When I think of Tom Ford, I think of luxury, indulgence and extravagance. Velvet Orchid (from £53) was released last year as a flanker of their hugely successful Black Orchid. It is said to be a more wearable and feminine option compared to the original, with amplified floral notes, and a citrus opening. Orchids have this innate dazzling beauty, and are so well structured, they could only rival the intricacy of an haute couture dress (a Christopher Kane number perhaps). Of course I have no idea what an orchid actually smells like...


Now onto the technicals. The top notes of Velvet Orchid are as fruity as you're going to get in this scent, being zesty mandarin and fresh bergamot. Succan absolute (purified rum extract) adds a syrupy richness to the mix surprisingly early on. This gives the scent a certain sweetness, possibly driven by the recent popularity of gourmand scents.

Unsurprisingly, the heart is a bomb of exotic botanicals. The main accords consist of luscious Turkish rose oil, heady jasmine and Brazillian purple orchid. There are hints of other florals in the mix, including orange blossom, rose absolute, narcissus, hyacinth and heliotrope. The florals are in very balanced doses however, and this is in no way a floral fragrance. 

The base of Velvet Orchid is deep and sensual, although I was surprised to see the lack of musk. Instead, it uses hints of rich exotic woods (Peru balsam, myhrr, labdanum, sandalwood) layered with timeless suede and wrapped in an addictive cocoon of familiarity, the good old vanilla.


Image source: Accretion Point

Velvet Orchid isn't my usual kind of scent. It is a lot richer and although it contains floral and gourmand notes, it is best described as an oriental fragrance. It is such a strong, standout scent, that it is almost a throwback to popular scents of the 80's (Cinema, Poison etc). Basically if you're a fresh 'n' fruity fan, you're probably gonna run a mile. What it does do, is impart a lasting impression. It has the power to transform you into a different character - sophisticated, a bit vintage and nothing other than fabulous. 

Velvet Orchid conjours up images of a decadent 1920s, full of dripping diamonds, champagne and velvet dresses. The way it has a twist of deep, dark sweetness implies undeniably addictive chemistry. It's Black Orchid in it's rebellious phase. Think of it as a classic LBD worn with Doc Martens. A personality just itching to be noticed.

There is something addictive about Velvet Orchid. On paper it is the scent I'd save for special occasions, yet I just can't help but wear that little bit of luxury every time I go out. I'm not sure if I'll purchase a full size bottle as I just got a mini sample from eBay. As scents go, it's a pricey one, starting at £52 for 30ml. Could this be the signature scent I'm looking for?