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Best Tom Ford perfume for men 2023: From killer summer scents to date-night essentials

Smell terrific with the best Tom Ford perfume for men

Collating a “best of” list of Tom Ford perfume for men is a bit like ranking Marvel superheroes: there are so many good ones to choose from it’s hard to know where to begin, never mind where to end. In itself, that’s a testament to how spectacularly good they are.

Loved by consumers, respected by perfumers and lauded by fragrance experts, they’ve accumulated more silverware than Nadal and have pretty much become a byword for olfactory excellence in niche perfumery.

Starting with the rich, exotic, Black Orchid (launched in 2006 and now a cult classic), the lineup now includes everything from hyper-masculine leather creations to fantastically wearable woody numbers and bright, uplifting colognes.

Sure, they’re not cheap, but what you get when you part with your hard-earned cash is a whiff of exclusivity (not every man’s going to be wearing them), unbridled creativity (Ford genuinely loves experimenting with his fragrances) and plenty of nuzzle factor (people always want to get a closer smell of what you’re wearing with a Tom Ford fragrance). Super-luxe bottles are the icing on an already very tasty cake, bringing kudos to any man’s bathroom shelf.

So, whether you want to go hell for leather or are seeking out something sparkling and citrusy, we reckon there’s something from the Texan polymath’s Signature range or Private Blend collection to suit you.

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Best Tom Ford perfume for men: At a glance

How to choose the best men’s Tom Ford perfume for you

What’s the difference between Tom Ford’s Private Blend and Signature fragrance collections?

For all intents and purposes, Ford’s Private Blend collection is the luxury end of his fragrance franchise and where much of the fun happens in terms of madcap creativity.

Created for fragrance connoisseurs, it’s what the designer himself has called his very own “personal scent laboratory” and allows him to create fragrances without excessive commercial pressure. A little more luxurious (hence the elevated price tag), the fragrances are often edgier and more rarefied.

Ford’s Signature fragrances, on the other hand, tend to be a little more mainstream and accessible and are generally a little less expensive. They’re no less worthy of a place on your skin though, often outclassing designer fragrances of a similar price.

How do I know which Tom Ford perfume will be right for me?

Context is everything when choosing a fragrance. Heavier, richer, more intense fragrances, big on notes such as vetiver, amber, oud and patchouli (think Ford’s Oud Wood and Ombré Leather), are generally better for evening wear, important dates and special occasions, while lighter ones, based around sparkling citrus notes, such as the iconic Neroli Portofino, make better daytime or summer fragrances, when you want to smell good but not overly sexy or overpowering.

Is it worth paying more for a Tom Ford perfume?

Price tags are always subjective, especially when it comes to luxury items. At the end of the day, how much you’re willing to pay depends on how much having a luxury item is worth to you. Tom Ford is a luxury brand and the prices match the status of the designer but also the fact that the fragrances are not sold in the same quantities as more mass-market designer ones. Not only are you paying for the quality of the product, but for the fact it’s less ubiquitous.

How do I get the most out of my Tom Ford perfume?

Contrary to common belief, the neck and wrists aren’t always the best places to apply fragrances, partly because their exposure to air can help them dissipate faster. A much better place to apply is the chest or collarbone, where the fragrance will be trapped against the skin but waft upwards as you move.

Since sunlight and heat can both affect fragrance, store yours in its original box somewhere where temperatures are unlikely to fluctuate too much.

How we test Tom Ford perfumes for men

A fragrance’s appeal is largely subjective – with everyone having their favourite and everything from the oiliness of skin to the wearer’s diet affecting how it smells. With that in mind, we built our testing process around three established metrics when assessing Mr Ford’s offerings: projection (how far the fragrance ‘projects’ it’s aroma from your body); sillage (a fancy word for the trail a fragrance leaves in your wake) and longevity on the skin (how long it sticks around once applied).

As a journalist who’s written about fragrance for over twenty years, I know my way around a decent scent so I also considered less quantifiable – but equally important attributes – such as originality, versatility and complexity. Ultimately, though, a fragrance is there to get you noticed, so the final test was whether anyone asked what I was wearing – a test which both Oud Wood and Noir in particular passed with flying colours.

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The best Tom Ford perfume for men you can buy in 2023

1. Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Wood: Best for all-round versatility

Price: £178 for 50ml | Buy now from Selfridges

If you only invest in one Ford fragrance, the best-selling Oud Wood is probably the place to start. Popular enough to have its own range of ancillaries (including shower gel, body spray, deo stick and beard oil) it’s fantastically wearable, whatever the context, and smells sexy without being OTT.

Oud – a rich, smokey and woody ingredient extracted from the resin of the agar tree and a mainstay of Middle Eastern perfumery – is potent stuff and can be overpowering and polarising. In this soft and sensual woody number, though, the precious and opulent signature note is beautifully tempered thanks to additional notes of rose wood, cardamom, tonka bean and amber.

It’s not cheap but it’s suitable for any season, wildly popular with both men and women and is a real workhorse of a fragrance that’s worth a place in any man’s fragrance wardrobe.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Amber woody

2. Tom Ford Noir: Best for date nights

Price: £94 for 50 ml | Buy now from Boots

It’s not just the name that suggests the acclaimed Noir is the perfect evening fragrance – the individual “notes” it features do, too. As well as spicy black pepper and heady Bulgarian rose, it also features warm sensual amber, earthy patchouli, sexy civet and creamy vanilla – an ingredient long considered to be an aphrodisiac and one that gives the fragrance a lovely, subtle sensuality.

