Perfume Directory

Drakkar Noir (1982)
by Guy Laroche


Drakkar Noir information

Year of Launch1982
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 751 votes)

People and companies

HouseGuy Laroche
PerfumerPierre Wargnye
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > Prestige & Collections

About Drakkar Noir

A classic. Drakkar is the Viking word for dragon boat.

Drakkar Noir fragrance notes

Reviews of Drakkar Noir

In my opinion, this is one of the smoother fragrances to come from the 80s.
The opening is great. It's simultaneously fresh and dark. But then it quickly turns into Lemon Pledge. Not good
It's complete Lemon Pledge for like 30 minutes, sometimes a little longer.

But then the Lemon Pledge-like smell begins to recede, and then it's more like lemon notes. The lemon seems to be there to balance out the heavier, rougher notes (leather?) that give it that fresh/heavy scent.
At this point it's very masculine and a little seductive.
As the dry down progresses it gets almost slightly smokey, like you've been out all night, while wearing a leather jacket, and smoking some cigarettes.

I can definitely see why this is both praised and criticized. At times it can come off as crude and maybe even cheap. Other times it's very bold and confident.
Not for everyone, especially considering that aquatics and sugary sweet fragrances are what's in fashion these days. The confident types who enjoy this scent though are the ones will make it work for them. If you like it but you're insecure or self-conscious, choose something else in for the time being.
The sillage on this doesn't seem to be that great, at least from what I've read about how other 80s powerhouses project, but the longevity seems to decent for me. Sometimes it's like 4-5 hours, other times I wake up in the morning and I can still smell it on me as a skin scent.
09th August, 2017 (last edited: 12th August, 2017)
JimmyP Show all reviews
United States
I just dug this up the other day from a small box in the closet where I would hide away some relegated scents like Carven Homme, Encre Noir and Dirty English. Such a classic it is indeed.

At this day and age the smell of Drakkar is somewhat ubiquitous as it seems to have been adopted in some shape or variation by so many mens care products out there. I am definitely reintroducing this back to the rotation. It is simple, clean and it makes me feel good.

While we are on the subject, the Encres and Carvins of the world are getting binned altogether.
26th July, 2017
I purchased this online and it was quite cheap as a package with the deodorant and I'm glad I did, the deodorant is quite nice.

With IFRA and reformulations I don't think this is fair to review what I smelled, but I will. What I smelled was a mosh of synthetics that combined to form a neutered masculine that is just a just a shell of the DN I know of. Was it ever a great fragrance worthy of it's notoriety? Not sure but today I don't really see why someone would purchase this....unless you get the deodorant with it.
02nd February, 2017
Picked up a small bottle of the splash at wally world. Not impressed. Smells nice enough but even after applying very liberally its barely there after 3 hours. No longevity,. no sillage. I'm surprised after hearing how much a powerhouse its supposed to be. Its not for lack of heat either,. I work up a reasonable sweat at work and its just not there. To be fair I think my sniffer may be on the less sensitive side and I've had similar longevity disappointments with current aramis tuscany and devin formulations,. although not quite this bad. The search continues, but so far Insurrection II wild is winning.
02nd November, 2016
In the old days before digital, photographers would calibrate their cameras by using a grey card, 50% black 50% white.

Drakkar Noir achieves a similar balance by mixing the dark tones of leather, patchouli and tree moss with lavender and coumarin. DN may be called black but to my synesthetic nose it smells grey, grey like fluffy mould.

The neutral tones of DN were adopted by feminists when it first came out in the eighties. The tactic of wearing traditionally male perfumes allowed women to sidestep olfactory stereotypes long before Serge Luten's Palais Royale brought crossover scents back into the mainstream.

A middle of the road fougère, sweet yet bitter, moderately heavy, opaque but nebulous, it still divides people today. Some love it. Others perhaps unsettled by its vague indeterminate nature don't like it at all.

It is easy to overdo it with DN, too much can get suffocating so moderation should be the order of the day - not too much and not too little.

I think its not bad - but not great either, just quite nice. Technically its no great shakes either, another barbershop fougère.

And the legacy of Drakkar Noir : eighties gender bender or the smell of shaving foam in a can...?


14th October, 2016 (last edited: 22nd November, 2016)
What else can be said about this masculine classic? I remember this being all the rage when I was a young teenager, it was expensive and hard to find. I haven't touched it since I was 15. So imagine my utter surprise when my Mom gives me a bottle, direct from my Grandfathers' 30+ year old stash. Intrigued, I purchased a new bottle, and then a vintage bottle from 1994. Of course they all smell very different. Is this from age, formulation, different batches? Whatever the case, the vintage is extremely powerful, and lasts forever. The 1994 smells the best to me, a bit more citrusy/pine notes in this one make it special. The newer bottle is good, but severely lacking in longevity and staying power. You can see the bottle quality has changed too, as the oldest bottle is far more substantial and the nozzle feels much more solid.
12th April, 2016

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