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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    Force of One's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is my go-to scent whenever I feel like slipping on my Members Only jacket and popping in my Flock of Seagulls cassette tape. In all seriousness, this fragrance was THE thing to wear when you were going to the 8th grade dance 20yrs ago.....Currently for me, it only has sentimental value. All in all, it's certainly a masculine scent, but if there was ever a scent that evokes a period long past (the 80's) this is it. Honestly the only time I could see wearing this would be going to an "80's night" at a club or some such.

    18 June, 2010

    Marshmellow's avatar

    New Zealand New Zealand

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    A very smoky fragrance. Unfortunately, this smell is so widely imitated and used in many common consumer products, though they are a cheap imitation, they have reduced this old fragrance to an "old-man past his prime"

    Very strong, big projection, longevity is good. What I like about this however is the charred smoked wood that you get at the end, it feels warm. The top notes fail to impress me however.

    22 May, 2010

    the special one's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    HAVE U EVER BEEN IN A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP THATS HOW I FEEL ABOUT DRAKKAR I WANT TO HATE IT BECAUSE ITS TO POPULAR ITS PRETTY OLD BY MY STANDARDS AND IF U SPRAY TO MUCH IT WILL MAKE U WANT TO RIP YOUR SKIN OFF BUT IF YOU ONLY APPLY ONE TO TWO SPRAYS THIS IS TRULY A CLASSIC A MUST FOR ANY ONE THAT BELONGS TO THE BASENOTE COMMUNITY

    20th May, 2010

    nate9512's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar noir which yes can be over powering in my opion is a very nic e fragrance . i tremindsme of just comin out of the shower from lather ing yourself with simple bar soap. then putting sprinkles of bark and moss all over your body and letting it sit . Yes a very simple and clean scent

    13 April, 2010

    smelling something's avatar



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    I wore once in my teens, and back then i liked it, but not now, for sure!
    Too powerful and outdated. Smells cheap for my taste. Reminds me a shower gel (i don't remember the brand...) but 1000 times more intense.

    WARNING: never, i mean NEVER buy a fragance based exclusively on reviews: EVERYONE HAS A PERSONAL TASTE. YOU HAVE TO SMELL IT BY YOURSELF!!!

    03 April, 2010

    informer_at's avatar

    Austria Austria

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    Fresh, straight, sexy, longlasting, not overpowering.

    17 March, 2010

    Turko's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Had I been reviewing this 20 or so years ago when it was my signature scent I would given it a thumbs up. It is a very manly scent and quite refreshing and I think it's over popularity is what makes me think this is unwearable to me at the present time. Lots of copies and you can also smell this in practically any man's soap, body wash or shampoo and deodorant. This is a classic and perhaps would be a benchmark for any other men's cologne being launched or reinvented, but I just can't wear this anymore. It's everywhere. I believe people like to be distinct most of the time.

    17 March, 2010

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    So DN is making a come back. I don't blame the manufacturers, thare have been more than enough clones of this stuff. Gone are the days of scoring a bottle for a song (forget the dance). Now it is almost an arm (no leg yet). I like it. It is all about moderation. I normally 2 sprays max with Drakkar, it is that strong. If I use the shower gel, then I use 1 spray vigorously applied to bare skin. I like it in late summer. It is a once in a whiler though...

    16 March, 2010

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Drakkar Noir is a classic. Unlike modern day scents that go through their phases of top middle and base notes, Drakkar Noir basically all comes out at once. It's very strong and has good longevity. Similar to Cool Water, not scent wise but the way it was made. Both Cool Water and Drakkar Noir burst out everything in those initial sprays..then just mellow out during the dry down, something that many people expect from a cologne.

    Ironically they make both Drakkar Noir and Cool Water (and maybe Eternity) as those car scent leaves that hang from your rear view mirrors. This is something that can't be done with most modern day scents because of their transitions in notes.

    Drakkar Noir's scent itself is pretty basic. Citrus, lots of lavender and herbs. As with many fragrances you can expect the woods to emerge during the dry down, the only difference is that Drakkar Noir maintains its top notes through and through. People recognize greatness and Guy Laroche pulled it off with this one. A top seller for almost three decades, this is a classic scent that will forever be treasured.

