Reviews of Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

    Find out more about Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Colin Maillard's avatar
    Colin Maillard
    Italy Italy

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    Elegant, gourmand and aromatic circus of spices. On paper I smell a blast of cumin and saffron right from the very first seconds, while on skin it tends to start (and remain) a bit more soft, somber and more dry. Quite peculiar and unique among the "heavy spicy" family. Powerful projection and everlasting persistency.

    7,5/10

    24 January, 2014 (Last Edited: 12 April, 2014)

    Dane77's avatar
    Dane77
    Denmark Denmark

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    Addictively smooth spicy lavender

    One of my long-time personal favorites, Eau Noire is a superior spicy/powdery lavender oriental. It is also extremely complex and multifaceted, far from discreet and very distinctive.

    It features a raw and pungent, quite herbal, opening that soon gives way to a wonderfully smooth mid phase. Here, lurking under a heap of exotic spices – most notably licorice/immortelle, vanilla and a hint of coffee – the lavender note remains far from obvious. In fact, it’s quite hard to detect it the first many times you wear Eau Noire as rather than taking center stage, the lavender blends effortlessly with the herbal opening and the warm spicy accompaniment.

    The drydown is again balanced, smooth and very powdery. Although I often have a problem with powdery fragrances, this one is totally different: I thoroughly enjoy Eau Noire every time I wear it. Everything is executed in a supremely elegant and balanced way – which is not to say that this is in any way a subtle or intimate fragrance. On the contrary, it might take a while to get used to and truly appreciate (some clearly never will), and you are likely to get noticed wearing this.

    Eau Noire is a luxuriously deep and delicious scent, warm, comforting, and incredibly enjoyable. A full 5 stars!

    Note: This review is based on the original 2004 version in the Hedi Slimane cologne trio.

    20th September, 2013

    voodoodanny's avatar
    voodoodanny
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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...

    17 December, 2012

    ross_evans's avatar
    ross_evans
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It smells like black treacle, mixed with with cheap dark rum, and flea powder.
    In essence, it's awful.

    24 February, 2012

    Kaern's avatar
    Kaern
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It's all a question of degree, I suppose. I don't like Immortelle unless used sparingly, not a great fan of full-on lavender (except crushed in hand) and I can take or leave anice and deep vanilla. I have also never liked New Haarlem enough to purchase. Taking all this into account and the truly skanky, nose twisting opening notes in this fragrance, it's gonna be a thumbs down for sure. I gave it some time though and it blossomed into a fantastic amalgam of curry powder, lavender, licorice and vanilla, which works like a dream.

    Stop Press -- Try and test the new Hermes exclusive addition for men -- Santal Massoia (I think) -- it's the best sandalwood scent I've experienced in ages.Ridiculously priced though.

    Jo Malone is back with 4 new fragrances, best of which imo is Polemo -- a contender to Guerlain's Pamplelune. Simply stunning accord of grapefruit and lime, which lasts for ages due to a huge sparlkling dose of aldehydes.

    28 December, 2011

    lemur178's avatar
    lemur178


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    A new favourite. Popped in to try Dior's Granville and fell head over heels for Eau Noire instead. After the initial burst of lavender which quickly dies down, it turns into a rich, wonderful scent that puts me in mind of Liquorice Humbugs and Single Malt whisky (of the luscious caramelly kind, not the peaty ones). To my nose the scent feels warm and comforting - the perfect winter's perfume. Yet reactions around me were unexpected - my husband declared it 'too dark' for his liking and my teenage daughter's independent verdict was 'gothic' . Now, gothic for me would be Etro's Messe de Minuit or Shaal Nur, not something as sweet and soft as this, which mellows beautifully as you wear it (with excellent lasting power). So I guess this is really one you need to try out before taking the plunge, but I for one am hooked on it!

    16 December, 2011

    alfarom's avatar
    alfarom
    Italy Italy

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    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.

    11th November, 2011

    tymanski's avatar
    tymanski


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    it smells like chartreuse (green)!
    i mean that in a good way. it's dark & broodingly sensual, and could be pretty damn sexy (just make sure yer other half digs it - mine doesn't :(
    immortelle fans (sables, chypre noir, etc) will like this a lot.
    quite an astounding amber-vanilla drydown; the quality is top-drawer.
    could only come from un nez francaise....
    8/10

    28 October, 2011

    rubegon's avatar
    rubegon
    United States United States

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    When I first smelled a sample of this, it was like nothing I had sniffed before. It didn't even smell like a fragrance to me - I got this overpowering licorice-y fenugreek blast. At the time it seemed like something I should sniff to broaden my palate, but I didn't think of it as wearable at all. Now I love it. When I bought a bottle, it was my biggest purchase to date.

