Tom Ford Azure Lime, 2010

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Perfumer unknown.

If you think of Azure Lime as an Eau de Cologne, it makes sense. By concentration, it is an eau de parfum, but by taxonomy it is an edc. Whether an edc should cost this much will be a function of your budget.

Lime is such a tight note. It is so specific and so concise. Lemon, orange, even grapefruit notes tend to be fresh and bracing. They sparkle brightly out of the gate and then settle quickly, but lime is narrower than other citrus notes. There is no lead-in and no denouement. Azure Lime takes advantage of this sharpness. The topnotes are a blast of lime and turpentine, like a face-scrunching reduction of gin and lime. The lime note (wonderfully!) doesn’t grow softer. Despite the flowers, musk and spice notes that eventually join it, the lime itself never submits.

In a classic edc, floral and spice notes broaden the citrus note and musks soften it. In what feels like a reversal, Azure’s lime bends the other notes to its will. The floral note dries as soon as it appears and the musk note gives the lime more backbone than padding, lending a woody feel to the composition.

Azure Lime stays dry and cool from top to bottom, ending on a quiet, dusty note. A woody/spicy, cardamom/cedar scent stays attached to the lime so that even into the basenotes, the fragrance has a juniper/gin sting.

Azure Lime wears like an eau de cologne and should be splashed with abandon for full effect. It captures a very specific notion of luxury, one that I have to say I find appealing: the $10 dose of cologne. It is the anti-bling of perfumery.  Forget the rare, the exotic, the over-the-top. This is the luxe of the simple done well.


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