Classic men’s tailoring. Red carpet gowns. Bold cosmetics lines. Brooding Hollywood films. It seems that, no matter what he attempts, Tom Ford manages to hit the high notes of style each and every time.
It has been Tom Ford perfumes and colognes which have really rocketed the Tom Ford brand to the headiest heights of stardom.
With over forty fragrances in the exclusive Private Blend Collection, and over ten in the more affordable (yet no less exciting) Signature Collection, Tom Ford colognes consistently receive hugely favorable reviews and gain new devotees year on year.
Why? It all comes down to their thrilling complexity, a modern reimagining of classic styles, lasting power, and undeniable sex appeal and sophistication.
If there was ever a cologne brand to encapsulate the essence of contemporary masculinity, then Tom Ford is probably the one.
Let’s dive right into the world of Tom Ford cologne, and highlight the very best of this remarkable and irresistible range.
Tom Ford Cologne Top Picks
- Best seller & most popular: Black Orchid
- Best smelling: Neroli Portofino
- Best cologne for men: Noir Extreme
- Best cologne for women: Noir Pour Femme
- Best unisex cologne: Velvet Orchid
- Most expensive cologne: F*cking Fabulous
- Best aftershave: Oud Wood
Each and every one of these beautifully crafted fragrances truly showcases the attention to detail and dedication to excellence that the Tom Ford brand puts into their colognes.
Let’s discover further which colognes are the creme de la creme of Tom Ford’s endlessly impressive range.
Top 10 Best Tom Ford Colognes
With a wide range of Tom Ford colognes available, it’s never an easy task to whittle them down to just ten essentials. However, we’ve done the research, put in the hard work, and have managed to come up with what we feel are the 10 very best Tom Ford colognes available at this moment.
1. Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
Classy, sophisticated, and powerfully masculine, Grey Vetiver by Tom Ford achieves the impossible: transforming the classic (some might even say dated) nature of a vetiver cologne into something bang on trend, and capable of drawing the right kind of attention no matter where it’s worn.
The scent of this Tom Ford cologne is based on vetiver, yet this is only one component of what turns out to be a highly complex and potent fragrance with real lasting power. You’ll discover top notes of sage and grapefruit, which are balanced by nutmeg, pimiento, orris, and a bouquet of warm woods. At the bottom, there is the warmth and exoticism of golden amber and oakmoss, which provide this fragrance with endless depth and a slightly green flourish.
2. Tom Ford Noir Extreme
For nights out at the club or on a date, it’s important to select a cologne that allows you to stand out from the crowd, while also asserting yourself as a man of exquisite taste and style. Tom Ford Noir Extreme strikes this balance perfectly, offering a powerfully seductive fragrance with irresistible appeal.
Deeper and more intense than the original Tom Ford Noir cologne, Noir Extreme combines a remarkably potent base of amber, truffle, vetiver, fig, balsam, caramel, and vieux with timeless elements of patchouli and cedarwood. On the topmost layer, Persian lemon meets exotic cardamom and cinnamon, Thai basil, coriander, and cistus. In the middle, you’ll find an erotically-charged blend of Parma violet, black plum, sandalwood, saffron and thyme.
The results truly speak for themselves, making Noir Extreme one of the most popular fragrances in the Tom Ford cologne collection, and perhaps the cologne which offers the best value for money.
3. Tom Ford Oud Wood
Perhaps the most popular and iconic of all of the Tom Ford Private Blend Collection, Oud Wood is a powerful statement of intent, and yet another contemporary twist on a more traditional style of men’s fragrance. Offering intense plushness and a deeply exotic fragrance experience, this oud-based cologne is the essence of modern sophistication, jet-setting extravagance, and irresistible masculine charm.
Oud wood is renowned for its rare and precious nature, and its smoky, exotic, and sensual notes come through powerfully in this exclusive cologne. It’s joined in the blend by rosewood and cardamom, with top notes of sandalwood, vetiver, and tonka bean. Tom Ford Oud Wood is deepened even further by the ever-welcome presence of amber, which lends its unmistakable warmth and timeless appeal.
