L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis : Perfume Review


I love a good gourmand. Weaving notes of vanilla, caramel, and other delicious things, fragrances in this genre are my ultimate comfort blankets. The moment that days get shorter and mornings cold, the tray above my perfume drawer starts to fill up with my favorite gourmands–Pink Sugar, Lolita Lempicka, Kenzo L’Éléphant, Parfums de Nicolaï Vanille Tonka and L’Artisan Traversée du Bosphore.

The latter is interesting because the sweetness of Turkish delight and vanilla are balanced by a generous dose of crisp green notes and saffron. Created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, Traversée du Bosphore is an example of contrasted gourmand I especially enjoy. Wearing it is exciting, because one moment you experience a fresh breeze and the next a voluptuous embrace. This also seemed to be the premise of Noir Exquis, a fragrance by Duchaufour that blends rich notes of candied chestnuts, coffee and tonka bean with orange blossom and citrus.

marzipan fruit

Since Noir Exquis is meant for both men and women, it doses sugar lightly and instead emphasizes the woody, balsamic layers. At first, it’s earthy and nutty, hinting at its patchouli and coffee soon to follow, but there are enough floral accents to brighten up the darkness. Based on the name, I expected something heavy and rich, but Noir Exquis is unexpectedly radiant.

As with most fragrances promising coffee, Noir Exquis offers only a taste, not the full espresso experience. Patchouli and dry woods give most of the dark effect. The drydown arrives slowly in the cashmere shawl of musk, patchouli, dark woods and sweet spices. There are some sharp woody notes that give Noir Exquis brightness, but overall, it’s enveloping and warm. The combination of patchouli and sweet notes instantly reminds me of Thierry Mulger Angel; it’s such a distinctive Angel pioneered accord that it’s hard not to make the association. But where Angel is rich and dramatic, Noir Exquis is polite and measured. Perhaps too much so.

I like Noir Exquis just fine. It’s an imminently likable and well-crafted perfume, and it wears comfortably, lingering in a lightly sweetened aura of patchouli and spicy woods. What I find more confusing is how it relates to L’Artisan’s range in spirit and character. Noir Exquis can be released under any department store label and fit just as well. I can even see it as a good Angel flanker.

No doubt, Noir Exquis with its commercial appeal is part of the push to expand L’Artisans audience further. The only problem for L’Artisan is that gourmands today are a legion, and you need not pay niche prices to find excellent options. For one thing, Thierry Mugler’s Angel and its flankers are excellent, both the original and AMen versions. Prada Eau de Parfum and its flankers are likewise similar in spirit. If coffee and patchouli is what I want, AMen would be my top choice, closely followed by Yohji Homme and Comme des Garçons Kyoto.

As for candied chestnuts, I’d rather buy a box of Pierre Marcolini’s marrons glacés.


Any gourmands that evoke fall to you?

L’Artisan Parfumeur Noir Exquis Eau de Parfum includes notes of chestnut, orange, orange blossom, coffee, maple sap, ebony, heliotrope, vanilla, tonka bean, and sandalwood. 50ml/€88; 100ml/€112

Sample: via L’Artisan PR



  • Karen: I wondered why I was craving gourmands with the start of fall – this sounds worth a try, but I love your use of the word voluptuous. That’s what I want from a gourmand.

    Two Guerlains that I received generous samples of, Gourmand Coquin and Beluga Cuir have been getting a lot of wear. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d definitely get a bottle of Gourmand Coquin – it’s heavenly! September 16, 2015 at 7:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Is Gourmand Coquin the one with chocolate? I remember the chocolate one from that collection as very good.

      I’ve been craving gourmands a lot lately. It might also be influenced by The Great British Bakeoff. Not sure if it’s aired in the US, but I’m addicted to this show. It’s on tonight, and I can’t wait to see the new episode. 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Oh yes! What bliss: the Great British Bakeoff. This is my ultimate at-home-alone evening entertainment. Absolutely wonderful!
        However, not having any TV I have to contend with capricious and sub-standard YouTube versions. Never mind, Mary Berry’s comments are worth it. September 16, 2015 at 3:29pm Reply

        • Victoria: I like that she’s always trying to saying something positive, even if she’s being critical. And who can resist Mel and Sue? Gosh, I once even had a dream that Sue was my aunt. 🙂 September 17, 2015 at 2:14pm Reply

