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Tom Ford – memories of childhood in Texas and a present of commitment

To create the Ombré Leather fragrance, Sonia Constant used the scent of black leather – Orpur quality fragrances for violet and jasmine scents

Ombré Leather Parfum is not the first Ombré Leather fragrance from Tom Ford that features leather and floral notes merged together; back in 2018, the brand launched the Eau de Parfum, a leather fragrance for women and men, created by the Givaudan nose Sonia Constant. Building on the original scent, after three years, the brand now proposes Ombré Leather Parfum; compared with the Eau de Parfum, in the Parfum, the leathery signature is intensified with the addition, on top notes, of Orpur violet’s absolute that introduces a floral touch, balanced by the cedarwood.

The homeland fil-rouge

Tom Ford already created fragrances influenced by nature and by his homeland. ILanuchedn 2020, Rose Prick features a warm and floral scent built around a wild bouquet of rose breeds, amber, and spice base notes, inspired by Tom Ford’s private rose garden. Back in 2006, when the brand launched its first fragrance, Black Orchid featured a blend of black truffle and ylang-ylang mingled with bergamot and black currant, which for years has been the olfactive signature of Tom Ford. Moving from these scents, in 2021, Tom Ford launched a perfume that is now part of Maison’s Signature line and features a dualism characterized by leather notes declined with violet leaf and cedarwood laced with a hint of green tobacco—capturing the atmosphere of the American West.

And indeed is the land, Ford’s homeland, that plays a central role and is the main protagonist of this fragrance: Ombré Leather Parfum has its roots in Texas lands, where Tom Ford spent his childhood and where he lived until he was 17. Born and raised in Houston and Austin suburbs, Ford bottled these memories and the American West myth in Ombré Leather, creating – with the Givaudan nose Sonia Constant – a perfume with both leather and floral features that combine Texas and American West imagery with its native flora, like cedarwood.

Tom Ford Ombré Leather: Orpur scents

To create Ombré Leather fragrance, Sonia Constant used the scent of black leather – Orpur quality fragrances for violet and jasmine scents. Using Orpur fragrances is not a common thing in the perfume mass market. Being the premium quality label of the Givaudan catalog (one of the world’s largest companies in the flavor and fragrance industries) makes Orpur synonymous with quality and exclusivity for the fragrances industry. Orpur features only the finest qualities of natural raw materials from the Givaudan palette. It comprises sustainably sourced natural extracts, which include some of the world’s most rare raw and valuable ingredients – all while reducing environmental impact and supporting local producers. The perfume industry, in fact, can be harmful to the environment even from the very first steps of its production, namely raw material harvesting.

Jasmine scent is considered one of the foundation stones of perfumery, thanks to the richness and intensity it gives to fragrances. And even if there are over 200 species of jasmine, in the perfume industry, there are two main types of jasmine used: the Grandiflorum, the most used, and the Sambac, the one Constant used to create Ombré Leather Parfum. On heart notes, in fact, the absolute of Sambac jasmine from India Orpur, a unique flower harvested before the monsoon season, gives the fragrance a fruity and floral facet reminiscent of honeysuckle. 

While important for the perfume industry and for decorative reasons, Jasmine Sambac can affect the environment, with a very high risk of introduction. It has, indeed, the potential to smother native vegetation due to its climbing growth habits and shows allelopathic effects on other plants, influencing the germination, growth, and reproduction of other organisms and threatening their survival.

Another issue, when working with such a rare and valuable raw material, is, of course, its scarcity; the perfume industry is facing the major problem of maintaining constant levels of quality and a regular supply of all the necessary essential oils such as jasmine that cannot be synthesized in the laboratory. Givaudan, however, is taking steps to mitigate these shortages, launching schemes to protect and sustain sources of endangered raw materials.

Also, in terms of quality, using these raw materials elevates Ombré Leather perfume to the same level as luxury fragrances and, at the same time, makes a step forward in terms of sustainability.

To create Ombré Leather fragrance, Sonia Constant used the scent of black leather

The sustainable side of the fragrance

As we have seen, the perfume industry is far from sustainable down to all the production’s steps. Apart from harvesting issues, another problem comes with air and atmospheric pollution. The volatile organic compounds from scented goods, known as VOCs, create as much petrochemical air pollution in the atmosphere as the amount of petroleum burned as fuel. VOCs, in fact, respond to ozone contamination while reacting with sunlight and other chemicals in the atmosphere, forming fine particulates in the air, and for this reason are considered greenhouses gases, contributing to climate change and worsening air quality.

However, there has been a shift in sustainability, coming from brands like Givaudan – the firm that owns the Orpur label – developing non endangered, sustainable sources of raw ingredients while launching a program to make synthetic processes eco-friendly as well. To gradually give up on petrochemistry, Givaudan is exploring all the alternatives available to create a 100% renewable palette of ingredients by 2030.

As Gilles Andrier, Givaudan CEO, states, «Climate changes, inequality, economic uncertainties are some of the many challenges facing us […]. Businesses can and should be playing their part to help address these challenges.» He continues, «That’s why with Givaudan we fully support the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, and have selected the ones that we can contribute to the most.»

The effort towards sustainability made by Tom Ford’s brand doesn’t end with this choice of collaborating with Givaudan, starting from the package of Ombré Leather itself. 

The perfume flacon in matte black is, in fact, enriched with an ivory vegan leather plaque that evokes the leather scent of the fragrance. This is not the first time Ford has decided to switch on vegan leather for his brand. Back in 2019, Ford used cruelty-free faux crocodile leather for the collection he presented at New York Fashion Week, and 2018 Ombré Leather Eau du Parfum already featured the vegan leather plaque on the flacon. Choosing vegan leather is only a small part of the effort the brand demonstrates for its employees’ environment and working conditions. 

Ford factories have adhered in fact to humanitarian and sustainability standards for over a decade, and he explained on many occasions how sustainability and ethical production of fashion go hand in hand; back in 2007 in Moscow, the designer stated: «for many people today, true luxury comes from being able to enjoy beautiful things that haven’t had a destructive impact on the planet or on other people. So, for example, I know many men and women who would pay more for a luxury item that they knew had not harmed the planet in its production.»

While there is still a long way to transform the perfume industry into a sustainable one, Tom Ford’s Ombré Leather, with its high quality and responsibly sourced raw material and the sustainable detail on the package, shows a viable way to make the beauty industry more responsible and environment-friendly.

Tom Ford

American fashion designer and filmmaker, and owner of the eponymous luxury brand launched in 2005. Previously, he was the creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Ombré Leather Parfum is the latest fragrance of the brand, created by the Givaudan nose Sonia Constant , and features a leather signature with additions of Orpur violet leaf absolute, cedar wood and Orpur Sambac jasmine from India.

Maria Bellotto

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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