Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

“Anymore garish, sex-filled models and I might be sick; regardless of how true the ad is!”

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford © 2014 Liam Sardea

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford © 2014 Liam Sardea


© 2014 Liam Sardea and Tom Ford

Allow me to address the elephant in the room: the advertising campaign! How sexy! A pair of youthful, olive-skinned, carefree and soapy individuals in peak physique ‘swimming’ in the citrusy juice that is ‘Neroli Portofino’ encapsulated in magical teal flacons behind the most summery of blue backgrounds . What a perfect ad campaign! However I must ask two pressing things:

Where the heck was my invite?


Why are they wasting almost two-thousand Australian dollars of this precious liquid?

Neroli Portofino is a retake on the eau-so-classic cologne given the eau de parfum treatment. It’s everything you expect from a summer fragrance. An amazing and bombastic citrus blast in the beginning. Oranges, bergamot, mandarin and all that jazz. Neroli Portofino is a little different from every other cologne with neroli and orange flower in the mix. It’s zingy and concurrently green and blue. Green with the citruses and the flowers and blue because it evokes the riviera theme. As a result it is best to describe this fragrance as vibrant, sparkling and transportive.

Neroli Portofino also boasts amber undertones and base notes to give it an element of surprising nicheness and I feel it helps this fragrance last longer than expected. The amber makes the fragrance tangy and nasally revitalizing.  This comes out more in the dry down and you get some amazingly high quality amber coming through unadulterated, and the citrus continues to exist in the composition. Overall this fragrance is still majorly linear; it doesn’t change very much throughout the lifetime of wear, other than amber rising and citrus declining.

As the advertising campaign suggests, this fragrance is incredibly clean smelling, ‘a citrus soap smell’ or so to speak. It’s akin to the surprise you get when peeling an orange and the oil from the skin sprays all over you; delightfully fragrant. Just like the sea, I get waves of sweet and salty when I wear this. It is a little bitter (saltiness… citrus pith?) and all the sweetness of the citrus oils and delicate floral undertones.

Considering the EdP nature of this fragrance, Neroli Portofino has some substantial lasting power for what you get. It’s no Oud Wood or Tobacco Vanille in terms of longevity, but nevertheless still very impressive. Even so, sillage was also impressive.

The advertisement makes this fragrance for me, I mean, the notes are pretty straightforward- an Italian citrus bomb with warm amber. I don’t feel like these kitsch models (no matter how sexy) when I wear it, but like them, I feel clean and effervescent. I will say, however, that I think men are better off wearing this than women. There’s something playful, delightful and tangy that is masculine…almost boy-ish in character. Probably like the cheeky grin of that male model- he’ll be having fun very soon, don’t you worry.

A refined citrus for hot days and a pick me up is required. Wear generously, it is heavily unoffensive.

Alternatives: Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès; Azure Lime by Tom Ford; Rive d’Ambre by Tom Ford; Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria by Acqua di Parma; and 4711 (ask grandpa)

Summer in a teal bottle. Delightfully aromatic and effervescent in character. Almost the imperative cologne.

Subjective rating : 4/5

Objective rating: 3/5

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