Fragrance Review: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford


It’s all in the name.

Tobacco Vanille is said to be inspired by Tom Ford’s interpretation of a London gentlemen’s club – the lunch kind, not the American kind – and I must say, in beginning, that the pictorial inspiration is certainly there.

It’s part of Ford’s private blend line, alongside other well-known fragrances by this house such as Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino and Noir de Noir.


Initial Thoughts

If I were to sum up Tobacco Vanille as a mental image, it would be an olfactory depiction of an aged leather chair in an English lunch club, moderately permeated by a few years of tobacco pipe smoking and vanilla liqeur.

Like most Tom Ford private blend fragrances, Tobacco Vanille often presents in a dark coloured 50mL flacon like the above (in addition to larger sizes). It’s an eau de parfum strength, and is quite a strong scent so it’s wise to apply with moderation.


The Olfactory Notes

When freshly applied, I can smell some aromatic and spice accords in the top notes. They combine to give off an aroma that’s reminiscent of rum n’ raisin ice cream.

These give way to a dry-down with a strong heart of tobacco, which is said to be comprised of multiple tobacco sources; citing notes of tobacco blossom and tobacco leaf in addition to simply stating ‘tobacco’.

The heart of tobacco is smoothed over by a touch of tonka bean, which gives it a creamier texture. I’m a big fan of tonka bean and tobacco so this combination was a big winner in my book.

After a few hours, the tobacco simmers down to reveal a base of sweetness comprised largely – to my nose anyway – of vanilla, supported by a slight accord of cocoa and dry wood.


Ratings

Smell: 4.5/5

It’s a wonderful scent, blended well. While I do really enjoy it, I wasn’t blown away enough to give it full marks.

Projection: 4/5

This scent projects well and you will certainly be noticed when you wear it. It’s not overpowering though.

Longevity: 3.5/5

I think a scent like this could easily last from morning to morning, so it’s a bit of a shame that this one tops out at 8-10 hours with only 6 hours of projection.


What Would I Wear This With?

I think this fragrance pairs really well with both jacket and tie outfits, and country inspired outfits. It’s super versatile, the only real guide I go by is that I like to wear it with something English inspired. Tweed, double breasted blazers, corduroy and traditional gentlemen’s hunting styles are all fair game.

I don’t personally think of it as a suit fragrance, but you could easily do so if you fancy it.


Concluding Thoughts

I can see this fragrance being an easy wear at any time of day in the cooler months, and possibly in moderation during warmer days too. I wouldn’t reach for it on a really hot day, due to the thickness of tobacco and sweetness.

I think that Penhaligon’s Sartorial would be a good choice if you wanted a fresher, lighter version of this fragrance. If you want something a little more strong and imposing, try this fragrance’s sister composition Tobacco Oud.

But this fragrance is a classic. I’d recommend trying it, and at least picking up a decant. There are very few people who will dislike it – it’s a classy, well-made and opulent scent.

Thanks for tuning in,
Sam


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Sam founded STS in 2019 to help his fellow man not just to dress (and smell) fantastic, but to enjoy it too. An avid motorcyclist, musician and sportsman, he spends most of his spare time in those pursuits.

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