Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker for Tom Ford 2012




Hiya Designer lovers,

Today we are looking at one of the Private Blend Jardin Noir series. The only one of the group still on the Tom Ford website is Cafe Rose but the others are still available at the discounters including this one.

I don’t tend to try all the Tom Ford fragrances because I think his pricing policy is taking the piss. Yes, they are lovely, some could even be classed as modern masterpieces but the consistent price jumps, bringing out a bunch at a time, the lack of consistent availability due to discontinuations and that it’s really just a jumped up Estee Lauder brand all make me a bit grumpy with them.

Anyway, all that aside, when I was in the USA in 2013 these were relatively new. Tom and I spent a moment sniffing them and I liked a couple but couldn’t remember which. So I bought a set of decants. I don’t know why but the set got put aside unopened and they have just resurfaced.

Ombre de Hyacinth by Tom Ford 2012

Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker

Ombre de Hyacinth Tom Ford fragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, Magnolia, Violet leaf, Frankincense
Heart: Hyacinth, Jasmine, Pink pepper
Base: Benzoin, Galbanum, Musk

My Google translate says Ombre de Hyacinth means Shadow of Hyacinth.

Bitter, smooth green with a very slight taint of sweetness. Galbanum gives a dark furriness here and is offset by the lightness and crisp snap of violet leaf. Quickly coming in is the hyacinth but to me it’s like running your thumb down the stalk of the flower and smelling the wet sappiness. The frankincense is resinous rather than could stick, woods or smoke and helps the galbanum feel ultra glassy.

Ombre de Hyacinth hyacinth pezibear pixabayPDI

My skin throws only the merest soapiness until well into the heart and the vegetational greenness stays, overriding it and giving the impression of drinking clean, fresh water from a snow melt stream. Yes, Ombre de Hyacinth stays dark for me. The fluting notes of violet & hyacinth are overshadowed by the bitter shade of galbanum. This makes them both more interesting because you have to follow your nose to find them. Also, I’ve never noticed them dealt with in this way before.

Soapy? Not really what I think of as soapy but the scent in deep dry down does seem to lose focus and becomes an amorphous, slightly pea scented wash. Not bad, but not nearly as amazing as the first 3-4 hours. What though do I expect? That’s a pretty good run before boredom sets in. Maybe it’s me and not the scent that has become less excited?

Ombre de Hyacinth lasts exceedingly well. Once the fragrance has died down it stays at that level, fragrant within a 30-ish cm radius and a whisper outside that, for hours and hours.


Further reading: Non Blonde and Perfume Posse 
Feeling Sexy Australia has AUD$325/50ml FREE Australian delivery
Surrender to Chance has samples starting from $4/0.5ml

What do you think of the Tom Ford Private Blend range? Do you own any? Which is fave?
Portia xx

17 thoughts on “Ombre de Hyacinth by Calice Becker for Tom Ford 2012

  1. The Tom Ford Private BLend pricing does annoy me, yeah. Grr. That said, somebody sent me a sample of Black Violet (which is TOTALLY not my usual thing) and I fell hard enough for it to go track down one of those little 4ml minis. BV’s discontinued now, which is another gripe I have with the TF line.

    Hated Champaca Absolute (hissy). Loved, and then tired of, Tobacco Vanille. Recently bought my second 10ml decant of Tuscan Leather (yum). Would have bought a decant of Shanghai Lily if I hadn’t already owned DK Gold (a true bargain at $8 for 1 oz). Just got a 5ml split of Vert de Fleur, and I adore the opening, but the rest of it is less interesting so I won’t be getting any more. Italian Cypress is the luxe and overpriced version of the absolutely delicious-on-a-guy-IMO Halston Z-14, which I already love and bought for The CEO… twice.

    Ombre de Hyacinth was one I bought a split portion of, without having sniffed it, and I wound up regretting it. Sometimes hyacinth can go really unpleasantly metallic on me, and Ombre did so. Wearing it was like chewing aluminum foil. Yikes.


