A new Private Blend release from Tom Ford is always exciting, and I think the Vert collection from Fall 2016 has made for some truly worthy additions to the line. Vert Boheme actually turned out to be my favorite and the scent I would wear the most. However, I wanted to write about Vert des Bois in particular because it has some interesting notes that I have not encountered before. The marketing proclaims that Vert des Bois is an example of “avant-garde processing of green perfume.” Normally I would be wary of claims like this coming from fragrance houses, but there is something markedly distinctive about Vert des Bois. I’ve never smelled anything containing poplar bud extract before, so that adds to the uniqueness.
Like many green compositions, Vert des Bois opens with a spiky and almost abrasive blast of greenery. However, there are no spices in the composition, no aldehydes here to give it a “sparkling” feel. I sense the olive note right away, which makes me think of the color green and adds to the overall effect. Vert des Bois is an immersive green, and I think it’s a little more bold than we’re currently used to from green scents.
That’s not to say that Vert des Bois is heavy. There’s a bright, sweet green note that shines through, and I believe it’s the jasmine mingling with the poplar bud extract. It’s hard for me to describe, possibly because I’m not familiar with poplar extract! It’s not overly sweet, nor overly floral. It’s a shimmering green that brings some light to the composition before the earthy patchouli really kicks in.
I wasn’t sure a green fragrance would work for Fall/Winter but the woody notes make this perfect for December wear. (Incidentally, I have not tried Vert d’Encens but with notes of pine resin and fir balsam, it’s likely the most appropriate Vert release for this time of year.) The dry down is like being in a densely green forest. This forest is partly cozy and partly dark. That cold-weather smoke smell seeps through here, I think from a combination of the patchouli and roasted tonka bean. I’m used to green fragrances coming across as much more “clean” than this, but Vert des Bois evokes cold, dark weather exceptionally well.
Overall, Vert des Bois is a fascinating experience. It’s bold, especially for a green scent. It has some darkness to it, but also some shimmering light aspects (a chiaroscuro scent?) I’m not convinced to splurge on a full-sized bottle for this one, but Vert des Bois is a must-try simply for its distinctiveness. I hope this one will remain part of the Private Blend line for a long time to come.
Tom Ford Private Blend fragrances are available directly from Tom Ford’s site. They can also be found from the usual department store suspects: Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. I ordered my samples of Vert des Bois and Vert Boheme from The Perfumed Court.
The image and info on notes are from Fragrantica.