FRAGRANCE REVIEW: Tom Ford Orchid Soleil
I'm about to apply Orchid Soleil in the sun, by the water. This is a fragrance I've resisted for over a year, spraying my wrist and then turning my head from the counter with affectation. I still don't know if I like it or not, but I know I want it. I think the feeling is mutual because today the smallest 30ml size traveled home with me in my basket.
This is a release I actually anticipated. I waited for its release with excitement, and after testing, I had quickly discarded it, noticing it's remarkable similarity to Songes by Annick Goutal, a frangipani a la creme. I loved everything about Songes except perhaps its smell, and so ended up selling it to new owners. I wasn't sure the distinction between Songes and the Tom Ford proposal was great enough to warrant a second try, but as it turns out, it was. I found myself sniffing it at airports, as if its association with Black Orchid somehow spoke to me through the frangipani.
Because yes, there is a lot of frangipani, and not much of Black Orchid. The notes include tuberose too, a flower I like a lot in practice and even a touch more in theory. It fires me up to know many people dislike it or find it too much. Do Son is my tuberose of choice, although in Diptyque style, it is clear and cristalline and watery and green.
This fragrance is a sweet gourmand, and everything that makes it gourmand speaks to me. It includes chesnut cream and vanilla, and I can definitely agree with the intensity of the vanilla, my favourite orchid. It has often been described as smelling like sunscreen, and compared to Guerlain's yearly Terracota. I see the likeless to Terracota, although I much prefer this one. I can't say it smells much like sunscreen on me, but if that note exists I'd like to meet her.
So how does it go? Well, it starts a bit resinous, with a stench of frangipani, and I mean a stench. I like its open audacity at the beginning. There are more roots than flowers. There's a milky honeyed tone along the way that brings roundness and sweetness and could be compared to lotion. The scent is defined enough that it doesn't blend in with the usual florientals we love to hate. It has a strong personality. I think perhaps it's the lily accord that makes it rebellious.
My skin almost always has a trace of Philosykos on it, and this layers. I can imagine it to be quite daunting if you apply it in excess so use some restraint.
There's something dirty about it that pushes it forward, I think it's the pepper and patchouli. They are beautifully done, as I am not one for pepper. It reminds me of Diptyque's Eau Duelle (one I could never get along with, a dance of pepper and vanilla) but here it is a lot creamier and a lot softer. It dries to mostly the whipped vanilla, and the whiffs you get when you walk away from it are comforting and addictive.
Top notes: Pink Pepper, Bitter Orange, Cypress
Middle notes: Red lily, Tuberose
Base notes: Vanilla, Orchid, Chesnut, Whipped Cream, Patchouli