noir is the new black: 23 posts

Yves Saint Laurent Nu : Fragrance Review

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Nu

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Is the fragrance market the best arbiter of what is good? In the case of Nu, my answer is an emphatic no! This Yves Saint Laurent fragrance created in 2001 by Jacques Cavallier under the creative direction of Tom Ford explores such dusky and moody territory that it could never have been a commercial success. Yet, for those of us who love to stray over to the dark side, Nu offers a fascinating experience—a combination of opulent incense notes, spicy carnation, creamy sandalwood and the fiery flourish of dark spices. Although the name and the imagery suggest a sensual, femme fatale fragrance, I find Nu polished and elegant, with just enough smoldering allure to keep things interesting.

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Lancome Magie Noire : Perfume Review

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Magie_Noire

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Of all the fragrances attempting to convey the idea of darkness, Lancôme Magie Noire stands out as particularly successful. The layering of animalic notes, the opulent florals like ylang ylang and tuberose and a lush dose of moss results in a fragrance of such mysterious, dusky and brooding character that I cannot describe it in any way but haunting. It is not easy to like as a fragrance since it is simultaneously quite dark, animalic and intensely green. Despite its rich floral accord, it is not particularly feminine either, and in fact, I can see it as an interesting, unconventional masculine scent. I cannot help being fascinated by the way Magie Noire evolves and goes from challenging to spellbinding.

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Bulgari Black : Fragrance Review

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Marlened2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

To smell alluring one would never expect to don the scent of rubber and smoke. Yet, Bvlgari Black with its smoke and resin accords that oscillate between dark roasted lapsang souchong tea and rubber is one of the most sensual fragrances I have tried. Its sensuality is not the skintight silk dress seduction of Robert Piguet Fracas or the strawberries and champagne charm of Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse. Black is Marlene Dietrich in the 1930’s film “The Blue Angel.” It is thrilling, smoldering and daring. Nothing about it is conventionally beautiful. The best way to describe it is arresting. …

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Tom Ford Black Orchid : Fragrance Review

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Tom_ford_black_orchid_1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The promise of beguiling black orchid scent, the suggestion of classical glamour, the retro advertisement reminiscent of George Hurrell’s famous shot of Veronica Lake–and Tom Ford’s solo debut, Black Orchid became my most anticipated 2006 launch. When I finally held the gorgeous black glass bottle in my hand and sprayed the perfume on my skin, I envisioned something along the lines of Rochas Femme, the radiant sweetness wrapped into the rich animalic warmth. …

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Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir : Perfume Review

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Blackiris

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Even if Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir does not present its promised black iris, it more than makes up for it with its exquisite combination of spices, incense ashes and velvety woods. Its form crafted out of resinous and balsamic notes is nevertheless rendered as luminous and weightless, like silk, rather than wool. …

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