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January 27, 2012

Tom Ford Lavender Palm : Perfume Review

Tf

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Palm was first presented at Tom Ford’s LA boutique last February. This year it finally went into wider distribution. Created by perfumer Yann Vasnier, Lavender Palm reinterprets the main fougère element, lavender. It frames the note with bergamot, lemon, lime blossom, clary sage, frankincense and woods. It is an elegant fragrance built on a rich aromatic accord.

Lavender Palm opens on a delicious herbal note that is at once sweet and savory. The zesty accents of citrus provide a vibrant contrast to the earthy and green base of vetiver and oakmoss. As the composition develops, Lavender Palm reveals the full spectrum of lavender--the roasted almond sweetness, the floral softness and the aromatic intensity. It feels at once exhilarating and sensual, which is something that took me by surprise. I usually associate lavender notes with something clean and wholesome, and I appreciate a more seductive take. The mossy notes lend the fragrance an appealing salty twist, while the green accents cut through the lush density of its lavender accord. The drydown smells like warm skin, sea breeze and crushed leaves.

Like all Private Blends, Lavender Palm is nicely crafted, but the price tag puts it into aspirational territory that is new even for Tom Ford--$950 for 250ml or $250 for a 50ml bottle. Does Lavender Palm warrant this price tag? I cannot think of a perfume for which I would be willing to pay this much money.

Update: the price above was quoted to me by the boutique. I called Bergdorf Goodman and verified that Lavender Palm will retail for $195/50ml and $475/250ml. Still expensive, but in line with Tom Ford's usual pricing. Like all other Private Blends, it is available from the Tom Ford boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks5thAvenue./p>

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