Metal by Robert Gonnon for Paco Rabanne 1979




Hello vintage lovers,

Arriving in the post yesterday from eBay and on my skin ever since is a 30ml old, old bottle of Metal. As I opened it I thought I’d give myself a spritz and sadly the sprayer sends most of the juice down the bottle and what little comes out smells broken and nasty aldehyde turn, GRRRR. I’m going to give it a soak in white vinegar & disinfectant.

Metal by Paco Rabanne 1979

Metal by Robert Gonnon


Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Basil, Green notes, Hyacinth, Lemon
Heart: Cyclamen, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Ambergris, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Chypre! Metal is a chypre. The opening is all about galbanum and some citrus fizzed up by aldehydes. I thought my bottle had turned but a few spritzes without the dodgy atomiser and the scent smells pure, clean and fresh, while also not smelling of any of that because chypre. I am thoroughly surprised at how gorgeously it’s kept.

After only a few moments I can already smell the oakmoss furriness that chypres give me. It’s a cool comfort and it makes me feel safe and invincible. If CHANEL No 19 gives you backbone then Metal will give you armour and weaponry.


Funnily I don’t really smell metal, no, that’s not exactly true….. maybe the smell of sharpening a Wiltshire knife in it’s plastic casing. The floral bouquet is a beautiful whole and I can’t pick any of the notes because underpinning the heart is this luscious oakmoss with hints of oily vetiver and a touch of salty brine that I’m attributing to the ambergris and vetiver.

Longevity is good and the baseline lasts hours. It hums away quietly in the background but if I change rooms suddenly I can smell it all over again. Fabulous.

Further reading: I Smell Therefore I Am and Black Narcissus

Do you love the chypre genre?
Portia xx


Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford 2009

Hey Hey APJ Family,

Joel, the lovely SA at the Tom Ford counter in DJ’s Sydney City, was very generous last time I was in. The least I can do in return is wear the samples that I scored and it’s no hardship to do so. I have long admired Tom Ford and his amazing style and savvy, he makes it seem effortless butI’m under no illusions, the man is beautiful, clever, gifted, driven and lucky. I think he must have sold his soul, and that it was a particularly good one because the returns on his sale/investment are awesome.

Tom Ford Photo stolen acorn-mg

I had very specific expectations of Arabian Wood, I purposely didn’t read notes or other blogs till my second wear and I agree with Victoria of EauMG that Arabian Wood is a misleading name for this fragrance. This is an extremely good example of a modern chypre, a style mainly dead due to IFRA regulations about oak moss: the wailing and gnashing of teeth can still be heard around the world. Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford should be on your “Must Try List” because in this day & age I am surprised at how well he has sculpted a Next Generation Chypre, reminiscent of some of the greatest but so modern and wearable.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lavender, bergamot, galbanum, Bulgarian rose, May rose, rose absolute, freesia, orange blossom, ylang ylang, jasmine, gardenia, honey, orris, patchouli, cedar, oak moss, sandalwood, tonka bean and amber.

I really enjoy the opening rush of Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford, I love its old school mans cologne action made exquisite. Lavender, rose and sexy jasmine/gardenia/orange blossom/ylang ylang bouquet fight through the masculinity and take us to a decidedly, historically feminine place that is dead sexy on a guy and epic on a woman. As the bouquet pumps its glorious sexy beat in flows the honey and roses to wind sinuously around and through giving a sparkle here and a golden glow there, the rose is spicy, almost tea-ish and there is greenery too, the bitter tang of a torn leaf. I am lost for minutes at a time just huffing away at myself, big long deep breath in and near moans of ecstasy out. This honeyed floral symphony lasts for ages and soon we see the woody resins, vanilla and amber make their way out from under the rest of the team and taking their turn to shine, they don’t completely take over for hours though, there is loads of interesting by play before the flowers give up their struggle for supremacy and softly slide into the background behind the smooth, warm and cuddly base that seems to be here to stay forever.

Photo Stolen cyprus-paradise

Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford is not exactly a powerhouse fragrance but it is way too strong for a close work office and I would think twice before wearing it to a dinner because, make no mistake, you will be fragrant. Excellent sillage and a decent scent bubble will turn heads.

NowSmellThis does a great review too.
ThePerfumedCourt has Private Blend Arabian Wood by Tom Ford samples 1ml/$7.24

My day has been pretty good, I hope yours has too, and that it is great till we see you tomorrow.
If you want more Portia today I am Guest Posting on Perfume Posse, do pop over and have a squiz, leave me a comment so I know you’ve been.
Thanks for being part of out APJ family, we are really grateful.
Portia xx

Here is a little video present. It’s a minute long, not music, religious or a joke. Something we should always keep top of mind though.