Well, not exactly, or not exclusively, or at least, not what I expected. When trying a new Tom Ford Private Collection release, my expectations could be called cautiously optimistic. I like a few, love three, (Velvet Gardenia, Moss Breches & Black Violet, all discontinued) and am indifferent to the rest – for me. For men, Tuscan Leather is incredible, and whatever Tom Ford releases, I know it will be well constructed and well executed. It’s Estee Lauder, after all, and in my humble opinion, Lauder does great perfumes.Many differ with me on that, but it’s just an opinion. I don’t love the price point of the Private Blends, but a perfume is worth what someone will pay, so who am I to say? At any rate, I was expecting that the latest Tom Ford Private Blend to be “good” but it’s definitely more of a WOW. Because it’s lovely, but it’s also kind of unexpected.
My first thoughts when I tried Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot was of a classic eau de cologne, with a nice tart lime opening and a lovely clean, almost aquatic, air about it. I put it aside and tried a few more times, liking it more with each wearing, and trying to figure out what it reminded me of. This happens a lot with me and perfume as my scent memory is like a trap, even if I still don’t know where I put my keys. I got lovely fresh lime, which is common with any scent that says “bergamot” – I feel any tart citrus/floral notes could be called bergamot. Then something that was more like a watery floral, not quite water lily but something similar…and then the ubiquitous but lovely tingly white pepper and cedary woodsy dry down.
As soon as I looked up the notes for Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot ( I only do this AFTER my first impressions) I saw gardenia listed and I said YES! Then, it was all I could smell – that lovely fresh yet not fresh lovely and elusive flower, gardenia, along with the fresh mouth watering lime-y-ness. And that watery accord, well, it all added up to Marc Jacobs original Marc Jacobs, the ethereal and beautiful vision of gardenias floating on water. The two perfumes share many notes, with the Marc Jacobs also featuring lime and gardenia as the dominant notes.
Venetian Bergamot is not “the same” as Marc Jacobs MJ at all, but at some point in the fragrance’s development on the skin, they are very similar. Venetian Bergamot dries down woodsier and drier, with some amber and tonka bean to sweeten and give it a spicy twist. I think it is one of the more unisex Private Blends, unisex meaning to me perhaps slightly more feminine than masculine, as I tend to like my scents on the traditionally (in the world of perfumes) “feminine” side. Guys, don’t be discouraged by the comparison the Marc Jacobs original – Venetian Bergamot would most definitely be perfect on a man. The woodsy lime character would be countered with the gardenia, and that would be unexpected and probably pretty sexy. All I know is Marc Jacobs original has consistently got the most compliments from men, more than any other perfume I’ve worn. And the MJ is more floral than Venetian Bergamot. Mostly…
Verdict – I love it. You could get it to share with your partner, and that might help with the cost. A 50ml bottle of Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot is $308 CAD and the 100ml is a much better deal at $420. I love it, but before you buy it, go to Sephora and try Marc Jacobs Marc Jacobs at $108 CAD for the 100ml. You might be just as happy with that one.