I'll be honest. I'm writing this review based on my impressions of Soleil Blanc on my flight from Barcelona to Toronto. In other words, this review hasn't gone through the usual process I use to review fragrances.
Before I review a fragrance, I usually wear it several times, so I can get a good idea of what it smells like and how it performs. With Soleil Blanc, however, I decided to do something more casual and literally on the fly. Considering that Soleil Blanc is a simple and rather linear scent, I think I won't do it much disservice to review it without several wears.
I first smelled Soleil Blanc several months ago at a department store in Toronto. I wasn't too impressed but I figured the scent fits the name (White Sun in French) and the bottle design (white with golden details).
The attendant explained Soleil Blanc was supposed to smell like your skin after spending a day under a sun, preferably by a beach.
Soleil Blanc definitely smelled like a leisurely fragrance. It evoked images of me lounging in loose white linen pajama by a pool on a sunny day. The fragrance's transportive powers were evident but my desire at the time to explore pale skin scents was lacking. Besides, I thought Soleil Blanc was a good effort but not worth its price of $200+ for what it was.
Fast forward three months. I am at the airport in Barcelona, strolling casually through the aisles of the duty free shop. Here is the alleged Mecca of many fragrance collectors who claim to buy real jewels for very low price. I never got that lucky, so excuse me if I sound bitter.
I passed by the Tom Ford section and out of boredom I sprayed Soleil Blanc on a testing strip. It was pleasant enough. I knew what to expect but I still found the scent unique in a way that nothing else I had smelled recently resembled it.
Not looking forward to an 8-hour flight, I sprayed some on my hand. Since Soleil Blanc smelled so leisurely, I figured it would make my fight more pleasant. The practical side of me also told me that 8 hours is just about enough time to judge the scent and I could write a review about it.
So here I am, 6 hours into my flight, typing out on my phone a mini review of Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford.
The first thing that truly impressed me about Soleil Blanc was its scent of a beach. Think, sun-drenched skin, lathered with Coppertone tanning lotion. It reminded me of the times going to the beach with family, when the smell of tanning lotion was shared by old German tourists and Russian sex goddesses.
Being a true skin scent, Soleil Blanc doesn't project very far. In the first twenty minutes on my skin I could smell it lightly as I moved my hand around. It was a soft, pleasant scent, which some may describe as white fleshy floral.
It was hard for me to decipher what I was smelling in this first stage of the perfume. I clearly got what it was supposed to smell like but I had no idea what went into recreating the scent of a warm body. It was soft, warm, milky scent, completely mild and pleasant with no sharp edges to speak of.
As time passed by, I started detecting white floral notes. They quickly crystallized in a soft fleshy gardenia, just like the one in Venetian Bergamot by Tom Ford. Slowly, the gardenia became more pronounced. It never became too heavy or fleshy. It stayed soft and balmy but with sufficient tenacity to keep your nose happy at a close sniff.
It's been around 7 hours since I sprayed Soleil Blanc on my skin. I can clearly smell it on my hand but not in the air around me. Soleil Blanc doesn't project well, however, it has an enviable longevity. 7+ hours was more than what I expected and based on its strength on my skin, I can see it lasting at least another 2-3 hours.
Soleil Blanc doesn't develop much. You wouldn't expect it from this kind of fragrance anyway. If the idea is to recreate the smell of sun-drenched skin, you can't experiment with too much development.
I'm glad I gave Soleil Blanc another try. It's a good fragrance that I enjoyed wearing. Because of its linearity, I don't see myself getting excited about it. The price of $200+ also makes unwise to purchase for occasional use when the mood strikes.
If you are looking for a good alternative to an aquatic as a beach scent, Soleil Blanc is a good choice. It won't get your compliments but it fit right in with your tanning lotion, sand and sea waves.