Patchouli is evident throughout. A harsh, dark and bitter patchouli that is softened to some extent by cardamom and coriander spiciness. The drydown displays flowery and fruity characteristics, whilst the base takes on a musky smokiness with ambery leather notes in a traditional combination that has a certain resinous waxiness on my skin.
The middle notes are the least compelling part, but overall is is an excellent composition. I get moderate sillage with good projection and a splendid longevity of nine hours.
A good example of a patchouli-centred scent. 3.75/5
Noir Patchouli has a funereal cast: dust to dust to dust.
The main protagonist is a spice-tinged patchouli (the spices giving it a slightly sweaty cast) combined with an aged leather and sprinkled with talcum powder florals. Its predominant mood is of old, unopened things; all the notes rising like a cloud of perfumed dust. So far so Morticia Addams, though there is a promising chypric structure underpinning it all that never fully emerges from the shadows.
Undoubtedly executed with finesse and a keen sense of proportion, for me it lacks immediacy. I’m rarely in the mood for something so lost in its own reverie.
A nice velvety black patchouli scent, not much realistic or deep, and with a discreet rubbery feel all over, kind of terpenic and industrial, which on one side tones down the vibrant earthiness of patchouli, and on the other side transfigures it into a more abstract, sticky and oily note, in a sort of futuristic interpretation of such ingredient. Still, with a bold connection with the past: aldehydes, carnation, rose, leather and herbs create a notable feel of masculine chypre like it was common in the '70s and '80s, just less dense and complex, less powerful, with a more satin, modern personality (trendy, in short). A skanky vibe on the very base, although a bit pale and glossy. Less offensive, dark and "daring" than it may appear, and also quality-wise far more modest than lots of vintage chypres. In short, another niche scent which "acts" and "pretends" more than actually is and does... not bad, but if you're into this type of scents, just cross the door of vintage realm – plenty of better fragrances on the same chords (needless to say, at cheaper prices).
19th August, 2014 (last edited: 21st August, 2014)
A bracing, herbaceous, yet deeply earthy patchouli resting upon a mossy-leathery chypre foundation. If you love patchouli but don’t want to smell like the local head shop, this and Nicolaï’s Patchouli Intense are probably two of your best bets. Outstanding quality and a beguiling animalic chypre drydown.
15th July, 2014 (last edited: 16th July, 2014)
I was turned onto Noir Patchouli by my friend Steve at ScentBar who knows that I love Aromatics Elixir. With no other intro than a laugh and a smile he said, “You have to try this.” As I smelled it and he saw the recognition light me up, he just said, “Right?!”
I’ve always had a question. Why has no one copied Aromatics Elixir? Why has no one tried to imitate it? Aromatics Elixir is a huge patchouli rose-chypre. It’s a tribute to patchouli, but you would never mistake it for something that you would find in a head shop. It juuuusst barely reins in the patchouli. Bernard Chant went as far down the patch path as he could go when he composed Aromatics Elixir. Fortunatley, he didn’t balance patchouli with lighter notes. He matched it with thick balsams, woody notes and a dark, dense rose. One of the few things he didn’t add was syrup, so contemporary perfume wearers will need to find a new Rosetta stone to translate it to fruitchouli-speak.
Noir Patchouli is a great homage to the old gal. It doesn't have the rose or the moss, but it is the same loving take on patchouli. Bernard Chant recognized that patchouli doesn't need to be cut or cajoled. It simply needs the right context and proper lighting. In the same way that Bernard Chant let patchouli speak its own mind, Gérald Ghislain of Histoires de Parfums hands the mic over to patchouli. Noir Patchouli is as deliberate as Aromatics Elixir, but it replaces AE's forcefulness with partial transparency. Where AE is earthy, Noir Patchouli is smoky. Noir Patchouli is almost as heavy as AE, but it’s not nearly so dense. AE has an bitterness that reads as herbal. Noir Patchouli comes off like a spirit, not quite whiskey, not quite brandy. This liquor-like tone is what brings the smokiness, the camphorous sweetness together.
Noir Patchouli comes off as very composed and self-assured. Or maybe that’s how simply how I feel when I smell it.
If Noir Patchouli had come out earlier, it would have been the perfect solution for the wearers of Givenchy Gentleman who were fucked when a car-wreck of a reformulation deprived them of their fix. Noir Patchouli holds its own in a competition among niche patchoulis. In fact, it beats most of them. It has a straightforwardness that ‘clean’ patch lovers would like, but the gravitas that most patch enthusiasts seek.
If you’re looking for a real twisted scene, get together with some fumie friends and try back to back to back samplings of Aromatics Elixir, Aramis A900, Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve and Noir Patchouli. If you get out of the room alive you’ll have some stories to tell.