Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder

Total Reviews: 13
A Qualified Thumbs Up

I have been familiar with Estee Lauder classic fragrances for decades now, but I am unfamiliar with the newer ones such as Sensuous, Sensuous Nude, Sensuous Noir, etc. As Sensuous Noir has been discontinued, I decided to purchase a bottle of it as I love Orientals, and I love deep, dark, sensual fragrances. The following observations are based on a single wearing of SN.

My first thought was "this is very light for a fragrance called 'Sensuous Noir.'" I expected something of an Oriental bomb along the lines of Chanel Coco EdP. My second thought turned to the notes. I do detect a lovely pine note, but SN is in no way a copy of Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. They both share a pine note, but the resemblance begins and ends there. I also detect a good bit of patchouli, but is is well mannered, so if you fear patchouli in general, you need not fear the patchouli in SN. Aside from the pine and patchouli notes, I also detect a very mild mannered oud and a smidgen each of both amber and benzoin mainly in the deeper dry down . I cannot distinctly pick out any of the other notes.

Overall SN is a nice fragrance. It is both gentle and warm, but it is not particularly sweet. It could be worn both day and night. Projection and sillage are moderate at best, so I believe it could be worn in an office environment without offending anyone. Longevity is also moderate at best. It wears close to the skin on me, and it was detectable for three to four hours.

All in all, SN is a pleasant fragrance, but there is absolutely nothing about it that makes it special in my opinion, and I am disappointed in this fact as Estee Lauder produced one of my most favourite fragrances, Private Collection, as well as another much admired fragrance, Cinnabar. SN does not even begin to compete with these two classic Estee Lauder fragrances, but for anyone who likes SN's notes and who prefers a light fragrance that is unlikely to offend bystanders, then SN could be for her/him as SN is quite unisex. If I smelt SN on a gentleman, I would not think he was wearing a woman's perfume. It is pleasant albeit not particularly memorable.

As for the value to price ratio, I feel SN is horribly over priced at $69 for a 50ml bottle. Even at half this price, I feel SN is still overpriced for my money. There are several chemist shop Oriental fragrances that I feel are far more impressive than is SN, e.g. Ciara, Chantilly, and Emeraude. I also have some Avon fragrances that I find far more impressive than SN, e.g. Rare Rubies, Timeless, Charisma, and Rare Gold to name a few. As for performance, once again my chemist shop, Avon, and even my B&BW fragrances perform every bit as well as SN for a much lower price point. If SN had been deeper, richer, and with better performance, I would hardily recommend it to Oriental lovers even as a blind purchase, but alas, such is not the case at least for myself personally.

Sadly for me, SN is a pleasant enough fragrance but also quite generic with it, and for those who insist upon comparing it to Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, I think the Lutens is more impressive, but it, too, has only moderate performance at best. I understand why Estee Lauder has discontinued SN. It is not particularly distinctive, and it has moderate performance at best, and my bottle is less than six months old, so I cannot blame age or poor storage conditions for its performance. In the end, SN is not a very competitive Oriental fragrances in a market saturated with many beautiful Orientals, and I do not imagine it has sold as well as many other Estee Lauder fragrances. I advise you try before you buy if at all possible.

Fragrance: 5/10
Projection: 4/10
Sillage: 4/10
Longevity: 4/10
13th July, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The floral-vs-spicy dichotomy defines the first half if this creation: a medium dark rose with a lighter touch at times, and a pleasant jasmine, and a peppery touch - just to add a bit of spice, but initially in the background.

The heart notes add an agreeable violet with whiffs of fruitiness, but with time the spicy elements move into the foreground- never heavy, rich or dark though, but gradually developing an ever so discreet balsamic touch.

The base grows sweeter, with a lightly ambery vanilla and sweet honey, but not actually stronger in intensity. Carried on a carpet of acceptably restrained benzoin, is vanishes gracefully towards the end.

The sillage is moderate, the projection excellent and the longevity nine ours on me.

A pleasant winter scent with a nicely balanced floral-spice theme, a bit generic at times, and with a base concept that is rather predictable, but overall nice work and well-blended. 3.25/5
19th May, 2017
This is one of the strangest fragrance experiences I've ever had-- so strange, that I've tested and retested it several times just to make sure that I wasn't having an "off" day.

First, I get a strong, yet sweet pine-- artificial and loud. This lasts for about twenty minutes, and then through some sort of odd perfume alchemy . . . Carolina Herrera's 212 Sexy! What?!?

I'm a fan of the original Sensuous, which must seem dull to the EL representatives at my local Dillard's because they are always trying to talk me out of the original in favor of either flanker. No and no.
02nd September, 2016
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Sensuous Noir is one of the best things that a woman can buy off the shelves of the local department store these days, it really is. Hats off to Estee Lauder!

What they’ve achieved here is the marriage of an almost niche-smelling top half – pine needles, red pepper, a rose that smells more like a plum pudding than a rose, and a dark, chewy patchouli – to a whipped honey-vanilla crème base that caters to the sweet tooth of today’s young women, reared on a diet of sugar bombs and fruitchoulis.

The sillage is swoon-worthy. Every time I spray this on at my local drugstore, I float around for half an hour almost drunk on the fumes of this piney, fruity rose plum pudding-smelling thing. I’d tell you it smells a bit like a cross between Serge Lutens La Fille en Anguilles and Tom Ford Black Orchid, except I wouldn’t want you to run in the other direction – this is far more subtle and “mainstream” than that.

