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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    ericrico's avatar

    United States United States

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    I want to express my concern and discontent in the note pyramid above. Drakkar Noir is a true aromatic fougere - in both current and vintage formulation.

    The note pyramid provided is missing very key ingredients (and adding some) that without them, Drakkar Noir would not be the classic fragrance that it is. Huge notes missing include Fir, Artemisia, Basil, Leather, Coriander, Cedar, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Carnation, Jasmine, Rosemary & Cinnamon. Lemon is somewhat apparent - a nice touch along with a little bergamot to add a sparkle of citrus on top, but this is a green and aromatic fragrance with a lot of wood, florals, and GREEN notes.

    I cannot even discern what would be in a bottle of fragrance from the note pyramid listed - no offense intended to this truly wonderful forum at all - but Drakkar Noir has a very rich, potent and distinct history in male fragrance. Basenotes is a marquis site in the world of fragrance and I am a highly-devoted lover of scent. I just wanted to point out that a huge amount of notes are missing for Drakkar Noir. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the fragrance from Guy Laroche. Even in its reformulation, the notes are there and some even prefer it as it is now a less moss-heavy, leather-oriented throwback scent...it is actually a reformulation that I believe holds up well (definitely more lifted and "cleaner"), but is clearly different than the classic original.

    My next review will cover my personal feelings of this classic, but I wanted to point out just how "off" the pyramid was so people who don't know the scent are not left in the dark. It's amazing how even current formulation is holding its value and is so highly sought-after.

    21st February, 2012 (Last Edited: 07th May, 2013)

    bFlay's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bug Spray! Opens at the top with a sort of sweet, green-spiced masculine potpourri scent that's basically the same as every cheap mass market male cologne and then... BUG SPRAY!

    09th February, 2012

    Brian59's avatar

    United States United States

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    My first purchase of this was spring of 1983 as a wet behind the ears law student. Seems my friends all knew I was both a fashion and men's fragrance tragedy. I can't quite put my finger on why I like this, I just know that I do. The French would call this "fougere" (whatever the hell that means, but I take it to mean "mossy", "woodsy" etc). I like the name, supposedly a Viking war ship. I still wear this, even though it has changed a bit. Quite nice...

    03rd February, 2012

    del's avatar

    United States United States

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    I know to some people, Drakkar Noir is a classic. But this is just not for me.

    I was a young teenager back in the early 90's when I first tried this; I liked the opening: fresh and sweet. But it quickly transformed to a whole different scent that smelled like a B.O. So I hit the shower and made sure I wouldn't smell it again on my skin. What a traumatizing experience.

    Spray Drakkar Noir again? Never.

    21st January, 2012

    Mr.Smellin.Good's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir is one of the best male scents around even though it's an oldie. I love the juniper and lavender combo--so clean and fresh yet dirty in a weird way. The fragrance has no doubt changed since the 80's and 90's, despite an earlier post from me claiming otherwise. I know the original formula has changed because I recently purchased a vintage bottle from a local pharmacy; I figured the pharmacy had low turnover of Drakkar because they sell much higher end fragrances. I was right: the Drakkar box had a 1989 copyright and the print on the back of the bottle says it was manufactured by a different company than what's on the current bottle today. I have to say, though, that today's version of Drakkar isn't that bad and in some ways I like it better. The vintage bottle--despite what everyone claims--doesn't have better longevity and sillage than the current formula. Don't get me wrong, the older formula is different, seems mossier and more leathery and a touch richer, but it doesn't last as long as the current Drakkar. If you're looking for the vintage Drakkar, try Akthar Noir--it's pretty darn close to the vintage bottle I have. Overall, Drakkar Noir is a great fragrance, vintage or current formula.

    02nd December, 2011

    Profumo Saggio's avatar

    United States United States

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    Just scored a bottle of the great, original Drakkar Noir. This was my first go to, gonna get noticed cologne way back when it was first introduced. I got away from it over the years but a few years ago, when I re-started my cologne collecting ways, I picked up a small bottle. I opened it, and upon sampling at first could not believe that I had so loved this scent. After another test, I realized that what I had purchased was the new, reformulated version that is, to me much thinner and far sweeter than the fragrance from twenty some years ago. The bottle I received today, however, was the full-on dark mossy, spicy beast I remembered. I tested them side by side today and I do have to say, no matter what anyone claims, this fragrance is not what it once was.

