- Sumptuous, decadent sugar and spice – smells of Christmas
- Does exactly what it says on the box: tobacco and vanilla beauty
- It’s Tom Ford so of course it’s a cut above so many other colognes
- Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille is rated on Amazon with 4 stars: we think it’s better than that!
- Check the price on eBay here

Part of Tom Ford's prestige line of fragrances, it's fair to say that Tobacco Vanille does what it says on the bottle... (A good thing, too, as the Tom Ford website tells you nothing at all about Tobacco Vanille, so it's up to you to work it out for yourself...)

So that means: you can take it two ways (as the bishop said to the actress).

Either it smells of Christmas: all puddings, sugar, spice and brandy sauce. Fun for all the family.

Or it has the delicious reek of decadence: the self-indulgent, carcinogenic herbal whiff of tobacco leaves, the caries-inducing sugariness of a rich bowl of crème anglaise...

creme anglaise

We prefer to go with the latter: Tobacco Vanille is undoubtedly delicious in a sinful sort of way.  

Its longevity - like Tom Ford's lipsticks, incidentally - is pretty impressive.  We've sampled this fragrance on our skin, but also tried out it on a sampling card from a Tom Ford concession: the card still smelt of vanilla weeks later, although by then it should be noted that it had turned into the synthetic vanilla that you get from cheap ice cream like Wall's.  The kind of vanilla ice cream that is coloured a repulsive bright yellow...

Speaking of ice cream, you can see what Tom Ford was trying to do by calling it 'Vanille' rather than 'Vanilla': it's meant to make it sound more refined and sophisticated. 'Tobacco Vanilla' sounds like something you'd find next to rum & raisin at Baskin Robbins.

Anyhow, it certainly looks like the advertising campaign was targeting the decadent indulgence angle: just look at the video appended here.

'The Pillars of Soceity' (1926) by George Grosz

The scene looks like something straight out of the German Weimar Republic of the 1920s: the two young ladies look like extras from a Hitlerian wet dream and have a deranged look of extreme horniness on their faces; the blonde guy looks like he's just winding down after a hard day training the Hitler Youth; and the darker-haired fellow looks like a grotesque from a George Grosz painting. In fact, for a male model, he's so ugly, he's a better match for Koba from Planet of the Apes than Brian Shimansky is (just see our article about Versace Eros to understand what we are rambling on about). And all of them look doped up on whatever opiates the master-race used to consume in the 1920s.

So all good, naughty decadent fun: why, Tom Ford is even unfraid to depict them smoking, something of a minor taboo these days - as the models blatantly wreathe themselves in cigar smoke (Tobacco Vanille, you see...). We even get a clear view of one of the nymphomaniac Nazis' breasts: scandal! 

Apart from all those connotations for us, the video doesn't actually say much.  The subtext seems to be: indulge yourself in luxury consumables and your basest desires.  And Tobacco Vanille does smell like some kind of rich, fattening dessert, after all, so the ad campaign does make some sense.

vanilla custard

So anyway, like the ad, it's fun, it's naughty, it's decadently sweet: this cologne undoubtedly smells gorgeous. 

The only question you have to ask yourself is whether you are comfortable smelling like a huge bowl of high-end, Michelin-starred custard.   To illustrate our point, we love the smell of grilled sausages sizzling on a barbecue on a hot summer's afternoon, but that doesn't mean we would want to splash eau de hot dog on ourselves each evening.

Let's not forget that Tom Ford's fragrances are unisex, and this might be what is causing this scent not to 'fit' as a cologne for men.  Perhaps it's more appropriate on a woman.  At first scent, there feels like an overlap with Bvlgari Man in Black, but that one is one for the mature man, it's a challenge.  Whereas Tobacco Vanille is almost too sweet for men at all, by contrast.

Overall rating: a decadent and delicious 9 out of 10 - as long as you don't mind smelling like a festive dessert..... 

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