Eau Noire – My Latest ‘Eau My God’ Moment
The best thing about sharing samples with other perfumistas is that every now and then you will receive one that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you call out to the heavens. I like to call this moment the ‘Eau My God’ moment – that moment where you are literally blown away by the smell wafting out of the sample vial. My most recent, and probably my strongest ‘Eau My God’ moment happened only last week.
Following my Guide to Lavender, the lovely of Tara from Olfactoria’s Travels insisted that she send me a sample of Eau Noire because she thought it might be something I would like. Well, I think we can safely say that Tara knows her stuff because I absolutely love Eau Noire, so much in fact that my love for it is currently bordering on full-blown obsession.
Eau Noire was released in 2004 (I’m late to the party as always) and started out as part of a trio of exclusive Dior Homme colognes, it was created by the über-talented Francis Kurkdjian (one of my favourite perfumers no less) and now sits within Dior’s ‘La Collection Privée’. Dior describe Eau Noire as “an elegant gala spirit in an intense evening fragrance” , and if any fragrance screams ‘evening’ it’s Eau Noire. This dark, brooding beauty wears a coat of emerald green and bewitches you with a sense of intrigue, mystery and danger.
White Thyme, Lavender, Liquorice, Vanilla Bourbon and Cedar 
How Does it Smell?
The first blast of Eau Noire is somewhat of a baptism of fire, there seems to be a heck of a lot going on; lavender, liquorice, curry and vanilla all whirl round you in a swirling whirlwind of scented goodness. I find it to be a totally joyful experience, and unlike anything else that has come into contact with my nostrils.
Things fall into place pretty quickly and the top notes are very much about lavender and liquorice, two aromas that are very much intertwined. Each brings out the dark anisic, herbal, and sugary qualities of the other and the overall vibe is neither floral nor gourmand, it sits somewhere comfortably between.
Possibly the most striking aspect of Eau Noire is the HUGE amount of imortelle within the heart. It’s kind of like the elephant in the room, you can’t help but notice it, but whether you wish to talk about it depends entirely on how you feel. Personally I love imortelle, it is perhaps one of the most complex and pleasing smells around, it smells like sweet maple syrup, burned sugar and curry. Much to my pleasure, Eau Noire seems to showcase each and every one of the imortelle flower’s wonderful facets in perfect proportion.
The maple and curry spices of the imortelle are a perfect fit with the lavender and liquorice, and whilst its main components are all rather weighty materials Eau Noire never feels heavy, intrusive or overbearing, it’s actually very chic in a masculine kind of way (it is of course suitable for the ladies too). Eau Noire has a very french attitude, it knows that it won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it doesn’t care, it thinks it smells great and that’s all that matters.
Finally, after many hours of wowing the senses, Eau Noire settles on a base of warm spices and a wonderfully creamy vanilla. I keep trying to think whether I have smelled a fragrance as damn good as this recently, and I really don’t think I have! Eau Noire is everything that a good fragrance should be; distinct, unusual, well proportioned and exceptionally blended, beautiful and of obscenely high quality. Bravo Dior!
Eau Noire is part of La Collection Privée Christian Dior and is available in 450ml, 250ml and 125ml Eau de Parfum. Prices start at £120.
This review is based on a sample of Eau Noire generously provided by Tara of Olfactoria’s Travels.
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 &  Dior.com