    Drakkar Noir gets a B- in my book. The only reason it's not as high as some of my other reviews in which I speak so highly of the fragrance, is because Drakkar Noir isn't as versatile. Still a great one, an everyday wearer for some, and a milestone in the cologne world.

    02 March, 2010

    CharlesB's avatar

    United States United States

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    I remember kids in middle school and then high school in the late 80s to mid 90s, douse themselves in this chemical mace. Like many teenage boys its loud, and abrasive with no smoothness or subtlety. These memories are probably the main reason I don't like the smell of it. tTruthfully this is really a young adults fragrance,much in the same vain as Axe today. I personally could not see myself today wearing it. BTW, A few friends and I would use it to fire small home built potato mortars. It was the only real use I found for it.

    19 February, 2010

    shamu1's avatar

    United States United States

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    This has to be the most macho fragrance ever. It drips with arrogant, balls-out virililty. Even though its current formulation lacks the explosive power of the original, Drakkar Noir is still potent and a force to be reckoned with. It's still a powerhouse, but with the volume turned down to about an 8 or 9, instead of 11.

    They may have reformulated Drakkar, but they didn't take away its soul or its testicles. This is still a bad-ass, dark, sweaty aromatic fougere that draws a line in the sand, separating the admirers from the haters. I think it's the greasy leather combined with heavy hitting notes like oakmoss and patchouli that forces people to take extreme views on this fragrance.

    It's brash, but you don't have to soak yourself in it. Applied with a careful trigger finger, it can smell relatively discreet. However, you can't hide when you're wearing Drakkar Noir.

    Though reformulated and a bit less powerful, Drakkar still smells like Drakkar, and that's what counts. Just spray on more if you want more power.

    Count me in as a big longtime fan of this masterpiece.

    MY RATING: 10/10


    18 February, 2010 (Last Edited: 13 February, 2011)

    argentak's avatar

    United States United States

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    I can appreciate Drakkar Noir but it is not for me. This scent is the epitome of a 100% urban setting cologne and is a bit too blunt.

    31st January, 2010

    JimHeckel's avatar

    United States United States

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    Not bad. The blend of patcholi and sweet florals is a pretty good one. Smells like Caswell-Massey's Aura of Patchouli meets Axe's Dark Temptation bodyspray. I give it a Neutral rating - but if Guy Laroche decides to add a wee touch of Mysore sandalwood to the mix, it'd have a Thumbs Up from me.

    12 November, 2009

    tsprague1's avatar

    United States United States

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    I like Drakkar Noir. When used properly (not bathing in it) it is rather quiet and sophisticated. A little bit does go a long way, though. It is easily over used.

    31st October, 2009

    Jackisblack's avatar

    United States United States

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    a couple words come to mind with this one. . physically and morally repugnant. I had the displeasure of trying this today at kohls with high expectations. Just the name sounded epic, and the bottle, and the fact it was a designer scent made me eager to spray it on. Man, it just might be on the list top 10 of things i should not have done. Literally thee most disgusting and disturbing thing i have ever smelled. Now onto the scent, I think basenotes got the ingredients wrong, it goes something like:

    Top Notes: Rubbing alcohol

    Middle Notes: Old man musk/Preservative

    Base Notes: Bengay

    Yep if you're looking for a smell that will please the 80+ crowd, by all means get a hold of this stuff, but if you like to smell good, or even have any self respect, you will stay away from this. It smells like embalming fluid X_X

    Thumbs waaaaaaaaaaay down.

    22 September, 2009

    smellofvictory's avatar

    United States United States

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    Love it...one of the first colognes I ever wore, in 6th grade, wearing my dad's DN...fresh, yet 'dirty' and musky, unbelievable if used sparingly, it is the freakin essence of man if you know how to wear it... can be LETHAL if over applied. I would still wear this every day if I had it.

