Tom Ford Velvet Orchid opens itself with bergamot, mandarin, Succan absolute (I knew you'd ask, it's purified rum extract), and honey. At the core of this creation (made of "corporeal floral notes") is Tom Ford's distinctive, “timeless” signature that we have experienced in the original Black Orchid (fragrance review linked), from when first it exploded on counters like Alexis Carrington-Colby did when a minion or two were deemed unsatisfactory: an imaginary accord of black orchid blended with notes of velvet orchid, which gives the perfume its name, with intense Turkish rose oil (discernible as such) and jasmine and a new accord of purple orchid. The latter is a fantasy note that is comprised of aromachemicals that take over the scene and diffuse slowly and lengthily. Long story short, the bittersweet myrrh resin embraces all those sophisticated floral notes and makes them one hell of a floral oriental fragrance!
Like most tom Ford fragrances, Velvet Orchid is not the coy type at all, she wears her knickers on her head and is fine, thank you very much.
There are additional floral notes in Velvet Orchid, if you can believe it, of orange blossom, rose absolute, narcissus, hyacinth and heliotrope. The base is warm due to the rich flavors of Peru balsam, myrrh, labdanum, sandalwood, suede and vanilla.
|photo by Matthew Roharik, borrowed via for educational purposes|
The luxurious perfume is available in dim purple bottles of classic Tom Ford design in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum concentration. Velvet Orchid was created by Yann Vasnier, Calice Becker, Shyamala Maisondieu and Antoine Maisondieu. Usually that many perfumers in one fragrance composition means the headquarters didn't really know what they were aiming at, but unusually Tom Ford does keep a tight involvement in his namesake brand, despite the ownership by the Lauder Group, so it's not a mess as one might expect; on the contrary, it's rather good and worth sampling for sure. And thankfully not part of the rather more expensive or elusive Tom Ford Private Blend.
Do take note that there is also a variant, called Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Lumière, in a slightly lighter purple bottle, launched in November 2016, as a new edition of the glamorous fragrance Velvet Orchid from 2014 from the collection ruled by the vamp perfume Black Orchid from 2006.
Whereas Velvet Orchid is a floriental with a warm woody base, Velvet Orchid Lumière is a floral - oriental composition with gourmand accents instead.