The Many Faces Of Black Orchid

Tom Ford and his legendary fragrance Black Orchid. Our heads have been spinning from 2006 with its very recognizable trail.

Tom Ford – Black Orchid edp | photo by BonjourPerfume

The very first time I tried it, it must have been around 2013 or so.. And I got such a punch in my nose from it! I hated it, to be honest, as it was too overpowering! It was giving me headaches, and I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about…

(At that time I was all into Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely and Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle…. So, it is very understandable now, why it took me a good while to tame the Black Orchid… πŸ™‚ )

Just recently, during my visit to the perfume show Esxence in Milan, I was introduced to Maremma by Tiziana Terenzi. It had that resemblance of Black Orchid, and at the same time it felt very different. So, I got curious…

A few weeks ago I received a little sample of Black Orchid and decided to compare it with my oldie… Which left me even more perplexed… πŸ™‚

The two Black Orchids are so different!

Obviously, I can understand that after a few years the top notes of the fragrance could disappear, and its longevity and projection would be affected too… But I would never have thought that it could smell so different from the brand new version… And I definitely didn’t feel the same way after sniffing this new edp…

I must say, I prefer the older version of this creation.. 16hrs in, and I can still feel its sweetness on my skin… whereas, the current version is barely noticeable after 8hrs.. Well, 8hrs is pretty good too, but all I get is a dry sandalwood with a touch of vanilla…

It took me years to even start appreciating the beauty of perfumes. And with time, I am coming to a conclusion, that the best releases are the very first ones. Reformulations probably come according to customers’ complaints, or they could also be affected by fashion trends, or simply by changing natural materials into synthetic ones.. But at the same time I feel like we, as customers, are cheated by the brands.. In sense, we’re buying their product, which carries the same name on the box, however, the juice is completely different … Why would they release flankers ‘florale’ , ‘leau’, ‘intense’, etc, if the original fragrances themselves are being changed too?… This gets me so confused..

Today I am merely a consumer and not a professional nose in any way, so can only describe what I discover and feel on my own skin… And, quite regrettably, I can only suggest holding on to the bottle you have; or pursuing the older version of Black Orchid if you want to get that powerful, deep, rich scent of sweet cocoa / warming and slightly peppery patchouli / truffles, that sweeps you of your feet and lasts a very long time… and there’s also some kind of touch of (maybe) natural oils, making me feel slightly lightheaded. So! πŸ™‚

Of course, if you are looking for that, that is…

With the new Black Orchid I am getting a sharp cocoa / truffle mix… it turns floral, more fresh and citrusy than sweet… and half an hour in, the sweetness is minimal.. and I feel a mellow floral / fruity scent taking over…

No discouragement here, but if you were looking for the heady, powerful, deep, and rich Black Orchid today.. look no further… Tiziana Terenzi’s Maremma would be my first suggestion. The notes in it are quite different from the Black Orchid ones, but the overall aura this particular perfume carries is just perfect…


I would love to hear your opinions on Black Orchid reformulations. Maybe you noticed something I didn’t include here?… or maybe you dislike this scent altogether and the newer version sounds very attractive to you? πŸ™‚

Please let me know, I am very intrigued.


This post is not sponsored. The opinion and suggestions are my own.

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The Many Faces Of Black Orchid

12 thoughts on “The Many Faces Of Black Orchid

  1. In the end, brands can reformulate their fragrances as often as they want, no matter what the reasons are. The problems arise when they do not inform the possible customer about the change in the smell and, like you wrote, sell the product under the same name without putting a new label.
    I use cosmetics from a brand that applies a sticker saying β€œNew formula” on the face cream, the cleansing milk etc., every time that changes the product formula. I am not aware if this is a legal obligation, but it should be institutionalized in the fragrance industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Overtime, I noticed the changes in formula would come with the slight change in label/ print, and the bottle itself (e.g. the older version of Armani Code had a pattern on it, now it is just blue/ black).
      And yes, I totally agree with you about the new formula info!
      I’d say, smaller, niche brands are definitely more customer orientated, e.g. I really like that Zoologist Perfumes clearly states β€˜new formula’ on their fragrance Panda.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, many niche brands cannot afford to be dishonest as their audience isn’t that big. I like those that are run by the perfumer itself because you know the creativity plays a big role here and it’s not a 100% about profit and money like it happens in the case of corporations. 🐱

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Essentially we get screwed over by the Big Brother and nothing we can do about it πŸ™‚
        I must admit, I do have a few favorite brands run by perfumers, and those fragrances are a pure pleasure to dive into πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is one of my biggest grudges against perfume industry. Perfumes are not products that people buy regularly. So even if somebody has just a couple of bottles, the next time they would go for another bottle of their favorite perfume would be a year or more. But people do not expect that perfume from the same brand, under the same name and packaging might change. So they’d buy the next bottle without trying – and why wouldn’t they?! I think it’s a fraud. And I wish IFRA would regulate disclosures on formula changes and date when perfumes had been produced instead of commanding which ingredients perfumers suddenly shouldn’t be adding to their creations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree with you! Didn’t want to use β€˜fraud’ in the post, as it is a very big word.. but it sure is an issue in the current industry. I hope the changes will come in sooner than later, as more and more people are noticing the difference in the quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another gorgeous “black orchid” scent is Orquidea Negra by Daniel Josier (listed as that on Fragrantica, but sometimes listed online as Orquidea). I had the pleasure of trying it last winter in Barcelona, and came home with a bottle. It is a very high quality, niche fragrance, and the same price or less expensive than the Tom Ford!

    Liked by 1 person

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