Shield wall! Now!
Let's talk some statistics for starters. The sentences in which the word "school" is usually included in Drakkar Noir's reviews are rougly divided between the ones having "high" and the ones having "old" in front of it. But since I'm pretty sure that all these "high schoolers" are in no case under 40 years old, both adjectives conclude one thing. Drakkar Noir is by no means a modern fragrance. It's something that trend followers would ironically call an old lady fragrance and amuse themselves for belittling it even further by not associating it with men.
Dear trend followers, unfortunately I cannot pass as an old lady, cause despite having quite long hair, it's nowhere near white. Perhaps my year old beard has some part in it too. You see, bearded ladies belong to the same place where Drakkar Noir belongs too, according to your refined taste and aesthetics. Freak shows...So how would you call a man in his mid-forties who's featuring all this hair and digs old fragrances named after scandinavian battleships? Wait! Did someone say "a bloody Viking berserker"? I guess I could pass as one.
So, let the battle hymns fill the air.
(You may start running for cover now trend followers.)
Enter Led Zeppelin.
(Another much despised "old lady" thing.)
"We come from the land of the ice and snow from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow."
It actually came 10 years after the first Drakkar had already landed on the fabled western shore. It sailed from river Seine, which does not make it a Viking thing exactly. But who cares? This one was black!
I guess a matching black sail decorated with a skull and crossbones was fluttering on its mast as well. Too early for that you said? Pirates you said? I agree, but I also beg to differ. Pirates were not looting only gold coins but golden ideas too. And this rather unrefined emblem had always made gold coins jump into treasure chests by themselves upon showing up on the horizon. Let alone that Vikings actually WERE pirates!
If its intention was to terrorise its opponents and make them flee, Drakkar Noir landed a serious blow without even raising its hand. As we speak, many otherwise hard-boiled dudes are fleeing like cockroaches taken by surprise when someone hits the lights by seeing this veteran warrior approaching.
It brought the same amount of mayhem with a Viking fleet landing in the middle of a raging battle, cause this is exactly what the '80s were. A huge battlefield where ferrocious warriors were exchanging devastating blows in order to prevail and get all the maidens.
Drakkar Noir came to avenge its fallen brother who had perished under the combined attacks of Italian lancers (Gucci pour Homme), English bowmen (Halston 1-12 and Z-14) and Spanish expatriated swordsmen (Paco Rabanne pour Homme). And it routed them single-handedly, conquering their realms and dethroning them from the Kingdom of Macho overnight. For some years it was the absolute ruler of everything, gloriously daunting in its black panoply and towering over every laughable attempt made by usurpers trying to succeed it. Then it was its turn to be conquered, but only by time, and not without making a legendary last stand which is still reverberating through fragrance lore.
If there ever was a fragrance smelling oily and arid in the same time, this was the one. Like sticking your head into an old abandoned well and smell the thick darkness. Cold, dry and slippery. Like a dormant volcano surrounded by glaciers, occasionally venting its ire through fumaroles.
And I say "was" cause the current version of Drakkar Noir smells like a splash bottle being forgotten open since 1982 and smelled again in 2015. The ghost of a scent. And even the most ghastly ghosts become less frightening after a few decades.
But in its heyday Drakkar Noir was turning dimly lit discos and clubs into much feared lairs, packed with predators waiting for any unsuspecting prey to be lured and pass their gates.
Other fragrances of the era like Azzaro pour Homme and its kin were all about machinations and facades in order to trap their victims. Drakkar Noir was the adamant abettor of the good ol' proverbial clubbing on the head. Since we're talking about the Nordic pantheon, the first could be impersonated by Loki, while the latter was 100% Thor, and change clubbing with hammering. No elaborate wording or flamboyant behaviour here. Just plain dark spleen and meaning business. Just the thing to make a Viking warlord proud.
"Yeah, but it's so old school!"
