One of the most popular private blend fragrances from Tom Ford is Neroli Portofino. Released in 2011 it features some of my favourite notes (neroli, orange, bitter orange, tangerine, bergamot). You would think as a neroli fan that I would have jumped up and run to the store when this was launched and that was indeed my plan. But then I smelt it and to be honest (and you guys know I love me some Tom Ford) I thought it was lovely …but not lovely enough. I wanted and expected more from Tom and this felt a bit vanilla. Mandarino di Amalfi which came three years later by contrast was juicy and mouthwatering and delicious from the first spritz to the last whiff which sadly was only four to five hours later. In my opinion a far more interesting fragrance but I was still thinking about the neroli – if it just had a little something, it would be perfect.
Then Tom brought out Fleur de Portofino in 2015, which incorporates rose, jasmine, magnolia acacia honey and vanilla to the citrus blend. It is a beautiful feminine fragrance but it is a floral, not enough of the neroli for my nose.
This year Tom brought out Neroli Portafino Aqua. At this point I need to insert a side eye emoticon. This is the ‘cologne’ version of Neroli Portofino. Neroli and citrus accords on an amber base. A more simplistic neroli. Simplicity in fragrance is not necessarily a bad thing… but between the frosted bottle (why??) and the lack of projection and sillage, this fragrance was an immediate pass. Also, my niggle about Tom bringing out yet another ‘iteration’ of the original neroli fragrance was beginning to take hold. Lots of brands do this -eg Marc Jacobs Daisy, SJP Lovely but it really isn’t what I expect from Tom Ford. In addition, a standard fifty millilitre private blend fragrance is £195 but Neroli Portofino Acqua retails for £140. Is this an entry level product?
Most recently Tom brought out Neroli Portofino Forte. F I N A L L Y!!! This is the neroli fragrance that I had wanted Tom to produce in the first iteration of Portafino. The addition of musk and woody notes mean you have impact from the beginning, great longevity and silage, this is a more ballsy neroli. This feels like a private blend fragrance… but wait a second – the lovely people at Tom Ford are charging £195 for fifty millilitres for this beauty. Ummmm why? The marketing machine is in full swing with this product. So, did I buy it? Yes of course! I have been waiting five years for this fragrance and I am obsessed with orange fragrances.