Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tom Ford Purple Patchouli: A Review

Purple Patchouli might be the least liked of the dozen perfumes good ole Tommy Ford launched in 2007. I have been very curious about it for some time now but given the exclusive price tag my curiosity simply lingered. Last month I bought some big ticket items from Bergdorf and the fabulous sales associate there tossed in a bunch of 5 ml Tom Ford samples with my purchase.

I dabbed on Purple Patchouli a few weeks ago but didn’t think very much of it. Once I transferred the coveted juice into a spray/atomizer (because I simply can’t get the true impression of a fragrance by dabbing it on), I realized, wow, Purple Patchouli is a character.

When I think about Purple Patchouli in the overall scheme of Tom Ford’s collection I realize it’s really sort of a “Purple Black Orchid.” In fact, it would make much more sense if Black Orchid had been named Black Patchouli instead. Then we’d have: Black Patchouli, White Patchouli and Purple Patchouli. There, all better. Now you can sniff Purple Patchouli and “get” it.

Purple Patchouli, starts off very “purple” for me. I get a blast of sweet violets and very nearly a blueberry note (similar to Guerlain Insolence edp). Purple Patchouli is much sweeter than I’d imagined and this sweetness stays throughout. There are definitely floral notes, jasmine I would guess, and leather and amber notes. I think the “purple” smell I’m noticing must be the orchid accord, which is rather sweet, somewhat jammy and tropical. Fold this jammy purple orchid around earthy leathery patchouli and, viola, you have Purple Patchouli. The patchouli note is definitely apparent for me, I don’t think innocent bystanders would think I was wearing straight up patchouli but the trademark patchouli is on the guest list at this party. Others mention citrus and vetiver but I don’t detect these as being prominent on their own.

Purple Patchouli would smell uber-sexy on guys. I like it on myself and think it’s surely unisex as Tom Ford engineered these fragrances to be. I quite like PP but find it a bit much for office wear (I don’t wear Black Orchid to the office either). I see myself wearing PP on the weekend and out amongst friends. I think the patchouli note is what makes me uncomfortable wearing it to the office or for traditional “stuffy” settings. Purple Patchouli has a playful, sexy, night-out-on-the-town vibe to it for me. Once I finish this 5 ml sample, I think this might be a full bottle for me.

Three additional reviews of Purple Patchouli ~

Marina at Perfume Smellin Things
Kevin at Now Smell This
Patty at Perfume Posse


Joe said...

I have been very curious about it for some time now but given the exclusive price tag my curiosity simply lingered

I could have written the above sentence as well. I actually don't think I've tried anything at all by TF -- even the not so pricey ones. I'm as curious about this as ever, but unless a sample falls into my lap, I fear it will remain in wishlist purgatory forever... or at least until next fall since I probably would rarely reach for a patch scent in spring/summer.

Some of the descriptors you use about the opening notes remind me very much of my impression of Soivohle Purple Love Smoke, but that one has no patch; you may want to try it if you're a lover of dark violet.

Abigail said...


I've been meaning to get Liz Zorn's Purple Love Smoke for awhile now. Along with her more recent Tobacco & Tulle. Zorn's fragrances are truly brilliant - unique scents that only an indie could do. I adore Underworld, Domino Viole' and Chrysalis.

I have pretty much avoided Tom Ford perfumes for a long time now because the guy himself annoys me. But now that I've sampled a few of his private collection scents I've realized that I do like the way his fragrances are rather exaggerated in style and have excellent sillage & longevity.

The price tag is ridiculous, though. I think we all now that the actual ingredients perfumers use are relatively the same quality across the board. The high priced stuff is simply what the market will bear.

Jack Cullen said...

Hi, great blog! Would be lovely if we could follow each other's, I'll add you now.

I'm going to borrow your Moschino tan-line pic for a piece I'm writing this evening on going naked with just a tie.. I hope that's okay!

JC xx