Tom Ford is not a brand that you love for its brains. It’s smutty, it’s brash, it wears too much makeup, makes you buy the drinks then leaves with its girlfriend. You wanna know what I think Orchid Soleil smells like? It’s one too many cocktails on a long, hot night, losing your jacket (OK, losing your bra), but not giving a damn – or even better, remembering the time you didn’t. Then going for ice cream at 4am and watching the sun rise, slowly, meltingly, dissolving the bright sparks of the night (or going for ice cream at 4pm and reminiscing because we all know the honey lens time puts on the best memories).
Messy, a little dirty, but owning it.
Plenty of lofty fragrance aficionados have words to say about Orchid Soleil (the incredible Black Narcissus nails the contradiction of it all).
But the awesome thing about fragrance is subjectivity, even by occasion. What seems trashy on a Tuesday morning seems deliciously salacious on a Sunday evening, hence every beauty editor’s indulgence, the ‘fragrance wardrobe’.
So in my opinion?
If you like to slum it occasionally, like a queen … Orchid Soleil is the bomb. It opens with bosomy orange blossom but snaps back with a sharp, almost metallic cypress that elicits a shiver on the first spray. It blossoms into fleshy orchid, backed up with every perfumer’s sex scent, tuberose. That warmth hits sunburnt skin, flaring with red spider lily – a carnal core that in Japan is associated with death. That deadly note is turned to macabre farce, an inappropriate giggle in the form of sultry soft serve. This is the cool cream on the sunburn, the ridiculously luscious finish of Orchid Soleil – whipped, pillowy soft, a classic serve rich with chestnut and vanilla. That satin softness lingers and envelops, calling you to sweet dreams, and we all know where that ends up.
Don’t think too much, don’t analyze the contradictions or the smug nature of it all. Just enjoy it if you can…