Total Reviews: 11
In my review for Goutal's Sables (1985), I made note of the fenugreek scent of immortelle, which is copied here, as a unique addition to the world of gourmand scents. I gave it a thumbs up, despite not wanting to smell like I had just emerged from creating a curry in my kitchen.
In Dior's Eau Noire created 19 years later, we get the same immortelle center, this time layered with lavender, vanilla and cedar. This time it is sweeter than Sables' use, with a decided maple syrup and celery seed combo. Now one can smell like either a curry or French toast. The choice is ours.
I love both gourmand scents, but I still don't care to smell like them. A neutral rating due to lack of originality. It's decent if you love Indian spices. Of the two I prefer the original Sables.
Gourmand (first thought that came to mind was New Haarlem), coffee and a nice lavender note mixed with some vanilla and cedar. Get a nice hit of licorice in there also. More suited for cooler weather. Own a nice sized decant which should hold me down for quite a while. 7.5/10
13th March, 2015 (last edited: 24th December, 2015)
A very interesting scent, and also a very, very sweet scent. The immortelle-anis combo has potential, but the sweet facets of the immortelle combine with the vanilla for a Maple Syrup Pancake Breakfast impression.
Points for uniqueness, but I can't wear it.
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Interesting take on Lavender...
The name Eau Noire relates to the Château de La Colle Noire, located in Provence in southern France, where Christian Dior spent his holidays in retirement. To put that in context, it makes use of a lot of Provençal (i.e. Mediterranean notes), namely Sage, Thyme, Lavender, Immortelle and Liqorice. Also, I read that the head of design at Dior, Hedi Slimane, wanted something that he would wear based on his lifelong signature scent, which was Pour un Homme de Caron, with it's Lavender-Vanilla combination; and what better man to do it than Francis Kurkdjian, the man who created the world famous Lavender and Vanilla bomb, "Le Male"?
Right out of the bottle I get a really aromatic thyme note (listed by Dior as 'white Spanish thyme'). Thyme as a herb can be sharp and is unmistakable, I also detect sage, which adds to the herbal build-up. The thyme, sage and lavender all play on the dry herbal aspects of one another to give Eau Noire a definite herbal quality. I would describe this fragrance as a "herbal gourmand" or "aromatic gourmand", purely because of the aromatic coffee-vanilla and herbal lavender pairing. I happen to love the smell of lavender, and the lavender here smells very much like the almost-dry lavender picked off the bush in hot summer. The herbs are then paired with a deep-roasted coffee bean note, with the leather and liquorice simmering underneath.
With regards to the infamous "curry note". I wonder if the mention of Immortelle or 'everlasting flower' is not just a trick of the mind? As it could also be the liquorice/thyme combination or the burnt vanilla-coffee mixing with the herbs and leather? On the Dior website Immortelle isn't listed in the notes. However, if the flower IS in the fragrance (and many people swear it is), it most certainly forms its backbone, the very thread which holds it together, and in this sense it completes a very Mediterranean vibe when paired with the herbal qualities of the sage, thyme and lavender.
Overall, Eau Noire may be a love or hate fragrance. It is undeniably well made and well composed, of that there is no doubt. It smells extremely natural, very much like sitting on a Mediterranean hillside in the South of France in hot summer whilst sipping an authentic espresso. It's gourmand, it's definitely interesting, and whilst it's not for everyone, and it's certainly not bad. I for one find it really unique, and not something that I come across very often in fragrances.
Unique, masculine, complex, fresh and warm at the same time, but not my cup of tea.
Opens with a very soapy fern and lavender note with spices such as thyme and sage. Thyme should be a sweet note (check MFK's own line of Pour le Matin) but this one has a heavy hand which makes it earthy. If anyone ever put too much dried thyme in their stews, you'll know what I am talking about... Sage gives it a anisey tinge to the smell.
The licorice note is VERY prominent and along with the sage makes this fragrance even more sour and anisey. Herb de Provence with winter spices like star anise, fennel, sage!
I don't like this combo because it reminds me of cough medicine and/or disinfectant, or chlorine in the swimming pool; no such note here, but does give me this feeling.
The coffee note peeks through around the 30 minute mark and this smells like dark coffee beans with no dairy; unlike the typical gourmands. Unfortunately the sour notes at the top makes this coffee smelt burnt, rather than enveloping. If only the top was less sour and herbal...
Immortelle is here also,and gives a hint of body to the scent and towards the 1 hour mark this and the coffee and some woods creates an enveloping scent which is actually quite good. I get a hint of coriander or tumeric here too; perhaps the infamous curry note? Its not as pronounced as what most make it out to be though and I think it complements the coffee note just fine..
This is one of the best coffee notes I have ever smelt so far, but the sour top really spoils it for me...
I understand that the spices are here for the "Noire" in this fragrance, but I would have preferred more woods and coffee and immortelle, and tone down on the anisey, licorice notes.
Perhaps a lavender, clove and bergamot opening, with similar mid and basenotes?
Could be an all year fragrance.. Probably best for fall I would say
Thumbs down for me, but thumbs up for complexity. So net-net, a neutral.
What the hell just happened to my nose!?
It's like someone fired a curried crème brûlée at my face for standing too close to their cedar/lavender bonfire: I admire his boldness but I'm still not too sure how happy I am about receiving such a bizarre and pungent faceful.
I'm trying so hard to like it...
Being myself an Immortelle freak I expected to dig Eau Noir but, unfortunately, that didn't happen. Where Sables pushes to the very limit the boldness of Helichrysum by introducing a massive dose of amber, Eau Noir focuses on its gourmandic/syrupy aspect adding a liqorice effect and a strong vanilla base that bring this composition towards a cloying territory that's very far from my taste. The remarkable lavender note experienced during the opening it's too volatile to properly balance the fragrance sweet heaviness while the general syrupy vibe leans somewhere between the coca-cola effect and sweetened stale coffee.
When I'm looking for a Helichrysum based composition I go for Sables, 1740 and Fareb. A semi-disappointment.
Syrupy, sweet, spicy, smoky,with a bit of wood in the backgound and very very intense. I get why some people love this fragrance but I don't want to smell like this for more than 5 minutes. Impressive but definitely not for me.
The sweetly aromatic Eau Noire smells like Caron's Pour un Homme with a massive helping of immortelle placed between the lavender and vanilla. The immortelle boasts of maple syrup, curry powder, and an inescapable (eponymous?) liquorice dimension, and Eau Noire continues in this steady way for many hours. It's not something I'd wear as I don't enjoy the burnt sugar weirdness of immortelle, but I can appreciate the artistry here nonetheless.
I have many plants of helichrysum (or immortelle) in my garden and I really love its smell. The “guru” Luca Turin decribes its scent «odd, fenugreek-like... halfway between curry and burnt sugar». I always read great things obout Eau Noire and I know that maybe it’s one of the best fragrances based on this note. I also know that EN is beloved by many perfume fanatics. Unfortunately, after several tests, I have to admit that I can’t like it. In fact, I finally realized that it’s too strong, too intense, rather overwelming on my skin. (I had the same experience with other helichrysum-based perfumes, e.g. Annick Goutal Sables, Guerlain Cologne du 68, Histoires de Parfums 1740-Marquis de sade). I still love the natural, summer, mediterranean smell of Immortelle, but I am more and more convinced that is a scent very difficult to wear.
A nice blast of spices followed by a drydown that is too sweet, warm and powdery. Fine and safe, but not a revelation.