What you notice most, though, is the whopping, slightly powdery, violet note (think Parma Violet sweets), which is what makes this fragrance stand out, giving it a romantic, almost dandyish, edge.

Great staying power on the skin (it sticks around all evening and then some) helps make it the perfect date night scent, lasting as long as you do.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Floral amber

3. Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino: Best summer fragrance

Price: £178 for 50ml | Buy now from Selfridges

Inspired by the picturesque Italian Riviera resort town of Portofino – loved by the jet set for its old-world glamour – Neroli Portofino is Ford’s best-selling take on a classic citrus cologne.

Fresh, uplifting and genderless, it’s a wonderfully invigorating and mood-enhancing blend of Sicilian lemon, bergamot, lavender and amber, and its emphasis on zingy citrus notes makes it the perfect pick-me-up perfume, ideal for work, travel, aprés sport or for those disappointing summer days when all you see are clouds.

There are several reswizzles of the original fragrance (you can buy slightly different Aqua and Forte versions), but it’s the original that’s the best and most resembles sunshine in a bottle.

It won’t last as long on the skin as some of the other fragrances on this list – that’s the nature of citrus-based fragrances – but it’s still one of the best Ford creations there is.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Aromatic citrus

4. Tom Ford Grey Vetiver: Best for collectors

Price: £109 for 50ml | Buy now from Amazon

Based around one of male perfumery’s most used notes – sweet, smoky, leathery and earthy-smelling vetiver – this award-winning scent is one of Ford’s most accessible men’s fragrances.

One of the better vetivers out there, it opens with a fresh, zingy and tart citrus before revealing a warm woodiness that makes it a fragrance that can traverse night and day.

Many vetiver fragrances are weighed down by heavy, cloying notes, but this one is lighter – and all the more versatile – thanks to careful calibration and those sparkling citrus notes. Think of it as the “smart casual” of vetivers.
You’ll need to grab one while you can, though: it’s in the process of being discontinued (boo!), so stocks are scarce and any remaining bottles are likely to be worth a packet in the future.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Woody spicy

5. Tom Ford Ombré Leather: Best for evening and winter

Price: £140 for 100ml | Buy now from John Lewis

A standout fragrance from Ford’s Signature range, Ombré Leather is your go-to smelly for dark winter nights or for evening wear, when your fragrance has to have that elusive nuzzle factor that draws people close to you for a smell of your neck.

Rich, intensely leathery and multifaceted, this parfum version intensifies the power of the original fragrance and adds a violet leaf note to provide a crisp, green floral edge. It’s a note it shares with Dior’s Fahrenheit, and if you’re familiar with that iconic fragrance you’ll instantly spot what it brings to the party: namely, an oddly addictive, slightly creosote-y vibe.

Woody, leathery and “green”, it exudes opulence and sensuality and impresses from the first sniff to the last. We love it.

Key specs: Volume: 100ml; Type: Parfum; Fragrance family: Floral leather

6. Tom Ford Costa Azzurra: Best holiday fragrance

Price: £94 for 50ml | Buy now from John Lewis

If Neroli Portofino is sunshine in a bottle, Costa Azzurra is a summer holiday in a bottle – specifically, a Mediterranean one. Avoiding many of the clichés of traditional “summer” fragrances, however, it leads with aromatic notes, woods such as cypress and oak and the smell of pine needles, which evoke a walk to the beach through a pine grove dappled with sunlight.

Yes, there’s some citrus in there to give it a fresh zing and an aquatic accord that adds a bitter seaside saltiness, but as it settles on the skin it becomes surprisingly sexy (think warm, sun-kissed skin).

Like many of Ford’s fragrances, this unisex number is all about escapism and is designed to transport you to somewhere else, so close your eyes, breathe deeply and think of it as your passport to altogether warmer climes.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Aromatic aquatic

7. Tom Ford Black Orchid: Best unisex fragrance

Price: £75 for 50ml | Buy now from Amazon

Although aimed at women, Black Orchid is one of those fragrances that has gained an army of male fans thanks to its fusion of traditionally “feminine” notes (gardenia, tuberose and jasmine) and traditionally “masculine” ones (sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver), enabling it to blur gender lines brilliantly – a feat Ford fragrances are especially good at.

The addition of fruity notes such as plum alongside chocolate and vanilla, meanwhile, gives an addictive, edible quality.
You’ll need to be a certain type of man – one who’s iconoclastic and confident in his own skin – to carry it off, but if that’s you, you won’t be disappointed in people’s reaction to this very grown-up, special-occasion evening fragrance.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Amber chypre

8. Tom Ford Beau De Jour: Best for mature guys and traditionalists

Price: £94 for 50ml | Buy now from Boots

An aromatic fougère (fougère being the most successful fragrance category in men’s perfumery), Beau De Jour is in many ways the most traditional, gentlemanly fragrance on our list.

It opens with a huge note of lavender (one of Tom Ford’s favourite notes) which, when combined with the geranium and rosemary at its heart, gives it a lovely, slightly soapy, barbershop freshness that’s as timeless as it is wearable.

A perfect place to start if you’re new to Tom Ford fragrances or you prefer trad smelling scents, it also has superb staying power on the skin (it lingered for nearly 12 hours on ours) and is proof that old-school style – of which Ford is the master – never goes out of fashion.

Key specs: Volume: 50ml; Type: Eau de parfum; Fragrance family: Aromatic fougère

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