Tom Ford has made no secret of the fact that sex, sensuality lay at the heart of most of what he does and his new fragrance Ébène Fumé continues the tradition. But not in the way that we’re familiar with.

Tom Ford Ébène Fumé. Image: Tom Ford

Ford loves a cheeky play on words – one that misdirects the mind of the reader as much as it conveys a hint of what he wishes to express. His last handful of fragrances have all veered towards overtly covert means of playful flirtation.

Bitter Peach, Lost Cherry and Rose Prick all fit this theme although F*cking Fabulous was slightly more direct with its approach. All four played into a delight of cheeky double entendres while still smelling both fabulous and original.

With the launch of Ébène Fumé, Ford’s signature sensuality becomes…thoughtful?

Rather than targeting our loins, Ébène Fumé targets our most powerful sexual organ – our minds.

The new scent includes cleansing Palo Santo, or Holy Wood.

Notes of Palo Santo (Holy Wood) which has been used to cleanse spaces and was sacred to Incan and South American cultures, ebony wood, cade and papyrus blend together with roses to create a scent that’s resinous and uplifting. Almost like a wearable incense without the dryness that can often accompany that style.

“I wanted a scent that captures a meditative feeling” says Ford. “[One that] has an almost spiritual sensuality that uplifts your mood. Which might be the most seductive indulgence of all.”

Before you despair that the now 60-year-old fashion designer, film director, writer might be showing signs of softening his touch, Ébène Fumé packs a dark turn of leather and black pepper and rich labdanum.

If the start of the perfume is a journey into transcendental meditation, the second half of Ébène Fumé  is a trip into tantric territory with all its carnal underpinnings.

Turns out Tom Ford is still Tom Ford after all.

Tom Ford Ébène Fumé will be available in Harrolds stores across Australia from March 13.