      • Andy: Oh yes, I love The Great British Bake Off! I just watch an episode at random here or there, but it’s somehow so different from the other baking/cooking competition shows I can think of. September 16, 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: Very different! It’s more educational, and the people are actually focusing on making food, rather than TV. September 17, 2015 at 2:17pm Reply

      • Karen: Yes! Guerlain site says chocolate and smokey tea (and rose, rum, black pepper etc.). It’s rich and yummy and would be a perfect fragrance to wear while watching the Great British Bakeoff! I’ve watched it online through PBS and what a great show! September 16, 2015 at 4:14pm Reply

        • Victoria: It would be, although I worry that it might intensify my cravings for pastries even more. The Bakeoff is impossible to watch without something sweet within reach. September 17, 2015 at 2:49pm Reply

      • Figuier: Yes! The one yesterday (with the Charlottes Russes show-stoppers) had the husband and myself salivating. There was one with a cardamom and rose bavarois! We usually try to make sure we have some cake on hand while we’re watching it… September 17, 2015 at 5:04am Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, wait, I didn’t watch till the final challenge yet. We’ve recorded it to finish it tonight. September 17, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

        • Tiamaria: We’re the same in our house. I bake something every Wednesday now to have with it. Dutch apple cake this week, it was yum. We watched the first episode with nothing and it was torture! Won’t be making that mistake again. September 18, 2015 at 2:30am Reply

  • Yvonne: I’m wearing Shalimar Parfum Initial today and it’s yummy and comforting. September 16, 2015 at 8:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, it’s very delicious! September 16, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

  • briony hey: I too love a good gourmand. One of my favourites is Iris Ganache – such a shame they discontinued it. Now the weather’s turned here in London I’ll be getting out my other faves – Un Bois Vanille, Prada Candy, Chinatown and Tea for Two. September 16, 2015 at 9:44am Reply

    • Victoria: I also don’t understand why they axed it, since it seems like it has a decent fan base. Perhaps, not large enough to keep it around.

      I also like the other gourmands you’ve mentioned. September 16, 2015 at 2:49pm Reply

      • Rowanhill: My pet gripe: the discontinuation of Plus Que Jamais, but I still have some left, delish. It is time to get those autumny scents out again. Today 31 rue Cambon emerged from its summer hideout. September 22, 2015 at 7:51am Reply

  • Ari: Awww, I was so excited about the coffee note. I guess I’ll just have to keep rationing my beloved discontinued Black Vetyver Cafe until someone finally figures out how to get the coffee note right. September 16, 2015 at 9:50am Reply

    • Elisa: I really like the coffee note in Intoxicated. But of course it’s up there in prices. September 16, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

      • Nick: Yep, the closest coffee-themed perfume I have ever sniffed! September 16, 2015 at 10:06am Reply

        • Elisa: Same! September 16, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

      • Ari: For some reason, the spices in Intoxicated rub me the wrong way. But it was definitely the most interesting of that Kilian trio. September 16, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

      • Victoria: Intoxicated is good, but the price is outrageous. Of course, Tom Ford Cafe Rose, another one good coffee, is even more expensive. September 16, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

    • limegreen: Hi Ari — It’s not quite Black Vetyver Cafe but the coffee note is strong in one of the few gourmands I wear, Bond no. 9 New Harlaam (done by Maurice Roucel, one of my favorite perfumers, if I had such a list). I was recently reminded of this when given a sample of the new Valentino Uomo, which feels similar to NH with the coffee but not as sweet, with bergamot, coffee and leather.

      I was testing Narcisse Bleu which for some reason was only available in the mens dept, (amongst the suits and ties). The SA was tickled that I, as a woman, “wore mens fragrances” and gave me the Valentino to try. Feels like a “shared” fragrance to me! September 16, 2015 at 10:13am Reply

      • Ari: New Haarlem is just delicious. Maurice Roucel is the master of gourmands! September 16, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you for the heads up. I saw Valentino Uomo at the store, so I need to return and try it. September 16, 2015 at 2:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: I miss that Jo Malone the most, I think. Coffee notes are hard to get right, because often they end up smelling like roasted meat on skin. Few people like smelling like barbecue, despite the research into “what men like to smell.” 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

      • limegreen: LOL, What’s wrong with smelling like roasted meat? 🙂
        Black Vetyver smelled wonderful on paper, but always smelled too smoky on me, as if I snuck out for a cigarette.
        Valentino Uomo was a surprise, one of those that can be overlooked in all the ubiquitous dept store offerings. If the SA had not given a sample to me, I would never have tried it.
        And, neither here nor there but the price is much more affordable than any of the coffee fragrances mentioned so far. September 16, 2015 at 4:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: Vetiver does have the cigarette scent in certain combinations. It’s strange that I, who really hates the smell of cigarette smoke, should like the smell of smoky vetivers.

