THE EDITOR Photo editor Mariel Tyler

THE LOVE Tom Ford Black Orchid perfume, $125


I don’t pop Molly, but I do rock Tom Ford’s Black Orchid. (That’s a Jay-Z reference for those of you who are wondering why I brought up drugs. Jay-Z references are always appropriate.) And he was right, metaphorically speaking: Alluring, addictive, and transformative, Tom Ford products are comparable to drugs. Both habits are pricey, but like Jay, I’d always choose Tom Ford too. And the best (and most affordable) way to do that is to go with the gift that keeps on giving: perfume!

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I first purchased this scent for myself after I had lived in New York for almost a year. Not many perfumes are strong enough for these city streets. What initially got me was its unique mix of incense, patchouli, orchids, and sandalwood, better described as “warm florals.” It’s also unisex, a nifty factor that felt ultra cosmopolitan.

Because of the high percentage of oils, Black Orchid really “sticks,” my high-tech way of saying you’ll still be able to smell it hours after a few spritzes. It’s a heavier scent, definitely not for the faint hearted, and it has the power to cut through whatever NYC scents you may be assaulted by (trash, urine, etc etc). Running low on bottle number two has made me use it sparingly recently, but I’m honestly too addicted to imagine myself getting by without a fix in the future.

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