THE PERFUME COLORS - NOIR
Perfume lovers love lists. Lists frame your preferences and position your choices. I like to make my lists named after colours.
Noir in the name, Noir in the scent, Noir in chords and olfactory notes ... the colour black, dark, uniform and seemingly dull, show extraordinarily rich facets in the world of perfumes.
I associate "Noir" with smoke, ash, darkness, burnt rubber, tar, fire resins, gloomy enchanted forest, intense dark woods, cooper leather, oriental sweetness and pungent hot spices.
People’s understanding of a dark scent is not similar to each other. The "Noir" perfumes move markets, mark trends, distance friends, brings lovers together, create a unique atmosphere and, above all, are far from being a consensual aromatic colour. Love and hatred live in it, extreme positions are taken and the different dark shades of black are discussed.
I don't intend to impose you on this list as the best noir perfumes available. Navigating through this darkness, my ship may stop at several ports. This small collection represents the dark fragrances I would like to have available here (at home) and now (January 1st, 2021). I also imposed myself that only perfumes named with dark words would be listed, like noir, black, dark graphite, smoke, fume, ombre... and so on. But the ones that my mind, my sense of smell and my vision retained under the "NOIR" flag and in no special order, are:
Tom Ford Noir Extreme, Ombré Leather, and Black Orchid
Tom Ford is an American fashion designer and by all means a dark fragrance king. Other fragrances could be named here but those three are the ones I prefer when a dark scent is concerned.
Noir extreme - It is a joy to use, undoubtedly sweet, deeply oriental, but not at all nauseating. I find it extremely seductive. I just pity it for an under average performance.
Ombrée Leather - I like it very much. It's different from Tuscan Leather and I like this one better. This is an animalistic leather perfume. We encounter animals/earthy secondary notes in an amber background, but the leather dark accord rules.
Black Orchid - Its darkness is striking but not offensive. It is my concept of a vampire scent. It is deep dark, almost solid black. We can also spot some vivid floral sweet colours (and scents), together with a smoothness that enchants everybody.
Robert Piguet Bois Noir
The House of Piguet is a fashion house created by Swiss Robert Piguet. It has some memorable dark fragrances.
Bois Noir - It is really my kind of fragrance and Piguet stands in my top five perfume houses due to the masterclass demonstrated when blending this type of dark smoky scents. This dark forest is woody, balsamic, dark and smoky.
Parfumerie Particulière Black Tar
Parfumerie Partuculiére is a French small niche designer.
Black Tar - Think of a perfume that evokes Baccarat 540, but that is dark, full of incense, burnt rubber, and smoke...
You could also think of Bvlgari Black or Midnight In Paris, but without any sweetness and with a rampant balsamic growing darkness.
Miller Harris Etui Noir
Miller Harris is a British perfume designer house founded by Lyn Harris in 2000.
Étui Noir - A very addictive perfume. A greasy resinous & balsamic dark scent with sweet leather & vetiver. It is the perfume I currently identify as my signature scent. A strong impression with a smooth footprint. Super elegant!
John Varvatos Dark Rebel
The John Varvatos perfume company - JV Fragrance & Skincare - is owned by Shiseido Americas Corp.
Dark Rebel - Rum, black leather and tobacco blended to a dark perfection. This is a case of loving or hating a scent at the first sniff. It's dark, dirty, smoky, boozy, like an old leather jacket that smells of a Harley-Davidson burnt rubber ... very manly!
Montana is a French designer perfume house founded in 1986.
Graphite - I do thank Nathalie Lorson and Montana for this smoky dark fragrance. I just love it. It smells expensive! Be ready for a black dark opening with semi-dark sweet drydown. It suits also the lovers of the disappeared Carbone by Balmain.
Lalique Ombre Noire, Encre Noire and Encre Noire à L'Extrême
Lalique is a French glassware and jeweller house founded by René Lalique in 1885. The perfume business started with Lalique's granddaughter Marie-Claude Lalique in 1992.
Encre Noire - An industry reference. It is a strong cypress and vetiver dark cocktail. It's far from the traditional barbershop with a lot of "easy to use" vetiver. You get a pleasing dark vetiver smoky accord, the result of blending a couple of high-quality different vetiver notes. It's extremely classy.