4. Tom Ford Black Orchid
It’s hard to overstate the impact that Tom Ford Black Orchid made upon its launch. Here was a unisex fragrance which managed to walk the line between rippling masculinity and soft, enigmatic feminity, achieving a truly genderless appeal in ways which perhaps hadn’t been achieved by the industry before.
It’s intensely opulent, seductively dark and luxurious, and utterly timeless while being at once completely contemporary. No wonder, then, it has maintained itself as a bestseller in the Signature Collection, continuing to fascinate and attract in equal measure.
In Tom Ford Black Orchid, you’ll find top notes of ylang ylang, blackcurrant, truffle, and bright citrus flourishes, followed by an intensely floral and spicy heart, wherein lies the quasi-mythical and eponymous black orchid. The base of this cologne is rich with dark chocolate, exotic woods, amber, vanilla, and patchouli, resulting in a profound sensuality that never fails to turn heads, ignite passions, and spark the imagination.
5. Tom Ford Velvet Orchid
Tom Ford Velvet Orchid followed on from the success of Black Orchid, and attempted to replicate the appeal of the former as a seductive and intense unisex cologne, albeit with a distinctly different fragrance.
While it never met the widespread devotion enjoyed by Black Orchid, there’s no doubt about the fact that Velvet Orchid features more than enough unique and appealing attributes to make it onto this list. Indeed, Velvet Orchid will especially appeal to those seeking out more unusual floral fragrances for moments of extravagance, and those who revel in decadence, opulence, and exoticism.
Thrillingly vampy and opulent, and with a heavy floral character, Velvet Orchid might be a little too glamorous and feminine for some men, and even some women. However, for those who dare, there’s plenty to love here: Velvet Orchid boasts a warm and sensual base of balsam, myrrh, sandalwood, and suede, a heart of orchid, Turkish rose, and select florals (including jasmine and heliotrope, among others), and top notes of bergamot, mandarin, and honey.
6. Tom Ford for Men
Tom Ford’s original and eponymous cologne landed in 2007 as a statement of intent, a blueprint for success, and as a declaration to the men’s fragrance industry that a new brand was in town… and that things might just never be the same again.
Refined, sensual, and reminiscent of the classics while maintaining an undeniable sense of modernity, it was hugely well-received and went on to become a bestseller worldwide.
Tom Ford for Men bursts with a powerful scent of leatherwood and amber, lending it a gorgeously masculine appeal that makes it ideal for date nights and hitting the clubs. Featuring fresh, vibrant, and sophisticated Mediterranean citrus notes, and a heart of ginger, assorted herbal and woody flourishes, and sweet grapefruit, it’s a masterpiece of parfumerie that laid the groundwork for the stunning collections which soon followed after.
7. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
Perhaps the most well-known and instantly recognisable of the Tom Ford Private Blend Collection, Neroli Portofino offers a blast of Mediterranean-inspired freshness, putting one in mind of azure seas, citrus orchards, and ineffable Italian charm. Bright, refreshing, and remarkably natural in its character, this cologne is one for summer days, lunch dates, and time spent outdoors or out on the waves.
Launched in 2011 to instant critical acclaim, Neroli Portofino boasts a powerful nose, driven by the mystique of Rodrigo Flores-Roux, which lends this cologne its sense of adventure and sunny optimism.
The top notes are, as ever with Tom Ford fragrances, a brilliantly varied blend of ingredients which come together as far more than the sum of their parts: bergamot, mandarin, lemon, lavender, rosemary, and myrtle, each making an impact with a consistent Mediterranean theme. In the middle, we find jasmine, neroli, orange blossom, and pittosporum, and the base is made up of warming amber, musk mallow, and fruity angelica.
8. Tom Ford F*cking Fabulous
You can’t name a cologne Fcking Fabulous without making something of an impact, and it’s fair to say that this fragrance garnered its fair share of controversy upon its launch. However, despite skirting around ideas of acceptability within the luxury cologne industry, Fcking Fabulous does what it says on the label… and embodies a spirit of shamelessness, fun, and contemporary masculinity with real style.