          Roasted meat actually smells a lot like properly cured vanilla beans (among other things, of course). September 17, 2015 at 2:51pm Reply

          • limegreen: Only you, Victoria, could make roasted meat and cured vanilla beans sound like an actual perfume! 🙂 September 17, 2015 at 3:31pm Reply

            • Victoria: But you’re the one who led me down that path. 🙂 September 18, 2015 at 1:42pm Reply

      • limegreen: I just looked up all the notes, Valentino Uomo has myrtle in it! (After all that Mirto talk, you mentioned the greenness that myrtle adds to perfumes, and here it is!) September 17, 2015 at 9:45am Reply

        • Victoria: Now it’s even more alluring. Yes, all of the myrtle talk was very inspiring. 🙂 September 17, 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Nick: ‘Gourmand’…hmm I haven’t stumbled upon any distinctively coffee-themed perfume. The closest thing I ran into was Intoxicated, which features Turkish coffee. Is there something that screams ‘cappuccino’, ‘caramel machiato’, or ‘triple espresso’? Any recommendations? September 16, 2015 at 10:05am Reply

    • limegreen: See “New Harlaam” above and below! 🙂

      You might also get caramel machiato with the latest Tom Ford — Noir Pour Femme. Don’t be thrown off by the “femme” part. 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 11:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t found anything, to be honest. But New Haarlem by Bond no 9 is a contender. September 16, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

  • rosarita: My favorite patchouli and coffee blend is Bond 9 New Haarlem, especially on a damp chilly fall day. It feels like I’m meeting a friend for coffee, whether I am or not. September 16, 2015 at 10:10am Reply

    • limegreen: Jinx! We were commenting on New Harlaam at the same time! 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 10:14am Reply

    • orsetta: oh yes, New Haarlem 😀 – it’s one of the very few Bonds i like September 16, 2015 at 11:08am Reply

    • Victoria: I love your description of it, rosarita. It’s so evocative, and it makes me crave New Haarlem. 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 2:53pm Reply

  • Jillie: I never thought I would like coffee in a fragrance until I tried Noa at your suggestion and loved it – I think I will stick to Noa.

    L’Artisan is releasing so many perfumes I really can’t keep up, and I am sad that they have discontinued those that I enjoyed.

    Like you, I found Traversee to be lovely. Did you ever have their Traversee candles? The tiny ones packed such a wonderful punch and fragranced a big room within minutes! September 16, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t notice as much coffee in Noa as some of you, but I know that it’s there. So, perhaps, you might also find more coffee in Noir Exquis.

      I haven’t tried the candles, but in general, I like L’Artisan candles a lot. And don’t get me started on their Amber ball. Mine still smells strongly, and it will soon be 5-6 years since I’ve received, maybe even more. September 16, 2015 at 2:56pm Reply

  • Trudy: This sounds nice. I have been trying to venture into something different from my soft floral fragrances. I have never gone in the gourmand direction. I will give this a spray when I can. However I agree that L’Artisan is a bit pricey for something just “nice”. Maybe Ill try the Prada or one of the other suggestions in today’s comments. I never thought I ‘d say it, but I am ready for fall. We’ve had a very hot dry summer and I woke this morning to cool air and a light rain and I am loving it! I am going to look through all my samples and decants to try to find my own blanket of comfort (love that description). Great post. September 16, 2015 at 10:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, very good, but for the price, I’m not sure it works. That being said, this kind of fragrance is very appealing. I’m also enjoying Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb. It’s a spicy, woody perfume with tobacco notes, and while it’s not gourmand, it’s sweet and enveloping. September 16, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

  • Lucretia Trollope: Regina Harris Amber Vanilla. Laudanum is very much alive and does drown in a puddle of unctuous vanilla. These days just about any perfume can be called a gourmand, since perfumery has become synonymous with vanilla dry downs. One can predict the arrival of the vanilla or Benzoin base like keyed up clockwork.
    L’Antichambre Le Chocolat. Chocolate and Belgium. Two fantasies a plain Jane like me can play with. September 16, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

    • Lucretia Trollope: “Laudanum” – Freudian slip. lol!!! Labdanum. September 16, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

      • Lucretia Trollope: …does not drown. I am useless with technology… September 16, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

      • elisa p: That’s an awesome auto correct! 😀 September 17, 2015 at 12:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I should try L’Antichambre at long last. There is a boutique here, but I haven’t made it there yet.

