Birthday Gift by Tom Ford

Calm down, my birthday’s not for another month, but based on this news you may want to start putting away some money now. (I’m talking to you, Sugar Daddy.) Tom Ford has just released four new Private Blends – the Atelier d’Orient collection. And for the first time in a while I’m quite excited by the way these fragrances are sounding. (Last year’s Jardin Noir series was a big disappointment, and I couldn’t bring myself to buy one of them.) This Asian-inspired collection sounds much more intriguing.

The two that have captured my focus are Rive d’Ambre and Plum Japonais, described by the company as follows:

Rive d’Ambre is inspired by the ritual of offering citrus fruits as gifts while being colored by Tom Ford’s own sense of sensuality bringing added warmth to the perfume, an Eau de Cologne with a nostalgic slant. Notes includes essential oils of bergamot, lemon and bitter orange together with tarragon, cardamom, green mint essence. An unexpected twist has been added in the guises of benzoin and pear tree; cognac oil, tolu balsam create a golden aura which is amplified by the amber note.

Plum Japonais is the scent in the lineup which is said to be dedicated to perfume connoisseurs, which can be interpreted as being the more difficult opus of the four. Ford was struck by the interesting scent and texture as well as high symbolism of ume in both Japan and China. Notes feature saffron, cinnamon bark from Laos, immortelle, Sawara cypress – ume treated like a velvety liqueur – Japanese camelia blossoms, agar wood, amber, benzoin from Laos, fir balsam absolute, and vanilla infusion.

Of course, I’m not overlooking Shanghai Lily either, as that is said to contain notes of bitter orange and pink peppercorn, two of my current obsessions (in cocktails and fragrances both). At any rate, I’ll be checking these out next time I’m at Neiman Marcus (an excruciatingly long three weeks from now!) Luckily the only thing I enjoy more than a good pay-off is a nice long stretch of anticipation.

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