Such a pleasant surprise. I would classify Reminiscence noir as a dry herbal fragrance built around a thick and dark oriental / balmy bone structure with ambery (mainly vanillic) facets. Complex enough, with character and presence and extremely cheap too. It could easily be one of those arabian cheapos along the line of Kalemat and the likes as well as an hypothetical new Tom Ford.
Noir by Reminiscence opens with a really powerful and hyper-dark blend, somehow fresh somehow stale and dusty (and also fairly harsh initially), in a way similar both to many niche scents, and several vintage masculine scents (Arrogance, Trussardi Uomo...). Basically it’s a really gloomy concoction comprising bitter-minty herbs (eucalyptus), balsamic woods, patchouli, incense, a shady and sour resinous base with a bold indolic-urinous musky aftertaste, softened by a subtle ambery-resinous accord and brightened by a light citrus-floral accord which is barely perceivable initially. I think I also get something salty (vetiver?), and perhaps something like leather too. Basically Noir can be roughly defined in my opinion as a really dark herbal-woody-resinous Oriental fragrance mostly tending to mossy-earthy-incense territories, and for a while with quite a bold indolic-roasted note underneath, well contrasted by a refreshing quite bitter citrus-minty head accord. It reminds me of several fougères as I said, but with a decidedly contemporary texture – so shortly, don’t worry about smelling “outdated”: this is a modern, sharp, polished scent. The drydown is really pleasant, more tending towards soft, velvety notes of smoke, incense, resins, sandalwood, still dark overall but less raw. It also emerges better the soapy-dusty accord of violet and rose. All smells solid, rich, and also quite unique in a way: I named a couple of scents as a rough reference, but actually Noir smells much “new” to me to many extents – new, yet nostalgic in some way. It’s interesting because it can easily be pulled off by fougères nostalgics as much as “niche-heads”, which I guess makes it a particularly solid scent. Surprisingly creative, although a bit linear once it enters the (endless) drydown. Another cheapo (I forgot to mention that; 35 eur/100 ml here) easily surpassing so many expensive scents quality & creativity-wise. Addictive!
09th January, 2015 (last edited: 13th January, 2015)
Extremely satisfactory piece of incensey-resinous balsamic-hesperidic aroma with (by soon) a really heady (spicy-smoky) opoponax note on my skin (with a burnt sugar-like sort of effect), a refined (somewhat earthy-spicy) "landmark" Reminiscence's patchouli and a moderately incensey final aura over a classically chypre texture (labdanum and sandalwood). Noir de Reminiscence starts soon spicy, "licorice-like veined", dusty-resinous, eucalyptol-rosemary-woodsy resins hallmarked and almost intoxicating, expressing immediately a glorious classically hesperidic presence and a plain cool aromatic "sticky" woodiness. I gradually detect the floral presence (talky violet a la "jumping on mind" Tiziana Terenzi Ecstasy more than yet present rose) along the central yet incensey-resinous phase while the aroma starts hanging out finally softer, mossier, myrrh-olibanum veined, woody (sandalwood), and extremely virile (assertive). The mossy (labdanum) and incensey resinous spicy-ambery dry down is dark, classy and comfortably warm. I see the ideal connection with Shiseido Basala, the two scents are really close in style indeed but while the Shiseido's one is spicier, finally drier, more "rubbery-leathery" and ambergris veined Noir morphs down darker, silkier, incensey and mossier. Extremely sensual, bold and classic (in style) fragrance absolutely recommended to all the lovers of genre.
P.S: the resinous Noir's dry down unfolds several olfactory points in common with the stouter Tom Ford Sahara Noir (resins, spices, synthetic olibanum, the burnt sugar/licorice undertone etc) but while Noir smells more mossy-boise and such like something "contemplative/meditative" the Tom Ford's one is basically far more spicy-oriental, ambery, seasoned, leathery and stormy.
29th December, 2014 (last edited: 15th January, 2015)
Think about resins.
Then add an eucalyptus note.
Now a bit of vanilla.
Shake well with a incense note.
Now you have Noir.
This is a very complex fragrance that is mostly about resins with eucalyptus that sometimes can burn your nose.
Very unique and not easy to wear.
Sillage, projection and lasting power are medium-high.
Definetely thumbs up!