Reviews of Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche

    Find out more about Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Not bad! How have I missed trying this one out, with all these pine-y notes? Has a herbal-green opening, reasonably dry character with only a slight "fresh" (perhaps synthetic) aspect. A scent of the '80s but not heavy-handed. Not a lot of conifers but a little bit. The mossy-patchouli dry-down is typical of the time.

    14th November, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Fougère

    I realize I’m dating myself embarrassingly here, but I didn’t care for Drakkar Noir when it was new: it always smelled to me like the sleazy guy cruising the Jersey boardwalk after the bars had closed. It was crude, overbearing, and chemical even in 1982, and I don’t think time has improved it one iota. “Powerhouse” scents like Macassar, Kouros, Francesco Smalto pour Homme, and Krizia Uomo are models of refined understatement next to Drakkar Noir. Say the words “Cheap Cologne” within my earshot, and my inner nose will smell not Old Spice or Brut, but Drakkar Noir.

    So what does it actually smell like? Roughly one part Pine-Sol, one part liquid ammonia, one part industrial strength lavender soap, and one part powdered nutmeg. In other words, a very bad fougère. Useful to me mostly as a reference scent for “bad fougère,” or a masochistic exercise in ‘80s nostalgia.

    12th June, 2014

    2nosedtwin's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Guy Laroche - Drakkar Noir
    This perfume, together with Caractere, got me started being excited about perfumery - this was the stuff my brothers wore when I was young. Smelling this after 20 years brings back a lot memories and makes me realize how good this perfume still is and was. Drakkar Noir made me recognize the smell of freshly crushed coniferous-leaves in it - which was a marvelous connection because I love that smell; we had them standing in our backyard. It was actually the first 'exotic' note that I could identify, other than rose- and citrus-notes. Drakkar noir always moves with a greenish flow, but always of the dirty-kind: slightly oily with a raw, gritty edge to it, and with smooth leather and tobacco 'of the spicy kind' to back it up, carried by a soft mossy cloud of oakmoss with a cederwoody-touch. Drakar Noir is an intense, focused and hot-tempered perfume with as much grip as smoothness; where lavender connects the bright and fresh peppery-citrus topnotes with the more 'weighted' base which also displays ozonic, metallic and mentholic notes. Drakkar Noir acts as a bodyguard in a tight, flashy suit - acting self-assured, cool and collected, but with a hidden alertness; ready to flex some muscles and kick some action when the moment calls for it. A masculine Masterpiece.

    25th May, 2014

    addyeddy's avatar



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    Just wonderful.Masculine, fresh, and just as good in the day as at night. I always buy a 200ml bottle as it goes so quickly.

    19th May, 2014

    HickorySmoke420's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love this scent. I find that I only wear it in the fall/winter though. It seems this was made for my skin. If I put this on after work I get trace amounts the next morning . It leave such a great smell long after the dry down that is very faint and pleasant.

    15th February, 2014

    rum's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    As a young person growing up in the UK, I remember this fragrance quite well. It was one of the power houses of the 80s and you were just "cool" if you wore it!
    I caught up with it a little bit later than that and enjoyed the simplicity of the 'soap-clean' vibe that this scent gives out. Nice, in offensive scent (don't apply too much!), that lasts and yet smells shower-fresh right from the first spritz.

    09th January, 2014

    lousif's avatar



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    The original formulation was my favorite fragrance. What a powerhouse. A spritz or two and both men and women found me irresistible.If you loved the original, pass on this, it's a total letdown. Right out of the bottle it's strong and it reminds me of the original, but it quickly dries down to nothing, and within two hours it's completely gone.

    Al Rehab has a knockoff oil called Dakar. I'm told its a good recreation of the original Drakkar Noir with excellent staying power and projection. And it's only $4 for a 6ml roll on. I'll post a review of it soon as it arrives.

    17th December, 2013

    patsavouta's avatar



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    this is another classic one, always unique, signature, masculin as sexy, present as air, true as life, dark as night sky; i cannot recognize any notes in this one, it's just drakkar noir..Remebering it from late 80's i bought recently another bottle to re-feel the essence. Probably one of the most powerful and real men scents ever created, so well mixed ingredients that produce a stable spirit of drakkar noir. Same sence for me from the spray till many hours later, works individually and slightly different to any skin tries that, working really effective in mine, plus make women melt. One of a kind.

    09th November, 2013

    Pollux's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Classic to the point of becoming a reference

    Finding Drakkar's smell alikes is fairly easy. Ceasar's and Lomani are the ones mentioned as being the best next to it, to the point a very enthusiastic reviewer and later blogger said thatthe first one was better than the original for it had what it lost in its reformulation; you can find close analogies to it in Gres' Cabaret, a now discontinued fragrance that is very enjoyable in its complexity, which I would say is better than Drakkar's; or maybe in locally manufactured versions sold by haberdashers that are, indeed, inspired by it. I imagine that this proves it is a classic, but I can't find in this argument the reason why I find Drakkar younger than it is.

