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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    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    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.

    14th June, 2009

    lizzie_j's avatar

    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.

    19th February, 2009

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    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. :)

    03rd February, 2009

    distortech's avatar

    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.

    19th December, 2008

    nthny's avatar

    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.

    14th September, 2008

    cpk's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Two words: maple syrup! In a good way.....

    10th September, 2008

    bbBD's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was so excited to try this, especially with the other Dior Homme exclusives being such winners, with some of those reviews proclaiming Eau Noir to be the best of the three. Oy Vey! I rarely write negative reviews because usually if I don't like something I can still see the qualities in it that make something good. I can acknowledge that just because I don't like a note or two, a fragrance can still be good but just not for me. Not this.

    The opening, to me, was dead on lentil soup - with too much salt. I've sampled it now three times, and each time I could swear it smells like salty lentil soup. The fragrance then goes somewhere unexpected - to a sickly sweet amber that is very similar to Tom Ford Amber Absolute. The basenotes come back around full circle, combining amber and some salty/spicy/incense notes that, jumbled together, are somewhat unpleasant.

    Not for me at all, and just bizarre. I think Bois d'Argent is the best of the three, with Cologne Blanche right behind.

    29th August, 2008

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    This weird concoction smells like my mother's spice drawer: cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, basil, aniseed and brunt sugar. Imagine what a bakery would smell like if it caught fire. I'm not fond of this.

    28th August, 2008

    david's avatar

    France France

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    The most beautiful perfume ever created.

    30th April, 2008

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Well, of the three scents in this line, here is the only one with any pretense to a wood tone. The wood is ok, but as with so many scents it is overpowered and thus ruined by vanilla. Hansel and Gretel were walking through the woods and left sweet little cookie crumbs to find their way out. Is this what you want to smell like?

    23rd July, 2007

    the_good_life's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    There is only one word for this: Maggi. Maggi is a liquid spice hailing from Switzerland, the basis of which is concentrated lovage. Maggi is the beginning and epitome of industrial convenience food and its norm-spice flavor, of lowest common denominator taste levelling. Eau Noir is Maggi from the bottle, Maggi in the air, Maggi on my skin. Forget the complaints about celery salt in Sables or Sud-Est or Yatagan, this is ten times more intense, read: worse. I can only surmise this results from the weird interaction of the anise, sage, fennel, and caraway perversely amplifying an already hefty dose of immortelle. Someone please drive a wooden stake through the heart of this truly undying savoury flower. If this were the last perfume in the world I wouldn't wear it. No summer of lovage for me (and heck, a bottle of Maggi is only € 1,99).

    28th June, 2007 (Last Edited: 30th May, 2008)

    Caltha's avatar

    Sweden Sweden

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    Wow, it smells just like licorice! Strangely refreshing licorice with some citrus and woods and leather and green notes and coffee. I think it makes my mouth water...

    26th April, 2007

    madridbatabidd's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    Raw!, powerfukl. I never smelled nothing in my skin as pure as that, in my life!.
    Raw leather like those accesories you can buy in Marrakech markets.
    Pure raw leather skin non treated.
    Cedar, not fresh :is burnt, burnt cedar,smoky, dark, wild.
    Sometimes the aura becames rubbery beacuse of the reaction of the vanilla when misex with the other two notes.
    what a simple minimal outstading perfume.
    thumbs up to the designer!!!! A masterpiece.

    15th March, 2007

    leftee86's avatar

    United States United States

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    Definitely the most pungent of the three. Probably too strong for some. I like it, but I would use it sparingly and only on the skin--like the chest and maybe the nape of the neck. Reminds me of cloves (the spice). One of the few truly "dark" men's scent. (I don't count stuff like KC Black, Armani Code Black, RL Black, etc. "dark" scents--they're more like fresh day scents toned down and warmed up for evening wear).

    25th February, 2007

    Joe_Frances's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love dark fragrances. Corot is one of my favorite painter, and my wife thinks his landscapes are depressing because they can be so dark. Dark and green, that's what I love. I adore Eau Noire for that reason. It is ambery, and dark green, creating an almost other worldy ambiance. It must have been inspired by Jean-Baptiste- Camille Corot. Why else would it have a French name.

