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The Mighty Musk — Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmine Musk


Tom Ford has emerged as an avid defender of unfairly vilified fragrance notes. First, he rehabilitated the image of patchouli with his Tom Ford White Patchouli perfume, a free-spirited but sensual fragrance. And now, he’s doing the same for musk with his Tom Ford Private Blend White Musk Collection, which includes the following four fragrances: Jasmine Musk (pictured above); White Suede; Urban Musk; and Musk Pure. Ford’s goal with this quartet of scents was to showcase the carnal, lustful, but light, wispy sexiness of musk.

Interestingly enough, most fragrances — whether floral, oriental, woody or fruity — tend to include musk (even if only as a base note to round out the scent and give it a sensual feel). And yet, if you ask a lay person what comes to mind when she hears the word “musk,” she’s likely to cite everything from a sweaty athlete’s locker room to Pepe Le Pew. Musk, you see, has been equated with mustiness in the current lexicon — perhaps because of the original musk scent, which was derived from a gland found in male deer. In reality, however, perfumers have long since abandoned the usage of natural musk, instead developing synthetic musk (or “white musk”), which boasts a sweeter, softer, cleaner scent.

I’ve been wearing the Jasmine Musk for a few weeks now, and I definitely enjoy it. Though I can’t really say I’d make it my signature fragrance, it is a pleasant scent that has amazing staying power (it usually lasts all day for me). Boasting notes of ylang ylang, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood, orris, vetiver and earthy patchouli, this is a strong, robust perfume — I actually found it a bit overpowering at first, but as the day progressed, the scent softened and became way more feminine and sultry.

Call me crazy but, when I first sprayed the Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmine Musk on my wrists, I detected an unusual smell akin to black licorice. It caught me off-guard since there was no mention of the fragrance containing licorice or any similarly scented note (and, to my knowledge, that’s because there isn’t any such note in it!). And yet that’s what my nose detected — a gum drop-esque scent surrounded by showy flowers. But, as I mentioned before, once the fragrance settled a bit, it softened, any licorice-like trace ebbed, and the muskiness became the central olfactory element. Sure, you can detect the floral notes, but if you’re expecting the jasmine to dominate this show, you’re in for a surprise.

Overall, it didn’t blow my mind like the Tom Ford Black Orchid or the Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, both of which make me swoon, but it’s still a formidable effort from the ever inventive Tom Ford.

Tom Ford Beauty Private Blend Jasmine Musk Eau de Parfum Spray, $180. To buy, visit NeimanMarcus.com or Nordstrom.com

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