    Drakkar Noir smells classic, but not dated. It has a twist that provides for a contemporary feeling, a note that I associate with acquatics. Maybe many of these, a more recent group of blends, resort to dyhydromircenol, or its properties ("Powerful, thin, sweet, fresh, lavender-like, fruity, metallic, citrusy (linalyl acetate-like), clary sage-like, ambery odour." in http://perfumechemicals.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/dihydromyrcenol/ October 25, 2013).

    Let my imagination or faulty olfative capabilities aside, the dry down is the best part of the olfative journey, characterized by a subdued character and limited longevity. It leaves you craving for more, at least in the version I have, which seems it has been improved lately.

    The opening is spicy and citric, turning into a stingy balmy blend in a short period of time. According to the pyramid, what follows are more spices and some floral notes, carnation and jasmine: I can't get these for the stingy combo is still prevalent. Now, the base notes smells manly and powdery. The blend revolves around this stingy / powdery leitmotiv, which does not mean it is linear.

    Strong? Olfative analysis brings a slight headache. Better enjoy it with a full wear. It seems it claims to be worn punishing reviewers when disecting it.

    Long lasting? Not at all. Maybe overapplying might give wearers what they are looking for.

    Pros: My formulation; understated and elegant
    Cons: Common, almost what an aromatic fougere a la 1980's should smell like"

    26th October, 2013

    Adama's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    It's had it's day.

    I'm not going to get into the finer details on this one, I'm just going to lay it out short and bitter: Drakkar Noir smells like an older man.

    It may have been worn by young people years ago, but it doesn't work with today's tastes.

    26th August, 2013

    EdCSplash's avatar



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    The Best Masculine POWERHOUSE...WHEN UNDERUSED

    well this is the classic 90's bar/club/nightlife manly powerhouse

    top is a slick sharp citrus with a dark leather monster hiding underneath

    this is an absolute winner IF USED IN SMALL AMOUNTS

    if a splash, splash ONCE

    IF A SPRAY, 3-4 UPPER MAX

    common yes, dated yes, still a winner for all ages. JUST DONT OVERDO IT!!!!!

    4.5/5

    Pros: ULTRA longevity, hell of a manly fragrance
    Cons: HORRIBLE IF OVERUSED"

    15th July, 2013

    Gary F's avatar

    United States United States

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    Still Sexy After All These Years

    I didn't own this back in the 80's, but I know a lot of guys who did and I always thought they smelled great. Thankfully, none of them bathed in it, because overdoing it on this one is really gross. Worn in moderation, the oakmoss and lavender exude a smooth sexiness that seems to get the attention of the men and the ladies. I don't wear it often, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I do.

    Pros: Smooth and sexy
    Cons: Really horrible if oversprayed

    20th June, 2013

    hadrian's avatar

    Romania Romania

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    There are few juices who are quasi-immortal, a kind of "living classics" - and DN is one of them.
    DN is a frag of his time - it smells, it sounds, it moves like the 80s. For the perfume lover, DN will remain a constant benchmark - but not necesarily an everyday odor. From time to time, you will remember it; you know it is here, close to you, as it allways was in your contemporary personal history.
    In this bottle, both coriander & juniper makes the difference, and the moment of his glory arrives in the drydown, after one hour and a half. The rest is, as I said, history.
    Overall, a deserved 8,3/10.

    29th January, 2013

    sjg3839's avatar

    United States United States

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    Light woody classic scent that has short longevity and average projection. This can be worn at any age.

    Nice and conservative (new formulation).

    25th January, 2013

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    very light top notes. besides the lavender just about non existent.the the coriander kicks inand mixes well albeit strangely with the oakmoss and patchouli. for the 35 and over crowd. very pungent and animalistic but in a good way. i am not an oakmoss fan but the patchouli mellows it out some. don't judge it in the first hour. let it sette and ggive it a chance like i did. 10 years ago my uncle wore it and i hated it but am now a fan..

    18th January, 2013

    scentnoobie's avatar

    United States United States

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    Classic frag, longevity is pretty bad, few hours tops. Almost Polo Green like in that the first 10-15 minutes can be a bit overwhelming for people around you. Smoothes out to a nice smell though overall and does get some compliments still. Overall can get lost though in the shuffle of more modern smelling things, to be expected when sold in mass drug stores.

    24th December, 2012

    Crow's avatar

    United States United States

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    Say what you like...it's an 80s cliche, it's a club crawler classic. Whatever. Still smells great to me. I have the remnants of a bottle I bought way back when and a new bottle, bought in 2012. Same great scent.

    Love it.

    17th December, 2012

    yeager4772's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    My signature scent when I was in my teenage and girls used to love it.
    Rediscovered after 20+years and it still rocks! Women still love it.
    Very masculine, no boring oriental sweeter notes here, no acquatic aromas, just a solid and safe all day scent.
    This is the scent a man should smell in my opinion.
    Longevity is maybe the only low point. On my skin it seems to vanish quickly.
    Highly recommend

    29th November, 2012

    jadelotus's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have great memories of this scent. It was my husband's date night fragrance (yes, we've been together THAT long), and I always remember it being dark and sexy with a prominent leather note. Loved it at the time.

