Perfume Directory

Néroli Outrenoir (2016)
by Guerlain


Néroli Outrenoir information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 17 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerThierry Wasser
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Néroli Outrenoir

I dreamt of a mysterious and obscure neroli…

Thierry Wasser

Néroli Outrenoir fragrance notes

Reviews of Néroli Outrenoir

Guerlain's Neroli Outrenoir is a release that's a part of their 'luxe' (never mind whatever that's actually named) line. Neroli Outrenoir delivers an initial brisk bergamot show that lasts all of seconds. The plot moves over to an accord of neroli with smoky black tea, with some ambrette seeds that impart some dark musky nuances. Fairly linear, there is a slow transformation as the orange blossom subsides a little gradually, and the accord of ambrette seeds and myrrh becomes prominent, though the myrrh plays a supporting cast to the neroli-tea-ambrette seed triad. Neroli Outrenoir has close but perceptible projection, and lasts reasonably well on skin.

While Neroli Outrenoir brings something a little new to the canon of neroli fragrances, it is seriously compromised by what appears as the handling of the composition. The elements are too densely blended, lacking enough separation. The resulting neroli-tea-ambrette accord is dull, murky, and doesn’t flatter on the Guy Robert test. As neroli compositions, Seville A L'Aube or Fleurs d'Oranger are far more convincing, whereas one would suggest Philtre Ceylan as an example of a smoky black tea done right.

19th July, 2017
It opens with a lot of bergamot tea. The acidity gives place to a beautiful, fresh neroli with a powdery feel, which may come from the ambrette, as would the vanilla note. It's gorgeous, but obvious. I don't think it's worth the price, but if you don't care, go for it!
I don't understand the name. It would be golden. Of course.
20th April, 2017
Hermès and Guerlain have both introduced new neroli perfumes into their line-ups this year. Hermès's golden neroli Cologne (Eau de Néroli Doré) suited a summer launch and brought to mind sun, tanned skin and escapism. Guerlain skipped the gold and went for the black.

"Outrenoir" (translated as ultra-black or beyond black) is a painting method practiced by Pierre Soulages. Textured, dense black paint absorbs and refracts the light that strikes it. Black is the mirror that reveals color, even if it doesn't directly reflect it. Name aside, there's not a hint of darkness to Néroli Outrenoir. The top has a sweet, resinous touch that's a hair's breadth away from gourmand. Sweet but not saccharine. A lightly vanilla-smoked tea note matches the neroli and makes a neo-Earl Grey tea accord that is more floral and higher pitched than the traditional bergamot-tea pairing.

The vanillic-smoke gives the tea presence, but it runs quiet for a foreground note. It gives the fragrance an aromatic lift and bridges the orange flower to the woodiness of petitgrain. It's a prominent component of the perfume's central accord, but noir it ain't. Apparently beyond black lies pastel.

Neroli Outrenoir creates a luminous if soft-focus hesperidic image. Neroli, bergamot and petitgrain are the flower, fruit and leaves that create the portrait of citrus tree. It's not a particularly new trick. This citric mix combined with the soft musk is not far from the recipe for Eau de Cologne, and Guerlain's own Eau Impériale has a prominent neroli note. It's not a Cologne per se, but if I were told that Neroli Outrenoir was an Aqua Allegoria, I wouldn't hesitate to believe it. It's a version of the two-note accord that the Aqua Allegorias have mastered. Simple, pretty and non-threatening in equal measure.

The resinous touch at the beginning of Wasser's Néroli Outrenoir could have been used to create a bit of shadow. Instead it segues seamlessly into the recognizable framework of a white musk base (Guerlain list ambrette seed.) The gentle haze does suit the perfume's soft touch, but it reads like a slo-mo landing on soft pillows. It reassures you that any challenge or threat (or exuberance or inspiration) that might have been found in the topnotes has been redacted and you can rest your head easy. It reads as a concession.

This dénouement-style of drydown has become Guerlain's feminine marker. Witness the line of perfumes from l'Instant and Idylle through the Shalimar Parfums Initiales and the Robes Noires. It is the feminine counterpart to the masculine 'boisée sec' style found in the Guerlain Hommes and Idéals. Guerlain's uniform, conservative rectangular bottle for the boys and dated, fussy bee bottles for the girls are a regrettable acquiescence to a reactionary, proscriptive understanding of gender. But they are at least a candid outward indication of what's been going in inside the bottles for a while.

24th January, 2017
I guess it's up to me to be the grouch who doesn't like Néroli Outrenoir. On me, it was mostly just a big mix of green-smelling artificiality, like a mixed bag of faux lily chemicals and that aquatic melon note we all hated ten years ago. The neroli itself is fine, but ends up smelling fake and cheapened by its low-rent surroundings. This would have been OK but not great as an Aqua Allegoria, but as an expensive exclusive, I just can't get behind Néroli Outrenoir. More for everyone else, I guess.
09th November, 2016
There are so many orange fragrances and it is such a versatile plant. So why would Guerlain choose to launch a new orange named Neroli Outrenoir? Everything I enjoy about Guerlain is due to the artistry involved and Neroli Outrenoir is true to the artistic tradition. This sent opens with a beautiful neroli predominant but full bodied orange note as warm and radiant as any orange scent on the market. The orange starts with bitter edge of bergamot, then orange blossom gently wafting rich woodiness of neroli and petitgrain. The petitgrain dryness transitions into the primary contrast of background aroma of smoked black tea. The smoked tea is dry, dark, and charred with substrate threads of ambrette suede, bitter moss and mostly undetected myrrh. So is this the surprise of orange pips dotted into gunpowder dry aromatic black tea or is it a rich black tea which gives context to the rounded full spectrum neroli orange? Either way it is a work of art and a beautiful fragrance.

The bottle is tall and tipsy, while the old fashioned bulb sprayer is a mystery to all who try to unlock and operate it. Why does Guerlain hide some of their greatest scents in these old fashioned poorly working and hard to keep upright relics of the past? The bottle and packaging aside . . . this is a very fine neroli and dark tea fragrance worthy of investigation by lovers of orange or dark tea fragrance notes.
04th November, 2016
Off the top I get a lot of petitgrain with a surge of bergamot which is followed by a smoky mix of tea and myrhh. After a while when the scent takes to the air it suddenly opens up and I can smell the neroli within the mix. At this stage it does smell very nice and enchanting, imagine smoky tea notes mixing in with neroli and earthy myrhh. I can see what Thierry Wasser was trying to do offsetting the neroli note with smoky tea and myrhh notes.

Also I think he has captured the tea note quite beautifully, you can smell the bitter and smoky aspect. And when this mixes in with the neroli it's quite lovely. I think how much you love the tea accord is going to determine how much you like this one. For me I love it.

For me on my skin the tea and smoky earthy notes are more dominant than the neroli. And that's why to my nose I perceive it more on the masculine side, definitely unisex though. Talking about the neroli note I find it more subdued and that it takes a backseat to the smoky earthy tea accord. Though when it makes itself known it is quite lovely.

Though the neroli comes through more when the smoky earthy tea notes calm down a bit. But this is not a full bodied dominant neroli scent, it's more subtlety weaved providing a contrast to the other notes. Very nice fragrance.
01st September, 2016

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