By and  on June 22, 2007

Tom Ford, the man known for baring acres of flesh in his advertising, has chosen to reveal himself instead in the images for his new men's fragrance.

And there is a strategic reason why Tom Ford for Men, which is slated to launch Sept. 23, breaks that barrier: This launch has been designed as the third branding building block behind the Black Orchid women's scent and the Private Blend niche collection and is intended to solidify Ford's stature in beauty. "This is Tom Ford branding himself," said Andrea Robinson, president of Tom Ford Beauty and Prescriptives, two divisions of the Estée Lauder Cos. "We are working on the foundation and the base of the business."

Ford himself dubs the ad "a wet jacket and tie contest." Shot by artist Marilyn Minter in April, it features a portrait of Ford and a shot of a broken fragrance bottle. "[Marilyn] has a very signature style where she douses you with tons of water and sprays you with water in your face while you're being photographed for hours," said Ford.

This is the second campaign in which Ford has managed to keep everyone's clothes on. But never fear, Ford hasn't given up on baring all entirely. "Nudity for me is always present, and of course it's going to return," he said. "I think we're living for a moment where maybe we saw so much nudity, at least in the press and magazines, that it doesn't seem the freshest solution; it almost seems too easy right now as a solution for advertising to get someone's attention. So whenever everything tightens up again, of course, all of a sudden it's going to seem interesting and surprising to see someone nude again."

Keeping with the sexy theme, Ford finds it in the form of some unusual ingredients this time around — particularly in the form of cypriol, a root from India said to be used in fragrance for the first time with this project. Ford says it gives his new scent "that slightly dirty, sensual, sexy smell."

"It's not the same as natural musk used to be, but it has a bit of something that some people would think slightly dirty," Ford said. "I think it's warm and sensual."

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