Make no mistake, this is a Tom Ford cologne that will get you noticed, while never screaming out for attention. It bursts with an unmistakable sex appeal, and delights in its leathery, nutty, and creamy notes to produce something really rather unique and mystifying.
F*cking Fabulous opens with a rich blast of almond and tonka, before settling to reveal its notes of leather, iris, and exotic spice, and lasts beautifully on the skin to imbue the wearer with confidence into the early hours. While this is right up there with the most expensive releases from the Tom Ford cologne 2020 range, there’s no getting away from the fact that – if you’re looking for a signature scent that highlights your sophistication and sense of adventure – this fragrance is the one to reach for.
9. Tom Ford Tuscan Leather
For those looking to get to the heart of the Tom Ford Private Blend Collection, and who are seeking a sophisticated, expensive-smelling, and racy cologne that won’t let you down, then Tom Ford Tuscan Leather is the best place to start. It’s a cologne which has managed to enter the zeitgeist with relative ease, having been namechecked by rapper Drake, and quoted as a favourite of no shortage of Hollywood stars, musicians, and trendsetters worldwide.
The secret to its enduring success? It comes down to the fact that Tuscan Leather has succeeded where so many others have failed: it manages to capture the best notes of leather without becoming cloying, overly masculine, or pitifully old-fashioned.
So many other men’s colognes have attempted to replicate the hidden depths of Tuscan Leather, and – as far as we can tell – none have managed to hit the high notes in the same way. Tuscan Leather encapsulates the fragrance of newly-finished leather seats in a supercar, balancing out that intensity with an irresistible smokiness and fruity flourish. There’s incense in there, along with raspberry, exotic woods, and just enough sweetness to soften all that masculine power. All in all, it’s a deeply seductive cologne which, when used sparingly, will make a powerful impact all night long.
10. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
Yet another Private Blend Collection fragrance for this list, and yet another exquisite example of what Tom Ford colognes do best: providing an essence of thrilling modernity to classic fragrance combinations, and combining sexiness with sophistication.
Tobacco Vanille is one of the spiciest colognes in this range, packing in an impressive sillage and longevity that will see you through even the longest nights out dancing and dating. Indeed, Tobacco Vanille can be sparingly applied in the morning before heading to the office, and it will still be detectable and every bit as seductive as night falls.
Heady, sweet, and just erring on the side of masculinity for what is, essentially, another unisex perfume, Tobacco Vanille speaks of oriental spices and a thrilling exoticism. On the top, we have a beautifully intense bouquet of oriental notes and tobacco leaf, followed by a heart of tonka bean (clearly a favorite ingredient in the Tom Ford arsenal), cacao, and vanilla. The base of this cologne consists of aged wood and dried fruits, providing a decidedly classic foundation that somehow doesn’t feel in the least bit dated.
Choosing Your Tom Ford Cologne
With such a broad and far-reaching range, spread across two distinct and highly-lauded collections, choosing your Tom Ford cologne is perhaps easier said than done.
However, there’s no doubt that thanks to the sheer quality and sophistication of these fragrances, there’s a Tom Ford cologne to suit every taste… and from our experience, once you’ve uncovered the one for you, there’s no turning back from devotion to this peerless brand.
Different Styles for Different Men and Women
When choosing a Tom Ford cologne, it’s important to bear in mind the style of fragrance which best suits your personality, your intentions for the cologne, or when and where you will be wearing it.
Many of the most popular Tom Ford colognes are often described as sophisticatedly androgynous. This means, in essence, that they embody both masculine and feminine aspects, making them ideal for modern gentlemen both assured of their gender and unafraid of making a bold impact.
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanilla, Tom Ford Black Orchid, and Tom Ford Velvet Orchid would all be great examples of this, each perfect for contemporary men seeking a cologne which is decadent, metrosexual, and audacious.
On the other side of the scale, there are several Tom Ford colognes that celebrate masculinity, and which bring traditionally manly notes into the 21st century with real style and lasting power. Masculine, woodsy, and embodied with the essence of fearlessness and adventure, Tom Ford Oud Wood and Tom Ford Tuscan Leather would be excellent examples of this approach.
