Perfume Directory

Sahara Noir (2013)
by Tom Ford

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Sahara Noir information

Year of Launch2013
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 126 votes)

People and companies

HouseTom Ford
PerfumerRodrigo Flores-Roux
Creative DirectorTom Ford
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Sahara Noir

Sahara Noir is a feminine perfume by Tom Ford. The scent was launched in 2013 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux

Sahara Noir fragrance notes

Reviews of Sahara Noir

Stardate 20191118:

Starts great with incense and resins. Not unctuous like other famous incenses.
But within an hour a sour lactonic accord shows up spoiling the party for me.
All in all a good incense fragrance but Avignon remains the gold standard of incense for me.
18th November, 2019
Knew I had to have this when I tried it, extremely heavy, spicy. There's no sweetness, very strongly woody/incense . No need to spray more than once, the longevity is excellent.
30th March, 2019
Tom Ford Sahara Noir is probably the best-known resin-dominant fragrance from the brand apart from Amber Absolute. Sahara Noir involves a variety of resins--described as amber, frankincense, benzoin, and labdanum--and in so doing facilitates a varied resinous experience. The fragrance is roughly equal parts smoky, animalic, and sweet. Often resin-dominant fragrances are accompanied by a strong woody component, for example, or lean toward the smoky, sweet, or animalic sides, but Sahara Noir is reasonably balanced; it's a bit of each.

There are other elements, tooófresh bergamot mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit blossom and orange blossomóthat create a bright opening and sort of acidic vibe throughout much of the life of the fragrance, as well as some other heartier contributors that I unfortunately do detect a lot of, like tobacco, black pepper, patchouli, oakmoss, and leather.

Unsurprisingly, itís a nice winter option and a good performer; though its projection is not boastful as far as distance, Sahara Noir has an obvious density that creates a fairly pungent effect within a foot or so. Itís good value, in that respect. I have only the 50ml bottle and feel fine with that, though I believe it comes in a larger bottle as well.

Overall, the balance of the various resinous elements is very good, but still not as subtle or elegant as in, say, Benjoin 19, the Le Labo Moscow City Exclusive, which is similarly balanced (though a little more woody than smoky) but seems to fit together more neatly. Granted, the retail pricing of Benjoin 19 is several times that of Sahara Noir. I believe Sahara Noir is now discontinued, though, but it used to retail for roughly $125 for 50ml or so. If you enjoy resinous fragrances, itís certainly worth tracking down a sample/decant of, as it seems to be a favorite of many. Iím glad I have a bottle but itís not among my very favorite resinous fragrances.

7 out of 10
27th February, 2019
This scent didnít work on me sadly. I did a side by side test of this against Chergui because I blind bought both of these several months back and wound up getting them mixed up on my arms and couldnít remember which one I liked and which one I didnít. I thought it was the other way around but this is the one that didnít work out. Which is sad because I normally think Tom Ford can do no wrong, and I donít believe that this scent was a flop, itís more than likely my skin chemistry. I smell a honey note like the one that is in Chergui but this one goes animalic and becomes a bit sour and dare I say the word, skanky. Thereís something about an animalic honey note that begins to smell a bit inappropriate on me like Iíve been involved in some activities that I shouldíve showered before leaving the house after doingÖ just a personal insecurity as Iíve seen many forums talking about these type of scents that people actually seek out. I donít have the confidence or preference to wear those type of scents so Iíll have to be passing this on.

I couldíve sworn I detected an oud/agar wood smell from this as well, but I donít see it listed in the notes. Perhaps itís amber combined with the sweaty honey? Iím not convinced. Tom Ford probably intentionally wanted to create the impression of Oud, he was one of the first mainstream designers to showcase the note in its fragrances and bring it into the mainstream market with his cologne M7 from YSL. This was probably his foray into releasing an Oud Scent to be worn by women, but like most of his scents this could easily pull unisex.

The longevity and sillage on this perfume are great, and despite me not liking this smell you canít fault it on performance if this scent does work on you. Lasts all day and projects strongly enough (enough to make me uncomfortable) and tenacious enough to last through several hand scrubbing attempts.
26th February, 2019
Screaming incense. Intense balsam. Loud amber. Lots of benzoin, cypress, wood, and cinnamon. So much so, this stuff could spontaneously combust. Dry, is an understatement. When the sandstorm passes, rose, beeswax, and vanilla bloom.

I never saw this advertised or marketed. If what was mentioned in other reviews is true, that is a shame - To discontinue such an artistically perfect incense fragrance, is a crime. I won't chase the dragon on this one, for a full bottle. I may settle on another small decant, or two.
17th December, 2017
Sahara Noir is easily Tom Ford's best scent. And not just in his favourite category, the oriental.

With a ludicrous marketing campaign Sahara Noir was doomed to fail from the beginning, so thank heavens for the vintage market! What was going through their heads when this was brought out, I can't even come to imagine.

This is an incense (frankincense) scent through and through. In fact I waited for ages before writing this review until I could get to try some true incense (the type that is burned, usually in a church) before reviewing this scent. There is little else going on here - it's frankincense from beginning to end and hence the progression is minimal, if itís even there. Incense, medicinal, meditative and to me the sort of gift a wise man would be carrying on the way to Bethlehem.

Projection and longevity are both nuclear, which makes it a shame that this scent is now discontinued.

For those looking for incense, this should be your starting point and it may well be where you end up staying. It's just a shame this house can't produce anything quite as good and keep it on the shelves.
19th October, 2017

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