    • Heya Mals86,
      What a bummer about the hyacinth going metallic on you.
      Did you ever try Vert Boheme?It’s a beautiful green and white flowers.
      Tobacco Vanille is one i’ve often heard talk of but have never tried. I think I’ll give it a whirl.
      BTW Loved your scent diary on Muse In Wooden Shoes. Thanks for inspiring the one I do here.
      Portia xx


  2. Hey Portia,

    If I were to own a Tom Ford, this would be it. Hyacinths have fond childhood association for me.

    Have a lovely weekend!


  3. My eyes look right past the Tom Ford bottles when I’m at the perfume counter. I don’t know why they never appeal to me. I am more interested to give them a try after reading here though.

    Hyacinth is such a pretty smell. I would give Ombre de Hyacinth a spritz if a tester ever passed my way. Agree about the pricing and constant discontinuations, taking the piss indeed, though that phrase equally reminds me of that crazy photo of the model sitting atop the bottle of Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss. Her legs look broken. It made me laugh, but also say ugh and what were they thinking, haha.


    • Hey Tiffanie,
      I loved that Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss shot till you all started finding freaky things about it. Yeah, it’s kinda equating in the park after drunken carousing. Ha Ha Ha.
      The Fords are in a weird place at our DJs city store, you have to seek them out or be going upstairs on the escalator.
      Portia xx


  4. The price is definitely a deterrent. Until relatively recently I had steered clear of the Tom Ford counter for that reason. But everually curiosity took me over there for specific scents I had read about that sounded right up my alley. The cost makes me feel reluctant to randomly sample. I tend to head over and ask for one specific thing I want to try.

    I have partial bottles (thanks ebay!) of Tobacco Vanille (rum-soaked, vanilla infused christmas pudding with leather) and Vert de Fleur (green green galbanum and flowers). I enjoy wearing both of these very much.

    I also have samples/decants of Plum Japonais (plummy smoky oud infused woods) and Vert d’Encens (green woods and incense). These are also lovely but I haven’t decided yet if I will need more.


    • Hi Lillibet,
      I remember really liking Plum Japonaise. There’s a sample of the Vert d’Encens here somewhere too, must dig it out.
      Portia x


  5. I like many Tom Ford’s perfumes, have a couple of bottles and numerous decants.
    With OdH I couldn’t decide: I loved the opening but then in development it wasn’t that great… So I have about 4 ml of it in the large sample but I rarely reach out to it.
    I stopped paying attention to prices in general. A brand has to do something especially stupid, greedy, etc. with prices to get on my nerves. Tom Ford so far didn’t do that. But I’m annoyed with discontinuation of my favorite perfumes: I’d prefer to know that I can get them when I need them.


    • Hey Undina,
      Interesting that a few noses I really trust found OdH crumpled to bland. It doesn’t do that for me, thank goodness.
      Doing is a bummer.
      Lovely to see you.
      Portia xx


  6. Hi gorgeous.

    I find many of the recent Private Blend launches are like flankers/mix of earlier fragrances: Plum Japonais has great similarity to Japon Noir, Tobacco Oud is a cross between Oud Wood and Tobacco Vanille. That said I do own a few: Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Fleur de Chine and Italian Cypress and I’d like more if money is no objection and if some of the initial launch were still around.

    Others I love are London (I smell rich sandalwood but it’s not listed), Oud Wood and couple of the current Vert series.

    Note to self: buy lottery ticket!!!
    XXX… T


  7. I’ve got quite a few Tom Ford decants and partial bottles, including this one. I’d say that it is not one of my favourites; too floral for me. It’s marketed as unisex, but I don’t think it is.

    Like others, I could never justify the price of a TF full bottle.


    • You can always send that decant my way please Greg. I’ll make very quick use of it.
      Portia xx


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