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
Photo 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.
Photo 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.
Photo 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.
Photo Stolen Pixabay
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!