After falling in love with Black Orchid, I craved more of Tom Ford Fragrances, something that I could wear on a daily basis, but one that still had sufficient complexity and personality to it. Although I loved many Tom Ford Private Blends, most of them tended to be somewhat one-note, and are better worn layered. At USD215 for 50ml each, I wasn’t quite ready to invest in 2 bottles just to create 1 everyday scent. I tried them on slowly, one after another, until I finally came to Café Rose… and just lost myself.
“When you showcase their darker and less innocent aspects, flowers can become so thrilling and beautiful, they could almost ruin you.”
– Tom Ford
Tom Ford Private Blend Café Rose was first released in 2012 as part of the Jardin Noir collection (or otherwise fondly termed the “Twisted Florals”). I wished Tom Ford had chosen to name this Rose Boudouir instead or something less blasé than Café Rose. It conjures up images of old-lady sickly-sweet rose scents hovering over dainty tea cups. And for fans of Tom Ford, that is the last thing we want to be associated with! Instead, the name suggests the aroma of coffee, something darker and exotic. Completely unexpected pairing for a rose scent, and perhaps that is the element of surprise by design.
One spray of Café Rose wraps me in the richness of May rose, Turkish rose and Bulgarian rose… the most seductive and lush of all beauties. But there is a velvety warmth to it all, the intimacy of amber and patchouli enraptures, and draws you deep into their embrace. Top notes of saffron and black pepper, as well as base notes of incense and sandalwood keep things a little spicy and prevents Café Rose from turning either too handcream-ish or Middle Eastern. Similar to most Tom Ford fragrances that I have encountered so far, Café Rose remains true to its original character throughout, although the initial spicy burst fades away after about an hour, the rest of the notes remain harmoniously balanced until you remove it.
I fail to capture the aroma of coffee, but it is not missed. Nor is there the cloying sweetness that I typically associate with roses. Instead, Café Rose emobodied the sex appeal of Black Orchid, a sophistication and elegance that is truly Tom Ford, made wearable on a daily basis. Café Rose is one of a few Tom Ford Private Blends that are sufficiently full-bodied to be worn on its own. It does not project as strongly as Black Orchid which makes it more appropriate for the office, but still with enough longevity to stay on me throughout the day.
Are you a fan of rose-scented fragrances? If so, do you prefer sweet ladylike roses, or something warmer and more woody?