I smelled this in a shimmering duty-free shop at London Heathrow. At the time we were quite tired from all the queuing and carrying and running around. The atmosphere was of course bustling, but after we finished going through all the airport checks and had some spare time, we started looking around the shops and things finally started to slow down. And when, at a large perfume counter, I took a sniff of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille, my mind was transported to somewhere else completely.
The nectar of the vanilla orchid in Tobacco Vanille is oozing and caramel-like, and it crystallises into a sweet resin. The tobacco is sweetly green and subtle rather than too smoky, dark or intoxicatingly green. Ultimately it serves to bring out the best of the vanilla’s addictiveness which consequently manifests as a delicately delicious, beautifully resinous vanilla. The scent is more reminiscent of caramel cheesecake picnic in the park on a warm day, than a euphorically sweet flower in an enchanted forest.
Although this was different from what I expected, it wasn’t disappointing. In fact, it’s great to experience an exquisite gourmand scent with a touch of something very different – something authentic and earthy: a breath of fresh air brought into a scent so gluttonously sweet makes it as liberating as it is addictive, which is just what the soft, crumbly tobacco does.
The perfume is sparingly punctuated with sun-dried forest berries, which adds a ghostly fruitiness of a brown quality. Also there is cocoa. I didn’t notice it before I read it was there, but thinking back, the cocoa could have been the powder crumb to the dried tobacco, enhancing it with a sweet spiciness, and smoothing out the scent’s overall composition in a nostalgic, almost sepia manner.
The warmth that exudes from the nectarous vanilla and humble tobacco ultimately creates a lovely and curious treehouse-like feel: simultaneously cosy and adventurous.