    Helichrysum (that fenugreek-ey note) dominates the composition throughout its development. I find it like sweetened licorice or anise, maybe. I can see the curry analogy at times, but that's not the first impression I get. At first, it comes on very strong. It's unapologetically in-your-face, with the helichrysum brightened and amplified by something else - the lavender, maybe? I'm not sure, as I've never smelled helichrysum on its own, but it's sharper and projects more at the start than it does at dry-down.

    As it dries, starting after about 1-2 hours, it softens and sweetens. I think this is the effect of the vanilla, but not sure. I'm not great at picking out notes, and I think the composition in general focuses so much on the helichrysum that it's hard to pick anything else out. It lays much closer to the skin after a few hours.

    It's a fairly linear composition that develops as variations on the main note, modified by the other components. It starts bright bold and loud, and ends sweet and soft, but still with a sharp edge.

    On me, it lasts about 5-6 hours. It's too much a one-note composition to be a masterpiece, but it's beautifully crafted throughout.

    I strongly advise against buying blind, though. It's strange enough I can easily see how many could hate this.

    Rating: 9/10

    23 October, 2011

    alexbiteme13's avatar
    alexbiteme13
    Greece Greece

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    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.

    21st May, 2011

    Oh_Hedgehog's avatar
    Oh_Hedgehog
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    11th April, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar
    Shifty Bat
    United States United States

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    The opening of dry sage and cedar, garden fresh lavender, syrupy immortelle and vanilla brought me back to a time I couldn't before remember. The ingredients are so top-notch I was nearly floored with the clarity of the notes presented. Eau Noire performs well and smells naturally and indescribably fantastic, and it is certainly among the most wonderful things I've sampled this year. One sniff into the sample and the words, "I want a bottle" were already forming on my mouth. This is a rare occurrence to say the least.

    02 February, 2011

    Diamondflame's avatar
    Diamondflame
    Singapore Singapore

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    Whoa! Is that some bodily odor that I'm smelling here?

    Relax. While I agree with descriptions comparing it to burnt maple syrup or leftover curry I must point out that these negative reactions are likely to occur within the first 30 minutes after heavy applications or with the nose close to the skin. I say give it time, some breathing space and you might be surprised to see how this transforms into something that's comfortingly familiar yet at the same time disconcertingly different. On my skin after 2 hours, it turns into a lightly spiced lavender-vanilla accord reminiscent of Caron pour un Homme, albeit with a sheer veil of immortelle's maple syrupy presence.

    I honestly did a 180 on this one. Depending on your experience and sensitivities, EAU NOIRE could either be a simple immortelle-inspired scent or a nuanced, intriguing piece from Kurkdjian. I'm inclined to think of the latter. It may be challenging to wear but for immortelle afficionados, it is a 'must-try'.

    20th December, 2010

    hester's avatar
    hester
    South Africa South Africa

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    Pungent curry. Yikes.
    And I'm writing this bit because basenotes requires me to say more.

    12 August, 2010

    alberto's avatar
    alberto
    Italy Italy

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    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.

    03 July, 2010

    Cedarmoth's avatar
    Cedarmoth
    United States United States

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    Is that mulch in my taffy? Delicious!

    29 April, 2010

    orrisboy's avatar
    orrisboy
    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Parisian Winter in a bottle, gloomy, dark and brooding, a little stand-offish, but irresistibly elegant and unforgettable. Bought quite a few bottles of EN, the thick viscous sensation of cedar, vanilla and the oh so moreish licorice/immortelle note just suits me. I like it's 'blackness', its scented despair. There is a void to it, a bitter echo that wraps around the wearer. Melancholy is rare today in scent, but the Hedi Slimane inspired Eau Noire is an exercise in Proustian melancholia. We all have days when we crave our own company, the comfort of self-indulgent sadness, to be lost in memories, to touch away a tear in a stricken eye. Eau Noire is the glowering sky above us, the fevered brow, the closing door. Wear with an ache in your heart.

    13 April, 2010

    Le Grand Duc's avatar
    Le Grand Duc
    Denmark Denmark

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    Eew ... that is this?! It's like liquid curry!

    I so wanted to love these three colognes,
    but the two I have tryed out, has both been
    huge disappointments. Maybe they're just
    too refined for me? I don't know!
    The last one I need to try out is Bois d'Argent.

    Forgive me Lord for being so disloyal towards
    the House of Dior, but I just can't stand this!