Who said that? C'mon, who said that? No one said that? Right lad, stay hidden in the crowd! This was always a very "brave" thing to do!
Old school? Really? It's a drakkar for Odin's sake, not some high-end missile cutter! Drakkars are still badass and fabulous after more than 1000 years have passed since they first hit the waves. ("Launched" would be too obvious a pun here.) What are the chances of any high-end missile cutter to be remembered and admired after 1000 years? Probably the same with a fragrance launched during 2015 to be widely acknowledged and respected after almost 35 years, the way Drakkar Noir is as we speak.
So come closer to the fire brothers, and with swords held on high, let's bellow in unison.
"Odin I await thee! Your true son am I..."
And rest assured that the ancient gods reposing in the melancholic chambers of the fragrance Valhalla may be gone but by no means forgotten.
Drakkar Noir is wonderful! I used up a bottle without even thinking about it, cause it's just such a versatile fragrance, good for day, night, winter, summer, anytime. People always compliment it without recognizing it. No one wears it anymore since it's been a meme for try-hard male sleaziness via jokes on various television shows for 20+ years. I first smelled it on a gorgeous, smartly dressed young guy and couldn't believe it when he told me it was Drakkar Noir. It smells a lot like Paloma Picasso, with a dry mossy patchouli leather and a soapy character. There is a fun gourmand movie popcorn accord in there too. People will pay so much for these allegedly daring niche animalic leather chypres when this is around, everywhere, for no money and in great shape. Would be especially good on a woman.
Think we've all been there..temptation buying wins the day and DN became the newest recipient. More to the point I became the recipient of a fragrance that has stood the test of time and still firmly stands head and shoulders amongst some of the latest pongs. Pardon the expression! But anyway..
Sexy, sassy, clean, confident, masculine, earthy even raunchy..but equally quite mysterious in a way which is proving quite tricky to put into words..but then there lies the answer and why this gets a thumbs up from me. Ditto to a few who've got within 'nose shot' including the lovely curvaceous blonde from only a few weeks ago ...
A true classic which will IMO continue to tick the right boxes and to be fair, despite some divided opinion, one for any discerning gentleman's collection or wardrobe. Very pleasurable to wear for many an occasion. Enjoy!
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A very green powerhouse man's scent from the 1980s. Along with Aramis, Open and Quorum, Drakkar Noir defines the green, herbaceous chypre type.
The citrus notes of lemon and mandarin mix with the herbal green notes of basil, rosemary, bergamot, mint and verbena.
The spicy heart reveals cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, juniper, angelica, wormwood and a healthy dose of lavender.
All this rests on the dark green notes of patchouli, oak mod, cedar, balsam, vetiver and pine.
It's powerful and iconic. I do believe Drakkar Noir and Aramis were the two best selling men's scent of the 1980 decade.
LaRoche only created about a dozen scents. Drakkar Noir was his most popular men's scent, while Fidji was his most popular woman's scent.
DN is still a winner after all these years.
Concerning the present formulation of this one, it's nice, but I find myself never reaching for it really. I still keep the mini bottles on my shelf because they take up no room, but my normal sized bottle has gone into my closet to join my swap list. I had read a number of people compare Caesar Man to the vintage Drakkar Noir (which I have never consciously experienced), so I had to try that and it did not disappoint me. Again, current Drakkar Noir is not bad, but if like myself you found it not quite there, I recommend looking into Caesar Man instead. Again the disclaimer that my review here is of the current formulation - the vintage juice might have been a different story for me.
Yes, it's a rather crude pine scent, isn't it? Nothing you'd want to smell of, really.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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"
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.
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!!!!!
Pros: ULTRA longevity, hell of a manly fragrance
Cons: HORRIBLE IF OVERUSED"
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
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.
Light woody classic scent that has short longevity and average projection. This can be worn at any age.
Nice and conservative (new formulation).
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..
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
I am female and this scent puts me into "sex overdrive"! just does something to my senses!
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)