A very green powerhouse man's scent from the 1980s. Along with Aramis, Open and Quorum, Drakkar Noir defines the green, herbaceous chypre type.
The citrus notes of lemon and mandarin mix with the herbal green notes of basil, rosemary, bergamot, mint and verbena.
The spicy heart reveals cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, juniper, angelica, wormwood and a healthy dose of lavender.
All this rests on the dark green notes of patchouli, oak mod, cedar, balsam, vetiver and pine.
It's powerful and iconic. I do believe Drakkar Noir and Aramis were the two best selling men's scent of the 1980 decade.
LaRoche only created about a dozen scents. Drakkar Noir was his most popular men's scent, while Fidji was his most popular woman's scent.
DN is still a winner after all these years.
Concerning the present formulation of this one, it's nice, but I find myself never reaching for it really. I still keep the mini bottles on my shelf because they take up no room, but my normal sized bottle has gone into my closet to join my swap list. I had read a number of people compare Caesar Man to the vintage Drakkar Noir (which I have never consciously experienced), so I had to try that and it did not disappoint me. Again, current Drakkar Noir is not bad, but if like myself you found it not quite there, I recommend looking into Caesar Man instead. Again the disclaimer that my review here is of the current formulation - the vintage juice might have been a different story for me.
Yes, it's a rather crude pine scent, isn't it? Nothing you'd want to smell of, really.
Not bad! How have I missed trying this one out, with all these pine-y notes? Has a herbal-green opening, reasonably dry character with only a slight "fresh" (perhaps synthetic) aspect. A scent of the '80s but not heavy-handed. Not a lot of conifers but a little bit. The mossy-patchouli dry-down is typical of the time.
I realize I’m dating myself embarrassingly here, but I didn’t care for Drakkar Noir when it was new: it always smelled to me like the sleazy guy cruising the Jersey boardwalk after the bars had closed. It was crude, overbearing, and chemical even in 1982, and I don’t think time has improved it one iota. “Powerhouse” scents like Macassar, Kouros, Francesco Smalto pour Homme, and Krizia Uomo are models of refined understatement next to Drakkar Noir. Say the words “Cheap Cologne” within my earshot, and my inner nose will smell not Old Spice or Brut, but Drakkar Noir.
So what does it actually smell like? Roughly one part Pine-Sol, one part liquid ammonia, one part industrial strength lavender soap, and one part powdered nutmeg. In other words, a very bad fougère. Useful to me mostly as a reference scent for “bad fougère,” or a masochistic exercise in ‘80s nostalgia.
Guy Laroche - Drakkar Noir
This perfume, together with Caractere, got me started being excited about perfumery - this was the stuff my brothers wore when I was young. Smelling this after 20 years brings back a lot memories and makes me realize how good this perfume still is and was. Drakkar Noir made me recognize the smell of freshly crushed coniferous-leaves in it - which was a marvelous connection because I love that smell; we had them standing in our backyard. It was actually the first 'exotic' note that I could identify, other than rose- and citrus-notes. Drakkar noir always moves with a greenish flow, but always of the dirty-kind: slightly oily with a raw, gritty edge to it, and with smooth leather and tobacco 'of the spicy kind' to back it up, carried by a soft mossy cloud of oakmoss with a cederwoody-touch. Drakar Noir is an intense, focused and hot-tempered perfume with as much grip as smoothness; where lavender connects the bright and fresh peppery-citrus topnotes with the more 'weighted' base which also displays ozonic, metallic and mentholic notes. Drakkar Noir acts as a bodyguard in a tight, flashy suit - acting self-assured, cool and collected, but with a hidden alertness; ready to flex some muscles and kick some action when the moment calls for it. A masculine Masterpiece.