    08 April, 2010

    Narguile's avatar
    Narguile
    United States United States

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    This is all curry and maple syrup on me. I wanted to love this, but after waiting a terrible 45 minutes for something, anything different to happen, I am sad to say that I just don't think this is going to work for me.

    10th February, 2010

    trojanhorse's avatar
    trojanhorse
    Germany Germany

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    This a very delicate oriental spicy cologne, reminding my of Persian food with Basmati rice. I love its warmth and decent elegance - perfect if you like the dark notes of Youth-Dew but want something drier and lighter.

    03 October, 2009

    evinick's avatar
    evinick
    Greece Greece

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    GROUP. Oriental-fougere. GENDER. Ladies you can try it (please dont forget to put the bottle back into his closet). CREATIVITY. Walks in the path of Caron's 1934 hit ''Pour Un Homme'' but finally it has its own character. Certainly the most memorable fragrance from the trio range (Bois d' Argent, Cologne Blance, Eau Noire) created under the guidance of Hedi Slimane (the talented, skinny trousers former designer of Dior Homme). DAY OR NIGHT? I was tempted several times to try it at daytime but naahhh. It is definitely an evening one. Just dont waste it with a jeans & t-shirt outfit. LONGEVITY. Amazing longevity (at least on me) so be cautious and spray only twice. COMMENTS. The powerfull and complex sweet opening where Spices come first : immortelle and ouzo (greek aperitif) with a touch of curry and cedar notes, might discourage you but please wait...the party just began. Herbals (dried sage), florals (lavender) more spices (vanilla) a little smoke and gourmand notes (burnt caramel and vanilla creme brulee) take over to drive you to a more safe path. The middle notes are more calm and relaxed and have an amazing longevity. As base notes I can detect just lavender and vanilla pod, but in a much more powdery and refined way than the middle ones. It is definitely an ingenious fragrance but its neither for everyone nor for everywhere. It is heavy, deep, black in a sweet way, and if you are not in a mood to dig hard you wont find the treasure.

    21st September, 2009 (Last Edited: 22 September, 2009)

    qxtc07's avatar
    qxtc07
    United States United States

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    Curry and maple syrup. I have no problem with harshness in fragrances per se, but it doesn't work for me here. The base is less objectionable than the top, but it's not worth the wait.

    24 July, 2009

    Sugandaraja's avatar
    Sugandaraja
    Canada Canada

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    The top notes of Eau Noire are quite sharp: a nose-pinching bite of herbal lavender that is a charming introduction. Within a few minutes it fades abruptly, leaving a light, powdery immortelle touched with vanilla. If there was a Sables Light, it would smell like this.

    All in all it's nice, but unremarkable. Average longevity, but very much a skin scent once the top-notes fade.

    If you like this, try Annick Goutal's Sables and Parfum D'Empire's Fougere Bengale.

    20th July, 2009

    L'Aventurier's avatar
    L'Aventurier
    Canada Canada

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    Cedar cabin, black licorice, maple syrup (in reality this is immortelle flower), herbal spices, lots of lavender, coffee, slightly smokey vanilla and leather. Dark, mysterious, sensual and spicy, this is my fall and winter holy grail. Longevity is perfect, verging on 24 hours, with sillage that is just right. Never becomes too sweet, too woody or too gourmand. I whole heartily agree that this is pretty much bottled perfection. Quite simply the finest creation by Francis Kurkdjian that I've smelled to date.

    10/10

    10th July, 2009 (Last Edited: 15 December, 2009)

    Merlino's avatar
    Merlino
    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Oh dear Lord, how exactly is this wearable? Annick Goutal Sables meets Bond No. 9 New Haarlem makes for top notes from H.E.L.L! Very, very loud and after the immortelle settles what remains is pleasant and clearly of high quality but comparatively weak. This is probably a love it or hate it frag, and this reviewer hates it. Only positive aspect of this I see is that it is a very avantgarde frag for a designer scent.

    07 July, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar
    Somerville Metro Man
    United States United States

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    Christian Dior Eau Noire

