Tom Ford's New Orchid Soleil is Confusing the Hell Out of Me

I can't decide how I feel about this metallic white floral.
Publish date:
July 22, 2016
tom ford, perfume

I’ve never been a big fan of Tom Ford’s fragrances. I think the private label fragrances look beautiful, but the scents inside always leave me somewhat cold. For a perfume sold at over $200, I can’t help but think they should smell less generic. I know everyone loves Tobacco Vanille, but I think you can find a better alternative in a niche line.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with his mainstream fragrances, too. I briefly dabbled in Velvet Orchid (my mom wears it) and occasionally find myself enjoying Black Orchid. However, most of the time I feel very “meh” about Tom Ford’s offerings.

I noticed that the Orchid franchise was getting a “summery” flanker, Orchid Soleil. That raised my interest; I do enjoy Black Orchid’s heavy heat and intense sillage, but this one promised more tuberose and the scent of hot skin.

OK, I thought, I’ll give it a try.

So, do I like Orchid Soleil? Um... I don’t know.

The bottle is so gorgeous — it’s the recognizable art deco Tom Ford bottle done up in rose gold. (Basic, but beautiful anyway.) When I opened the box, I just stroked the bottle for a minute admiring its pretty color. Then I sniffed and spritzed, and I… well… wasn't sure. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I stay up at night wondering if I should return it to Sephora. I guess it’s like basically any boyfriend I’ve ever had.

It’s no secret that I enjoy a challenging fragrance, and Orchid Soleil has a very metallic top note that you’ll either love or hate. At first, it smells almost like root beer, which is a note I’ve never enjoyed in a fragrance. According to Sephora's list, this metallic scent is composed of a "high concentration of salicyclate accords."

The white florals are definitely present in Orchid Soleil. It’s not an orchid note, though, so don't get excited if orchids are your fave. It’s all tuberose, my favorite white flower. But Orchid Soleil isn’t built around the hot, humid and buttery kind of tuberose; it focuses on the cold side of the flower instead of the beating heart.

That isn’t to say that Orchid Soleil is an Ice Queen fragrance, though. As it softens on your skin, it becomes an almost powdery white floral and then, later, something sweet, simple and vanilla-based. To me, it’s missing a grounding element to give it depth, something that makes it feel almost dirty and nasty like Black Orchid can.

Orchid Soleil isn’t beachy in the slightest, so remove that thought from your head. It does, however, have an element of sun-warmed skin that is pleasing to my nose.

It's not my favorite perfume in the entire world, but I'm going to keep it around for a while. I've never backed away from a challenge, after all.

  • Do you like the Tom Ford fragrances? Which one is your favorite?
  • What's the most you've ever spent on a fragrance?