A library of franchises sits near the edge of Tom Ford’s sprawling fashion estate. The library is made of Oud Wood, a best-seller so essential to many besuited mens’ morning rituals that it is essentially load-bearing. But there’s more to the collection than just the classic. Tom Ford routinely does “occasional scents” – and he does them well.
It’s also worth noting that Tom Ford’s scents, which are “Eau de Parfums,” linger longer than most conventional “colognes,” which tend to be lower-concentration concoctions. Parfums have a relatively strong radius but never an overpowering intensity. These scents are not intended to obscure other scents. They are (largely floral) centerpieces.
Tom Ford scents are supposed to be collected if not curated. For those new to the brand, or fragrance in general, that means finding a way in. The scents below represent a great place to start.
The Best Tom Ford Fragrances: At a Glance
Tom Ford Oud Wood EDP
Fragrance Family: Amber Woody
Top Notes: Cardamom, sichuan pepper
Base Notes: Oud, sandalwood, amber, vanilla
The top spot still feels like no contest. Oud is one of the most precious oils in perfumery, and this is a perfect projection. There’s a powdery effect to it that lifts the hairs on the arms. It manages to be fresh despite a spicy opening, and despite being anchored by oud, amber, and a dash of vanilla. Oud Wood can be worn to work, to date night, and as a signature scent.
Tom Ford Beau de Jour EDP
Fragrance Family: Aromatic Fougère
Top Note: Lavender
Middle Notes: Rosemary, oakmoss, mint
Base Notes: Patchouli, amber
A well-chosen signature scent demands hitting the perfect cross-section of “I have great taste” and “I play it smart”. Beau du Jour is both brilliantly sophisticated and stirring. And there aren’t many guys out there wearing it. It hits the senses like a deeply relieving exhalation, with pronounced patchouli and tons of transitional power. It works at work, happy hour, a parent-teacher conference, a date. It’s a signature scent.
Tom Ford Costa Azzurra EDP
Fragrance Family: Aquatic Aromatic
Top Notes: Driftwood, oud, cardamom
Middle Notes: Lemon, cypress, lavender
Base Notes: Oak, incense, vetiver, resin
Walk with a little extra into the office each day after spritzing this one on the collar. Not that it’s overtly flirtatious or anything. It’s just alluring, and draws people in. Being the talk of the water cooler is one thing (“How great does that guy smell!?”); being the water cooler is another.
Tom Ford Noir Extreme EDP
Fragrance Family: Amber Woody
Top Notes: Cardamom, nutmeg, saffron
Middle Notes: Kulfi, rose, orange blossom
Base Notes: Vanilla, amber, sandalwood
Some scents are sexy, which can be hit and miss. As for Noir Extreme, it’s all in the name. This one hits, but it hits hard. It hits on the woman across the table, but also the waitress and the guy outside parking cars. It is a very forward (slutty really) masculine scent.
Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi EDP
Fragrance Family: Citrus Aromatic
Top Notes: Lemon, grapefruit, mint
Middle Notes: Orange blossom, jasmine, black pepper
Base Notes: Musk, vetiver, amber
The crispness of Mandarino di Amalfi feels like a direct flight to Amalfi. This one has a soap-like quality to it, too, maybe like a really high-end hotel hand soap. That might sound silly, but there are plenty of occasions where that fresh, aromatic, and free-spirited aura hits. Save it for summer, or wear it in winter when craving warm-weather memories, or look ahead with optimism for the next sunny escape.
Tom Ford Bois Marocain EDP
Fragrance Family: Woody/Earthy
Top Note: Pink peppercorn
Base Notes: Thuya wood, cedarwood
Bois Marocain, launched last year, is a reformulation of a previous Tom Ford recipe whose woody scent wraps itself around the wearer like a flannel blanket. It’s a light wear as far as most wintry options go, but that also gives it some staying power in shoulder season. (It’d be the perfect opposite with the aforementioned Mandarino di Amalfi; wear that one between May and September, and this one the cooler portion of the year.) This one is also great for buttoned-up occasions, as well as date night. It doesn’t send any suggestive messages, unless you consider “teddy bear levels of cuddle-ability” as suggestive.
Tom Ford Bitter Peach EDP
Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral
Top Notes: Peach, blood orange, cardamom
Middle Notes: Rum, cognac, jasmine
Base Notes: Patchouli, vanilla, cashmeran, vetiver
Bitter Peach leads with the peach over the bitter, which may turn off some prospective wearers under the guise that it’s too sweet. However, when deployed lightly, it can act as somewhat of a secret weapon. It’s terrific for layering with other scents, or for wearing the lightest application on one wrist (then dabbed onto the opposite pulse point). It’d be a terrific his-and-hers scent, and would turn heads for the right reason; albeit, some of them will be double takes.
Tom Ford Métallique EDP
Fragrance Family: Floral Gourmand
Top Notes: Aldehydes, pink pepper
Middle Notes: Heliotrope, lily of the valley
Base Notes: Vanilla, amber, balsam wood
Métalllique will feel like a left-field entry for any Tom Ford fans reading this: It’s definitely “the quirky one” when lined up next to all the other TF scents; that shiny shell and its vanilla-forward cast might be polarizing to some. But as far as gourmand scents go, this one is a knockout. Yes, it’s going to be polarizing—a lot of people don’t love something so strongly vanilla.
SPY’s grooming editor wears it while running errands on the weekend and finds it comforting, above all else. Think of it like the olfactive equivalent of (shiny) sweatpants.
Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme EDP
Fragrance Family: Amber Floral
Top Notes: Ginger, bitter orange, bergamot
Middle Notes: Kulfi, rose, jasmine
Base Notes: Vanilla, amber, sandalwood
Every so often, a brilliant fragrance gets called up to the heavens, and nobody can understand why. This one is foremost a women’s scent—it’s literally called Noir Pour Femme (for Women)—but there’s a terrific argument to be made for guys wearing florals and surprising themselves (as well as those around them). It’s a terrific way to show a lighter and more free-spirited side, since men’s scents tend to err on masculine-leaning adjectives like “strong and sophisticated” while undervaluing the levity and approachability offered by florals.
All of this to say, “Noir Pour Femme” should just replace the baseline unisex Noir at TF altogether (Noir Extreme can stay; it’s a great “masculine” addition). However, for the time being, it’s discontinued. It’s still on the roster here since it can be purchased in odd corners of the web, and as a hopeful plea that it’s just a way for the brand to build some buzz and demand for an eventual return. Don’t count it out simply because it’s marketed at women. What else is marketed at women? Men. Embrace it!
Why Do I Have 300+ Fragrances, Anyway?
It’s not like I’m dropping thousands of dollars in cash on this stuff, even though some of it is well worth the coin; it is my job, after all, to receive, test, and review new and classic scents—and to often go back to them for seasonal and note-based roundups. It’s smart for every guy to own multiple scents (perhaps 3 to start?). This allows you a different expression between changing moods, seasons, and occasions. For example, try having one signature scent, one “light” one (think weekend/happy hour), and one broody/date-night option. And if you are unsure where to even begin, may I suggest Tom Ford’s collection?
About the Author
Adam Hurly has been covering the grooming industry for a decade after getting his start at Birchbox in 2013. Since becoming a freelance journalist in 2016, he has written for nearly every men’s title. In addition to SPY, his frequent clients include GQ, Men’s Journal, Robb Report, Forbes, and more. Hurly is a South Dakota native, a University of Kansas graduate, a New Yorker at heart, and has resided in Berlin for 5 years.