As the rest of us hurtle towards an increasingly frightening 21st century, trust Tom Ford to remain seated aboard his glitter ball and fly even further into the past. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I don’t think I’m quite ready for 2019, so the arrival of Mr Ford’s new Beau De Jour - as retro-loving a composition as he’s ever given us - is very welcome indeed. At heart a lavender-geranium-rosemary fougère (interestingly, Chanel’s Boy also went for a luminous lavender to convey an image of a dashing paragon of masculinity), it plays its ‘vintage barbershop’ card with such a guile-free sense of fun, it’s hard not to fall for its insistence that cinemas have only just started showing Jaws, Hawkeye is dishing out wisecracks on M.A.S.H. and everyone’s walking around in corduroy dungarees. That said, Mr Ford’s other great love is the Middle East, and sure enough, this particular Beau complicates his backward glance with cardamom and saffron - a neat counterpoint to the camphoraceous herbs - as well as a heavily patchouli-amber-laden base that instantly recalls Rive Gauche Pour Homme (which, it should be pointed out, has a superior, more suave drydown). That fragrance was, of course, from Ford’s time at YSL and was itself, even in 2003, an expression of olfactory nostalgia. So what that means is: plus ça change... for which this particular writer is most grateful.
[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum provided by Tom Ford in 2018.]