Launched in 2015 by French indie line L`Artisan Parfumeur. The inspiration for Noir Exquis was a rendez-vous over a coffee in a pâtisserie.
Noir Exquis opens with a note of marron glacé (candied chestnut) – those sweet, dense, toothsome treats that show up in every Paris corner boulangerie and pâtisserie during the late fall and winter. Here, the smell has been beautifully replicated: sweet enough to draw in you so you want more but not so sweet it pushes you away. The denseness of the chestnut is tempered with a note of fresh, juicy orange, while a note of walnut adds a rich nuttiness to the opening. It smells delicious. As it blooms, a sweet, floral note of orange blossom ushers in a light note of coffee, like the scent that rises up from a hot cup of coffee creme.
And, then, it appears – a note of caramelly maple syrup. I love the sweet/savoury odour profile of maple syrup in a fragrance, and in Noir Exquis it keeps the sweetness perfectly balanced as it moves to the base where I get a lovely hint of coconut, likely from Macassar wood, along with heliotrope, it's almond and vanilla facets extended with lush, creamy vanilla. Tonka bean adds a bittersweet almond facet to the base, while sandalwood, rich and creamy, adds a gorgeous woodiness to it.
The drydown isn’t foodie or heavy, but radiant, refined and elegant. True to the brief, it smells like the air in a French pâtisserie in late fall or winter: fresh pastries and brewing coffee, and two people warming up from the cold and warming up to each other. This is a new kind of seduction that’s born of familiarity, comfort and warmth. It’s what makes Noir Exquis so exciting to wear.
Notes: glazed chestnut, orange, walnut, orange blossom, coffee, maple syrup, Macassar wood, heliotrope, vanilla, Tonka bean and white sandalwood.