      Technically, it’s not the vanilla that drives modern gourmands. It’s something called Veltol, a material that smells like cotton candy. That’s what fires up the accords in Angel, Coco Mademoiselle, Prada, etc. September 16, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

      • Rowanhill: I visited the l’Antichambre shop a couple of weeks ago, after having passed it countless times as I live close by – left with a room spray. Very friendly service. 🙂 September 22, 2015 at 8:05am Reply

    • Claire: I agree. That now generic Vanilla -Amber – woodsy dry-down has disappointed me again and again. I find myself asking: is that all that there is? Where has that beautiful, nuanced fragrance gone (the one I spritzed on just a moment ago). It is often far too elusive to justify purchasing for what you really end up living with. I avoid many fragrances with Amber included in the notes, only because it has dominated the finish of so many otherwise much more interesting and complex fragrances I’ve tried. September 16, 2015 at 3:13pm Reply

      • Victoria: That’s what happened when the traditional base notes ended up severely restricted. I like ambers, but some amber themed perfumes drydown to a very similar finish. September 16, 2015 at 3:16pm Reply

        • Claire: Victoria, Thsnk you for your explanation here, and earlier regarding synthetic Vanilla. I love vanilla and rich spicy orientals but I like many a great deal less than I used due to reformulations restrictions and the all too easily and prevalent sugary gourmand. Happily that trend seems to be waning and it even seems like carnation is gaining some popularity again. The gourmands are all wonderful when done well! Patricia’s post on Amber helped me to identify several Amber perfumes I love: the original Chanel Coco, By Kilian Amber Oud and BK Rose Oud (though I’m not sure if the latter fits). I haven’t worn the By Kilians since they are rather pricey and the Rose, for that reason, rather too fleeting, at least on my skin. September 18, 2015 at 3:31pm Reply

          • Victoria: I get a nice amber note out of Rose Oud, but I agree with you, I wish it were longer lasting. The thing is that my first sample of it was big and lingering, but when my bottle (or rather, travel spray refills) are less so. It could also be that I’m getting used to it. September 19, 2015 at 8:34am Reply

  • Solanace: It’s a shame that Noir Exquis is not as huge, smoldering and dark as the name suggests. Meh. I love gourmands, they warm up my soul. Hypnotic Poison is soft like cashmere, Lolita Lempicka and Rahat Loukoum are my cherry darlings, Lolita being more sophisticated, while RL is just juicy and delicious. Then there is Shalimar, the queen of them all. Nez à Nez Marron Chic dark cocoa with iris is wonderful. Wish I tried Iris Ganache while it was there… September 16, 2015 at 12:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: I would like it more even if it weren’t huge and smoldering but somehow more in line with L’Artisan. It doesn’t really cohere with the collection.

      Hypnotic Poison is another one of my favorites, and I should put it on my tray. 🙂 September 16, 2015 at 3:03pm Reply

  • spe: Thank you for your excellent descriptions. I am soooo not a gourmand – will pass. September 16, 2015 at 1:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you don’t like gourmands, then you can steer past it. It’s not a typical sugary gourmand, to be fair, but it’s on the sweet side. September 16, 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Sandra: Hmm..I will pass on this one. Agree with Solanance comments above about gourmands-and Shalimar being the queen.
    I have been on a lipstick hunt since your last beauty post. I am happy to report that I changed my ways about shimmer and bought Kiss Kiss baby rose-not looking back. Also the maybelline carnation gloss. Also have my eye on the TF new fall line of lipsticks-but my wallet is saying look away look away! September 16, 2015 at 2:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear this! Baby Rose is a gorgeous color, and you can now see why I bought it, even though something that light is wrong for my complexion. The color itself is multifaceted and the shimmer is fine and gives a lush, golden undertone.