    20th September, 2009

    chamelion's avatar



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    it is the absolute worst smell i have ever put my nose on its bitter and disgusting and the notes totally conflict. the lavendar and bitter spices definately make this annoying and very synthetic and its a very harsh almost chemical smell and i would NOT reccomend this to anyone its like aramis, english leather, halston Z14, polo and all of the mossy leathery annoying scents everyone absolutely cannot stand

    25 August, 2009 (Last Edited: 01st October, 2009)

    macca's avatar



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    drakkar is a good fragrance but what i like about it is that its hard to find in england so nobody is going to have my scent

    18 August, 2009

    bentan's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    2009 and I'm reviewing Drakkar Noir, the Viking's Dragon Boat. Admitedly, it does smell old, but in a good old-fashioned way. Drakkar Noir is not for the faint hearted, nor intended to be used or treated lightly in today. Pity though, a unforgiving entrance, a commanding presence, but a disappointing act towards the end.

    While the mentioned top notes tend towards suggesting a fougere type scent, it wasn't so in my experience. The fragrance was arresting, powerful and commanding with a strong citrus-herbacous wood entrance that reminded me of pencil shavings and old, wet paper cardboard. For a moment, I was surprised to find that element in something that was created in the 1980s. It seemed promising indeed.

    Progressing, one finds it hard to disassociate the fragrance with an animalic nature of sweat. It was a dirty, soapy scent no different in nature from Kourous, but different in style and presentation. Kourous was definitely more sophisticated and sexy whereas Drakkar is brute and physical like a group of locker room boys or even medieval vikings. The bitterness of the juniper is outstanding, without the astringency or damp sourness that pure juniper brings along. Along with the sweatiness, Drakkar Noir develops a dark woody, muskiness that is resinous in nature.

    Drakkar Noir didn't last very long on me or at least, not with the opportunity to sample the patchouli. It faded into a generic woody scene, which for me, smelled a little too similar to dryer sheets - Bounce (?), except for a slight edginess associated with male cologne.

    Would I wear this? Perhaps if I'm alone with nothing much to do, just to enjoy it's history. It's probably worth keeping it in a collection for history's sake. But nothing more.

    15 August, 2009

    Redbeard's avatar

    United States United States

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    DN is brash and bold, featuring citrus and a sour, smoky wood (mandarin oranges and cigarettes?) that make me picture the morning after a big party where a bunch of investment bankers all scored. There's an underlying sharp soapiness to it that I only recently detected...a little clean detergent underneath the dirty smoke. And something in the delightfully acrid base reminds me of buttered movie theater popcorn, which upon further reflection gives me somewhat mixed feelings. It's unequivocably masculine, and even though I'm sure every 18-year-old boy wore it back in the 80s, I don't think many do anymore. I certainly agree that a conservative spray hand is required to tame this beast, but with no more than a spray and a half I can appreciate its testosterone all day without just smelling like a prick to everyone. If this stuff is too jarring for you, Duc de Vervins is more mellow and green, living in the space between Drakkar Noir and Bowling Green. (Hmm, might a replacement be in order?)

    06 August, 2009

    ortho123's avatar

    United States United States

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    I neither love it nor hate it, Though at times it can offend. It seems to try too hard in some ways, with the lavender.juniper a sometimes seesaw. It seems to move at two altitudes, high, kind of clean but ultimately an overall sense of washed.

    21st July, 2009

    cestrenee's avatar

    United States United States

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    MassMenace says: "Drakkar Noir is that annoying guy that talks too much and needs to get attention from everybody no matter what measures need to be taken.Some people like this guy, some don't..."

    Well, it was worn by Truman Capote ;). Which is just one of the reasons I love this. It smells so good. Simply, that's all. Masculine, soapy and dirty at the same time, fresh, classic, comforting. For me, this will never go out of style.

    16 July, 2009

    muskydusky's avatar

    United States United States

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    The epitome of cheap cologne. Offensive and unforgivingly common.

    05 July, 2009

    Sporenburg's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Its official name should be changed to The Much Maligned Noir. The French lesbians, the phallic ads (“La douce violence d’un parfum d’homme”), the bottle that looks like your average shampoo, the silly name, the gateway scent of 80s youth. Actually I quite understand why some don’t like it anymore; I won’t wear Fahrenheit or Cool Water because I wore them as a teenager (although I don’t disown them.) But…I never wore Drakkar Noir, so without the weight of memories it’s basically a new fragrance. And it is of course a pivotal scent and (together with the beautiful Azzaro and Paco Rabanne PH) a baseline with which other scents of the 70s and 80s are measured.

