Noir Epices (2000)
by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle


Noir Epices information

Year of Launch2000
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 392 votes)

People and companies

HouseEditions de Parfums Frederic Malle
PerfumerMichel Roudnitska
PackagingFrederic Malle
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Noir Epices

The name translated to English means 'Black Spices'. The fragrance is a woody-oriental composition with notes of geranium, clove and patchouli.

Noir Epices fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Noir Epices

I'll admit the opening is synthetic, but quite pleasant. In fact it almost has certain "mystique" in it, bear a resemblance to the opening of Ile Pourpre. I've also noticed certain aldehyde facet, not prominent, just in supporting role.

Then it just transitioned to the spice heart. I usually detected a rather "savory" or "flesh-like" aspect in warm spices, still yet to identify what it is. It also has a dry smoky note in it. if the smoke and flesh reach a balance, it will be a.......fantastic bacon accord.

The final stage has a usual...plastic feeling, subtle, but still there.
30th September, 2017
Synthetic, soapy, abrasively loud floral spicy scent with a sharp citrus backbone. There's an interesting warm/cool juxtaposition going on in there somewhere, but it's simply too cloying and harsh for me to enjoy. High marks for sillage and longevity.
10th August, 2017 (last edited: 01st September, 2017)
Noir Epices is really quite confusing, one of those perfumes that seems to be telling multiple stories simultaneously. On one hand, it's got a traditional attar mix of rose, patchouli, and sandalwood (and maybe even a pinch of rubbery, fecal oud), so parts of it will feel familiar to fans of that sort of scent. Simultaneously, there's a mix of dark, oily, powerhouse herbs. And then there's the topnotes, a mix of pollen-drenched acacia and honeyed mimosa fused together with bergamot and a lot of aldehydes.

Somehow, it all comes together. There's a powerhouse chypre hidden in plain sight, but the aldehydic flowers (so sharp as to be almost piquant) make sure this is never particularly masculine. Meanwhile, the attar elements mixed with the herbs and spices create the illusion of an Asian market brimming with Nag Champa and lots of heady soaps and incenses. The end result is confounding, kind of gross, and more "haunting" than "beautiful". It's one of those perfumes that doesn't smell especially good, but is always interesting. Thumbs up for artistry and chemistry, but not necessarily for everyday wearability.
19th July, 2017
One of the FM fragrances that grabbed my attention the most, I really find the fragrance itself very interesting and fun to smell. Invigorating. I really like all the notes in it however I feel that it is just a bit too much of a good thing. It makes me feel like I ought to be 10 years older (I'm in my mid 20s), more muscular and with a beard in order to wear this comfortably. Not to say that it reminds me of an old man (Carnal Flower does however remind me of "old ladys perfume"), I just find it a bit too bold and uni-directional for me.
26th May, 2017
Wow--this is not what I expected. At all. By title and by reputation, I thought Noir Epices would be like some sort of variation of Opium, and therefore beyond my personal scope of wearability. Or one of those harsh, hyper-potpourried Diptyque compositions. Or at least like something that might have escaped from the foodier side of the Serge Lutens catalogue.

Nothing doing. Noir Epices is almost completely citrus-driven; and what a citrus it is, like those tiny squirts of oil that get on your fingers as you zest an orange. Or even those orange oil solvent cleaners--the scent of those makes my tongue go kinda numb, which also happens to me in the opening stages of of this perfume, before the underlying spices kick into gear.

Of course there are florals in here, too--a rose gradually emerges, which exerts a civilizing influence on the orange zest; and then a pleasantly peppery geranium follows. I like the way the geranium's pepper compliments the note of black peppercorn that emerges in the perfume's heart; it's clever, but not too matchy-matchy. Together, the rose and geranium put the some stuffing in an otherwise fairly stark orange spice accord.

As the perfume evolves, a subtle clove adds a slightly rich but dry touch to the florals. In its intersection of rose, orange and clove, this stage in Noir Épices' development evokes Chanel Coco, especially the EdT, albeit minus Coco's incense. Nutmeg emerges hereabouts--another clever addition, as it has a similar anasthetic quality to orange zest. The cumulative effect suggests sweetness without actually *being* sweet--quite a virtue, to this generally amber-averse reviewer

The base of Noir Epices is particularly distinguished by what it doesn't have, as Roudnitska fils resisted any temptations he may have felt to ballast the perfume with vanilla or resins. Instead, there's a dry, spicy, woody patchouli that calls to mind Elixir des Merveilles--especially since it's underneath that big, zesty orange accord. Noir Epices' orange is fresher and less candied than Elixir's, but there's a family resemblance between the two that made me feel instantly at home with Noir Epices.

So I certainly didn't expect to fall in love with Noir Epices, but that's what happened. It feels like a less demanding relative of two of my all-time favorite perfumes--a sort of Coco Eau Premiere grafted onto Elixir des Merveilles's roots, which should be quite congenial in warmer weather, particularly on those summer evenings when citrus sounds good but cologne feels too casual.
05th March, 2017
We’ve been enjoying an amazing autumn here in Ireland. Lucky enough to live in the most sheltered spot on this rain-sodden island, we spent most of October and November trawling the long, golden beaches and kicking over the leaves in castle parks. The sun never stopped shining, temperatures barely dipped below 15 degrees, and we were all in such a damn good mood. Then one day, driving back from a jaunt to Kilkenny, I made the fatal mistake of saying to my husband, “And imagine – the kids haven’t been sick even once!”


Naturally, there hasn’t been a dry tissue in the house since. There’s been the flu, chest infections, and a torn cornea that necessitated an emergency hospital visit and a hefty bill (no health insurance). More familiar with hospital waiting rooms than I’d care to be, I have developed a perfume strategy that helps a bit. I wear powerfully radiant, antiseptic fumes that march ahead of me, wiping whole rooms down with Dettol before I enter, and whisper “Do not fuck with me” to receptionists.

Yeah, so, I’m wearing a lot of Noir Epices. It is a difficult, somewhat prickly perfume - a sort of stripped-down, Vorsprung Durch Technik version of Coco. Re-engineered to remove all the sweetness and ballasting amber; it’s the perfume equivalent of whittling a comfy sofa into a Philippe Starck chair.

In the opening notes, a hot pink rose stumbles onto the scene, flushed and boozy, washed down with the metallic sheen of geranium leaf. It is intensely beautiful to me at first because I get the impression of fullness – the bitter greenness of the geranium balanced by the rose, and the dry, peppery spices are backed up by rich woods. Singed orange peel and clove burn through spices, florals, and woods, purifying the unclean air around me and excoriating the flesh around open wounds. Noir Epices is the answer to the plague.

I feel fierce when I wear this, but eventually the very things that make me feel protected wear me down. Wearing Noir Epices is like putting a pure vitamin C serum on your face – the burning feels good because you know that it is active, but at the same time, the discomfort is real. Noir Epices has all the trappings of a rich spice oriental - the acidity of spilled orange juice, dry pomander woods, black pepper, an excitable rose – but completely lacks the underpinnings. There is no amber, vanilla, or creamy, hefty woods to round this out in the base, and while I understand that its appeal comes from this woody weightlessness, I would wish for a kinder, more forgiving ending. Noir Epices is a stern judge of character.

Longevity and sillage are outstanding, 7 hours at the least. I recommend Noir Epices to anyone in need of a magic potion to ward off illnesses, and to fans of spicy, dry orange-rose pomander fragrances such as Coco and Maharanih.
16th December, 2016

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