      So far I have been immune to Tom Ford lipsticks. Maybe, it’s because there is only one counter that sells them, and it’s always besieged when I’m at the store. One time I saw a woman buying 15 lipsticks! September 16, 2015 at 3:07pm Reply

      • Sandra: You caught me! Don’t tell my husband ? September 16, 2015 at 7:29pm Reply

  • Aurora: Oh, marrons glaces, like you I love them and indulge at Xmas, one delicious thing to look forward to.
    This Noir Exquis seems to want to be a crowd pleaser, thank you very much for reviewing it, I will try it but you measured review means that I’ll keep expectations in check, have spritzed some L L’Aime after bath, I find it well balanced this perfume, so that the coconut doesn’t annoy. September 16, 2015 at 3:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: An Italian friend showed me that you can eat candied chestnuts by taking alternative bites of chestnuts and candied violets. It’s a sugar overload, for sure, but it’s very good. If you have a cup of coffee or a glass of cognac (or jenever!) alongside it all, even better.

      I just realized that I never tried Lempicka’s Elle L’Aime. September 16, 2015 at 3:18pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: Talking about marrons glacés: Carons`s “Nuit de Noël” (edt) is a study in candied chestnuts: highly addictive— September 16, 2015 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s one of my favorites, especially for cooler days. It smells delicious wafting under the warm layers. September 17, 2015 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Alicia: When I consider how few gourmands I own, compared with my florals, orientals and citrus, it doesn’t seem that I have much of a sweet tooth. I might occasionally flirt with them, but never fell in love. During the harsh winters of Upstate NY a gourmand is comforting, and I have a few: Lolita Lempicka, Hanae Mori, Jungle l’Elephant, Chinatown. (Does Womanity count?)I enjoy all of them. Somewhere I have a sample of New Haarlem, which I should try, inspired by this post. Autumn is the time of the year when my fresh Eaux and transparent florals are put to bed until next year, and my Chanels reappear lead by #19, followed by Coromandel and Bois des Iles. And the latter brings other wonderful woods, Feminité de Bois, Bois de Violette. And some leather starting with Bandit. The heavier florals with wondrous Fracas and Carnal Flower… Too many old loves. I enjoy a gourmand occasionally. Soon it will be time, when by October the forest behind my house dresses itself in purples, oranges and gold. September 16, 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Womanity definitely counts. I used to wear it a lot, but I grew tired of it lately. Have you tried the shower gel? I’m usually not a fan of scented shower gels, but this one is very good. September 17, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

      • Alicia: Thank you, Victoria. I’ll try the gel. I normally use a jasmine one, and enjoy being enveloped in it. My bathroom always smells of jasmine. Womanity is an interesting fragrance, but I only wear it occasionally. Here we are still in the 90s, I needed something fresh, and I chose Pamplelune. Got compliments. It seems that today I didn’t underspray. I was lunching with a friend, who was wearing Egoiste. I don’t see any reason why a woman couldn’t wear it. I am tempted to buy a bottle: I like it that much. September 17, 2015 at 6:20pm Reply

        • Victoria: Which jasmine shower gel do you use?

          I wear Egoiste too, and I get compliments on it. It’s definitely a fragrance that shouldn’t be left to the men’s counter only. September 18, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

  • elisa p: Marzipan fruit? Love the photo! My list of gourmand loves is growing. Love Lolita Lempicka, too. It got good wear this summer. My 2 new loves are Lubin Korrigan(boozy , woody, salted caramel) and Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 Une Nuit a Doha(fennel, ginger, immortelle). Too pricy for me right now, though. Also like Dries Van Noten for cold weather. I should revisit Traversee du B as I didn’t give it much skin time. Will try this new one if I come across it at a store. Thanks for your impressions! September 17, 2015 at 12:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes! They look wonderful, but they’re far too sweet for me. I kept them on the candy for a while, just to enjoy the marzipan artistry.

