Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Collection

Oud has been the fragrance ingredient du jour for a couple of years now.  It’s a bit love-it-or-hate-it – and for us, in truth, it depends on the deftness of touch of the perfumer in question.  (Oud’s earthy, dirty even – a traditional fragrance ingredient of the Middle East, where the whole fragrance market’s gone tonto.) As you might expect, the touch from Tom Ford is very deft indeed.  (We can’t quite put ‘touch’ and ‘Tom Ford’ in the same sentence without getting a bit hot under the collar, actually.)  Two beautiful new launches now join the original, classic Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood scent – and we like them a lot.

First up, Private Blend Tobacco Oud – and yes, there are definite hints of the sweet tobacco which you can get whiffs of from the pipes smoked outside a Middle Eastern restaurant.  Here, though, the tobacco’s much more sophisticated, warmed by tonka bean, sandalwood, seductive amber, leathery-amber cistus, patchouli and animalic castoreum.

Second is Private Blend Oud Fleur, in which the complex, deep, dark woodiness of oud is fused with a trio of roses (from Bulgaria, Morocco and Turkey), spiced up by ginger, cardamom seed oil, cinnamon, pimento, all sweetened by a date accord, ambergris and sandalwood.  Add a touch of incense for mystery, and what you have is a very beguiling scent indeed.

The bottles look smokily sensual – and could find their way to either side of the bathroom shelf, frankly.  Luxe-priced, for sure (this is Tom Ford we’re talking about) - but Christmas is coming...

And take it from us:  definitely contenders for the Good Oud Guide, these…

UK readers find Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Collection at www.selfridges.com/from £140 for 50 ml – buy here