Tom Ford's exclusive line is how niche perfumery should not be. It consists basically of a monolithic marketing concept, optimized by special perceptions of sales psychology. The outcome is a fancy scent bar with numerous, quickly developed perfumes.
In the past, the real maîtres among the perfumers allowed themselves years and years of development before they finally decided to release a scent to the public – but at Tom Ford, they simply buy what is quickly available for money. All perfumes of Tom Ford's exclusive line that I have come across so far are optimized for quick sale: the customer is presented a spectacular head note, but with not much behind it.
Just like this is Neroli Portofino: the start is overwhelmingly good – one is pleased with so much delicacy and refinement. Airiness, freshness, but also considerable orange-y volume mingle together in perfect balance. Any possible customer can easily see the difference between Neroli Portofino and a Neroli-cheapie like 4711.
However, a slight glance on the packaging should make you suspicious: A neroli scent, labeled as “Eau de Parfum“? Usually, neroli is not very enduring. As a flowery, citric note, it is mainly being used as top- or maybe heart note in many traditional colognes. After this short period, it fades away. And for this reason, neroli is the center of many simple, short-living Colognes – such as Guerlains' Eau du Coq, a true gem. But since a few years, we sometimes find neroli notes with monstrous life period. Examples are Colonia Essenza by Acqua di Parma and the number 201 from Micallef's Art Collection line. Did they find means to fix neroli? Or is it some chemical replacement of natural neroli oil? I suppose the worst since I came across this neroli type of scent blown into the air by a room freshener machine.
Basically, Mandy Aftel writes in her book about the advantage of natural perfume oil that the batches all slightly differ from each other, since the oils are never completely pure. On the other hand synthetizised scents smell like „dead“. You may put this aside as the thoughts of an esoteric natural perfumer – but as far as neroli is concerned, I can very well follow these thoughts. To me, Neroli Portofino is just as dead as the central cemetry of my home town. Once the interesting top note has settled there is only sweet and sticky kind of neroli with maybe some amber.
This is so solid, it does not move an inch! And it never leaves you alone, just like unwelcome relatives. I can only describe this as an olfactory tinnitus!
With Neroli porofino, you seriously peril your sensitivity for scent. It is just the attraction of neroli that it is fleeting. One should never even consider holding it! Whoever wears Neroli Portofino in a certain period of time will surely develop an averseness against it. So, this is also another way to put off customers.
The marketing concept of Tom Ford is just as sustaining as the deforestation of the amazonas region. At the Tom Ford scent bar, customers' interest is being exploited, not aroused. They will not return to the perfume shop for good.