Nothing is more subjective than scent, but if anyone can lay claim to knowing what “sexy” smells like, it’s Tom Ford. The designer’s extensive array of fragrances that go under the name Private Blend — with bottles designed to look like chess pieces and starting at $225 — is full of heavy, musky, powerful fragrances that all but dare you to live up to their potent swagger.
The latest entry, Ombre Leather 16, is another perfect example. Classified as a “floral leather” by the Estee Lauder Corporation, which owns the Tom Ford fragrance brand, the ingredients include things you’ve never heard of, such as jasmine sambac, along with things you’ve heard of but can’t imagine extracting their essence, such as “black leather” and “white moss.”
The result, according to the company, is something “textured and enveloping,” and the “sleek enigma of black leather wrapped in voluptuous glamour.”
But that subjective preciosity is nothing compared to the poetic waxings of fragrance geeks at basenotes.net, the leading forum and review site for colognes and perfumes. Ombre Leather 16 inspired one early reviewer to opine:
Opening on a potent blast of leather, it momentarily skates close to chemical/tanning pungency but thankfully banks back in time. It develops into a rich, sturdy leather that speaks of fantastic wealth, like the interior of a Jaguar or the mingling aromas in a bespoke leather shop on Saville Row
Whatever. Smell sexy, feel sexy. It’s that simple.