Costa Azzurra (new) fragrance notes

  • Head

    • driftwood, ambrette, celery seed, cardamom, oud
  • Heart

    • lemon, mandarin, lavender, rosemary, juniper, artemisia, myrtle, cypress, patchouli
  • Base

    • Oak, Olibanum, Incense, Vetiver, Vanilla, Mastic

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Costa Azzurra (new)

I'm ambivalent about this reformulation -- not that I was a fan of the previous version either.
This brings together an intriguing array of notes and clearly the intent is to convey a sea-side but not aquatic (ozone) sort of scent. To that extent, it succeeds.
However, I find it a bit brash, clangy and "elevator guy." After about an hour, it is slightly headache inducing for me. Not sweet, just kinda loud. And that's with just one spritz.
27th November 2022
I agree completely with Varanis Ridari below - this is not aquatic in any way. The reviews that say that it IS aquatic are either talking about the pre-2022 formulation or they have had that scent put into their minds by the notes listing.

This is a confusing one. Half of the people (including me) note that this fragrance starts out as a skin scent and is completely gone within two hours. The other half say that it lasts all day.

So what does it have? Well, it is different and therefore interesting. It started out with a somewhat-standard lemon with some cypress and artemisia for some bite, which I like. Within a half hour, the citrus is pretty much gone, replaced by what I can best describe as a significant oregano note (not listed, but it is there. Maybe that's the myrtle?) A bit further along, the smell of driftwood comes in, but it is a dry smell, not at all resinous. From there, it fades away.

I know that you are saying "hey, there is a lot going on. Why no love?" Well first, the only way I could smell these changes was to put my nose down my shirt to smell the 5 sprays that i put on my chest 30 minutes earlier. Zero projection, terrible duration. Second, while the notes are evocative of the scene they have put in our heads, and are done in an interesting way, the scent itself isn't compelling. This would make a good scented candle at a fancy beach house, but it isn't something that I would ever wear. This is the type of scent that Tom Ford fans will buy, rave about, then leave on the back of the shelf. It just doesn't serve any purpose. It is far from a compliment getter, lacking freshness (past the first 30 minutes), it isn't boozy, or warm, or sweet, or pungent. And it is weak. If it projected and endured, I would have given this a neutral rating for the creativity if not wearability, but since it isn't, gotta go thumbs down.

On the off-chance that the duration/projection issues are due to skin chemistry (not something I experience often, but ...), and you are fascinated by imagined landscapes, grab yourself a decant and decide for yourself, but this is definitely not a blind buy unless you are a true TF fanboy.
8th November 2022

This is the fresh fragrance that sold me on freshies. I was out of the loop with perfume for quite a few years, but walking into a Sephora with the lady and for whatever reason gravitating to the bottle, I tried it.

Instantly hooked.

It is the perfect blend of spicy, aquatic, and fresh. The first couple of minutes is a citrus blast with some wonderful balsam/cypress undertones. There's this memory of an incense note that floats within all of that for an hour or so. After the initial citrus opening, the oceanic notes begin to float in - I can only describe the profile as "salt air." It's absolutely stunning and has a strange (in a good way) nostalgia feeling to it. I swear there's a violet note moving around the periphery of this.

The drydown is quite basic woody, but the echoes of the oceanic heart with touches of cypress periodically walk in and out. The longevity is not stellar (probably 4-5 hours), but I have not had a spring and summer timeframe to test it in yet. I strongly suspect it thrives in the heat and stays for much longer, since on the days when I've worked up a sweat, or it's been hotter I was able to detect it for much longer (roughly 8 hours I was still getting whisps of scent).

I believe I also get incredibly nose blind to this fragrance, which does not help. It will last over a day on clothing. I was hoping this could be one of my signature scents, but sadly it cannot perform year-round despite the woody/balsam aspect to it. My skin does better with gourmands (absolutely magnifies them), so it could be a chemistry thing.

