I have been and am an avid house music fan. (Not Techno, Not Trance). Progressive and Deep House. From Large Coast to Coast gigs in the States to some intimate venues with the best DJ’s in garages and warehouses sprawled across back roads in Spain. The best in the world will always have the same crowd come back for more. It’s a sense of wanting to “control, influence and manipulate the crowd through their base, mids and high notes (no pun intended).” Interlacing mellifluous sounds with bursts and a buildup of different instruments, suddenly changing the pitch and bass when least expected leaving the crowd floored. A heavy kick drum with increasing pitch at a high BPM precipitously changing to a harmonious and ambient groove from the eastern world.
That’s what TOM FORD’s BLACK ORCHID does. Weaves you through a Journey… One not for the reticent or faint hearted. Edgy, Obnoxious, Sexy, Dark, Sophisticated yet Rough, progressing from influences of the western world, back through Goth and Victorian eras and to the calmness and serenity of Eastern undertones with subtle changes in its mid and high notes.
Before we get into what’s inside let’s figure out whom this fragrance is for. Is it masculine, feminine or unisex? And what exactly is the mythical “BLACK ORCHID”. This fragrance is unintentionally or inadvertently unisex. With its feminine florals to darker highs, moving from musk to black currant and jasmine, Black Orchid can be found in the men’s isle in Harrods and the female section in Sephora.
The Orchid itself used to be quite the rage in witchcraft stories surrounded by mystery and having magical powers. However the Black Orchid is just a part of the orchid family and is known to be very difficult to grow and maintain. The symbolism of the orchid is very strong and relates to both men and women. Some believe the Black Orchid denotes death or the end of something. The daunting colour also signifies mysterious and seductive beauty coupled with a sense of absolute power and authority. In Fashion the colour of the orchid was restricted to the elite class because of it being regal. Common in Central and South America, as well as Asia, is the reason is believe Tom Ford has taken us on a global and continental journey. Derived from the Greek word “orchis” which actually means testicle believe it or not, because of its globular root is believed a childs gender could be chosen by consumption of the root. There is also significance to virility. With all the mystery, witchcraft, style fashion, gender control etc. it’s no wonder that the enigma that is The Black Orchid is for everyone.The elegant and all Black bottling itself makes me wonder what the “mythical or magical” contents are. The ever changing notes on the fragrance opens with an oriental-chyprefusion blast of jasmine, ylang ylang gardenia, blackcurrant, lemon and bergamot.
Mandarin orange and black truffle mix almost seamlessly with oriental undertones. I felt a sudden citrus blast mixed with truffle and at this point I definitely wasn’t able to tell where this fragrance is masculine, feminine or unisex.
Tuberose, cumin and cinnamon, amalgamate the sweetness and the spice with an almost musky fungus scent. For the romantics, I felt the gourmand, incense and amber also kick in. Black Orchid finishes in patchouli, with traces of chocolate, florals, and spice.
There’s a lot of lust and desire in this scent. It’s normally difficult to hypnotise me at all let alone through the naval cavity. By the end of this journey, my nose has been wafted through a multi course banquet of flavors crossing all borders. Anyone can wear this and you can gift this to anyone. Your boss, your colleague, your lover regardless of male or female. The many dimensions of this fragrance makes it almost personalized.