Perfume Directory

Magie Noire (1978)
by Lancôme

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Magie Noire information

Year of Launch1978
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 223 votes)

People and companies

HouseLancôme
PerfumerGerard Goupy
PerfumerYves Tanguy
PerfumerJean-Charles Niel
SupplierPFW Paris
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group

About Magie Noire

Magie Noire is a feminine perfume by Lancôme. The scent was launched in 1978 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Jean-Charles Niel, Yves Tanguy and Gerard Goupy. The bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Reviews of Magie Noire

Was looking for a sniff of Cuir but they don't carry it
everywhere.
Took a couple of spritzes of "Black Magic"on the arm. Soft memories of Incense of the 70's. Myrrh purr purr. The latest EDT is quite enjoyable as it lacks the Low-Fat Hi Sugar content of most of the Standard Feminines on the shelf and presents a neutral Floral.
07th October, 2016 (last edited: 08th January, 2017)
I was too young to wear this when it first came out, so my first experience with Magie Noire came last month with an Ebay sample that was annoyingly unmarked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I became infatuated with my sample and had to have a full bottle. After some rather costly experimentation, I discovered that the version I fell in love with is the vintage Huile. For me, this is the concentration/version that is genuinely magical. The top notes produce the exact smell of a green, unshelled walnut when you run your fingernail across its skin. It then becomes a deeper, spicier, more mysterious scent involving patchouli, oak moss and civet. Beautiful and quite unlike anything else!

I'm not quite as much a fan of the vintage parfum. For me, it is missing that amazing green top that makes me want to sink my teeth into something. It's a bit too bottom-heavy for me, although I appreciate its deep and strange exoticism.
06th September, 2016
This fragrance has undergone several reformulations over the years, and not for the best. However, it seems that the EDT has now been restored to something closely approximating the original: a bottle I recently purchased at TJMaxx smells wonderful, almost indistinguishable from my vintage EDT.

To me, Magie Noire smells like a cross between Bandit and Azuree - you might not need Magie Noire if you have one or the other of those, but it can't hurt! This is a reasonably priced chypre with excellent longevity and sillage.
17th November, 2015
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I may be alone here, but in Magie Noire I smell a sister to Caron's wonderful Yatagan. There is the same vegetal quality (which I generally do not like) that evokes decomposing pine needles in Yatagan although it is handled very differently in Magie Noire. Both go completely against the grain of current trends and are all the more compelling for it. Far and away the best scent that Lancome has ever produced, it has all the mysticism of an oriental but is really a chypre, festooned with fruits, flowers and honey and with a serious line up of basenotes: Patchouli, Castoreum, Civet, Vetiver, Musk, Oakmoss and Benzoin. While it is totally unlike Sortilege, they both do share a bewitching quality and are both aptly named.
12th June, 2015
Magie Noire is difficult to talk about for several reasons:

1) It's so weird that you're unsure if it's actually supposed to smell like that or if your sample has gone off.

2) There's a good chance that it has gone off, because it's not a fragrance that seems to preserve well.

3) It was reformulated so many times even before the real heavy-hitting IFRA restrictions of the 00s that each iteration of it smells wildly different.

That said, I've owned roughly seven different bottles of Magie Noire over the years from many different eras, so I feel like I have a pretty good handle on it. The really good stuff, that preserves the best and smells the most expensive, comes in the original orange and black bottle. It is a mind-blowing trip and should be smelled in 3-D under the influence of marijuana for maximum effect. It smells evil, and it's not just the marketing. It is disturbingly vegetal in the way that Yatagan is, but draped in feminine opulence-- stewing vegetables in an evening gown. Every real animalic in the book is present in large quantities, creating a rude honeyed dog foot effect. There is an addictive industrial gasoline cast to it all, like something it's unhealthy for you to be smelling.

Magie Noire wasn't considered that glamorous or highbrow a fragrance in its day, which seems unbelievable to us now. It was common for suburban mothers to smell like this (what I'd give to go back and inhale that air...). It was sort of a knock-off less expensive Opium that places the resins and spices and musty mystery of that fragrance on the framework of the more prevalent sour green chypres of the 70s. It borrowed Opium's image of oriental languor and added to it a satanic angle, with dark, ghoulish, wonderful advertisements and a package design that incorporated foreboding hieroglyphs. Considering the recent ubiquitous popularity of putting satanic imagery and goats and pentagrams on everything, even clothing for unremarkable hipster good girls, Lancome was ahead.

The subsequent formulation with the black plastic mushroom cap is still excellent but seems slimmed down and cheapened. It is more peppery and conventionally woody, but still disturbing in its vegetable sourness. There is also a weird formulation packaged in a black plastic flask; do not buy this. Because of the cheap packaging, none of them have kept and they have all gone completely off. You will see reports of this anywhere there is talk of vintage Magie Noire.

After this it was briefly discontinued and brought back in a still-interesting version in a clear bottle that smells not unpleasantly like a drugstore knock-off. It's all sneezy black pepper and sour rose and, like everything else from the 80s that's still in production, doesn't have base notes to speak of. This version is still easy to come by and gives you a hint of what the real stuff was like, and it can be appreciated as a sort of "If you like Magie Noire, you'll love Sexy Magic" body spray.

As with Aromatics, I once thought Magie Noire was my signature scent. I spent untold dollars amassing vintage bottles of it on eBay to wear for the rest of my life. I quit wearing it cause I smelled like a lunatic. It makes an exciting appearance in Working Girl, the perfume-lover's dream movie. Melanie Griffith is sitting at Sigourney Weaver's vanity and applies extrait from the black and orange bottle.

Edit 10/2/15: This is the most beautiful thing I've smelled in my life. I'm talking about the current one.

Have they improved it or was I just ungrateful 6 years ago? Did I receive a "French formula" bottle? This was manufactured March 2014 and says "L'Eau de Toilette" instead of "Eau de Toilette." It smells exactly as I remember all the old bottles I had smelling. There is nothing else that smells like Magie Noire. There are other rose chypres, other orientals, other animalics, but none smell like Magie Noire, and this is it.

Don't bother paying for "vintage"--MN doesn't keep well and needs fresh top notes. The current stuff is wonderful.
22nd January, 2015 (last edited: 02nd October, 2015)
Salutation.

A memorable occasion deserves a memorable scent like MAGIE NOIRE.when you want to return to memories of the 70's you wear this one(holds a lot of great memories).It is an aristocrat that can do as she pleases.Very unique on each ladies,but distinguishable from all other perfumes. Exotic,Ladylike,Mysterious,Nostalgic, Individualistic,Classy,Sensual and Timeless Classic.

Bergamot and cassia blend with galbanum over a rich floral heart of tuberose,ylang-ylang,bulgarian rose, honey and cedar,while the base wraps it all with patchouli,oakmoss,civet,sandalwood and vetiver,which create intense,high class and sensual trace.The scent is so lovely and sophisticated just like my grandmother.A perfume that ultimately takes you along a classic journey of the senses.

MAGIE NOIRE is a perfect signature scent if you want something distinctive that stands out from the usual&modern oriental floral stuff that is everywhere at the moment.It smells like nothing else and definitely is for a classic and self-assured lady.You wear it when you are going somewhere special in the Autumn or Winter.Totally it is bewitch in a classy way.

Sillage?Impressive.

Longevity?Noticeable on my skin.

7.5/10
16th October, 2014

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