If you’re more comfortable sticking with the classics and want an evening-appropriate Tom Ford cologne which fits perfectly with a three-piece suit and a dinner date, there are plenty of options to choose from. Scents such as Grey Vetiver, Noir, and Tom Ford for Men manage to be equally subtle and sexy while maintaining a timeless sophistication that will suit most men’s needs and requirements.
Colognes for every occasion
It’s furthermore important to bear in mind that Tom Ford colognes have been designed with specific uses in mind. For example, many of the Private Blend Collection, such as the aforementioned Neroli di Portofino, is very much a daytime cologne: it evokes the sunny Mediterranean coastline, and as such, is best for those seeking a bright and zesty daytime cologne.
On the other hand, deeper, more decadent and seductive colognes such as Black Orchid and Noir Extreme are very much designed for the night time, and for use by men seeking to make a bold impression at the bar or club.
Tom Ford Cologne Collection
As we’ve seen from our selections of the best Tom Ford colognes, these fragrances come in a distinct set of collections, each with their own identity, price point, and concept.
Let’s take a closer look at the Tom Ford cologne collections, and gain a deeper understanding of what sets these cologne series apart:
● The Private Blend Collection
With their distinct bottles, spectrum of stunning colours, and evocative and often outrageous names, the Tom Ford Private Blend Collection is exclusive, luxurious, and utterly unique. Tom Ford himself often refers to this range as a ‘personal laboratory’ of fragrance, wherein he is free to experiment with colognes which disregard the normal conventions of mainstream perfume… and the results are rarely less than astonishing.
Each fragrance in this range begins with an extract from a single note, such as jasmine, oud, leather, or amber, meaning it’s quite easy to tell from the name alone whether the scent is likely to appeal to your preferences. From there, middle and base notes are built up to contrast and complement the heart, often resulting in edgy, unusual, and even challenging conclusions.
● The Signature Collection
If we can consider the Private Blend Collection to be the wilder edges of Tom Ford’s imagination, then the Signature Collection is where the most successful experiments are honed to meet the needs of a more mainstream audience. That’s not to say that the Signature Collection colognes are dull, however – quite the opposite is true. These are arguably among the most luxurious mainstream colognes on the market, displaying a polish and finesse that punches far above the price point.
With world-beating colognes like Noir, Black Orchid, and Grey Vetiver in the Signature Collection, this range is designed for modern men seeking to show off their sophistication and sense of class. Accessible yet unique, classic yet contemporary, and with both vintage appeal and avant-garde approach, they display a complexity and elegance that never fails to make its presence known.
● The Noir Collection
As the name suggests, the Noir Collection is intended for gentlemen seeking to make the night their own. Evening-appropriate, undeniably seductive, and perfect for nights on the town, this range – which features Noir, Noir Extreme, Noir Eau de Toilette, and Noir Anthracite – has become essential to the Tom Ford cologne identity since its launch in 2012.
What’s fascinating about the Noir Collection is that, although there are common threads uniting each of these colognes, they’re all very much distinct and unique in their own way. The original Noir, released in 2012, is powdery and warm, with the eau de toilette being considerably more citrussy. Noir Extreme is sweet and spicy, Noir Anthracite takes things up a notch with its woody, smoky, and exotic character. For those seeking a cologne which is destined for nightclubbing and bar-hopping, while showcasing your modern masculinity, it’s hard to think of a better range to opt for.
Frequently Asked Questions on Tom Ford Cologne
Is Tom Ford cologne good?
In a word: yes. Tom Ford cologne offers a thrillingly modern take on classic men’s cologne, combining an experimental approach, a timeless sophistication, and a willingness to go outside the ordinary to achieve truly memorable effects.
Which Tom Ford cologne is the best?
As always, this comes down to a matter of personal opinion. However, it’s fair to say that colognes such as Black Orchid, from the more affordable Signature Collection, and Neroli Portofino, from the exclusive Private Blend Collection, are among the most popular and widely-loved.
What Tom Ford cologne smells the best?
Every Tom Ford cologne has been meticulously crafted to smell amazing, and to offer fragrance notes which work with the essence of modern masculinity. Most critics point to summery colognes such as Mandarino di Amalfi as among the best for daytime wear, and the peerless Noir range as the finest for evening use.
