Costa Azzura by Tom Ford 2014


Post by Liam


Hello fabulous fragrance fiends,

I’m back! Thanks for the kind reception on my first post, I didn’t expect such a torrent of kindness! Today I shift away from vintage perfume and look at a 2014 release from the house of Tom Ford….

Costa Azzura by Tom Ford 2014

Costa Azzurra Tom Ford FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Seaweed, driftwood, agarwood (oud), ambrette (musk mallow), celery seeds, cardamom
Heart: Juniper, myrtle, lavender, lemon, yellow mandarin, artemisi
Base: Mastic or lentisque, olibanum, incense, vanilla, vetiver, oak

Generally I’m a descriptivist of smell, because you naturally have to be when you’re reviewing fragrance. It was Maurice Roucel who described himself as “an explorer wandering amidst his formulas”, and I personally like to wander amidst smell in general, using words to grapple and express the emotions stemming from perfumery. I feel sinful writing about fragrance in a bad light, but I think it’s impossible to like everything; someone has to do it anyway – dissent, that is.

Costa Azzura, you almost had it. You’re salty and drab like a preserved and tinned anchovy at the back of the pantry. For the most part, Tom Ford’s private line is an impressive lineup, presenting a powerhouse of fragrances with a more-than-modest appeal. Costa Azzura however, is familiar like pale grey skies over a beach.

Costa Azzurra Tom Ford Beachweed William Murphy FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Can we talk about mirepoix – a mixture of carrot, celery, onion, and bay leaf sautéed in olive oil? Why? Because Costa Azzura is a soppy concoction like a limp boiled carrot macerated with herbs- and smells like it too! Costa Azzura is salty and dank to the same extent the low tide is, why oh why Tom? It smells incomplete and dull without addictive heart notes resultantly feeling like cold steel on the skin and is redolent of the uncomfortable chill of sea water. There is no gravitas! No body! It’s lacking in its sensuality.

Costa Azzurra Tom Ford Jackson Pollock #7 Cliff FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

A hyper-gourmand, Costa Azzura fuses lemon, cardamon, celery seed, ambrette, vanilla, mastic, juniper … One might confuse this for a shopping list. An additional overload of lavender, driftwood, oud, and incense remind me of Pollock artwork; fuelled by chance and in the end disappointingly linear (unlike Pollock, of course). For those wanting to smell literally like the sea, in the most realistic way possible, Costa Azzura is your friend. A marine-woods scent presenting the perfect contradiction of ‘light heaviness’. This fragrance embodies the archetypical male musky fougere fragrance whilst trying very hard to escape that labelling, in turn smelling overloaded, superfluously enigmatic and, most importantly yet ashamedly generic in nature… also, no calone/watermelon ketones in sight!

This certainly exudes a beach-y smell, there’s no doubt about that. But is dirty seawater appealing? That’s up to you. Personally, I’m not a fan of smelling like seaweed; despite the novel nature of this fragrance.

I get excellent longevity with Costa Azzura, with about 8 to 10 hours (too long!). Sillage is surprisingly subtle, perfect for lazy days.

Costa Azzurra Tom Ford french-riviera PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Candy Perfume Boy and Chemist In A Bottle
LuckyScent has $215/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml

Sometimes writing about fragrances like this is a written cathartic exercise. I recommend you try this fragrance, and see if you can pick up on any overly gourmand nuances. What fragrances do you dissent in opinion with?

Come across and check out my blog when you get a chance: Olfactics

Have a lovely lovely day!


11 thoughts on “Costa Azzura by Tom Ford 2014

  1. Hey Liam,
    WOW!8-10 hours from what is basically a cologne. Though you don’;t love it I find that completely impressive.
    Nice review,
    Portia xx


    • Thank you Portia.

      A find this to be a hybrid cologne – and a poorly executed one at best!
      I would recommend Epice Marine by Hermes over this any day!



  2. Liam, it’s Murphy’s Law that the fragrances we like least linger longest ;). What a pity this didn’t work out! Personally I’m rather fond of seaweed, but I’m not sure I like the sound of it here!


    • Hi Melita,

      Generally I like the smell of oceanic vegetation and all that stuff, but this reminds me of low tide and dirty beaches. But maybe I’m just too harsh…. (Maybe not!)

      Thanks for everything.


  3. While I love the ocean, I certainly don’t want to smell like seaweed. This fragrance lost me with the notes list. On the other hand, your review was great. Thanks for sharing your impressions.


  4. Excellent review Liam – certainly brought the fragrance alive! I’m not a big fan of oceanic fragrances generally, with some honourable exceptions, and I was dithering about trying this one. Based on your review, I think I’ll pass.


    • Hi Greg, good to see you on here!

      That’s what I do… describe, describe, describe!
      Of course, don’t let this review stop you from going around and sniffing anything and everything… Form your own opinion!

      Hope to see you soon, best,



  5. Liam, I find well-written negative reviews a refreshing change from the usual! The notes list of CA had me thinking “eww”: I don’t think I would’ve dared spray it on myself, Calone or no Calone. Well done for your bravery, and a fab review too 🙂


    • Thank you Christine, that was exactly what I wanted to achieve!!!

      On my blog I always get stuck in a vicious cycle writing on perfumes from my own collection – and I’ll be damned if I own a fragrance I don’t like!! ! Thus comes an exuberance of positive reviews.

      I think writing about perfumes you like/love/lust over is much easier than writing a negative review – because I need to sound reasonable in the latter. This was the case for J’Adore (quivers in fear…) and of course CA.




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