    07th October, 2011 (Last Edited: 08th October, 2011)

    rok's avatar



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    too powdery.. almost smells like fizzy candy.. far too feminine.. not my kind of fragrance..

    26th September, 2011

    TeenCologne's avatar



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    Im in 8th grade and this is my second real cologne, it smells great! Everywhere I went I had girls asking me to sit near them and walk by because I smelled so good... it projects alright, and it lasts for around 8-10 hours on me.

    19th September, 2011

    Mtboxes's avatar

    United States United States

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    I wore this scent back in the early nineties because a young lady simply loved it and wanted me to wear it "for her". I never really cared for this scent... it is one of the scents that I do no care for. It's just not for me.

    19th September, 2011

    wardamoose's avatar



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    I always scoffed at Drakkar Noir because, honestly... forgive me but I had a vendetta against colognes that are for sale at Wal-Mart. I had this superiority complex because I wore Creed. Let me tell you what though, Drakkar Noir (when sprayed on my neck) is absolutely one of the best smells I have experienced. It is warm and dark, it is comforting and soothing, it is amazing. Love it. It is now one of my top three favorites. I decided to not buy Duc de Vervins (one of my "to try" colognes) for Drakkar, and I don't regret that decision at all. Thanks Wal-Mart

    11th July, 2011

    WillBell's avatar

    United States United States

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    There are really only a few scents that make me nauseous (quite literally), and this is one of them. It is an overbearing and overpowering scent. One drop is too much. Sorry, I received it as a gift, used it once and then had to shower well. I quickly gave it away. It is the type of scent which announces with a megaphone your presence in a building, and it lingers long after you have left.

    23rd June, 2011

    rain///man's avatar



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    This stuff used to be really potent back in the day, nothing close to the juice of today.
    I'm pretty sure most of my ex-girlfriends smell of Drakkar this to this day, as does the back seat of my Toyota from that era.

    Fragrance is still refreshing and masculine as it was back then.

    Opinions may vary, mostly being that scent is tied so close to memory.

    If this is what the jerk in a university jacket smelt like when he dunked your head in a toiled, or the whiff you got from your girlfriend some evenings and neither one of you wore Drakkar, you are probably going to hate it.

    My memories were all good, as is this scent. Enjoy Gentlemen!

    16th June, 2011

    bonzo's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    aromatic fougere. strong, spicy, longlasting, powerful, loud-typical 80ies scent but absolutely a man´s scent.for a mature, handsome, virile man- a macho edt!.it smells a bit dated and reminds you of a barber´s shop- quite soapy.seems to be quite a simple structure behind this scent-nothing complex but somehow unique.If you like this kind of scent then azzarro or paco rabanne pour homme are a better choice.still a scent with a high recognition value and very singular!

    18th May, 2011

    Words's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir deserves it's own 80's John Hughes film. One spray and it takes you back to Sixteen Candles & Cyndi Lauper on the radio. The first word out of my girlfriend's mouth when smelling DN for the first time? Sexy. One spray will do it, a max of 2. Just dont go overboard, even with the recent toned-down version. I love spritzing this stuff on a breezy Summer night, the wind catches it just right and it's heaven.

    07th May, 2011 (Last Edited: 15th January, 2013)

    KillerScent's avatar



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    One of the worst things that you can experience with a fragrance is smelling its scent in a cheap fragrance or a shower gel .
    Drakkar Noir reminds me of an AXE shower gel I used to use.
    Not a bad fragrance, but it is not special or remarkable. I don't see the dark point in this fragrance.
    I have not tried the old formulation (supposedly better, as it uses to be with the majority of the 70's and 80's fragrances that have been reformulated), but this scent does not impresses me .
    Longevity is great and projection nearly average .
    I don't understand why Luca Turin says this stuff was popular among lesbians. Does anyone know it?

    29th April, 2011

    thatguy73's avatar

    United States United States

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    A classic men's scent. Does not smell dated or "too old" to me though.
    On the intial spray I get a bit of lemon and, although I can't always pick out individual notes, it gives me a fresh shaved/barbershop image when I smell it at first.
    Gets a little greener with time I think, but overall rather linear.
    Can be had cheap, which is a plus, but not a cheap smelling frag.
    As others have stated, longevity and projection are strong point for this one so pply carefully. I do one spray to the chest and then one into my hand to dab around the neck/behind the ears and that works well and has even yielding compliments.
    I've worn it both casually and formally and feel it works for either. Probably wouldn't opt for this on a date though.
    This isn't one that will make all the ladies in the room give you their numbers, but it does smell nice if used properly.

