Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime. Gimlet or Mojito?
When Tom Ford introduced his Private Blend Collection in 2007, he described it as his own incubator for fragrance ideas. Since then, he’s kept a number of the originals and replaced others with new creations based largely on what has resonated with his customers. The years since have seen the retirement (or at least scaling back) of scents such as Amber Absolute, Japon Noir, Bois Rouge and others, while new scents such as Jasmin Rouge have taken their place in the collection. (Editor’s Note: I’ll briefly mention the Jardin Noir collection of scents in a future piece, all of which are specifically floral as noted by the naming)
In 2010, Azure Lime was added to the collection amidst decidedly mixed reviews. Comments associated to it included “common”, “unremarkable” and some even compared it to “smelling like a gimlet”. It was also a departure from past scents in the collection that were otherwise much deeper and heavier, potentially better suited to evening wear and black-tie formals (Noir de Noir immediately comes to mind). Azure Lime was a much lighter, more citrus-laden affair as the name connotes. The question for many, however, was whether this was worthy of a place in a collection of scents that starts at $200+ for a 50ml EDP concentration. More to the point, was it worthy of a Tom Ford label?
Fragrance Name: Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime
- Release Date: 2010
- Concentration: Eau de Parfum (~26%)
- Notes: citrus notes (highlighted by lime), floral accords, wood accords, musk
- Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Tom Ford online
Any guesses what you notice first and foremost in this scent? Here’s a hint: It’s an ingredient listed in the name. This begins with a big citrus blast, nicely balanced and fresh, neither overly sweet nor sour. The brightness is very awakening, and when compared to the remainder of the collection — which runs toward deeper, woodier, oriental notes — this is a marked departure. Perhaps that explains some of the reaction to the scent, but it doesn’t quite provide all of the answers.
Azure Lime is vibrant, bright, fresh, sparkling and very light. It’s also very much a typical men’s citrus fragrance, which means that it’s in a sea of competition of similar scents all vying for the same buyers. While I’ll stop short of calling Azure Lime “common”, there is a strong resemblance to fragrances such as Guerlain Homme which contains many of the same core elements. If Azure Lime is the gimlet, Guerlain Homme is the mojito and perhaps equally or better suited to a lighter profile.
On its own merits, it’s difficult to find much fault with Azure Lime. It isn’t awful or pungent, and a very nice scent for someone to wear as a summer fragrance when deeper scent would become suffocating. But it’s very much like wearing the $500 shirt accompanied with the $100 suit and $50 shoes. It doesn’t fit the bill or price-point compared to everything to which it could be compared. It’s awash in a virtual sea of fresh, light colognes, and an element that doesn’t fit well amidst the Private Blend Collection.
Sillage is moderate to noticeable, longevity is excellent, both as expected in an eau de parfum concentration. If anything, Azure Lime is possibly over-engineered for purpose, or it’s the “me too” in a collection that didn’t have that element (whether needed or not). Again, I won’t criticize this for being an EDP, especially given the price point amidst peers such as Creed’s Aventus or Original Vetiver. But I’ll submit that the similarities are such that for more than twice the price of a Guerlain Homme, you’re getting half the volume (even though the Guerlain is technically an EDT concentration). For the cost of a 50ml bottle of Azure Lime, you’d easily have purchased 200ml of the Guerlain and few people would be much the wiser. Ergo, the value proposition is somewhat askew.
Returning to the questions and comments originally posed by others in the blogosphere, is this really worthy of a place in the Private Blend Collection, and is Azure Lime that remarkable? Let’s cut to the chase.
Rating: 2.5/5. Our answer is ‘no’. While Azure Lime is a nice scent, it is not a $205 fragrance and not that different from other citrus/fresh/woody aromatics to be a stand-out. It’s mismatched in the collection, or a victim of the view that every designer’s collection should have a scent in every category. I’m reluctant to make a recommendation of it given the prevalence of other remarkably similar fragrances that offer the same result with much more value.
The next time Ford tinkers with his line up, Azure Lime should probably take a bow and exit the stage.