    27th January, 2007

    buyers_remorse's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    This smells so similar to Bond No.9's New Harlem. Chocolate, coffee and slightly green cedar. Its potent tho! wow you can smell it everywhere. However its not one of those fragrances liked by everyone. Its not my cup of Tea. YUK!

    14th January, 2007

    _noire_'s avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I love the Christian Dior fashion house, especially what Hedi Slimane has done to revitalise Dior Homme. I mean, its because of this man that its actually acceptable and desirable for us men to be thin. How stunning are his razor cut shilouettes, that signature Dior Homme look. So as you can imagine, when I flipped through a fashion magazine and discovered a spread about this trio of colognes designed by Hedi for Dior I almost fell over. Being in Canada, in Edmonton no less, I was greatly disappointed to learn that they were exclusive to the Dior Homme boutiques...until last summer when I stepped into Holt Renfrew and discovered them there. Let me just say I like all three, I purchased Bois d'Argent instantly, liked Cologne Blanche however found it too powdery for my personal wear, and I hated Eau Noire when I first smelled it. I couldn't possibly imagine how anyone could wear such a heavy herbal mess on their skin. That was, until recently, when I tried it on my skin. I was completly surprised by what it did...that initial bitter herbal blast of the cedar and immortelle vanished almost instantly, leaving me with an incredible sweet warmth. The fragrance only deepens and becomes warmer the longer its on my skin, its hard to tell that there is even cedar in the fragrance. The lavender and vanilla come to the foreground, leaving the cedar and imortelle lingering in the background only to be faintly noticed. Everytime I catch a glimpse of this scent I feel instantly at ease, and wearing it gives me a sense of power because it is such a warm and unique fragrance. Im utterly amazed at what this does on my skin and only wish I had come across it sooner!

    21st December, 2006

    c-men's avatar

    United States United States

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    Eau Noire is as good as it gets – a true work of art and easily the best of the three Dior colognes. I cannot think of another cologne that gives me that very subjective feel good sense of vibe like this one. From a more objective perspective Eau Noire is flawlessly balanced and quite groundbreaking. In the way most great perfumes starts out, Eau Noire starts off with a somewhat harsh lavender-spice combination and needs some time to settle down after application. When these notes mellow out, you are on a very long lasting journey ending in a perfectly balanced smokey-vanilla-choclate drydown that feels more oriental than gourmand. The mix and balance between the different (natural) ingredients are amazing in eau noire. The end result is a quite unique scent with dark meditative, Zen-like qualities rather than formal ones. The sillage is excellent, comparable to (if not better than) the likes of Jaipur PH EdP. This is perhaps not the most versatile cologne, but I wear this to work frequently – if you love it, it is simply a matter of moderation when applying the fragrance. One of Karl Lagerfeld’s favorites and a true masterpiece of a cologne that is a “must try” for people who have a soft spot for lavender fragrances and “highly recommended” for you who don’t.

    09th October, 2006

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    Let me be the second to turn thumbs down. I agree with robyogi about there being a disagreeable note in the opening of Eau Noire—almost the same disagreeable one that is in Annick Goutal’s Sables. To my nose that note is very bitter and aggressive, and it totally overwhelms all the other notes. It’s a dusty, celery-seed-to-the-tenth-power-like bitter / dry note and I find it repulsive. It lasts for at least two hours, after which it has subsided enough for me to get some idea of what most everyone else is smelling with this fragrance: a strong, boderline-harsh herbal accord with an almost ethereal sweetness balancing it: I only wish I could experience this accord from the start—it’s wonderful. The dry down is very nice, but it is simply not good enough to make up for the torture of the opening.

    07th October, 2006

    vadim's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    A nice blast of spices followed by a drydown that is too sweet, warm and powdery. Fine and safe, but not a revelation.

    03rd October, 2006

    HackerX's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    To me this is the perfect sweet oriental fragrance. It starts out like a sweet harsh herbal medicine shop, but it becomes softer as the scent reveals itself, however i still detect the herbal quality with more added vanilla. It smells dark, classy and ultra luxurious, sweet but never cloying. It is also a perfect night time fragrance with its declared sexiness and boldness. It is totally intoxicating, hypnotizing everyone in its path, drawning them into a world of blissfulness. It's everything i've ever wanted in an oriental fragrance. A superb creation that is very exclusive is also the only sweet oriental i will ever need if i were to pick out of the countless. Believe the hype!