    26th April, 2011

    chet31's avatar

    United States United States

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    A good strong scent that unfortunately does not work for me.

    17th April, 2011

    Anup's avatar

    United States United States

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    The good.

    A very aromatic scent with lots of spicy zip.
    Good sillage.


    The bad.

    Dry down smells JUST like pine sol :(



    Sorry guys, this is just a dated scent that manages to survive because of it's dedicated fanbase.

    15th April, 2011

    SirScent's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have to give Drakkar a thumbs up for its longevity and it's ability to transcend generations.
    It's not a favorite in my wardrobe, but it does still intrigue me from time to time for it's fresh, spicey and masculine vibe.
    Lemon is listed in the top notes but after years of wearing this, I still haven't found the lemon.
    On an interesting note, I have a new bottle and an older bottle. The older bottle smells
    much richer and finer without the annoying soapiness I find in the new bottle.

    Lomani has been compared to Drakkar and yes it is similar but not as woodsy and spicey.
    Actually I prefer Lomani for warmer weather and Drakkar for the cooler months.
    Drakkar is still as popular as it was upon it's introduction so many years ago.
    That says quite a bit about this powerhouse from Guy Laroche.

    15th April, 2011

    DutchSchwag's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Drakkar Noir is a fascinating blend of woodsy, green and dark leather insinuations with fruity top notes that overwhelm in the initial blast but quickly drydown to a warm and charming leafy, floral fougere that pays no mind to subtlety. This is a powerhouse fragrance with incredibly strong projection velocity that lives well into old age on the wearer and dies a wonderfully aromatic death. Beware frag elitists, this is a very linear fragrance with a no-nonsense approach that states rather boldly in its initial blast what its intentions are and never detours from it.
    Thing is, what Drakkar Noir is is nothing to point your noses up at. Noir is blended with the utmost professionalism, finding a way to layer a linear fragrance and keep the patchouli in the distant background while maintaing the perfect amount of juniper.
    Simply a masterpiece in men´s fragrances, Draakar Noir created a wave of reaction within the industry for years afterwards, leading to a wider range of attention to men´s fragrances. May be overworn and overcopied over the years, but don´t let that take away its essence as a wonderfully strong and daring cologne that can pass itself off as both formal and casual, winter or summer, day or night. As influential and as great as they come.

    08th April, 2011

    Buzzlepuff's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir has a classic big '80's powerhouse scent that smells green, dark and mossy. It is very sexy and pleasant to smell. It is especially good when a light wafting of one (1) spray is spread over the chest - 1 spray is enough - stop there. The effect of the patchouli behind deep green lavender and juniper yields the magic - a deep green mossy basenote that seems to never end. When applied lightly it is very enchanting. People love that drydown! Problem is more than 2 sprays and this subtle mossy green charmer transforms into the "Swamp Thing" and he is sitting on your shoulders and won't get off. I recommend Drakkar Noir if you can self edit to one spray - otherwise don't risk the intense fog of drakkar noir of the swamp.

    25th March, 2011

    MadameJarrin's avatar



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    Any man wearing Drakkar Noir has my undying lust. I love it so much, I've been know to wear it with a men's dress shirt, tie, jeans and sneakers... tomboy sexy.

    01st March, 2011

    santino's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir was my first cologne. In retrospect, I am glad it was. Because this cologne set a great benchmark of masculine fragrances. This cologne inspired me to get quorum, one man show, bijan, grey flannel and halston Z 14. This was my usual rotation. I love this dark oily, leathery feel to it. It earned me a nickname teflon hunk (boy I loved that :-) ) This is probably as powerhouse as it can get. This is as macho as it can get too. I dont know how Laroche came up with the concept of this cologne but he sure pulled off a winner. I now have a lot of cheaper alternatives of this cologne so I am not sure if I am going to buy it again but this one deserves all due respect for the sheer quality of scent.