    It must have been very popular because it does indeed produce flashes of the eighties although I immediately smell it as a collection of (loud mouthed) rip-offs that Drakkar Noir has set in motion. The most flattering I know of, as some have commented before, Gucci Nobile (on paper a more unflattering example: one of the Axe’s at the end of the same decade.) But what I do find surprising is the fact that, contrary to its fame as 80’s powerhouse, Drakkar Noir is a quiet scent, probably the reason it got over applied by plebeian and youthful fools. “Soft violence” does indeed cover it as Drakkar Noir reminds me sometimes of an introverted, sweeter cousin of Quorum (from the same year.) When used correctly it possesses beautiful whispering sillage and after some use I have noticed that its longevity is longer than expected. So from the outside something of a prole but inside hides the soul of a fine gentleman.

    18 June, 2009 (Last Edited: 05 September, 2009)

    queenofchinatown's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I wore this when it first came out and bought it again last month. It doesn't smell as good as it did back then...but still a really nice fragrance.A 'young' fragrance somehow. That is what Drakkar Noir is...nice and youthful!. It's got that clean, clear, just got out of the shower kind of vibe to it...the lavender is there and it stays, but all the other notes are there too and hang around for a fair while.It does get 'darker' the longer you wear it.People always say it smells good...and it does...the only thing it lacks somehow is a certain depth...but it is a fine scent for everyday use...inoffensive and charming without being overpowering.A very good overall fragrance.. i think would suit many men and women.

    10th June, 2009

    manicboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    3 words - lewd, crude and rude. This is the best I can do to describe DN. Yes, it's an strong, aromatic fougere from the 80's. Unfortunately, it's just not good or interesting enough in the face of its competition - Paco Rabanne PH and Azzaro PH. The opening blast is not unlike Paco's opening. However, instead of nice balance between the lavender and herbs/spice, the spice overtakes and eats the lavender for breakfast. Smells cheap and not unlike a locker-room of sweaty boys trying to cover their body odour with Right Guard. The drydown veers more towards Azzaro PH's direction and again, it fails miserably as the oak moss and patchouli are very crude and a bit too weak. Why would anybody bother with DN when there's Paco and Azzaro?

    18 May, 2009

    DietBakingSoda's avatar

    United States United States

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    I enjoy this one, and actually first discovered it by way of a cheap copy you can grab for about 8 bucks. Fake VS real aside, this frag offers a suprisingly complex, sweet-but-not-girly aroma that blends into an interesting "synthetic" feel. In this case that's not a mark against it, and I feel that it adds to the overall character. Basically, it's a cologne that anyone without an interest in frags can instantly characterize as "a cologne".

    I'm a bit torn about it, though, since I rather like this scent, but doubt I'd ever actually wear it. There are a few reasons for this, the first and foremost being that it was apparently unbelievably popular around the time I was learning to toddle. No, I'm not prejudiced against that decade, just the popularity, primarily since anyone around back then who recognizes it would give me the same reaction I'd give any frat boy drowning in Axe. Call me shallow if you must.

    17 May, 2009

    dw1243's avatar

    United States United States

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    a very nice oakmossy fragrance. the juniper is probably one of my favorite things about it . it gets a bad rapp because way to many people put way to much n

    17 May, 2009

    de maria's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    this is the best fragrance you can ever smell long lasting everything you need is in this fragrance better than the best recommended

    25 March, 2009

    Grottola's avatar

    United States United States

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    Ah, one of my first colognes. Drakkar Noir is actually one of the first colognes I can recall, as well - my dad wore it. Revisiting it, I realized just how much of a crude fougère this is, no offense. A lot of heady moss and patchouli, with citrus notes and (mostly) lavender dancing around on top. Still a nice drydown that isn't so much outdated as it is worn-out, to me. More of a casual fragrance than a formal fragrance - it would be the same situation as trying to pull off Stetson or Brut in a tuxedo. This isn't exactly a daytime scent either, but it can work no matter what season.

    Drakkar Noir, suffice to say, has unfortunately become one of those "every dad and uncle" fragrances. While I can appreciate the memories it brings me, it's too damn common, too crude, and if I wanted an old-school fougère, I'd just as soon wear Azzaro.

    15 March, 2009 (Last Edited: 17 January, 2011)

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