Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi & Costa Azzurra

I haven’t talked much about Tom Ford and his fragrances on my blog. The reason behind it was mostly the fact that the creations from the high-end Private Blend collection were available only in few places in Poland (mostly in Warsaw, far away from where I live). But that wasn’t the only problem as the selected places in Warsaw offered just a few scents from the growing line.

That has recently changed for the better thanks to Douglas that now carriest most of Private Blend names. The two new ones, Mandarino di Amalfi and Costa Azzurra haven’t yet made it here. I received the samples thanks to a generous friend who send them to me. Since summer is not over yet I thought this might one of the last chances to talk about these effervescent and carefree perfumes before it will be the time to feature heavier compositions on the blog.

Mandarino di Amalfi reveals its cologne character immediately upon application. It begins with a very juicy lemon note that is very energetic, full of joy and makes you want to smile. Lemon in this perfume is nicely balanced, having both sweet and sour flavors. After some time you might also notice a typical zesty vibe of grapefruit. The latter one also adds the scent of white albedo part, it’s somewhere in the background. After 10-15 minutes the composition becomes more aromatic.

The aromatic effect is created with the use of fresh mint and shiso (it’s a variety of mint, commonly used in Asia). These two bring up the feeling that is very refreshing, uplifting and also creating the feeling of being clean. There is also something slightly verdant about the mint note in this Tom Ford fragrance. When tarragon joins the composition it becomes even more aromatic and a tad herbal as well. At this point Mandarino di Amalfi reminds me of the other perfume I know, it reminds of Parfum d’Empire Iskander. Of course they’re similar only to the certain point.

After that the perfume starts effusing a highly saturated, rich, almost heady neroli note. It smells very close to Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino but in this new creation it’s not as chilly and it’s not as screechy. It’s definitely more pleasant and enjoyable. The aroma of white flowers carry some sort of soapiness that I truly enjoy. Later on Mandarino di Amalfi becomes warmer and more spicy, mostly thanks to coriander and black pepper. Clary sage and labdanum add something as well, the first one introduces more herbal tones while the latter adds some more depth. The drydown smells of basil. Additional notes not detected by me include blackcurrant, musk and civet.

Tom Ford Costa Azzurra starts with a weird combination of lemon, mandarin and seaweed. Initially there are only citrus that provide the aromatic start of the composition but as soon as seaweed joins and that happens after 3-5 minutes, the entire blend start to smell kind of sweaty and rancid. After a while the scent becomes more woody and wet with the driftwood accord. My favorite driftwood fragrance is Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris and Costa Azzurra is far far behind it.

After a while the unpleasant sweatiness of seaweed disappears and at the same time the woody tones become stronger, becoming slightly better than just a few minutes ago. The accord of oak additionally provides some dryness and aromatic qualities. When it blends with lentisque (mastic) resin it turns more interesting as mastic is both balsamic, green and fresh. Very mediterranean. At some point celery seeds aroma appears and it’s very powerful, kind of making me think of yerba mate tea. Hints of lavender and ambrette add some (not exactly) clean style.

A little bit of oud and incense in Costa Azzurra provide some tad darker and more balmy tones which later become covered by herbacious smells of juniper, myrtle and artemisia. The drydown has a marine, calone-ish character. There also a bit of mineral, salty olibanum and a pinch of cardamom. Other notes include vetiver and vanilla. Comparing to Mandarino di Amalfi, this perfume failed the exam for being a fragrance that would make you feel great in the summertime. It’s just my opinion.


Mandarino di Amalfi was created by perfumer Calice Becker while Costa Azzurra is a work of Yann Vasnier. Both fragrances have a low to moderate sillage and on my skin their lasting power was around 6 hours. These scents are a part of Tom Ford Private Blend collection, they come in the beautiful bottles in different shades of blue/turquoise. They come in either 50ml spray bottles or 250ml splash bottles with glass bulb stopper. Both are in EdP concentration.

[note] Pictures are from and

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14 thoughts on “Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi & Costa Azzurra

  1. jillie says:

    Well, I know which one I would prefer!

  2. rickyrebarco says:

    Good afternoon Lucas, the Mandarino de Amalfi sounds really nice. I have not tried either one mainly due to the price, but now I may get a sample of the Mandarino. By the way, I loved your story about making your candles. They sound delightful and I loved the little jars you put them in.

    • lucasai says:

      Hello there! Mandarino di Amalfi is definitely better but just like you, I’m not ready to pay the crazy price for TF Private Blends.
      There are other perfumes, better and cheaper. But Ford has to pay for much marketing…

      Thanks, glad you liked the candle post

  3. Undina says:

    Since these both perfumes strike me as more masculine creations, I tested them on my vSO’s skin. Mandarino di Amalfi was a bright and happy perfume that faded away too quickly for the price. I liked Costa Azzurra more but not enough to think about getting it – even a decant. But I thought that both were nice enough for me not to be cranky about the new release.

    • lucasai says:

      Mandarino di Amalfi really is fleeting and I’m surprised you liked Costa Azzurra more, on me it was almost scrubber. Both don’t live up to their hefty price tag.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    I liked the smell of Mandarino better than Costa Azzurra, at least on paper. I was utterly shocked to get a sample of Costa Azzurra from Saks and will wear it one of these days. I was underwhelmed to say the least and did not even bother to find out the cost of the perfume. Meh. Next!

  5. ah, I’m the opposite! I preferred Costa Azzurra by far. But I don’t like Neroli Portofino, so it’s no surprise to me that I wanted to avoid Mandarino di Amalfi. You really have to fall in love to invest in a Private Blend bottle, and I’m still waiting. Hopefully Tom Ford’s next release will be more intriguing!

  6. Tom and I have a love / hate relationship. Most of his perfumes don’t work for me. But the word “Amalfi” always captures my attention as I love Acqua di Parma Fico de Amalfi! I might just have to give this one a try.

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