

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    1. Always good to hear about life before life-as-we-know-it. Thanks, NB.

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  5. OMG!))) Black Cashmere is the best of the best for me)) hate DK perfumes, but this one is a masterpiece!

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  6. You look absolutely fresh as a daisy - lovely in the video! Who would have known you were filming from your own private inferno? Every yr we challenge ourselves to see how long we can go before turning the A/c on...and every year the break down usually comes one evening- lying in bed- atop the sheets in some contorted position meant to circulate more air around myself when I shout out, " why are we doing this? we don't have to live this way?"- promptly followed by a walk to the thermostat and a cruise around house shutting windows- I always welcome the cool air but miss the open windows and smell of honeysuckle that fills my office in the mornings. Do you at least have one of those monster rolling space units? Those things are pretty good- Ugly as sin but maybe not as bad as the dreaded window unit...pinkcash- dunno what happened to my name and why google decided to call me SalemGirl...

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    1. Thanks for the props on my daisy-freshness, SalemPinkGirlCash, but I must confess that the video was shot before Los Angeles decided to microwave its inhabitants. Yes, the rolling A/C unit is the one called into service here, nicknamed R2D2 for its doppelganger.

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  7. I always reach for neroli-based scents when the temperature soars -- conveys freshness, but harmonizes with sweatyness! And my AC-less means of beating the heat has always been what I call the "Aussie air conditioner:" a wet bandana around the neck. I wonder which culture the ice-cubes-on-the-crotch technique should be named after...

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    1. "Harmonizes with sweatiness" is precisely it, martini. And speaking of martinis, my ice cube technique will be called the "Rat Pack cooler", after Frank, Sammy and Dino & Co.

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  8. Katie! I am getting married next may in the hills of Tennessee. The venue/decor/ and dress are whimsical+ethereal. Do you have any suggestions for a perfume that would fit this style? What perfume do you think a fairy princess would wear?

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    1. Larkin! Whimsical+ethereal describes Penhaligon's Tra La La. Violets, suede, a buttery sweetness. Plus whiskey - perfect for Tennessee, right?

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    2. http://www.nstperfume.com/2014/01/17/penhaligons-meadham-kirchhoff-tralala-new-fragrance/

      Despite Penhaligon's denial, the design of the bottle very much suggests that the scent was named after the character from Last Exit to Brooklyn. I'm not sure I would want to wear this for a wedding.

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    3. Hi Anon - the look of the Tralala bottle reflects the whimsically girly designs of Meadham Kirchhoff, the fashion duo who collaborated on the perfume. The smell of the perfume is likewise whimsically girly. It strikes me as a violet variation on Duchaufour's (who created it) Traversée du Bosphore for L'Artisan Parfumeur. Which might also hit the spot for Larkin...if you're still on the sniff-out for a wedding perfume.

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    4. If that's your interpretation, that's fine. But I look at that bottle and the name and see a perfume based on a character who is gang-raped, especially in its closeness to look to the Jason Jennifer Leigh character in the film, the bow seeming to resemble a lifted up skirt and the placement of the large heart relative to the head, i.e. in what would be the position of her genitals (and various commentators on the web have alleged that MK said that the perfume was named after the character in a Cosmopolitan article, which unfortunately isn't available to me for verification. It should also be added that Penhaligon's issued a denial that the perfume was at all related to the character). Appropriateness of the actual juice to the wedding occasion aside, I would not want Larkin to wear something for her wedding that via later research- despite anyone's assurance that all it represents is "whimsical girlines" (whatever that is)- she might find to be distasteful.

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    5. I'm not interpreting anything, Anonymous - I'm looking at the styling of Meadham Kirchhoff's clothes over the years (hearts, bows, ruffles, kitty cats, polka dots, puffed sleeves, pastel colors; doll-face makeup on the models, ie whimsically girly) and recognize their brand very clearly on the Tralala bottle.

      Your heart-as-genitals theory seems to be the interpretative leap, here.

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    6. That you don't see your description of their style and the bottle as an interpretation of it explains so much about your "journalistic" "style".

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    7. Being the classy broad that she is, Katie has hit upon what sounds like a very original, but apt choice for the upcoming nuptials. Whiskey and violets, I like the yin and yang of that one.

      That being said, I don't quite get the angry tone behind Anonymous' comments. It's very strange to become so defensive over the intentions of a perfume bottle. I don't pretend to have the same experience with fragrance that others who frequent this board possess, but it seems unlikely that the supposed idea behind the design of the bottle would be a very well-thought out marketing tactic. I just don't see those making such decisions at Penhaligon's saying to themselves, "You know what we need? A bottle that suggests Jennifer Jason Lee being gang-raped! MAKE IT HAPPEN!"

      Oh, and one more comment that will really get the folding chairs thrown in my direction from Anon: Katie's journalistic style, sense of humor and captivating personality have earned her quite a following. She has a ton of fans, and has contributed to publications such as The Guardian. Not something everyone can say for themselves. Lots of people are crazy about her, and with good reason; she's fabulous.

