Tom Ford Beauty


On May 25th I had the absolute honour and privilege of being tasked with pairing my food with the new range of fragrances by Tom Ford Beauty. 

It took several hours of sniffing the new delightful fragrances and a few pages of vigorous note making but eventually I came up with four courses that, in my mind, complimented the range of perfumes.

While it may sound novel, pairing a fragrance with a dish is no different to pairing with wine. To showcase the unique profile of a perfume to full effect, one needs to examine the notes – as you would with a wine – and select ingredients that will either enhance, contrast or compliment those notes, creating a harmonious marriage between nose and palate.

The dinner itself was a grand affair orchestrated by Natasha Bennet ( Brand Alley PR) with Joburg’s fashion & beauty A-listers making up the vast contingent of the guests. We were also joined the international education director for Tom Ford, Matthew Tyler, who explained the fresh new line of fragrances to the guests in detail.

Here’s the final menu and the pairing notes for each course. 


Chargrilled Yellow Fin Tuna, Seared Cucumber, Sambal Oelek,
Grapefruit and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
This effervescent scent, evocative of the Mediterranean seas, beautifully compliments the freshness of the yellow fin tuna amuse, while the citrus notes of Sicilian lemon, yellow mandarin and orange flower are mirrored in the sharpness of the grapefruit & blood orange vinaigrette. Deep, rich notes of Neroli and Bergamot are lifted in this light dish, with the flavours of the plate enhancing – rather than overpowering – the senses.


Tea Smoked Ham Hock Terrine, Lemon Thyme Brioche, Whipped Black Garlic Butter, Pickled Shallot 
Tea-smoking adds deep, complex layers of flavour, replicated by Mandorino’s orpurs. Jasmine tea is used to smoke the hamhock and chicken terrine, extracting the scent’s finishing note of jasmine through the palate. Soothing green notes of basil and spearmint contrast the dark smokiness of the black garlic butter, while the lemon thyme flavours of the brioche offset the fragrance’s top note of mandarin oil.


Pan Roasted Duck Breast, Braised Fennel, Golden Beetroot, Beetroot and Vanilla Jus
Fleur de Portofino is inspired by cascades of flowers from the White Acacia tree, which resides in abundance across the Mediterranean landscape. The white flower aromas are offset by the herby fennel, with the crisp golden beetroot adding root textures that provide a base for the lighter florals. Tender, yet firm duck breast works well with the crisp Sicilian lemon top notes, and the woodiness of the vanilla jus adds a complexity of depth to the prominent white floral notes through the fragrance.


Tea Cake Sponge, Stonefruit Compote, Burnt Honey Custard, Honeycomb and Lemon Curd
Stone fruit and rum compote offers a rich fullness to this multi-layered dish. Ideally these flavours are offset with fresh, crisp notes, to avoid them dominating the palate – and Sole Di Positano achieves this beautifully. This green floral scent carries notes of sun-drenched citrus, a sharpness gently rounded by the smokiness of the burnt honey flavours in the custard. Exotic Ylang and earthy Sandalwood are complimented by the brittle textures and sweetness of the honeycomb, while the tartness of the lemon curd reinforced the citrus notes throughout the dish.

Special thanks to:

Tom Ford Beauty | Brand Alley PR | Estee Laude SA | Vicky Crease | Gallery 011 | Setamono