As a fan of iris note, I can't help but feel a little disappointed with ORRIS NOIR. The iris note presents itself within minutes of application, doughy-powdery and slightly fruity. But it swiftly exits center stage and fades into the body of incense, spices and dusty woods, becoming a warm yet unsweetened resinous scent. The vibe is distinctly oriental, desert-inspired.
Despite my earlier disappointment over the ephemeral iris, I feel drawn to the fragrance's subtle yet confident style. It glides smoothly over skin like expensive silk, my skin smelling as though I'd just walked through a wall of fragrant smoke. Think of it as a more discreet version of Sahara Noir if you will.
Sillage and projection settings seem fixed at 'modest' but I'm not complaining. That's my default mode anyway. Longevity is excellent.
As I sit and ponder, I think I may have cracked the code on this one. The iris is too dark or 'noir'. That's why it's not easily visible amidst all the myrrh and incense smoke. But who cares about fragrance naming conventions when the scent is capable of speaking for itself?
So where’s the “noir”? Orris Noir starts out as a rather bright, sweet, fruity fragrance, quickly supplemented with a hefty dose of powder. A blend of sweet spices emerges after several minutes, transforming the fragrance from fruit punch to baked fruit dessert and moving it toward oriental territory in the process. As Orris Noir develops the fruit calms down and the spices expand, making for much better balance. By the time I’ve worn it for an hour, Orris Noir has become a richer, though not particularly darker, scent.
To me the iris in this scent seems quite restrained – so much so that I’m surprised to find it in the name. By the time it reaches its crescendo Orris Noir is a sumptuous, if not outright decadent, sweet spicy chypre, which eventually subsides into a smooth balsamic-woody drydown. It’s a very nice scent, but its name gets no reward from me for truth in advertizing.
Orris Noir could definitely have been a LeLabo. If not for the smells itself, surely for the misleading label. LeLabo is famous for releasing fragrances named after an ingredient which too often doesn't play a relevant role in the composition itself (Rose 31 and Vetyver 46 among others). Orris Noir does basically the same thing. No iris whatsoever, not "noir" at all.
That being said, if you're fine with a peppery-woody-incensey fragrance dominated by a nice, yet unquestionably synthetic vibe, this is a pretty decent composition. Kinda dry yet, somewhat, slightly powdery, woody and incensey with nice piquant undertones. Far from being a masterpiece yet nice.
The iris might be a misnomer, but this scent is wonderful. There are other florals, but iris is not predominating.
The floral and resins blend nicely in the basenotes. The fleeting tops note, for me, give a whiff of leather, which is very pleasant.
This lasts for hours, but agree with Sugandaraja that is is not sillage-heavy.
Orris Noir was one that I tried a while back, and really didn't care for, as I imagine I had a preconceived notion it would be an iris forward fragrance. It is not, but after returning to this, I more fully appreciate what it accomplishes.
It opens with a blast of peppered bergamot. As the pepper fades, and the fragrance shifts into it's middle, a distinct rose note is used as a bridge. The rose is soft and pink and powdery, and announces the iris that appears shortly thereafter. The rose also introduces the other florals that dominate the mid notes - jasmine is what I smell most distinctly as this point.
The base is resinous, with myrrh and gaiac over the remaining orris.
The Noir of the name was possibly the other thing that confused me initially, as I don't find this very dark. It is a smooth floral over very quiet iris with an oriental slant. Quite nice!