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    8. The funny thing is that my original comment wasn't even addressed to Katie Puckrik: I just didn't want Larkin to buy a perfume bottle and perfume that would commemorate her wedding day that she might then come (as others are doing) to strongly suspect to have be subversive and distasteful, Whether she chose to accept that suspicion, or alternatively was believing of Katie Puckrik's interpretation (and that is what it is), and indeed whether she then chose to buy a bottle are completely her decision. With regard to Katie Puckrik herself, You can have your opinion and I have mine.

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    9. Anonymous, your concern that Larkin not choose a wedding-day perfume with ugly connotations is clearly well-meaning. What gives me pause is the rush to judgment across perfume blogs to condemn Meadham Kirchhoff and Penhaligon's based on - as you yourself point out - an unsubstantiated allegation.

      There's no evidence to be found of the oft-cited "quote" attributed to the designers that they named their perfume after a tragic character in a Hubert Selby, Jr. novel. But the prevailing attitude across the fumisphere right now seems to be: "why let facts get in the way of a good ol' game of Chinese Whispers?".

      Penhaligon's would have to have rocks in their head to yoke a launch to a gang-rape "concept". The phrase "tra la la" is well-established in Anglo-American culture, and existed long before (and after) Selby used it for his Last Exit to Brooklyn character.

      For more on this matter, Olfactoria has written on the source of the rumors in the comments section of her insightful Tralala review:
      http://olfactoriastravels.com/2014/05/15/fashion-forward-review-penhaligons-tralala/

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    10. What you are calling "chinese whispers" and "unsubstantiated allegations" are to my mind mostly art-interpretation based on available evidence (and possibly deleted evidence, in terms of that Cosmopolitan article), for which there is no definitive answer either way. Maybe Penhaligon's should put a warning sticker on the bottle: this bottle is not art and should not be thought about or interpreted. But whether the bottle should be negatively interpreted or whether it is just a mindless (that's what whimsical means, isn't it?) object, if one was self-aware enough to know that by naming a perfume and styling it with a forked tongue you could cause controversy, you would call it Tralala.

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    11. I could at this point put up a photo of MK where one of them literally has a forked tongue, but you'd probably just INTERPRET it as whimsically lizardy .

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    12. Very kind of you to offer information for Larkin's wedding day. I myself was not privy to the Tra La La connection. But the personal insult that was added seemed very odd to me.

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    13. Do let me know if you would like me to explain it and go in to further detail?

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    14. Anonymous- Please don't! I think you have delighted us long enough.... Justineantonia.

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  9. Larkin--

    Tennessee is beautiful, I'm sure your wedding will be gorgeous. Congratulations! At the top left of the page is Katie's Fume Finder, it's a lot of fun. My personal choice would be something from Parfums de Nicolai, maybe "Kiss Me Tender," link below:

    http://www.luckyscent.com/product/31334/kiss-me-tender-by-parfums-de-nicolai

    It's soft and fresh, but warm, just like a spring day should be. My impression is that it has a softly powdery (but not overwhelmingly so) almond scent, a little gourmandy (I typically don't like gourmand scents) and very, very pretty.

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  10. just bought neroli portofino and am so disappointed with it. It has absolutely zero staying power on me, lasts less than an hour and is completely non descript on my skin. After the initial zest on spray it just dries down to nothing at all. Least lasting perfume I've ever come across. I happened to test Iris Poudre the same day before I purchased NP which was probably a mistake, a very expensive mistake!

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    1. Arghh! What a bummer, Ella. For me, Neroli Portofino, along with Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin, reigns supreme as a long-lasting citrus perfume.

      Try spraying it on the inside of your clothes, or on scarves if you wear them. Sometimes fabric can hold onto perfume longer than skin, and you'll eek out more persistence that way.

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  11. So if I have the body oil I don't need the Eau de Parfum?

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    1. The NP body oil is pretty dense, and I feel perfumed enough in it. What the EDP will give you is more sillage.

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  12. Some noses pick up on things that others don't. Even in "Perfumes: The Guide" there are instances (such as Narciso Rodriguez For Her) when opinions differ wildly, mostly because one person can smell something that the other cannot.

    I remember reading the review for Noa by Cacharel. I love "easy" fragrances. The ones that always hit the spot, but don't seem like you're trying too hard, and judging by the review, Noa landed squarely in this category. Something of a crowd-pleaser, but nevertheless interesting. When I received it, I liked it, but I didn't get the interesting parts that they mentioned. No subtle smoke, no cilantro edge. Oh, well. Maybe I'll try it again.

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  13. Hmmm, NP was a little too much for me. But then I liked the Orange Sanguine from AC.

    OMG! I thought I was the only one who did the ice pack thing. Not to be crude or inappropriate, but a frozen water bottle works too.

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    1. Individual results may vary, but I find NP the most "up-to-eleven" of all citrusy/cologney perfumes. Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin is pretty assertive, too, but not unpleasantly so. Orange Sanguine is delightful.

      Haha - I'll have to remember your frozen water bottle trick!

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