Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford Review
This smells like most expensive cherry chapstick ever to exist. And then it is gone.
Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry is fun but not for me. At the price point, it’s not worth it for anybody except the most fervid lovers of all things artificial doughy-sweet.
On me, the cherry is instant and ephemeral. It’s a brief flash of very artificial cherries that’s completely gone within 20 minutes. In the bottle, these smell like ice cream cherries (the chunks in cherry ice cream, not the maraschino cherries), halfway between real and artificial, genuine but surrounded by vanilla-adjacent flavorings.
On skin, however, the cherries and the vanilla ice cream separate, and the cherry accord feels almost as artificially sickly-sweet as any CVS lip gloss.
The name of the fragrance says it all: for most of the wear, this is not a cherry scent. After 15-20 minutes, the cherry is completely gone, and the scent evolves into a linear, almost playdoughy-vanilla.
I like almonds and liquor and wish these would come through more, but they show only for the briefest instant, in a splash that soaks and sweetens the cherry and leaves a whisper of nuttiness in the vanilla.
Somewhere between the cherry flash and the drydown, something about this feels almost smoky to me. I suspect it’s the balsam de peru shining through as the top notes evaporate. It’s bizarre, but by far the most interesting moment of this fragrance.
The problem is not that it feels too sweet. I don’t feel overwhelmed by sweetness, but rather by a fairly sweet doughiness, which I find just a little repulsive. I have a complicated relationship with vanilla, though. If you don’t mind doughy tonka-vanilla, you might like the drydown here. On me, it’s linear, boring, and smells like a primary school art supply cabinet, all chemical-sweet red markers and plasticine.
I can’t rightly call this a gourmand, because it isn’t edible. This is a scent that mimics scents that mimic food. On me, the result is forgettable and mildly nauseating.
For the first few minutes of the opening, I kind of get it. Those ice cream cherries are sweet, creamy, nostalgic, dark and velvety. Within ten minutes things have fallen apart and gone straight to marker land and I’m disenchanted, but, if I let myself, I could let myself fall a little bit in love with the first minutes of Lost Cherry.
I appreciate that lost cherry is a bit darker and smoother than your typical bright red artificial cherry flavoring. It saves the fragrance from going the abhorred cherry Tylenol direction — which, for a perfume that’s 99% cherry, is a laudable feat. The dark, luscious ice cream cherries are a much more pleasant, cushioned way to present this artifice of cherry than clobbering someone over the head with neon pink body spray. The faintest shadow of a deliciously dark purple plum is, I suspect, what saves the fruity accord here from going too bright and youthful and cute.
The hints of balsam of Peru smoke and cinnamon-benzoin-clove cinnamon spice are smart, grown-up touches. Those, combined with a certain faint but delectable polish of liquor, announce to you in the opening that this is not your little sister’s Cherry Berry spray from Claire’s.
Supposedly there’s roses and jasmine in here somewhere filling out Lost Cherry and giving it body and depth, but I don’t get any. Cedar, patchouli, and vetiver are buried somewhere in the very base of the fragrance, but they’re never particularly noticeable. At no point does Lost Cherry approach anything other than utterly and entirely sweet.
Still, even with all this dressing up, Lost Cherry is, at its heart, a very sweet, very fleeting almond-cherry scent, overly reliant on a doughy tonka-almond-vanilla accord and little else. If the cherry heart of this fragrance is faint and gone all too soon, then all the window dressing is even more so.
And then all I’m left with is a very rich toddler’s craft drawer, filled to the brim with designer playdough and markers.
Still, just because something’s unrealistic, absurdly saccharine, kind of sickening, and somehow still incredibly popular doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it. That’s why I binge watched five and a half seasons of Pretty Little Liars over the winter holidays this year. I don’t really love the show, but it made for great background noise while working on tasks that only require half my brain, and there is a certain guilty pleasure to the sheer quantity of schlocky twists crammed into each fifty-minute episode. It makes for something fun to discuss with my mom and every once in a while a moment of it is actually quite good.
That’s basically how I feel about Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry, except that Pretty Little Liars is available on various streaming platforms that cost as little as $1.99 a month, while Lost Cherry is a hideously pricey atrocity clocking in at around $400 a bottle.
Also, there are hundreds of hours of Pretty Little Liars out there for you to enjoy, but Lost Cherry evaporates so quickly I’m not sure a small bottle would last you through a binge-watch of the entire show.
The only fragrance I’ve tried recently with a worse price-to-performance ratio is the current Aventus by Creed, which boasts something like a two hour lifespan at a price of $500 a bottle. Nice.
As an aside, notice that it’s always big corporate brands like Creed (owned by Blackrock — yes, the investment company) and Tom Ford (owned by Estée Lauder) that put out these criminally overpriced and underperforming atrocities.
When a truly small and selective niche brand puts out something that’s this pricey by the milliliter, most of the time it’s Extrait de Parfum, a concentration so strong it’s sure to last for days. Nasomatto’s Baraonda is an example of this, and much of Prin Lomros’ work is the same. High price tags in the real niche and indie perfumery world are generally attached to higher concentrations, finer raw materials and sourcing, and a richer, longer-lasting experience. In the “niche” designer world? You’re paying for a name. That’s it.
The whole arc of Lost Cherry is fleeting. The whole time I wear it, Lost Cherry is very faint with very little projection. Within two to three hours, the scent is all but gone.
This is, I would like to remind you, an Eau de Parfum. The strongest of the most common fragrance concentrations. And yet here we are.
If you like the notes and the artificial cherry vibe, go ahead and give this one a try. If, like me, you’re merely curious about the transient fruity thing dominating the cultural zeitgeist, this probably isn’t worth your money.
Sorry, Louise Turner. I can see how Lost Cherry made a big fruity splash when it was launched in 2018. I can’t think of a better cherry perfume, though I haven’t smelled many that aren’t made for pre-teens. But between the price and performance, the math just doesn’t work in favor of this one.
Where to Find Lost Cherry Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford
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