Does it smell like lavender, yes. I was hoping it would be more feminine but alas it hit me with a men's cologne vibe immediately. I am rating thumbs up because it would make a good men's fresh lavender scent but not for me.
Oh yes, lavender centered formula that can be categorized as aromatic spicy, plus the earthy vetiver and oakmoss in the base.
Tom Ford's Lavender Palm has a salty seaside vibe, along with a fresh citrus spritz that, along with the vegetal presence of palm leaf, creates a distinct fragrance that either gender can safely enjoy.
Given how daring this fragrance is, I see that it can be a love it or hate it affair. Definitely test it before you ptentially buy; blind-buying could be too risky.
I really had no idea what to think about this scent from the mixed reviews. I've been offered bottles in swaps, but never really felt brave enough to just "go for it". However, a friend I have done many trades with had it, and I figured it was time to test those particular waters.
I have been testing this today, and whereas I previously had assumed this would be either going into my swap or sales pile, I am convinced I will be keeping this particular brew! I am not a fan of "barbershop" scents for myself. I admire other women who can pull it off, but I just can't. But I do love lavender, and have not had any luck with lavender in a scent that doesn't lean dramatically masculine as well as screams "I just had a shave and a haircut!" - but then this strange and unusual combination of elements comes together and all of a sudden, here is a lavender perfectly suited for women!
It can be described as a salty (I know, weird, right?), and yet creamy lavender - yea, I know...doesn't make sense. Here is something to add to the nonsensical description - I am reminded of the beach on a cool day. I know, you think I'm losing my mind. And whereas everyone talks about this being "California" I think about the mid-Atlantic beaches I have loved all of my life. This is (dare I say it?) the aquatic I have been searching for! How can this be??? I do not comprehend how these notes that I can truly pick out, combine to bring me a clear vision of a mid-Atlantic beach on a cool day! How seriously bizarre and wonderful!
Tom Ford's Lavender Palm, one of the many discontinued Private Blends, actually smells very much like its name---a mixture of lavender and the palm leaf (though I'm not in a part of the US where palm trees grow, their smell is nonetheless familiar from Palm Sunday). In that respect, it's fresh, unisex, and oddly creamy. It's versatile enough to work in cold weather, but I imagine it shines mostly in warm weather, where its potency is best expressed. I don't get much citrus at the opening but I do get some other flowers in the middle, in addition to lavender. Longevity and projection are decent, even with the Private Blend cost and status in mind.
A pleasant warm weather-friendly member of the Private Blend family, Lavender Palm is not one I'll be reaching for much, nor would I spring for a rare bottle, but it's an interesting facet of the collection.
So with this creation Tom Ford meant to evoke California (and specifically L.A.) in bottle. As someone who hasn't been to California, I'll have to take his word for it here.
The smell... To me this is a wonderfully authentic Lavender which is surrounded by herbs and fresh citrus. There are actually two types of Lavender being used here by the perfumer, Yann Vasnier, which are supported by clary sage, bergamot, oakmoss, and both lemon and lemon blossom. At the bottom of this herbal base is vetiver and olibanum... and the overall feel is that of a dry, salty, yet fresh, herbal lavender.
Personally I am someone who loves the smell of lavender, and although lavender is sometimes seen as a masculine note, I think this could work on male or female. The composition is fresh in the beginning, turning to dry and herbal in the base. It's almost like a "salty" lavender... as if the lavender bushes are growing by the sea coast, with the salt in the air and the dry herbal aroma coming from the bush being baked in the sun.
It's a wonderful feeling, but the problem is (as with most Tom Ford Private Blends), is that the price can be a little high. Lavender Palm is a wonderful, authentic lavender fragrance, but it's just as good as any other really good lavenders I have smelled, if you have the money for this (and want to smell like California luxury), go for it. But you can also check out a classic like Caron's Pour Un Homme which will also give an authentic lavender. But for a herbal, dry, citrus lavender, this is probably one of the best out there (if you have the money for it).
I hear a lot of people going crazy for the opening, me not so much. Okay, the lavender smells pretty real and pure. Thats all fine, but for me, it's the drydown and the base that I love. When the lavender dries down a bit with the sweet citrus notes coming in thats when (at least on my skin) it becomes a pretty damn nice and fresh fragrance.