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Noir – spicy and floral and masculine

Most Saturdays throughout the summer and into late fall, my brother and I meet up and walk to the local farmer's market together. We love good food made from great produce and each other, so this is an easy way for us to catch up and just be together.

A week before Thanksgiving, I noticed something in the air as we set out for the market.
'Are you wearing a fragrance'? I asked him.
'Yep,' he said.
'But you never wear fragrance!'
'That's right.'
'But you're wearing it now.'
My brother is a man of few words.
'What changed?'
'New girlfriend.'
'You have a new girlfriend?'
‘Yep. And she likes Noir.’
‘By Tom Ford?’

I don’t know what made me happier that fact that my brother has a new girlfriend who seems to like fragrances or the fact that I had a new fragrance discovery. Noir had cast its spell on me, so after the market, I nosed around the web to learn more about it. Noir was launched in 2012 and was the first fragrance in the Noir Series, which grew to include Noir Eau de Toilette, Noir Anthracite, Noir Extreme and Noir Pour Femme. It was signed by Olivier Gillotin of Givaudan, who signed ten other fragrances for the brand. Enough reading. It was time for sniffing. Guess what happened. Anyone? Anyone? I bought a bottle of Noir EdP. My brother may be a man of few words, but this EdP speaks volumes.

Here’s why. It opens with a note of tart bergamot that’s light and elegant. It blends into a note of lemony, herbal verbena. This citrusy start is irresistibly refined.  Then caraway balances the citrus with  its anisic sweetness, as pink pepper, herbal and fresh bridges the citrus and tones that came before it with its spicy, floral facets that hint at what’s to come – a note of violet, powdery and sweet. I know it seems as if the powderiness wouldn’t work. That it might be too femme, but here it has the effect of creating a masculine sensuality. Warm, spicy black pepper opens the heart where nutmeg adds more spicy warmth, which sets the stage for a note of iris that’s powdery, soft and elegant. A note of rosy geranium leads to opulent rich Bulgarian rose that’s buttressed with earthy, herbaceous clary sage which keeps the femininity of the rose in check. At the base, things are decidedly masculine with warm, sweet, balsamic opoponax, earthy, woody vetiver and patchouli and sweet warm amber. Civet gives it an animalic edge while vanilla adds creaminess and a little sweetness.

I found a quote from Tom Ford where he says: “Noir captures how for many men there is a sophisticated outer persona and yet there is also that private side only a few know. This contrast is what makes him fascinating.” The dualities of feminine/masculine, refinement/eroticism, public/private are beautifully expressed in Tom Ford Noir, one of the best masculine fragrances out there. As for the contrasts making the man who wears Tom Ford Noir fascinating, well, my brother’s new girlfriend seems to think so.
Noir is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.