    28th February, 2011

    DEV1L's avatar



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    This is the worst fragrance I ever smelled, compared to this FCUK smell so much better. I find it hard to believe it was so popular once. This not only smell dated but extremely synthetic.
    Longevity and Sillage is extreme but it only add insult to injury. I bought this just to add another classic into my collection but to be honest with you I cannot stand this for 2 sec.

    06th February, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love a good fougère. I think the genre is underrated, and still recovering from a bad spell that lasted from the 70s to the 90s. The ubiquity and heavy-handed use of Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Azzaro pour Homme and eventually Drakkar Noir in the US in the 70s-80s as well as the association with a troubled era of masculinity made people run screaming from the aromatic fougère. Then Cool Water and the like made the more traditional lavender/coumarin fougère seem stale.

    To Drakkar Noir. It’s bland and it’s loud. It’s the fragrance equivalent of battleship grey at volume 10.

    22nd January, 2011 (Last Edited: 23rd January, 2011)

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    It's so funny and exhilarating and even embarrassing to me to see the rainbow of reactions to this scent. THAT is, maybe above all else, what makes Drakkar Noir so memorable to so many. Some love it. Some hate it. But either way, there is passion involved! How many fragrances have survived for half as long, balancing on a razor's edge of sheer reaction?
    I got my hands on a sample of this in a gift set five years ago and it became my first favorite scent. One could consider this the catalyst for my subsequent obsession. I have since grown, developed, improved, but for all my experience I can't leave behind my fondness for Drakkar Noir. No one I know likes it, but I'll keep some around for myself because it's like an old photograph of a memorable event or a great friend you don't see too often. It means nothing to those around me, But I understand it better. Maybe this is the reason I tend to prefer older fragrances?

    17th November, 2010

    mark_cole321's avatar



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    Although Drakkar Noir remains a classic scent from the 1980s, I don’t like it. It’s a fresh fougere scent that does not have much going for it in my opinion. It is not like Cool Water by Davidoff and feels mellow and hollow to me. It would have been nice if there was more complexity to this frag, but I’m just not finding it. The value proposition is not optimal either. Drakkar Noir can be a bit expensive depending on where one picks up a bottle. Many people will continue to buy this fragrance though simply because there is this sexy, alluring quality to it. Part of me thinks it was designed with females more in mind than males. I can’t understand the popularity of this frag, but the ladies seem to find it agreeable.

    09th October, 2010

    different-scents's avatar

    United States United States

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    You know what? I have never actually applied this to my skin.

    I remember it as a youth all the boys had a bottle of this stuff. I hated it. They'd spray it on and it just makes me think of someone who's body temperature is 110 degrees. Maybe that's what others like about it? Quite possibly. I know this type of scent is for a certain type of man and that it attracts a certain type of female.

    I don't think I'm that man, and I'm not too sure if I'm interested in those type of females.

    Drakkar Noir, the mystical scent that I've always loathed. Perhaps one day I'll spray it on myself just for fun. I know I'll hate it. There's no point.

    I'm giving a thumbs down simply because I have such horrid memories of its scent.

    16th September, 2010

    Worth1969's avatar

    United States United States

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    Spawned a million copy-cats, but the original is still a formidable fragrance.
    Rich, invigorating and very masculine. Would I wear this in public in 2010?
    Probably not, but only because it has been done to death and my personal taste leans more towards the subtle classics like Versace L'Homme (original formulation).
    The thumbs still have to go up for Drakkar Noir, for quality, originality and longevity.
    Just spray lightly, please.

    12th August, 2010

    epicurean's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir was to the 80s what Cool Water and Le Mâle were to the 90s (and what Le Mâle STILL is as I write): the sure-fire frag for high school kids hangin' out after school at the mall or downtown or wherever they'll see as many chicks as possible. DN was so ubiquitous in its day over in the US that it was like a uniform. I bypassed it and went straight for Antaeus at 16, but that's another story. Many years later, I can appreciate DN for its studly appeal; there's nothing dangerously musky about it, but it simply smells like a guy who wants to smell like a guy who's a man around town; very unpretentious, and that was its charm then and still is. Unbelievably, DN is almost a niche fragrance over here in Europe; very good specialty shops carry it, and it's got a kind of cult following for those in the know. Anyway, I would love to encounter a guy over here in Europe who wore it, but I only ever smell it in the US when I'm back visiting.

    25th July, 2010

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