By  on February 2, 2007

Launching a dozen fragrances at once isn’t exactly routine behavior. But Tom Ford has built his career on going his own way.

Ford — who is readying the launch of his new Private Blend fragrance collection, a Manhattan store to house it and a passel of additional projects to which he’ll only allude — enjoys being busy.

“You have a lot of energy when you’re doing what you love,” said Ford last week during a phone interview from his home in London. “I’m really excited — the Madison Avenue store opens in about eight weeks, and Private Blend will launch with it. People who haven’t seen me much are probably wondering what I’ve been doing. Now, they’ll know.”

The initial Private Blend collection consists of 12 unisex fragrances, each with one primary ingredient folded into what Ford calls a “sequence” of secondary ingredients, including saffron and plum. “I wanted to call it Bespoke, but Lauder [the Estée Lauder Cos., which holds his beauty license] said that no one outside of London knows what bespoke means,” said Ford with a laugh.

In a sense, “bespoke” neatly describes Ford’s aspirations for all of his future pursuits. “I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I wanted to form a true luxury company — even in fragrance and eyewear, which are generally more broadly distributed,” said Ford. “We’re trying to do things in the most beautiful way that they can possibly be done with the highest level of quality. Yes, the price points may be higher than our competition, but our distribution is very targeted. We’re trying to be as good as we can possibly be. Projects like Private Blend give us the ability to do the best of the best.”

The Private Blend scents are Amber Absolute, Noir de Noir, Velvet Gardenia, Black Violet, Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood, Purple Patchouli, Bois Rouge, Moss Breches, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino and Japan Noir. “When I was creating Black Orchid [his women’s scent, launched in November], I kept smelling other things I liked — many of which were too expensive to use in a broadly distributed fragrance, and others that we can’t use for a broader fragrance because they won’t appeal to everyone. I kept putting more and more things aside. Finally, it just seemed to make sense to develop them for my store.”

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