    In 2004 Christian Dior creative design head Hedi Slimane commissioned a trio of colognes for the Dior Homme line. They were Cologne Blanche, Bois D'Argent and Eau Noire. Eau Noire was designed by Francis Kurkdjian and was to be a scent, like Annick Goutal Sables, which used immortelle as the central core to build this cologne around. Immortelle has, to my nose, a powerful and distinct maple syrup accord and it can be that loud talker in the room that doesn't let another note get a word in to the conversation. That makes it a tricky note to work with as a perfumer and a tricky note to appreciate as a colognoisseur because if you don't like it its hard to get away from it. The top of this is immortelle barging into the room in all of its powerful glory but wisely M. Kurkdjian has chosen to allow clary sage to arrive at the olfactory party at the same time. I found this to be an interesting choice as it makes the immortelle feel more incense-like than sweet and it is a good partner to immortelle because it does accentuate a different facet of the dominant note. The shift into the heart comes as the sage moves over to a corner and lavender joins the conversation. In much the same way that sage accentuated the incense quality of immortelle, the floral lavender brings out the more floral quality of immortelle and makes this feel, almost, like a debate of equals. Finally the lavender is exhausted by the everlasting immortelle and in the base vanilla enters the fray and here allows immortelle to be what it is most commonly, the maple syrup sweet over some vanilla flavored pancakes. Here is where immortelle finally arrives at what we expect and immortelle finds a conversational partner that can hold its own against it. Many perfumers realize when you have a central note to be the center of conversation it is important to find partners that allow the listeners to appreciate different aspects of the thesis. M. Kurkdjian has done this in such a way that as you close the door on this olfactory party you don't even mind that the loud talker was in the room.

    14 June, 2009

    lizzie_j's avatar
    lizzie_j
    United States United States

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    This is just great. Definitely not just for men, Eau Noire is a beautiful big spicy cologne, with a very comfortable feel to it, like your oldest well-worn cashmere sweater. I don't get too much lavender, and the wood notes are perfect--providing just enough support for the powdered spices. This is much richer than most of the colognes I've smelled and two spritzes from my sample atomizer were all I needed. Very nice indeed and certainly FBW.

    19 February, 2009

    PigeonMurderer's avatar
    PigeonMurderer
    Finland Finland

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    Pure perfection. Completely flawless creation.

    White cardboard casket with velvety lining inside is gorgeous, and the bottle is one of the most beautiful ones ever. It’s breathtaking. The simple design and the deep green juice…just perfect.
    It comes with a separate spray component, like SL export bottles for instance, but I don’t use that one myself : I use 7ml decant which I fill up when necessary. This way I can sometimes enjoy the beauty of that bottle, and also I am able to keep that bottle inside that wonderful casket.

    The scent itself could not be better either. It is unique, and most importantly; it is very easy to wear yet definitely it is not boring - never! I presume I could wear this scent forever without boredom, and if I was forced to use only one scent for the rest of my life, this could be my choice without a doubt. It smells warm, comforting and extremely natural. Lasts forever with perfect, gentle sillage to it.

    Its amazing how this quite simple blend of everlasting flower, cedar, vanilla and lavender can smell so unbelievably rich and nuanced. Eau Noire gives me a lot of different kind of associations: It can remind me of salmiac, coffee, dark chocolate, sauna, spice market, forest, train yard and god knows what else….Unbelievably full of shades this scent, an endless depth of imagination.

    What can I say?

    Dior, Mr. Kurkdjian and Mr. Slimane…..Thanks. :)

    03 February, 2009

    distortech's avatar
    distortech
    United States United States

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    This reminds of a large spice cabinet made of the finest cedar that is not only the home of every spice imaginable, but also home to a variety of delectable syrups. Indeed, this is a very, very good thing.

    Another triumph for Dior.

    19 December, 2008

    nthny's avatar
    nthny
    United States United States

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    I enjoy this fragrance immensely, from start to finish. Right away, several different textures, weights, and sensations clamor to find their place, the major players being dry, sharp lavender and other pungent herbs (sage?), and sweet, spicy, curried helichrysum. As the sharp dryness of the lavender subsides a bit, I notice an anise impression that's not terribly strong on me, doesn't take over as it can do, and adds a perfect balance to the dustiness of the herbs and powdered curry of immortelle. I find the cologne concentration of this really a remarkable facet of its success because if Eau Noir were an Eau d'Parfum, I could imagine it having the impression of "too much of everything" and becoming a perfumey, syrupy mess (how I might feel about Parfum d'Empire Fougere Bengale if I didn't like it so darn much!). But with Eau Noir, there's a sense of place for each of its notes and accords, and while we are exposed to many foody ingredients, there's something about this sense of balance that keeps me from the fear of smelling like a plate of Indian food. Or like coffee, or licorice, or like pancake syrup (and come to think of it, those thoughts don't bother me in the least). Its dryness (mostly toward the beginning) doesn't grate and its sweetness (in the middle and toward the end) doesn't cloy: the balance of impressions experienced in Eau Noir is incredible to me. When a lot of the clamor that is experienced at the beginning settles down, I see where Eau Noir wants to repose and it is in a perfect marriage of sweet spice and herbal harmony.

    14 September, 2008

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