Encre Noire à L'Extrême - Smoked vetiver and cypress like in "Encre Noir" but with some added resins and incense to enhance the darkness.
Ombre Noire - Fantastic moist dark and semi-sweet tobacco enhanced with Cognac, and austere cedar. A flim entrance of fig and mint does not hide its enchanting gloominess.
Bvlgari Black, Man In Black and Man Black Orient
Bvlgari is an Italian luxury goods house founded by greek Sotirios Voulgaris in 1884. The company's flagship business is jewellery. The perfume business started in 1992.
Bvlgari Black - An unisex dark leather fragrance that put the NOIR fragrances on the industry map. A dark scent pioneer and a gem forever. Its tarry dark accord together with the strong black leather note is a divine perfume milestone.
Man In Black - Rum, tobacco, leather, orris root and guaiac wood, craft the dark shade of this perfume. It's very intense, manly, spicy and quite aromatic. It smells expensive and classy. It's a Bvlgari jewel bomb.
Man Black Orient - A great leather-oud western fragrance enhanced with rum and Taif rose. Darkness, Design, Class, Orient, Seduction and Manhood in a fine bottle.
Pascal Morabito Black Agent
Pascal Morabito is a french designer that stands for a broad range of fashion products... and also perfumes.
Black Agent - This unisex perfume is dark, smoky, dense, complex, powerful, pleasant, earthy and woody, It is one of my dark scents that pleases a lot the feminine gender. Tom Ford and John Varvatos would probably like to own this scent!
Montale Dark Aoud
Parfums Montale was founded by Pierre Montale in 2003. Pierre Montale spent some time in the Middle East. After returning to France, he introduced quite a few amazing oriental scents to the Western market.
Dark Aoud - Sandalwood and leather dominate the oud in this fragrance. It's a semi-dark oriental perfume but it has a ' je ne sais quoi ' in it that makes me enjoy it a lot and place it among the great "Noirs".
Versace pour Homme Oud Noir
A fashion giant founded by the late Gianni Versace; this house proposes some very nice fragrances including this noir gem.
Oud Noir - An oud fragrance with a different opening with bitter orange - that blends marvellously with cardamom and saffron - to unveil a great dark oud with incense. Dark but very easy to wear.
Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque
Serge Lutens started as both a hairstylist and a photographer. A successful partnership with Shiseido gave Lutens the chance to start in the perfume industry in 1982; He is a well-known enthusiast of Arabic cultures and lives in Morocco.
Fumerie Turque - It's a dark and mysterious fragrance proposing you a truly oriental smoked tobacco, blended with smoked leather, and just a bit of vanilla. I just get transported to a Souk in either of the Fez medinas.
Nasomatto Black Afgano
Nasomatto has been founded by Alessandro Gualtieri, He has a composition style markedly different from other western designers. Alessandro travelled through many eastern countries, namely Oman, India and Saudi Arabia with the aim of learning as much as possible about the ancient eastern perfume-making techniques.
Black Afgano - The incense, oud, coffee and pipe tobacco mark this dark scent. The sweet resins, the green notes mixed with sweet cannabis, make it more friendly and brighten it
Valentino Uomo Noir Absolu
Valentino is a very exclusive Italian fashion house founded by Valentino Garavani. He started as an apprentice of Jacques Fath and Balenciaga.
Uomo Noir Absolu - A great answer to Black Orchid with a spicy cinnamon opening and a full-bodied heart with a magnific dark incense and resins. The woody bottom gives you very exclusive harsh and sombre sandalwood. Very manly!
Salvador Dali Pour Homme
Salvador Dali and wife Gala themselves partnered with Cofinlux to produce perfumes in 1983, a little before the painter's death. The bottle shape is inspired by Dalí's painting, "Apparition of The Face of Aphrodite of Knidos".
Salvador Dali Pour Homme - This is my pic to imagine either a gothic dark castle or a druid gloomy forest. It seduces me with anise and then it bites my neck with very earthy oakmoss, patchouli and vetiver. And the flask is a joy to watch as well.
I wish you all a great and successful year (not NOIR at all).
Keep smelling fine and stay safe!