Soon, however, the arresting piney, rosy plum of the top notes begins to slide into a creamy mélange of spiced lily, ambery vanilla, and jasmine, and while this is enjoyable, it all becomes a little too sweet for my taste. Thankfully, somewhere in the base there is a slightly raspy, dry honey that mixes with powdery benzoin to stave off the unrelenting sweetness, and the scent pulls back into “bearable” territory for me.

Overall, I see this as a perfect scent for young women who wants to smell a little bit sexy and mysterious when out on the town, but who doesn't want any of the weirdness or boldness associated with niche scents. And this serves the purpose nicely - it is sexy, dark-ish (in a polite way), and sweet enough to make a guy want to nibble on your ear lobe or follow your scent trail through a crowd to its source.

The main downfall of this scent – if there is one – is that its trajectory from topnotes to basenotes is disappointingly brief. It all plays out in a matter of hours, and although the basenotes linger, all the drama of the scent is soon gone. Perhaps even that stalwart of the department store Estee Lauder has begun to front-load its fragrances to get customers to pull the trigger before they realize the thing quickly runs out of steam. It’s a depressing thought.

A beautiful surprise, though, in the last moments – a snuffed-out candle note, smoky and paper-dry. This is perhaps the last gift of the benzoin, I don’t know. But it feels like the fingers of someone pinching out the flame of the scent and putting it to bed. It’s a nice touch. It keeps me coming back for more, despite the glaring construction issues.
18th September, 2015
Salutation.

Lounge in a bubble bath,spray on SENSUOUS NOIR afterwards,put on your little black dress,meet with that special someone...and see what happens! This is just amazing. Intoxicating, evocative presents a classic woody oriental aroma that is both Rich and Romantic. Sophisticated,Oriental,Bold, Glamorous,Heavy,Addictive and Deep.

It is Sensual and more Intense than the original.The strong sensual combination of spice,wood,pepper and especially patchouli,provide the atmosphere for an intriguing experience and then a warm and sensuous base of amber and vanilla creates a truly ambiguous sense of Sensuality that no one will be able to resist.

SENSUOUS NOIR has a Flowery-Spicy smell that complements you perfectly if you are a sophisticated and bold lady.perfect for WINTER evenings.It is not suited for Everyday or Work purposes,unless of course you long for male attraction in everyday situations.

Sillage?Ok.

Longevity?Very Good on my skin.

THANK YOU ESTEE LAUDER.

8/10

13th June, 2015

Estee Lauder is my favorite brand of the perfumery history at least relatively the perfumers for dames and ladies and it up holds its appeal on me also nowadays with its more recent releases. What can i say about Sensuous Noir? A sexy and yummy ambery lily/jasmine with a lot of complexity and class. The lily and a sort of orangy honey ( multifaceted by spices and woody/fruity nuances) are prominent. There is a sort of plummy/violet-magnolia/berry vibe around finally ambery more than vanillic. Really close to Buxton Devil in Disguise , just finally smoother, less musky and initially less sparkling (just a touch of peppery dust with a less pronounced aqueous feel). Sexy, pungent (with a deep fruity/floral vibe) and dark/mysterious.
07th December, 2012
this is so smoky, tobacco-y, and lush...if I'm wearing this on a night out, I'm a-huntin'...
14th August, 2012 (last edited: 18th August, 2012)
I am gradually becoming obsessed with this fragrance. It is the first time I've found myself fond of a new release in a relatively long time.

Sensuous Noir is as the name implies; sensual and dark. It has such a beautiful aura, being smooth, slightly smokey and quite earthy.

I love patchouli in my fragrances, however for some, Sensuous Noir could be your worst nightmare. The earthy patchouli is quite dominant along with the pepper, spices, woods, pine and vanilla.

I am struck by how unique this fragrance is, I never would have expected it to be this amazing. Towards the drydown this fragrance becomes quite 'incensey', resembling the scent of those small stores which sell everything from tie-dye dresses, dragon pendants, witchcraft books and exotic incense.

I like the somewhat gothic undertones in this fragrance, although I am everything opposite to being a goth. Dark, smokey fragrances, like Sensuous Noir intrigue me and make me feel incredibly sexy, yet approachable.

Sensuous Noir's lasting power is fairly good, as is the sillage while not overpowering, can certainly be noticed. It's a pity that my country is now going into Summer. I would have loved to wear this in the chilly Winter weather we have here.
24th March, 2012
Really love this spicy scent! It lasts all day...really. Just a couple of sprays, an arm's length away (at 6:30 am), and I can smell the sensual dry down still. I really like this scent. It starts out pretty strong and when it starts to mellow down, about an hour or so, is when I truly love it! At about the 3-4 hour mark, it smells a bit "odd". Not sure what notes are coming out at this point but the "huh?" doesn't last long - thank goodness. What is lingering on my wrist tonight at 9:15 pm is just wonderful.

22nd March, 2012
Captures the true esscence of female sexuality. This dark woody fragrance is yet mellow and wears like a second skin. My favorite Estee Lauder fragrance of all time!
09th January, 2011
Dark, beautiful, longlasting, but a little bit too dry on my skin. But instead a wonderful layer-item for a little bit too sweet dark scents! I need it!
31st December, 2010
The original version is one of my fave fragrances. In my opinion it is heavier and darker, with really distinct scent of sandal wood, while this new variant is not so outstanding. But I recommend trying.
26th September, 2010
What I had hoped the original Sensuous would be--subtle but rich. Nice to find a perfume targeted to an older, non-fruity floral demographic. Good longevity. Looking forward to seeing how Sensuous Noir works in cold weather.
06th September, 2010
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