How to wear Tom Ford cologne?
As with all great colognes, a little goes a long way with Tom Ford fragrances. Used sparingly on the wrists and neck, the night time fragrances have the sillage to last until the early hours. Some fans like to use the brighter, fresher, and zestier fragrances spritzed onto clothing for use in the summer sunshine.
Background on the Tom Ford Brand
Tom Ford is best known as an American fashion designer, who made his name over the past three decades making some of the best modern men’s evening wear. However, his ambitious nature and clarity of vision soon saw him expand into other industries, most notably the cologne industry and the movie-making scene.
Indeed, his feature films A Single Man and Nocturnal Creatures garnered him considerable critical acclaim and established his presence as very much the man of the moment.
Tom Ford’s uncompromising approach, thoroughly modern take on masculinity, and razor-sharp attention to detail has seen him become a firm favourite with a wide array of celebrities.
He frequently dresses Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, both Jay-Z and Beyonce, and designed Daniel Craig’s suits for his run of James Bond movies. It doesn’t get much more culturally significant than that. Furthermore, Ford frequently picks up accolades in the fashion and movie industries for his designs, and is often lauded as one of the best dressed men in the world today.
Simply put, he’s a man of real style, taste, and distinction… and his ascent is far from over.
Making an Icon: The Early Years of Tom Ford
It should come as no real surprise to discover that before Tom Ford the brand was launched in 2005, Tom Ford the designer had been working hard in the fashion industry for many years. In fact, prior to establishing his own label, Tom Ford acted as creative director for both Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci throughout the 90s, honing both his craft and his reputation as a powerhouse of taste and contemporary luxury.
According to popular belief, Tom Ford was even single-handedly responsible for pulling Gucci back from the brink of bankruptcy during his stint at the Italian fashion house, taking it from the edge of ruin to one of the most successful luxury brands on Earth.
During his time at Yves Saint Laurent, Ford oversaw the creation of YSL M7 for Men – a truly groundbreaking fragrance which hinted at his cologne series to come. As the first mainstream cologne to feature the exotic notes of Oud (an ingredient which fans of Tom Ford cologne will tell you is something of a signature fragrance for the brand), YSL M7 helped lay the groundwork for literally hundreds of 21st century men’s fragrance. In its boldness, and under Ford’s direction, it opened up the gateways of possibility in what was previously a stale and struggling scene.
Following fifteen hugely successful years at the helm of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, it was time for Tom Ford to take the reins of his own luxury brand. In 2005, Tom Ford was born, and it was well and truly his time to shine.
Why People Like the Brand
One of the thrilling things about Tom Ford the brand is that from the very beginning, Ford was clear that his vision, his products, and his approach was not going to be for everyone.
Fearlessly metrosexual, unapologetically contemporary, and thoroughly luxurious, Ford described his target audience as cultured, international, well-travelled, and in possession of a disposable income. What does this all mean? Well, in essence, it suggests that Tom Ford is a luxury brand through and through, and the level of excellence it provides isn’t going to come cheaply.
Establishing The Tom Ford Cologne Family
This approach and ideology was perfectly encapsulated by the Tom Ford fragrance line. Tom Ford perfumes and colognes were formulated in partnership with Estee Lauder, and were from the beginning split into the exclusive Private Blend Collection (experimental, unique, and challenging) and the Signature Collection (more accessible, yet no less luxurious). This was later joined by the Noir collection, which was explicitly aimed at those seeking a cologne for evening use.
The fragrance lines were initially launched with Tom Ford for Men, and Black Orchid, both of which captured the public imagination, and forged a powerful reputation for a new vision of 21st century masculinity.
There you have it: our complete run-down on everything you need to know about Tom Ford cologne.
Since those initial releases, the Tom Ford cologne range has grown year on year, gaining new fans with each eagerly-awaited launch. Straddling connoisseurship and everyday opulence, they have become something of a blueprint for art and fashion-driven high-end men’s cologne… and Tom Ford shows no sign of slowing or stopping any time soon.
Tom Ford colognes never fail to make an impact whether on a date, at the club, or during your leisure time.
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