Tom Ford Private Blend Italian Cypress (2008)

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
This is a challenging, complex scent. It cannot be assimilated in one or a few trials. I find that it has parts which attract me greatly, and parts with which I struggle.
First, I am happy to have a notes list, which seems accurate to what I detect.
Notes: bergamot, mandarin orange, galbanum, spearmint, basil, clove, labdanum, smoky cypress, moss, musk.
This starts with very green herbal and coniferous notes. This phase is excellent, but regrettably very brief.
The scent quickly develops a gruff, bold, assertive and spicy character -- very old-school! With its clove-y spice note, it reminds me of the revamped Rive Gauche, which Tom Ford designed.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Then appears the aspect I find is at once unique and challenging. It truly seems to me to capture accurately a dirty old metallic ashtray or an old clay pipe bowl. Sharp, slightly stale notes of smoke and minerals abound, and persist. Perhaps there are also vestiges of cold dark coffee drying in a cup, for a true cigarette and coffee vibe.
This complex chord persists through the life of the scent. It is never unpleasant, and at times it conveys a world-weary character that is charming. At other times its "dirtyness" seems a bit problematic to me.
The dry-down generally is pleasing, at times even haunting. The mint keeps reappearing to brighten the otherwise dusky proceedings. At times, I do get a Yatagan vibe in the later stages.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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I wish it was more woody and resinous. I love cypress, and find it overwhelmed here. I wish that ashtray note was less prominent.
Do I find it bottle-worthy? No, not at this point. Yet I cannot dismiss it. It is a very striking scent. It invites further attention.
What do others think???
 

scentsitivity

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Jan 17, 2007
I haven't tested this for a while, but one word in your write up was consistent with my memory: stale. That is, at some point in the development (and I cannot recall at the moment when I detected this), I found a stale character that struck me and was rather opposite of what I hope for in Cypress. Alas, I am spoiled by Cypres-Musc!
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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scensitivity, you have identified an important issue for me -- the "stale" aspect.
To me, a coniferous scent should be life-affirming, lively . That is my romantic notion of coniferous resins and walks in the forest. And certainly Cypres-Musc does that, very well.
The deliberately jaded, world-weary aspect of the Tom Ford is interesting, perhaps even attractive. But it is not cheerful. That is where I pause...
 

MonkeyBars

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May 18, 2011
Italian Cypress, to me, is basically a ripoff of Halston Z-14 (pre-2012 only!) but done with much more expensive materials, so it's rounder, fuller, and deeper. It's also a bit less interesting to my nose, less dissonant, but it does have a bit more conifer to it than Z-14 which is more cedary.
 

physalis

Member
Sep 20, 2014
Oh, here it is!! Tom Ford Italian Cypress
Thank you MonkeyBars for digging it up.
And Ody's comparisons are quite interesting.

In Brazil I would have to blind buy it, for an abusive price. There is only one question in my mind now. Is it worthy?
scratching-head-smiley-emoticon.gif
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Here's today's review.
Resinous, green aromatic opening -- marvellous! Quickly followed by a richly spiced, clove note. Very barbershop, and in the style of Rive Gauche. Some herbal notes. When the cypress develops, it is very smoky. The stale, jaded, world-weary aspect kicks in (freshened now and then by a bit of mint). The moss is salty and briny, and the musk is dusky. Masculine but not macho -- but certainly an old-school powerhouse. One teeny little spray is all that's needed.
Conveys a world-weary air. Charles Aznavour singing "Yesterday when I was young" in a smoky bar.
It sounds romantic! :) It is. But still not bottle-worthy for me, and not really my style. Intriguing, though.
Guess I'd class this as an aromatic fougere, in the 80's style. At times a soapy quality reminiscent of original Brut.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Time to revisit this. It is no longer in production, so those such as myself who have been sitting on the fence need to fish or cut bait if they want to snag one. to mix a few metaphors...
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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It has taken me a while but I think that I've finally understood this scent. It's the moss. I'll explain what I mean.
The scent starts with a very green chord of dusky galbanum and herbal basil. Mint brightens this very dark green note. Clove adds a powerful darkly spicy element. What we have is an old-school fougere which is assertive. Hints of smoky musk in the background.
The salty moss is what contributes the metallic, somewhat "stale" aspect. Hints of cooked celery leaf, tarragon, leather. It is beautiful in a traditional way, and has great longevity. Authentic moss (which I feel this has) is variable -- there are many different types and batches. Some suit my taste, others don't. This one -- as I say it is beautiful but in the end I just can't commit to a bottle of this scent.
Finally, I wish the cypress was more prominent. I feel that it gets buried in the moss. A shame, since the scent bears its name.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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There was a recent query here about an atypical pineapple note in an eBay decant someone purchased. I thought I'd bump the discussion thread. No mention of anything like pineapple here.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Time to revisit this fascinating, complex, maddening and controversial scent. I think it has been discontinued, but it is still worth thought.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Starts with a crisp green note: the galbanum freshened by basil and mint. Nice. Develops a slightly soapy, barbershop vibe due to the citrus and spice. Excellent so far. Then, the smoky cypress and moss notes kick in. The smoky note is dusky and -- as I've said before -- has a slightly metallic, old ashtray vibe. Maybe that note is in synergy with the moss. In light applications, the note is interesting and cool (both in temperature and in vibe). This is certainly an intriguing scent and quite unmistakable.
 

odysseusm

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Jan 12, 2007
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Thought I'd do a comment on the dry-down, which is extensive! The vibe of this scent overall is definitely the moss. Whether it is natural or a synthetic I don't know. But I do find the distinctive, salty, somewhat powdery green cushion which is moss. Moss comes in many versions. I say that I like "moss" but there are some versions which just don't work for me -- that in Victor/Modrone's Acqua di Selva comes to mind. The moss here straddles the line between like / dislike.
 

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