Perfume Directory

Rose Noir (2008)
by Byredo

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Rose Noir information

Year of Launch2008
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 51 votes)

People and companies

HouseByredo
PerfumerJerome Epinette

About Rose Noir

Rose Noir is a shared / unisex perfume by Byredo. The scent was launched in 2008 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jerome Epinette

Rose Noir fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Rose Noir

Rose Noir (2008) is really anything but a dark rose as the name may suggest, although it is a good rose perfume if you like your rose handled tartly with a dollop of green, like many of the 70's rose chypres. Jerome Epinette is a longtime collaborator with Byredo, and pretty much stays within the niche realm anyway when he composes outside of the brand, so with his work comes a certain air of "you can only get this style by spending a lot of money", which translates annoyingly into olfactive brand cachet. Not to disrespect Epinette, as I'm sure he does that to elevate his own standing within the perfume industry, since unlike the old guard such as Pierre Bourdon or Jean-Louis Sieuzac - who could work for nearly anyone and still develop a profile in the industry for the distinctiveness of their work - most modern perfumers have to establish themselves with a house or with perfumes at a certain price point to gain clout. We live in a society that appreciates face value more than intrinsic value, which sort of hearkens back to my point about Rose Noir. This perfume looks dark on paper, with citrus, Damask rose, cistus labdanum, and animalic musk.

You think Rose Noir will deliver upon its namesake in the beginning, but after the initial shot of tart and green rose with grapefruit and a bitter freesia, the scent quickly moves away from the brutal Gothic rose form into greener territory. This stuff never gets sweet and jammy, but the Damask rose couples with some galbanum in the heart, and almost a wisp of patchouli, before becoming very mossy and pasty in the base. The labdanum really helps bring in that 70's chypre finish alongside oakmoss, but the promised virile musk is a no-show, with us getting just a pretty white laundry musk instead. The end effect is very much like a modernized Clinique Aromatics Elixir (1971), with the actual aromatic portions toned down in favor of letting the rose shine through a little more. Rose Noir is simple and stout for a rose perfume, and a bit old-fashioned for modern rose fans, but not dark or demur in any way. In fact, Rose Noir is a pretty nice generalist rose for someone who just wants a simple take on the time-honored flower without much mucking about using amber, oud, tons of patchouli, or all sorts of other thickening agents that turn the rose into something else at the end of it all. Wear time is moderate, and this is no powerhouse in projection, which when you factor in the price means this isn't the best buy around.

Byredo is often a bit of a mediocre house for me, with many of its "scent memory" concepts falling flat on their face or otherwise delivering fairly synthetic perfumes with middling performance in deliberately drab bottles, but with enormous price tags because "hurr durr this is niche and super-duper fancywancy exclusive and stuff", so I am typically setting myself up for failure when reviewing them. However, this is one case where I am not surprised by the scent not living up to the concept, but almost delighted that it didn't, because the end product is something much more entertaining to me. I don't think Jerome Epinette was directly trying to channel the 70's green rose style here, but I think in his efforts to deliver upon the concept, has almost accidentally whipped up just that: a 70's rose homage. Granted, he could also have pulled a cynical Tom Ford or Roja Dove move and directly referenced some things from back then, expecting Byredo clientele to not be well-versed enough in perfume history to know it, but that would be a stretch. Instead, I'll just say enjoy Rose Noir for what it is rather than what it's supposed to be, but only if you can stomach the price and don't want to track down vintage examples of this genre instead. Thumbs up.
11th August, 2019
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The Damascene rose arises from the start, proud indeed, freshened up a bit by grapefruit and touches of freesias and the green impression of rose leaves and stems. The rose is not very bright, but it is certainly not on the very dark side. Holding a bunch of roses in ones hands.

At a later stage a pleasant cistus is added, and towards the end some white musks.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and seven hours of longevity on my skin.

A nice rose impression in this spring scent, which is expressing some variety and a good longevity. 3.25/5.
10th June, 2019
Byredo Rose Noir suggests "dark" in its name, but I don't get much of that vibe from the fragrance itself. It's an agreeable semi-fresh, semi-powdery rose-dominant scent with fresh grapefruit and freesia in the opening, drying down to a musky, slightly woody base.

It's seemingly versatile (not that dark), so there's value in that, and while it leans somewhat feminine, rose-loving men would have no trouble pulling this off, either.

It's also a decent performer, walking the line between some of the weaker summer scents (i.e. the EDCs, BDA) and more powerhouse winter scents (i.e. 1996).

As with many of the house's scents, though, Rose Noir falls into the "good but not great" category, very pleasant to smell and wear, and I'd wear it again sometime perhaps, but it moves the needle so little, particularly given the abundance of rose-dominant fragrances, that I wouldn't give much further thought to buying it.

7 out of 10
21st June, 2017
Rose Noir? More like a rose bore, if you ask me. I've given it a couple of wears and each time I wished I had worn something else. I just can't find any personality in this reticent lightly dusty rose facsimile. Perhaps we just don't click.
28th July, 2016
Man, I love this fragrance! Like with many fragrances, my body chemistry skips the top notes and go straight to embracing the mid and basenotes -- I don't mind that at all. This is so beautiful with the woody notes from the oakmoss blending in with the roses. There's a little spice to it without spoiling the lushness of the roses. I like the originality of this blend. I've owned so many rose fragrances over the years and appreciate the direction this one takes instead of the typical pure floral path. The only negative thing I have to say is DAMN, it's expensive! That said, I don't regret splurging on this at all.
14th November, 2015
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
To my nose this is a giant blooming floral..Grapefruit top infused with some kind of rose..light incense and musk provide excellent longevity and projection.. 3 sprays from 7 hours ago and it's projecting wonderful.. I disagree with the old lady smell..
This can easily be worn by a man.. Drawback is the crazy price!!
11th December, 2013

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