      I’ve added Korrigan to my list. It’s another fragrance that I know I must have sampled, but I don’t remember it. You had me at salted caramel. September 17, 2015 at 2:56pm Reply

  • Figuier: I was reading this review yesterday afternoon, in a freezing air-conditioned cafe watching the rain come pelting down outside. If someone had come and offered me a sample of Noir Exquis at that moment I would have bathed in the stuff! Even if it’s not exciting it does sound nice; and it’s definitely getting to gourmand season here. I’ve smelled a few people wearing patchouli + sugar scents lately and been very tempted to follow suit… September 17, 2015 at 4:55am Reply

    • Figuier: Oh and to add: the gourmand I’m craving most intensely is La Petite Robe Noire Couture. September 17, 2015 at 5:00am Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you for reminding me of La Petite Robe Noire Couture. I just pulled my sample out and I’m wearing it right now. It feels just right. September 17, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: The first time I wore was on exactly such a day, and I enjoyed it. I do enjoy it when I wear it, but I don’t see myself getting a full bottle. Not that price, at least. September 17, 2015 at 2:57pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I’m not a huge gourmand lover, I only have very few rather “moderate” gourmand scents in my collection – Atelier Cologne Silver Iris,
    Nez a Nez Marron Chic and Parfum d’Empire Equistrius, so I don’t think Noir Exquis will make it on my must-try list.
    And, by the way, I wish Artisan Parfumeur came up with something really distinctive again. Their latest releases were all somewhat faceless… September 17, 2015 at 7:08am Reply

    • Victoria: Is Silver Iris sweet? I tried it such a long time ago that it’s probably time to smell it again.

      Yes, I agree. Nothing since Seville a l’Aube has been that memorable. September 17, 2015 at 3:01pm Reply

      • Jackie: Speaking of both “distinctive” and Silver Iris , I wanted to share my excitement about my first ever blind buy arriving yesterday: Dzongkha!

        As I’d hoped based on the notes (incense, iris), I LOVE it!! Definitely a statement-maker: wow!! What a combination of woods, incense, iris, and spices!! At first, I was a bit…, well, shocked (the spices initially seemed harsh and I wasn’t getting the iris I was hoping for, though the incense was amazing!), but the dry down, where the iris appeared while the incense kept going: ahhh, heaven! And what a sillage! WOW!

        This morning, to bring out the iris, I sprayed a bit of Silver Iris over it. 🙂 September 17, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: Dzongkha is a heavenly scent, I’ve been wearing it a lot this year, even in the summer. If I was to choose one scent I couldn’t live without, it would definitely be Dzongkha. I have to try the layering combination with Silver Iris, I’ve only layered it with Lumiere Blanche so far. September 18, 2015 at 7:35am Reply

          • Jackie: I can understand why it’s your go-to, rainboweyes. I am just beginning to fall in love with it. (Sometimes I fall out of love as quickly as I fell in, but I don’t think I will with this one!)

            I must try layering with Lumiere Blanche. Sounds fantastic! Thanks for the tip! September 18, 2015 at 12:26pm Reply

        • Neva: Sounds fascinating! I’m a Dzing fan and never tried Dzongkha. Not to mention that for a while I thought it’s the same scent because of the exotic names…I will surely look for a sample of Dzongkha. I’m no gourmand fan. To me winter scents are mainly leather and incense and wood. Do you think Dzongkha could fit into it? September 18, 2015 at 9:32am Reply

          • Jackie: Oh yes, Neva! Dzongkha has leather, incense, and woods, though, to my nose, the leather is pretty subtle. It also has iris and spices. Mmmm. It really is heavenly. (though I do find the opening a bit harsh, it soon settles down.) For my part, I’ve never tried Dzing! Will hunt down a sample! September 18, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Neva, if you like leather, incense and wood, you should also give Sienne d’Hiver a try – Dzongkha’s slightly more masculine cousin. The combination of iris, white truffle, gaiac wood and frankincense is perfect in the winter. September 19, 2015 at 9:13am Reply

        • Victoria: I had an ambivalent relationship with Dzongkha until one day when it felt so good. I love the combination of iris and incense. September 18, 2015 at 1:44pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Regarding your question further above – yes, Silver Iris has a certain sweetness to it, I’d say it’s comparable to Traversée du Bosphore, one of my love-hate scents. I think it’s the vanilla which gives me a headache, somehow I seem to tolerate the tonka bean in Silver Iris a bit better. September 19, 2015 at 9:18am Reply

            • Victoria: Iris with the almond like notes is an interesting pairing. September 21, 2015 at 5:00am Reply

        • Tati: Love Dzongkha! It was my first iris perfume buy, also a blind-buy, but it surprised me. They describe it being inspired by the scent of stones and incense at a temple. For me, it is very serene. I love to wear it walking along the ocean, or whenever I need to be peaceful. September 19, 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Ron Slomowicz: PIERRE MARCOLINI – Marrons glaces
    ** sounds yummy.. will be looking for these when I am in Europe next month September 17, 2015 at 8:54am Reply

    • Victoria: You’ll be right at the start of the season. Other confectioners carry them too, but Marcolini’s are some of the best. September 17, 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Flos Archangeli: I just received a company sample of both Noir Exquis and Rose Privee. In trialing them both, there is a bizarre note I’ve never come into contact with before–I can only describe it as a high-pitched, shrill, chemical burning smell that actually irritates the lining of my nostrils and the back of my throat!!

