Extreme Measures

The latest men’s fragrance from Tom Ford proves a welcome handful for Daniel Maier

Tom Ford’s new scent is presented, with a typical eye for detail, in a chunky, rectangular bottle, the boss’s initials debossed to either side. Smoked glass with a ribbed gold lid, it’s a robust bit of Deco luxury, somewhere between F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cigarette case and a scale model of a 1930s Chicago bank.

Tom Ford Extreme NoirImmediate and punchy straight from the bell, Noir Extreme is well-named. This is a scent that’s not backward in coming forward – Beige Impartial or Wallflower Compromise would not, frankly, do it justice.

The first citric hit gives way to a sweet, warm, creamy statement of intent. The engine room, apparently, is Indian Kulfi. You know, that dessert you quite fancy ’til you realise you’ve piped yourself so full of Chicken Achari and mushroom pilau that your actual priorities are a mint and a lie-down. That. But for all Noir Extreme’s milk and fruit, navigate its pretty overpowering introduction, which is a bit like being air-kissed by a tipsy Montserrat Caballe, and the headiness subsides over a vanilla bridge into a rounder, subtle amber warmth. It’s as if the kulfi’s melted and you’re left sniffing the cream-damped stick. There’s still a sweet, gourmandy quality to this dry-down, but the amber and sandalwood underpinning render the whole thing softer and generally more companiable the longer you carry it with you.

Noir Extreme has a good deal going for it, though, for me, more treaty alternatives in the Tom Ford Private Blend stable – the hefty Oud Wood and the late lamented Japon Noir – hold more appeal.

Finally, a quick word to anyone brought here by googling ‘sniffing the cream-damped stick’. Sorry to disappoint, guys!

Tom Ford Noir Extreme Eau de Parfum, £70



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