In summary it's nothing ground breaking, but it is incredibly well done and has a remarkably rich aroma to it. If you put this in a Creed bottle, I'd argue it could rival GIT or Aventus for popularity within a few years. It's a classic, masculine-leaning unisex with a rich, beautiful, and simple (yet complex) aroma. It will offend absolutely no one, it will smell somewhat familiar, it will remind you of a time and place that you may or may not have been to. This captures a moment by the sea in the summer, with that warm, comforting aroma of balsam, wood, and flowers being warmed up by sunlight and dancing together in the air. Despite performance issues, this is truly a fragrance that transports you to another place. A calmer place.
24th October 2022
An overcast day on the shoreline. The sun-weathered, wooden planks of the pier, saturated with salty brine. Sea mist from the ceaseless crashing of waves against the pilings. Seagulls circling above, mewing their lament high above the whitecaps.
23rd May 2022
For me this is the best of the French Riveria Style of citrus exemplified by Aqua di Parma. The turn off for me is that all this style of fragrance are incredibly dated. They always transport me to those wooden decked sailing yatchts that some billionaires clog the harbours up with. Or simply put it reminds me of Some Like it Hot. So maybe for a fancy dress but not really for every day. Not if you are really interested and have had a good sniff around.
Tom Ford is probably the best of the lot as it has a sharp woody incensy vibe running throughout the experience from opening to dry down but the longevity is still poor and its really quite a timid fragrance. Not a joyous or considering the sillage and duration especially manly.
This gets a bare thumbs up but certainly not FBW. For me at least.
26th November 2021
I tried this yesterday and liked it but later in the day couldn't escape that I had smelled this before. Pretty sure it was Carolina Herrera for men via 1991. Pretty much the same scent but Herrera was much more affordable.
21st September 2021
I had a strong 90s epiphany with this one. Somehow the smell was very familiar, as if I had smelled this before, and then I realised it reminded me of Karl Langerfeld's "Photo" which was a smash hit perfume from 1990, probably because of the lavender-lemon combo. It is a very sweet fougere, but I can't say I enjoy this one really.
28th April 2021
This is a surprisingly retro fragrance, in a 90's kind of way. The soapiness of it reminds me of CK One (Calvin Klein) or the likes of Polo Blue (Ralph Lauren) and Tommy (Tommy Hilfiger). On one hand I find it very preppy, almost juvenile while on the other hand it reminds me of airport tax free shops, gym changing rooms and night club rest rooms. Needless to say this is not a fragrance for me but I'm sure I would have enjoyed it back in the 90's.
5th March 2021
Okay Tom Ford, I see you over there with the 50 pages worth of listed notes, but what is actually in Tom Ford Costa Azzurra (2021)? For starters, this is a retooling of the Private Blend iteration of Tom Ford Costa Azzura (2014) and re-release into the Signature Line in the same manner that Tom Ford has done with several other Private Blend releases, but sees a bit more noticeable of a shift in tone than the previous transfers to the Signature Line. The original Costa Azzura was an aquatic and this new version is not, so right away there's that to get past. Secondly, with the birth of this new Signature Line entry comes the death of so many other Signature Line fragrances loved by the online fragrance community, including Tom Ford Noir (2012) and Tom Ford Noir Anthracite (2017), meaning Costa Azzurra feels something like a signifier of a more-commercial direction change for the house (also read "the death of the brand"). I'm not so sure how accurate this is considering stuff in darling genres to the fragrance community like Ombré Leather (2018) and Beau de Jour (2020) got put into the Signature Line too, so let's just say that Tom Ford maybe just decided to switch out one retro vibe for another, with this newest Signature Line adoption feeling like the first thing he's put out in that line which targets a distinct early 90's aesthetic. Costa Azzurra is marketed unisex, but one sniff will communicate 90's "men's cologne".

Let's get out of the way the fact that there is no discernable oud in this scent, despite whatever the Baskin Robbins 31 flavors note pyramid tells you. I get a very similar golden fruity sort of ozonic feel which reminds me very much of vintage Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger (1994), which considering that brand is also governed by Estée Lauder like Tom Ford, makes this linkage a very real possibility. Once the heart heats up, things change in tone to become more resinous yet still slickly modern like a better take on Acqua di Colonia Assoluta (2003), with standout ozonic citrus and fruit notes of the top being mulled with cardamom, benzoin, juniper, herbs, and patchouli. The base is richer still, offering a golden almost Chanel No. 5 (1921) type glow minus any animalic facets with a synthetic oakmoss chypre riff blended into olibanum and mastic with bit of vanilla. Gone are the aquatic top notes from this version, with the only thing really linking it to the old Costa Azzurra being the fruitiness and floral parts of the scent. The base is the biggest difference here, and the decision to go more with citrus than remain aquatic is the deciding factor over whether or not you'll like this version. Wear time is a long noticeable 10 hours and this feels best as a casual spring through fall scent but is warm enough for year-round use in climate-controlled evironments with brief jaunts between car/bus/taxi and wherever you're headed when outside on a cold day. I think a woman could pull this off if they were fans of that golden fruity ozonic period and wore stuff like Creed Millésime Impérial (1995) at that time, and you could almost say this is Ford's answer to it.

Tom Ford Costa Azzurra does fill a sort of niche lacking in the Signature Line up until this point, and that was for a fresh dumb-reach kind of scent that didn't feel like a throwaway aquatic a la many Nautica releases, but also wasn't the stiff traditional masculinity of something like Grey Vetiver (2009). We may never see a fully abstract post-aquatic "blue" fragrance like Bleu de Chanel (2010) or Dior Sauvage (2015) enter the range to fill this need, and that's a good thing. I don't believe the usual Tom Ford customer is looking to smell like they're keeping up with The Joneses, but also doesn't want to scour eBay for overpriced surviving examples of truly vintage fragrances, so they buy into the slightly less-overpriced "repackaged timelessness" that is essentially Tom Ford perfumes. Costa Azzurra is the first time TF masculines have targeted a 90's style, as past entries have floated between the powdery animalic glory days of Guerlain in the 20's to the very hairy-chested Burt Reynolds vibe of the 70's and 80's, most of which represents stuff sadly culled from the TF line-up. While aforementioned options still exist if you wanna get your prestige postmodernism groove on, it is nice to see TF do something that isn't an ambery or smoky baroque period piece but still clearly inspired by things we don't see much of anymore. I mean, who wears Tommy anymore (besides me)? However you slice it, Costa Azzurra is potentially divisive, but a needed drop of sunshine on an otherwise overly serious (and overly expensive) line. Thumbs up.
25th February 2021