    Any idea what this component could be? It was detectable but not terribly problematic in the Rose Privee…but in the Noir Exquis, I had to use oils and alcohol and dish soap to try to get it off, and still had to cover it up with other scents. 🙁

    Noir Exquis was thus my first-ever scrubber. 🙁 I’m so disappointed–I thought the description of the notes sounded perfect for cozy fall and winter evenings. I can’t believe I got this chemical burn instead. Never had that before with other L’Artisan (or any!) scents.

    Your thoughts on what this “note” is that both perfumes have in common would be greatly appreciated! I will go far out of my way to avoid it in the future! 🙂 <3 October 2, 2015 at 3:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you tried Coco Mademoiselle? If so, do you notice the same effect in it? October 4, 2015 at 2:25pm Reply

      • Flos Archangeli: I have not tried it, but now you make me curious to do so…and it sounds like you may have an idea of what the scent molecule might be, yes? 🙂 October 4, 2015 at 9:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: I wonder if it’s the cotton candy ingredient. On the other hand, it’s not in Rose Privee, and I get nothing sharp or burning out of it. October 5, 2015 at 4:53am Reply

          • Flos Archangeli: Thanks so much for the input. I will try to sample the Coco Mademoiselle at the first opportunity, and report back. 😉 Am keeping a log as well so that if I encounter this same shrill burning note in other frags, it will help to diagnose what the ingredient could be.

            (Could it be that I just got an off sample of these from L’Artisan? Or do I have an allergy to something? Or perhaps the scenting capability of a black bear? LOL)

            Thanks for your time and expertise! Adore your blog. <3 October 5, 2015 at 9:31am Reply

          • Flos Archangeli: You know what? I’m suspecting that the source of the high-pitched Accord of Irritiation is whatever it is that L’Artisan is using to represent patchouli!

            I trialed their Voleur de Roses last night, and the shrill burning smell came out again during the drydown especially (though nowhere near to the degree it did with Noir Exquis).

            Could it be how L’Artisan is representing patchouli, especially if they might have made any changes to this in recent years, and that’s what’s doing me in? Would really like your expert thoughts on this possibility. 🙂 Thanks! October 14, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

            • Victoria: Possibly. Or a woody ambery note. Those, much more than patchouli, can be very shrill. Ambroxan, for instance. October 14, 2015 at 3:57pm Reply

              • Flos Archangeli: I will have to watch out for ambroxan next time I sniff a ‘fume known to contain that…but patchouli does seem to be a (the?) common thread between L’Artisan’s Noir Exquis, Rose Privee, and Voleur de Roses…I’m gonna suspect their patchouli at least for now, and pay special attention to how I react to patchouli from other lines! [dons detective cap]

                Thanks very much for your expertise!! October 15, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

              • Flos Archangeli: Victoria. I know you’ve probably been losing sleep over this mystery, so I’m here to tell you I’ve solved it. 🙂

                I’ve figured it out from a spate of recent frag samplings. It’s definitely patchouli. 🙁

                I used to love patchouli back in the day. As background, I am getting back into perfume after about a decade away. I wonder if something to do with IFRA has caused perfumers to start using some horrible new variant of patchouli that screams in one’s nostrils and burns one’s mucosa. Have you heard of anyone else experiencing this with patchouli? Thanks! November 5, 2015 at 9:38pm Reply

                • Victoria: I haven’t, but patchouli hasn’t changed because of the regulations. Of course, the essence extraction techniques always evolve, but to my knowledge, it’s still close to the classical material. November 6, 2015 at 9:46am Reply

                  • Flos Archangeli: Then…then…it must be me. 🙁 I’m turning into a patchouli super-smeller in my old age…like some kind of sad warped bloodhound…? November 6, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

  • Julie: Hello,
    I’ve been catching up with some of your reviews…
    This sounds like a winner!!
    Thanks Victoria. A great scent for the fall indeed. 🙂 October 29, 2015 at 1:44pm Reply

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