It took a while and many samplings but I am coming around to like some Tom Ford Private Blend stuff. The retail price is absolutely at the gobsmacking level, sort of intended for elitist being given bragging rights of having the privilege to wear fragrances so expensive that a bottle costs as much as two weeks wages. The cult of "look at moi" reminiscent of a certain previous member who shall remain a boy forever.
In any case, some of the better ones would not be very suitable for hot tropical weather. Tuscan Leather is pretty good as a year round all weather scent. I would think one would suffocate in the fumes of Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood and Tobacco Oud in the tropical heat. Incidentally, the last three mentioned can be layered with each other to boost a favoured accord, such as TV with TO to let the tobacco really sing, but that's another story.
The main point of this post is to draw attention to Amber Absolute, which has sadly been discontinued, so fragheads are now madly scrambling for the remaining stock left. Rumours had it that some of the ingredients in AA have gotten way too expensive, which is richly ironic, pardon the pun. There is even an eBay seller listing a 250ml flacon for $2000. At the rate this is going, that might turn out to be a cheap price in a few years.
I will bet that most Malaysians/Sporeans will hate AA at first spray. The headnotes are like powdered medicine, some say fivespice powder, or the grounded root herbs of Chinese medicine shops or the Chinese medical booze ointment used to treat bruises and sprains. Brings back memories of everything unpleasant and unsavory. These powdered herbs go away after 10 minutes or so, and one then smells a boozy, herby spicy accord, with an underlying slight sourness, an animalic hint in the background. Sounds ghastly, but the whole thing works because it balances good smells with bad smells, which presents a more natural scent than typical super clean Aqua di Gio or supersweet bubblegum celebrity frags. Also need to be distinguished from say the smell of disinfectant or urinal cake masking unpleasant odors. With AA, all the accords combine to present a rich sensual olfactory experience, almost like food for the nose, satisfying, yet leaving an appetite and curiosity to sniff for more.
I can wear Tuscan Leather all year round, but AA will be for colder days and special occasions. Try AA on a cool day in the comfort of airconditioning, or on one of those cool rainy evenings. Then tell me whether you enjoy it as much as I do.
BTW, splits and decants made the price of TF more bearable. If you dont care much for the bottle, then it is more sensible. Unless you dont mind splurging two weeks pay on 50ml worth of bragging rights.