I like the Tom Ford and I like his fragrances. It is rare, however, for me to get excited about his new releases. They are consistently of good quality and always successfully toeing the line of mainstream and niche.
In a certain way, Tom Ford’s Private Blend releases are predictable. A new fragrance is guaranteed to use quality ingredients, have enviable staying power and be different enough to stay one head above the competition.
For all these reasons I shouldn’t be excited about Tom Ford’s new release Oud Minerale (hitting the market in July). If the above is not enough here are three other reasons why I shouldn’t expect Oud Minerale’s release with trepidation:
Why I Shouldn’t be Excited about Oud Minerale
1. It's a Tom Ford fragrance.
As I pointed out above, all Tom Ford fragrances share similar characteristics - they are good quality, have a long staying power and are unique enough not to be boring and yet balanced enough not to be extreme.
2. Oud Minerale is part of Tom Ford’s Oud line.
I don’t need to tell you every single fragrance in the line smells more or less the same. The success of Oud Wood spunned the whole line and every other fragrance in the Oud line is a flanker of the original.
3. Tom Ford doesn’t do real oud.
Despite the prices they charge for them and what the sales reps tell you, the Tom Ford fragrances don’t use real oud. How do I know? It may come as a shock but the Tom Ford line is not expensive enough to feature real oud.
Secondly, had they featured the real thing, they would have been a lot more interesting (understand challenging) and a lot less popular.
Despite its fetishization and popularity, real oud is extremely hard to wear and even harder to use in a fragrance. Let’s be honest: many oud varieties either smell like shit or like a dirty goat. It is exactly these features, however, that make them so appealing to connoisseurs and aficionados accustomed to the smell.
None of this matters, however, in the case of Tom Ford. His fragrances don’t feature real oud, which makes them a lot less interesting than what they could be.
Why I am Excited about Oud Minerale
Despite all the reasons above why I shouldn’t care much about Oud Minerale’s release, I am excited about it. Here’s why:
1. It’s Tom Ford’s first marine fragrance.
Tom Ford has done it all: leather, amber, citrus, but no aquatic. Tom Ford’s first aquatic release on its own is a reason for excitement. What makes me even more thrilled about it is that it is not even an aquatic fragrance but a marine one.
You may ask: “what is the difference anyway? Marine, aquatic, same thing”. Not quite. Generally aquatic fragrances recreate the feel and smell of water. Marine fragrances, on the other hand, go more specific and reproduce the scent and atmosphere of the sea. They can be salty, fishy, seaweed-y, etc. In other words, they can be very interesting.
Since Tom Ford hasn’t produced a marine fragrance before, the prospects of what it might smell like is intriguing.
2. It’s a marine fragrance.
As I alluded above, marine fragrances tend to be more interesting than the pure aquatics. They also are not very popular. In my ten years of actively smelling perfume only one marine fragrance stands out: Sel Marine by Heeley. I am sure I’ve come across other but the fact that I can’t even think of smelling them speaks of their rarity and quality.
The truth is that marine fragrances are not that common and someone like Tom Ford getting a stab at one is intriguing.
At this point you may ask why I keep talking about a marine fragrance when Tom Ford’s new release is called Oud Minerale.
3. It’s oud and marine accords.
Nowadays oud compositions have become so ubiquitous that it takes some effort to think of an oud combo that hasn’t been done before. To my knowledge, oud and marine is one such duo.
Seemingly opposite in character and nature, the two notes (if done right) can be complementary to each other. The salty seaweed freshness of the ocean smell will contrast the dark woody medicinal accord of the oud. Bringing the two together in a Tom Ford format is utterly exciting.
Fragrantica reports that Oud Minerale is scheduled to come out in July this year. Some reviewers have already gotten their hands on a tester and are giving it a positive feedback.
With a fragrance combining two difficult accords, it is best to try before you buy. This is why, for now, I’m impatiently waiting for July and Oud Minerale to come out.
Oud Minerale’s Companion: Oud Ocean
Fragrantica and others in the know also report an upcoming release of another fragrance in a similar style: Oud Ocean. Some sources say it will be released along with Oud Minerale, while others report a later release date (Fall 2017). Nevertheless, I’ll keep my eyes, ears and nose open for more information.