Perfume Directory

Sahara Noir (2013)
by Tom Ford


Sahara Noir information

Year of Launch2013
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 119 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

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 it’s 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
This is one of the best (if not THE best) incense fragrances I have owned, or tested. I adore it. It has the perfect balance of church incense and exotic spice and warmth. It is sensual without being an "in your face" sexbomb. It is so sad that it has been discontinued, and thus more and more difficult to obtain. This is worthy of back-up bottles.
29th July, 2017
I am a huge fan of incense notes, and Sahara Noir is among the best I've smelled. It is simultaneously sweeter and more tarry than another of my favorites, Comme des Garcons' Avignon (with which it is often compared); I find it less dry than Avignon, too. I seem to detect vanilla behind Sahara Noir's prominent resins, though it is not listed among the notes - this has the effect of wrapping one up in a blanket of heavenly smoke. Or maybe it is the prominent amber that draws me in. Sahara Noir is well balanced, intriguing, hypnotic - a splendid incense fragrance.

27th July, 2016
Its sad when a demise of a great scent has nothing to do with the scent itself and everything to do with how it was marketed. Tom Fords Sahara Noir is such a victim. There are rumors that it has been discontinued and it has been pulled from Macy's Flagship store in NYC so this may be true but when you smell it its hard to understand why this gem is being kicked to the curb. Well...until you realize a few things.

First, who at Tom Ford decided this should be marketed towards women only? Men wearing Iris based frags is one thing but the idea that most women would want to smell like this is pushing it. It is far from a sexy type of fragrance and I can't see an occasion where a women may want to smell like this. It's just way too masculine.

The name describes the smell perfectly. That, the team at Tom Ford got right. It's a dark scent and is as dry as the Sahara. Which leads me to another strange choice by the house which was putting this fragrance in a golden bottle. Was that supposed to represent the blazing sun or something? Or is it simply using a color which represents the brand which seems to be gold, black and white? There are a few men who would buy a scent marketed towards women if they like the smell and can get away with it but that tends to be a verrrrrrry small minority of men and putting a scent men could like in a tasseled golden bottle doesn't help. So the bottle while interesting is just way too feminine.

So Sahara Noir ended up being too masculine smelling for women but packaged too "pretty" to attract the more adventurous type of guy. Who was going to buy this fragrance? It was set up for failure out the gate. To me that's a shame because as a designer fragrance it is a top shelf fall scent. It has "special occasion pickup" and "night out frag" written all over it.

This is no question a scent inspired by Middle Eastern perfumery and It's blended beautifully also. Orientals are awesome to me but I really like an oriental which doesn't rely on being overly sweet and this is that type of scent. If u are a fan of dark resinous frags that doesn't rely on OUD this is a homerun try for you. One thing about it though is because it leans on the classier side of things its not as in your face as some may hope. If u hoped this would be a beastly scent you may be disappointed depending on your skin type. While it lasts on my skin for 6-7 hours before dying it doesn't project tooo strong after the first hour which is fine for me. This is a fragrance which if done too strong may offend and be too overbearing. It was a wise choice to play this scent more close to the skin. It may have been reformulated though so maybe this has been tamed but either way it may be one of the best designer incense based frags ever made.

Simply put: A highly underrated, Private Blend worthy designer scent killed by horrible marketing.

8/10- Smells great, performs decently, lacks versatility (I would only wear it in the fall) and isn't a crowd pleaser per se. U would smell unique to most people and you will stand out from a crowd. A lot of people will smell this and just not get it but every now and then a person will walk up to you and praise it for the gem it is.
27th April, 2016
Incense bomb, but in the best way. It does have a dry, mid-eastern feel to it, very exotic. Performance was great for me, lasted well over 10 hours strong. I'll call this a unisex frag, but have no problem wearing as a guy.
08th January, 2016 (last edited: 21st October, 2016)

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