We review Bitter Peach, a dark peachy, lightly boozy Eau de Parfum (EDP) from Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection.
Having served as the Creative Director at Italy-based fashion powerhouse Gucci and, previously, at French luxury house Yves Saint Laurent, Thomas Carlyle Ford founded Tom Ford in 2005.
Ford opened an online store in 2006 and, the following year, his flagship boutique at 845 Madison Avenue in New York City. His clothing, eyewear, watches, and fragrances quickly became a favorite among celebrities. Fashionistas and fragheads expectedly followed suit.
When it comes to clothing, eyewear, and accessories, Ford’s sense of style is undeniable. In 2006, he made his mark on the world of fragrances when he launched the iconic Black Orchid in collaboration with American conglomerate Estée Lauder.
A year later, in 2007, Tom Ford introduced the Private Blend Collection of luxury fragrances, and, with the addition of new scents, that collection has been growing since.
|Concentration||Eau de Parfum (EDP)|
|Noses||Jean-Marc Chaillan, Laurent Le Guernec|
|Description||Addiction is inescapable. Experience the slick sweetness of bitter peach, a voluptuous scent that evokes nectar-filled flesh at its most ripe.|
|Sizes||0.3 fl oz (10 ml), 1 fl oz (30 ml), 1.7 fl oz (50 ml), 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)|
Denatured Alcohol, Fragrance, Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Linalool, Limonene, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Cinnamate, Citronellol, Oakmoss Extract, Citral, Eugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate
Source: Tom Ford, last retrieved January 23, 2022
As you can expect from a Tom Ford perfume, Bitter Peach isn’t just any peach. It’s a peach from Ford’s olfactory garden, where the brightest orchids are stylishly black and the ripest fruits are mysteriously sophisticated.
Bitter Peach, which was introduced to the Private Blend collection in 2020, is hearted in the scent of the Pêche de Vigne peach, a heirloom peach variety and a late-summer treat for those blessed enough to own a vineyard in the sun-drenched valleys of central France.
And while the opening, which I personally find too… peachy, failed to mesmerize me, the drydown did. If you’re looking for a peachy scent with woody sandalwood, resinous benzoin, and creamy tonka, you just may end up enamored by this cryptic scent.
The top notes are Pêche de Vigne, Sicilian blood orange, and cardamom. The heart notes are rum, jasmine, and artemisia. The base notes are patchouli, vanilla, sandalwood, tonka bean, benzoin, vetiver, and cashmeran.
The opening can best be described as peachy.
Somewhat disappointingly, these peachy notes don’t come across as lavishly ripe or delectably creamy. Instead, they are overwhelmingly synthetic, like the hint of peach in instant iced tea mixes. Without a doubt, it smells like peach. But, deep down, you know it comes from an imitation of the real thing.
If you can stomach the prelude—and are patient enough for the top notes, which nearly made me give up on Bitter Peach, to fade away—the heart of boozy jasmine spiced with the dried-fruit, tea-like scent of artemisia will reveal itself to you.
The heart itself is refined; it adds a mature charm and intriguing character to a fragrance that began synthetically and pointedly. It must be said that the rum is barely perceptible. Were Bitter Peach a cocktail, it would be listed among the beverages with low alcohol content.
This perfume blossoms, at least in yours truly’s humble opinion, in the drydown. The moment the blend of woody patchouli, leathery vetiver, and resinous benzoin takes the olfactory stage in a synchronized dance, Bitter Peach becomes dark, thrilling, and nectareous. And yet, a mouthwatering hint of Pêche de Vigne’s and Sicilian blood orange lurks somewhere in the background.
Picture yourself on the balcony of a medieval chateau in the French countryside. A sultry summer day, you and your lover, dressed in loose white garments, are gorging on a bowl of heirloom peaches and blood oranges as you sip rum cocktails and gaze at the large and fertile vineyard and throw playful glances at one another.
Is it worth waiting 15-20 minutes to get to the heart and base notes of Bitter Peach? For me, it is. And, do not get me wrong, you might even like the opening of this perfume; many wearers do. For my nose—which, by all means, is a capricious one—there was a synthetic disposition that kept me from fully indulging in it.
This perfume is perfectly unisex, it’s very well blended, and has such an interesting and distinct fragrance profile. Once someone gets a whiff of you, they certainly won’t be silent. It’s one of those perfumes that makes people ask, “Excuse me, what are you wearing?”
It is ideal for any occasion, a fragrance for all-year round wear. Personally, I find myself more drawn to this scent in the spring and summer months, simply because it is invigorating and fruity. The subtle rum notes gives it depth; the combination of sandalwood and patchouli set it apart from the crowd.
Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure: Bitter Peach isn’t a perfume you buy blind. To find out if it’s full-bottle worthy to not, you should buy the travel-sized spray or a decently-sized decant.
Like most fragrances from Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection, Bitter Peach fails to impress with longevity: 2 to 4 hours if you spray it only on your skin, and 6 to 8 hours if you spray it on your hair and/or your clothes.
Although the juice resembles diluted peach nectar in color, it is unlikely to stain your clothes. That said, always spray cautiously, especially on white garments and delicate fabrics, to avoid running your favorite shirt or scarf.
You asked, we answered: Why some perfumes last longer than others
For me, this perfume performed modestly in terms of projection and sillage. Unfortunately, after 1 to maximum 2 hours of wear, it starts to sit close to the skin. If you are looking for a beast of a scent to wear to a nightclub, Bitter Peach would not be the best choice for the occasion.
Layer Bitter Peach by Tom Ford with Black Orchid by Tom Ford for a heavier, darker take on the patchouli base.
Layer Bitter Peach by Tom Ford with Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian for a one-of-a-kind combination of delectable peach with musky ambergris hearted luxuriantly in blooming jasmine.
Layer Bitter Peach by Tom Ford with Sunshine Woman by Amouage for a decadently creamy, bitter peachy fragrance with a jasmine and artemisia heart and a base of white tobacco and sandalwood.
Bitter Peach, an Eau de Parfum (EDP) by Tom Ford, is sold in four sizes: a 0.33 fl oz (10 ml) travel spray and 1 fl oz (30 ml), 1.7 fl oz (50 ml), and 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) bottle.
Read our guide: Which size perfume to buy?
Even compared to other fragrances in Tom Ford’s Private Blend, Bitter Peach—a recent addition to the collection from two years ago—is relatively pricey.
On the day this review was published, the 0.33 fl oz (10 ml) travel spray sold for $75, the 1.01 fl oz (30 ml) bottle for $216, the 1.69 fl oz (50 ml) bottle for $375, and the 3.4 fl oz (100 ml) bottle for $500 on Tom Ford’s direct-to-consumer store.
Consider Forbidden Gems, an orange blossom and osmanthus Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women by Kilian; Rush, a chypre fruity Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women by Gucci; Cassili, a rosy vanilla and red currant Eau de Parfum (EDP) for women by Parfums de Marly.
Like the other fragrances that Tom Ford added to the Private Blend line in the last two to three years, such as Lost Cherry, Bitter Peach comes with a hefty price tag.
Bitter Peach by Tom Ford is anything but your stereotypical peach scent, that’s for sure. Delicious, slightly boozy, and undeniably sophisticated, this isn’t a perfume to buy blind.
Some will love it, others will be confused by it. And yet, everyone who considers themselves a fragrance connoisseur must give it a try.