    08th April, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sorry to be the first to rain on this parade, but this scent, like Cologne Blanche, I just cannot give a thumbs-up review. I find something about the two of these scents to border on disgusting, and I am surprised to be the first to mention it. Maybe in this one it's the immortelle, a note I don't like in Sables either. But I think it is also this near-foody quality crossed with an effeminate powderiness. On the plus side, this one is darker than Blanche, which makes it a little more interesting to me. Still, the sweetness, the chocolatey note, and the immortelle make this a "no" for me.

    28th March, 2006

    czesc's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    mmm edible spicy so dark and sexy im not gonna waste your time with trying to guess the notes, you can read everyone else's blurbs for that. just gonna tell you its definatley the best out of the three in its series and it jumped into my top 10 immediatley after smelling it :)

    15th February, 2006

    zenman7's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    I walked to the Dior counter quite blind to the press and publicity around the 3 colognes Hedy Slimane had created for the exclusive Dior line and tested Eau Noire 3 weeks ago.. It completely floored me. Almost as if I had finally found myself again in the noise of modern fragrance shallowness... Don't get me wrong, I love Rive Gauche PH, Cartier's Baiser du Dragon, even Dior Homme.. but Eau Noire completely took me by surprise. I waited a few days .. went for another spritz on my wrists.. Then last week went down and got one 125 ml bottle, and one 250... I don't need to describe the beauty of the construction, the masterful restraint and effortless artistry in the blending, everyone else here has. But isn't it great that every once in a while a great artist puts some soul and feeling and beauty into something you can use everyday? Day in and day out :)

    18th January, 2006

    Liquidman's avatar



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    First I really found some similarities with Sables but after I used 10 ml decant. I have gone and have bought it. It seems greater success Dior, level with the Silver Wood to me is. White cologne has turned out faded on their background though the certain style is felt. I not so love a lavender but Black Water it very harmonious, an immortele and vanilla green. Great spicy-fougere!

    16th January, 2006

    moon_fish's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    That`s The dark brilliance!!! So concentrate in lavender, immortelle, sage and vanilla - it should named EDP. For me it is a breed of Caron pour Homme and Sables Annick Goutal (minus aniseed). Sweet but with understated noble refinement. Very Hedy, very Slimane.
    My girlfriend wears it with a great pleasure as well! ;)

    24th November, 2005

    IPaidForThisName's avatar



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    Eau Noire is brilliant. This is such a rich, earthy, and spicy fragrance. Deep earthy woods with rich culinary (Almost dessert like) notes. This is such a wonderful fragrance. It’s unlike anything I have smelled. I must own a full bottle of this.

    28th September, 2005

    j_dubyah's avatar

    United States United States

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    The comparison of this fragrance with Annick Goutal's Sables is well noted and quite right; however, it must also be noted that there is a distinct similarity to a less sweet version of Bond 9's New Haarlem as well. Also there is a definite harmony between the two (who would have thought) that produces an odd hybrid accord that is quite magical. While this fragrance seems to blend some of the most common of fragrance ingredients, the output is unique enough to merit a purchase if one is comforatable with the price tag. Although evening wear might be the primary use of this product as some have said, I felt it yielded a rather positive dreamy quality throughout the day as I wore it. Lasts very well too so don't let the term cologne fool you in the name.

    15th September, 2005

    CoL's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    INCREDIBLE! Such a well blended/balanced scent. The touch of vanilla in the base really does warm this woody wonder up just right. TRUELY smells like a "dark" Dior Cologne Blanche! WOOO HOOO!

    15th September, 2005

    scenteur7's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love it. Dark, brooding, almost dirty. A bit acrid and then *poof* an immortelle note paired with a breath of lavender before a sweet middle-eastern dessert appears...then the darkness overtakes it again. To me this is a bit like a dark thunderstorm, every now and then a ray of light breaks through the grey, but the grey itself is amazing to behold. Hard to compare to anything else, similar in its scorched butterscotch note to Goutal's Sables, echoing Daude's Biche dans l'Absinthe in its earthiness. A masterpiece.

    10th September, 2005

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