When designer Tom Ford sought to launch his first fragrance 10 years ago, he went in search for the elusive Black Orchid, which is known for its deep alluring scent. And so intrigued was he by the mystique of the rare orchid strain that he ended up approaching a high-profile Swiss orchid breeder to create his own black bloom. But even with access to the flower, an intricate process of collecting the molecules at the exact moment when it blooms awaits.
"To me, it is the perfect flower...luxurious, elegant, pure and sophisticated," says Ford. A decade on, it continues to show lasting appeal. Last week in New York City, the brand set up an installation at auction house Christie's headquarters to take members of the press (including Buro 24/7 Singapore) on a multi-sensory discovery of the black orchid. Its beauty, the deep purple in its petals was captured through artist Steven Sebring's graphic video display of it blooming.
Launched at a time where freshness and minimalism was the default in fragrance, Black Orchid is a complex scent meant to evoke glamour and sophistication. It opens up with a seductive blend of black truffle and ylang ylang mixed with bergamot and blackcurrant. Moving into the heart notes, the fragrance reveals scent molecules from the black orchid mixed in with other dark florals and rich fruit accords. These heart notes are deepened with lotus wood, patchouli, incense and vetiver before being rounded off with vanilla accents, balsam and sandalwood. Its complexity gives it a rich scent that is still quite natural; it is potent but not overpowering.
Since then, two derivatives of Black Orchid have been released, Velvet Orchid launched in 2014, which is a lighter version of the classic, and Orchid Soleil, a summer concoction that was introduced this year.To mark the anniversary, the brand will be releasing the Tom Ford Orchid Collection of scents and cosmetics inspired by the iconic scent. It will consist of the Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, hydrating emulsion, an atomizer set, and solid perfume‚ all in the Black Orchid scent. A special crystal bottle edition of Black Orchid, designed by French brand Lalique, will also be part of this collection. There are also new blush powders and lipsticks, as well as select Velvet Orchid editions.
Beyond the seductive scent, channel an old world glamour each time you whip out the sleek, Art Deco-style ribbed compact, containing the solid perfume or Nightbloom blush powder from your bag to primp. As we all know, when it comes to almost everything, packaging adds just as much to the allure.
From $84-$1,386. Available from October 2016 at Tom Ford Beauty at Tangs @Tang Plaza and Robinsons Raffles City.