I typically avoid sweeter Orientals--even Shalimar, much as I wish otherwise, blows up into a cloying mess on me. So when I want Oriental fragrances, I turn to masculines, or these modern nongendered frags that still seem marketed as masculines. That said, Noir de Noirs is right in my wheelhouse.
This is a smooth, honeyed Oud with a lovely, smoky incense accord up top and a beautiful floral heart. Patchouli can skew a lot of different ways, and this one smells a little rosy (but as a wearer of feminine roses, I promise this is not feminine). When first applied, this had a really lovely sense of radiance, but it seems to be dying down. That's too bad--I'd like more sillage at this price point.
Still, I would love this on a man, and I would love a man confident enough to wear this. I also love it on myself. I'll happily use up my sample. If I get a second wind out of this application, I'll happily make edits accordingly.
Edit later in the day: on me, this has dried down to a rich vanilla. Looking at the perfumer's notes, I guess I should have expected this. It's a very nice, creamy, spicy vanilla, and at this point, I do feel a little like I'm wearing Shalimar. But it's not the dry oriental style I'm looking for. Also, if want a gourmand oriental (gouriental?), that category's awfully crowded already, with Guerlain at the end of the road anyway.
When Noir de Noir first came out, I tested it and ran in the other direction. At that time my nose was not accustomed to smelling oud and was very sensitive to it.
BUT, years later while walking through SeaTac airport I smelled the most intoxicating trail of fragrance and followed it to its owner, an impeccably groomed Silicon Valley commuter in a dark blue suit and a just-shy-of-black burgundy tie. We chatted a little bit and he blew my mind when he admitted the lovely trail was Noir de Noir.
I tried it again and it has been love ever since.
On my skin, Noir de Noir is a beautiful dark, creamy and woody rose. There is an almost tactile richness to this scent, a velvety smooth sweetness at the base imparted by the vanilla. The patchouli, oud, saffron, truffle and moss are blended into a thick dark haze through which the red rose note shines and shimmers. Some might interpret the gestalt of Noir de Nore as gothic, but to me it is too finely calibrated to be written off with that one word. This rides the knife's edge between full saturation and too much. Stylistically it reminds me a lot of both POAL and Coromandel, though I would say that Noir de Noir smells like neither of them but somehow manages to ride the half way point between the two.
For those who say this fragrance skews to one end of the gender spectrum, I believe you. I believe you've smelled this either on yourself or someone else and thought it suited them perfectly. I've got news for you though: not everyone can rock this, but the lucky ones who can--they rock Noir de Noir hard regardless of gender.
I just can't bring myself to like TF NdN. My wife bought this as a birthday present and while I appreciate the gift, the fragrance just isn't masculine IMO. TF should have named this "Rose Wood", because all I get out of this is a full bloom summer rose and a powdery sandalwood. So basically this smells like your grandmother. Also the performance on me is terrible, 2hrs and it's a skin scent. I would normally give this a Thumbs Down, but it was a gift from the wife and it does make me think of grandma, so Neutral.
Notes: saffron, truffle, crocus, rose, patchouli, tree moss, oud, vanilla. While this scent goes through a strident, awkward stage to start (saffron?) it shortly mellows to a woody rose that is hard to beat. The vanilla is so soft here and is beautifully blended with the patchouli that it gives an almost gourmand sensation with spices. Really charming. Good silage.
I purchased this based on the reviews, YUK! It smells like what your old Granny would wear, roses, and powder, I'm putting it straight away on a certain auction site.