Lumiere Noire Pour Homme is first I've tried of Maison Francis Kurkdjian and it definitely does not disappoint. It does more to intrigue me than it does to thrill me but sometimes that can be a very good thing. At the core of the fragrance is a very hearty rose (it smells like a few different types of roses, in fact) and pretty much all of the other notes take a back seat to it. In fact, I might detect a little bit of the cinnamon but hardly anything non-rose at all.
LNPH comes off as a semi-fresh rose that is slightly sweet and slightly dark but not remotely a gourmand. It comes off as natural and with a lot of depth---each smell reveals a lot. Despite the spicy and earthy note list, it doesn't come off very much as either.
As some other reviewers have pointed out, LNPH comes off wholly unisex, not being specifically masculine or feminine in any particular respect. I enjoy it on my skin but it could work just as well on women's. It's also versatile with respect to use, though it probably leans formal rather than casual, and definitely it works for both cold and warm weather scenarios.
Great on projection and longevity for an EDT, this is certainly a promising introduction to the line as far as value, as well as the abovementioned craftsmanship.
I'm not sure I'd opt for a bottle of this because there are other roses that I prefer, and that work a little bit better on my skin as a man, but I'm certainly intrigued and will come back to this. A deep and fascinating composition.
7 out of 10
The first thing I smell is a combination of cumin and cinnamon – a rather unusual combination that I would have a difficult time getting used to if it remained for very long, but no problem there. Then the Artemisia enters in along with the patchouli and the accord becomes downright enjoyable: and this turns out to be primary accord.
Five notes – cumin, artemisia, rose, cinnamon, and patchouli – dominate an accord that holds elements of each in an excellent balance. To me one of the sides of the aromatic pentagon is lesser that the other four – I find the rose side lacking in intensity, it is hit and miss in performance on my skin. The other four form a shimmering interplay that unfortunately doesn’t last very long.
The projection of the middle accord is a little shallow and the fragrance has longevity problems: Lumiere Noire PH simply doesn’t last very long before it’s a skin scent which lasts a couple of hours. It is an intriguing accord… translucent, warm, sensual, and a bit mysterious. It is the thumbs-up kind of aroma I would be able to enjoy over an extended period… too bad its longevity is so it's a neutral for me.
From my understanding, this has been reformulated. In that case it's no wonder I was disappointed when I recently purchased a bottle of Lumiere Noire. The opening accord used to be one of the best around. It was bright and ethereal...a beautiful watery rose with elements of white light and natural greenery. But I didn't buy a bottle because I found the mid and base too feminine. A few years later, I thought, "Why not?" and ordered a bottle online. But when I sprayed it, that beautiful opening was nowhere in sight. It's still a nice beginning, but it's nothing like it was, and what was once the best part of this fragrance is now a shell of its former self. It's flatter and seems to have lost some of it's "lumiere." Too bad, because the most recent formulation is actually a bit darker and more masculine in the middle, the cinnamon/patchouli/cumin notes on equal par with the rose. However, it's a shame they messed around with the opening, and for that I'm going 'neutral' on Lumiere Noire.
11th October, 2014 (last edited: 02nd November, 2014)
Lumière Noire pour Homme is absolutely sophisticated and elegant. It is a gentle rose with a hint of patchouli and spices. It is very lyrical, poetic and just gets better as the day progresses. It lasts a very long time on me. I cannot stop smelling myself.
The name means "Black Light" and sure enough, this beautiful composition is based on a range of dark and light elements, each playing off each other to create a chiaroscuro effect. The bracing fougere opening of lavender and bergamot lays down a brackish bed for the liquor-like pink rose that unfolds next; the creamy orange-inflected musk in the dry-down is brought into sharp focus by the bitter green artemsia; the shy patchouli given texture by the dusty cumin and cinnamon.
It's ultra refined, with no sharp edges anywhere, and sits light years away from brutish, bullying rose-patchouli scents such as Portrait of a Lady, Black Aoud, and the like. For some, that refinement may be a drawback, but I think there is room enough in the genre for a rose-patchouli fragrance that doesn't necessarily hit you over the head with its boldness or roughness.
Indeed, I see enormous appeal in this scent's quiet sensuality and subtle light-dark effects. For me, it is, like its female equivalent, the perfect embodiment of a dark rose suitable for the daylight hours. It is slightly formal in the first half of its life, but later on, a smidgen of sexuality creeps in on the back of the creamy musk and hints of cumin. It's kind of like the white shirt of an architect which starts out starched and pristine and buttoned all the way to the top but that by the end of the day carries some man musk around the collar and is buttoned down a bit to reveal a hint of chest hair. Comfortably masculine, but refined and silky, and knows how to say quite a lot without shouting across the room at you.
By the way, I find the dry down to be eerily close to the Narciso Rodriguez Musc for Her, but this is more masculine in character and heavier on the spices and orange. In summary, a beautiful rose/orange pomander/musk fragrance that is about 1000% more refined and quiet in character than your run-of-the-mill rose and patchouli fragrances out there. Two very big thumbs up!