    We recently sampled it on paper in a cosmetics store and looked at each other in horror. I don't know if it's a matter of the oft-mentioned reformulation or simply maturity, but that is not how I remember it smelling.

    I can't exactly give it a thumbs down because of the great nostalgia, but neither would I exactly recommend it. I am, however, tempted to buy a $7 bottle of Classic Match at WalMart for kicks. Ah, sweet memories...

    27th November, 2012

    kpl's avatar



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    This fragrance is a very nice mossy/woodsy cologne that has been around forever. I have never yet met a single female (of any age) that did not really like this scent. It's still as pleasant now on sale at Walgreens as it was when it was introduced at the perfume counter at Nordstrom.

    24th November, 2012

    Bartlebooth's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Not so long ago Drakkar Noir represented an inexpensive portal back to a 1970s locker room. Clean, fresh and unfeasibly potent, it remains the weapons-grade grooming tool of choice for those intent on sillage warfare. Although it is by no means unbearable in micro-doses, this beergutted ex-jock in stone-washed jeans is probably not going to make the sort of entrance that anyone would want to make. Beyond assuaging the twin itches of curiosity and nostalgia, Drakkar seems rather unnecessary.

    26th October, 2012

    classicrock's avatar



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    Re-discovered this one and it's now my main weapon of choice. The opening makes me wanna be sick but when it dries down, a legend is born!

    11th October, 2012

    burnelo's avatar



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    I am female and this scent puts me into "sex overdrive"! just does something to my senses!

    20th September, 2012

    Possum-Pie's avatar

    United States United States

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    It is an old classic, 30 years. It opens with a bit too much lavender and spice for my liking. Reminds me of an old guy wearing a threadbare suit - genteel. Not recommended as a blind buy or for younger people. Nothing wrong with it, just not for me. Great projection and sillage, and very good longevity. It has been around forever, so it has staying power. Unlike other reviewers, it IS linear on my skin.

    23rd August, 2012 (Last Edited: 23rd February, 2013)

    ElVee's avatar

    United States United States

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    An excellent, dark evening/casual cologne that I used a ton of back in high school and college. Unfortunately, much like my affair with Obsession, this means it has run its course in my life and not something I want to revisit today.

    06th July, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    a classic.it's great in conjuring images of a time long gone. Great scent anyway

    02nd July, 2012

    FireVoid's avatar



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    Was awesome when I was 15. Way outdated now. Like cool water or eternity. Just leave it in the past.

    27th May, 2012

    Kelley's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cologne seems to last forever for me. That said, Drakkar Noir is one of the few bottles that I consumed in its entirety. Loved this in the '80 and '90's. I ought to go replace it someday but I keep finding other things that interest me more.

    02nd May, 2012

    Bostonguy's avatar

    United States United States

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    Talk about a scent that takes you to a moment in time. I bet anyone over the age of 30 has a memory with this scent. For me, it was my father's signature scent.

    I agree wholeheartedly with EricRico who noted missing elements to the pyramid. I'm not one to point to the scents generally, but leather is such a distinct note in this cologne. You get the floral notes right up front. Lavender for days. But the dry down leads to leather, wood, and other "green" scents with the floral notes all but disappearing.

    Imagine yourself at a forest's edge, smelling flowers and then walking into the woods and breathing deeply in the piney, resiny scents while wearing your favorite leather jacket.

    It's not linear, it's fairly well blended. Amazing sillage and strong longevity. It is highly potent, so it's a bit loud for people and, of course, it was the POSTER CHILD scent of the 1980s. It's a date night scent that many, many men of all walks of life used as their daily/work scent. It's far too dark and loud for work and this ruined the scent for many people.

    Hard to not give it a thumbs up, though. It is well constructed and does its job. Clearly, the thing was everywhere for 10+ years.

    01st May, 2012

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    A classic woodsy power fragrance of the 80's.

    Drakkar Noir is a mix of lemon, lavendar and patchouli (in the drydown). It is the lavendar a little bit of the lemon that will draw you into this fragrance, and why you may really like it tested on a sample card, however, because this scent is volatile, easily affected by temperature and affected heavily by body chemistry, you should test this on your skin first.

    The opening is woodsy, but has that freshness and sweetness that balances the scent. However, in drydown, it becomes a really dry heavy scent. It smells heavenly when you sniff the atomizer, but when you apply it, that's a different story. At least, for me.

    Strength: The projection is very strong and it has a lot of longevity, therefore it is critical that you only apply 1 or 2 sprays. I would recommend against applying it on pulse points such as the wrists, but rather in areas of your body where less heat is generated.

    Seasons: Winter and Fall, maybe spring (definitely not summer)

    Age Group: I'd recommend this for 30 and up, but some people can still wear this well at a younger age.

    Blind Buy: I would not recommend this as a blind buy. If you are a serious collector, it wouldn't hurt to test this first, though there is no urge or rush to go out and try it.

    Rating: 6.5/10

    Verdict: This is a controversial scent that will offend a number of people, but some may really like it. In the woodsy category, there are much better candidates out there, though. In the end, some will wear this better than others. It depends on the person.

    14th March, 2012 (Last Edited: 14th June, 2012)

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