Perfume Directory

Nombre Noir (1981)
by Shiseido

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Nombre Noir information

Year of Launch1981
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityDiscontinued
Average Rating
(based on 45 votes)

People and companies

HouseShiseido
PerfumerJean-Yves Leroy

About Nombre Noir

Nombre Noir was a fragrance that used perfume maker Serge Lutens as image creator. Lutens' idea was that black is the ultimate color because it concentrates all other colors, and so the design was based entirely on black. Both cap and glass bottle were black, the latter sandblast etched with the lettering, creating a contrast between gloss and matte areas that highlighted the appeal of black to the very core.

Reviews of Nombre Noir

I tried to put all expectations aside and approach this like smelling any other sample...the first 30 seconds or so hit my nose like the vinegary aldehyde opening of Balenciaga pour Homme...I then get a steady buildup of rose with the rooty/bitterish/herby smell from a blending of carnation and orris root...seems to straddle two worlds...a classic smelling fragrance with a timeless quality...not a powerhouse by any means , but smooth and suave and laid back...to my nose, about as perfectly unisex as you can get...does pull you in and makes you want to stay glued to the back of your hand to marvel at the subtle developments....very well blended and has an air of quality ingredients...i have to agree with a couple of other reviews i've read that this is somewhat similar to Acteur...the rose in this does ring that bell for me, but in a good way...has an all-around woody ambience...ever so slightly powdery...overall, a very pleasing and enjoyable rose fragrance, but I don't think it's something I personally would be adding to my wardrobe , even at a reasonable price...
23rd July, 2018
BLUF: A humid dark rose chypre. A compelling rose note, damp and dewy with some subtle red & orange colored spices (like in Egoiste). Pretty scent, ugly asking price.

Nombre Noir is charming. I find it downright pretty. I don’t think it is off-the-charts amazing or innovative in terms of structure, but I do think it is a skillfully balanced and pleasing fragrance. In the opening I mostly detect a mossy dark rose/patchouli mix. Considering the year it was released (1981), the restraint of all three main notes is admirable. In fact I’d even call it delicate. It has plenty of substance but is never close to heavy or overbearing. It has a rounded, smooth texture that agrees with my tastes very much.

After about an hour, I start to pick up on an airy, mildly sweet tannic red wine vibe. Presumably from the rose and woods, maybe the light clove-spiced carnation too. A sandalwood/rosewood base lightly supports everything in a complimentary fashion. Unlike my vintage-loving cohort, I do not find much of a connection to Ho Hang Club. Then again, I don't find a HHC/Antaeus commonality either.

Nombre Noir seems to be famous for two reasons. Reason one, and probably the lesser, is that it's the first commercial perfume that Serge Lutens helped breathe life into, as far as I know. The second, and likely the reason it now goes for $2000/15ml on eBay is that Luca Turin basically creamed his pants over Nombre Noir…is what some lesser, cruder, truly classless person might say. He fawned, prices rose.

I like Nombre Noir perfectly well. If I were able to find a 10ml decant for say $40, I’d be all over it. But in this dark rose chypre genre of yesteryear, I’ll take L’Arte di Gucci over this any day.

In fact, if I were to break it down into a single, do-no-justice sentence, I’d say, “A woodier, softer, lighter, less rosey, L’Arte di Gucci”.

Recommended sniffing if you can do so for a reasonable price.
25th March, 2018
Where have I scented this before? Certainly this is a refined and polite, still boozy, Ho Hang Club. However it also shares some resemblance to By Kilian Criminal of Love in a "Comet" cleaner sort of way. It is an accord that pairs Carnation and Patchouli Camphour. Rose seems a shaping ingredient.
Where Ho Hang Club wins the day is in the over the top Animalic, Honeyed Piss accord and it's availability, price.
For my most Feminine wife I prefer the quieter and tender touch of Patchouli surrounded by Peony, of Divine L'inspiratrice.
The attraction of Nombre Noir is that it is
a beautiful period piece, inspiring a number of other wonderful 80's Feminines and Masculines.
The rarity and therefore it's asking price puts it outside my field of vision.
15th September, 2017 (last edited: 18th September, 2017)
Stardate 20170306:

A great rose, patch and something else. Could not figure out what it was till I saw Bavard's review. Carnations from Ho Hang Club.
I can see why people love Nombre Noir. It is a good fragrance to own but not at the current astronomical prices.

Layer HoHangClub with some old rose soliflore and you will have achieved same effect at 1/10th the cost.

Get it if you are the 0.1%

06th March, 2017
A big thumbs up for this one: an impressive dark rose and carnation fragrance, a little like Balenciaga Ho Hang Club: a rich, bold, pleasing scent, but also a little like Chanel No. 19 after it’s had some time to develop and become more rose dominant.
24th February, 2017 (last edited: 30th December, 2017)
I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

Yet another dark rose chypre. Someone said Turin considers this one of the five greatest scents ever - I'd never hire him based on that outrageous statement, if it's true.

Notes are posted above in Cheryl's review, so I won't repeat them here. I get strong, rosewood, sandalwood, vetiver and rose. I can't imagine a woman wearing this unless she's Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons. It is typical of a powerhouse men's scent from the 1980s but without the power. Subtle it is, but in no way outstanding or even significant to my nose.

This was Shiseido's first western scent and Serge Lutens' first as well. Lutens got better, Shiseido has always remained mediocre or just plain bad to my nose.

A waste of money, as it is so rare that fortunes are being charged for small decants. I give it a neutral in that of its type it is not awful, just derivative and insignificant.
29th August, 2014

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SHISEIDO NOMBRE NOIR EAU DE PARFUM 60 ML SPLASH VINTAGE

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**RARE** Nombre Noir Eau by Shiseido .13 oz/4 ml EDP Splash Mini eau de parfum

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Nombre Noir eau de parfum ~ perfume by Shiseido ~ Serge Lutens ~ Sample

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Nombre Noir eau de parfum ~ perfume by Shiseido ~ Serge Lutens ~ Sample

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Nombre Noir eau de parfum ~ perfume by Shiseido ~ Serge Lutens ~ Sample

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Nombre Noir eau de parfum ~ perfume by Shiseido ~ Serge Lutens ~ Sample

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Rare Japan Shiseido NOMBRE NOIR 60 ml 2 fl.oz Eau De Parfum EDP perfume spray

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