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    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

    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

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