TF 1

While there are many women who love Mr. Ford’s original fragrance ‘Black Orchid’, I personally can’t stomach it. Not because I hate the fragrance, rather because it holds very sad memories for me.

Black Orchid was a favourite way back in 2006 when it launched. I loved it so much, and so did my mom – so I gave my bottle to her. Sadly, shortly after giving her the fragrance she became really ill (she had cancer) and passed. Because fragrance has the ability to provoke such strong memories, whenever I smell it, it reminds me of her and those final few months when she was really, really sick.

When I received Tom Ford’s newest offering, ‘Velvet Orchid’ (R1125 for a 50ml EDP), I was super keen to try it out. Aside from its gorgeous purple flacon, I was intrigued by the press release that described it as follows: “Velvet Orchid retains Black Orchid’s instantly recognizable elements: a fresh, lush petal facet; animalic notes and skin-lacquering warmth, and re-imagines these elements into a fragrance with a uniquely compelling nature.

The scent’s top notes include: Italian Bergamot, mandarin, Rum Absolut and Honey.

The heart is made up of Jasmine, Turkish Rose, Moroccan Rose, Magnolia, Hyacinth, Black Orchid and Cattleva Leopoldii Orchid.

The base includes sandalwood, Peru Balsam, Myrrh, suede and Comaro Island Vanilla.

For me, Velvet Orchid is just as glamorous as Black Orchid and those underlying seductive carnal notes are still evident. The initial burst of the fragrance is exotically sweet, but not in a sickly, cloying way. I think this has to do with the floral heart that gives the scent a creamy and very sexy personality.

The dry down is wonderfully rounded, thanks to the sandalwood. I keep picking up similarities with this scent and ‘Violet Blonde’ which is no doubt thanks to the suede note. It brings a very clean and refined element to the fragrance.

I like Velvet Orchid and think it’s a well-rounded floriental fragrance that I would wear on a hot, balmy, summers evening. I believe it will resonate with a lot of women, especially those that love Black Orchid. I also think men will like this scent (on their women) because of its sexy sophistication.

Tom Ford is currently available at the Tom Ford counters in Sandton, Gateway & V&A Waterfront.


I share your sentiment, and agree that scent can introduce overwhelming feelings of nostalgia and memory. Sadly for you that it had to be associated with someone so near and dear. However, I will try the new brand as the Black Orchid is my absolute favourite!

Black Orchid is still one of my favourite fragrances. Can’t wait to try the Velvet Orchid.

Thanks for the comment, Nicolene. It is unfortunate that I have horrible memories of the Black Orchid as I actually really like the fragrance. The Velvet Orchid is really lovely, do try it. As I said, if you like Black Orchid, you’ll love this. XX

You’ll love it Dianne – more refined and subtle than Black Orchid, but just as glamorous. X

Sounds divine! Just love the elegant bottles. xx

Uniquely compelling scent

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