Last year Tom Ford released his third signature masculine fragrance under the very Tom Ford-esque moniker ‘Noir‘. This Eau de Parfum was one of 2012’s more impressive launches, so splendid it was in fact that it won a Candy (my annual awards) for Best Mainstream Masculine, beating out the likes of Viktor & Rolf’s Spicebomb and Guerlain’s Homme L’Eau Boisée.
New for 2013 is the Noir Eau de Toilette, a lighter and fresher version of the Noir signature. Tom Ford describes it as being “inspired by a mysterious duality of elegance and sensuality” and as far as masculine fragrances go it definitely feels elegant enough to fulfill the smart, suit-clad aesthetic of the brand, albeit in a much more ‘dressed-down’ manner.
“An oriental, sensual fragrance that captures the twin facets of the Tom Ford man; the refined, urbane sophisticate who the world gets to see and the intriguingly sensuous, private man they don’t.”
Where Noir Eau de Parfum is a contemporary and masculine take on Guerlain’s flagship fragrance Shalimar, the Eau de Toilette is more akin to a ‘légère’ or ‘light’ version. To put it another way, the EDP is best worn with a super-smart suit (or trench coat and massive scarf) and the EDT is more suited for a clean white shirt and chinos – its the difference between day and night.
Top: Italian Bergamot and Verbena, Caraway, Baie Rose, Violet Flower, Spearmint Oil, Lemon Italy Orpur, Black Pepper from Madagascar, Nutmeg, Tuscan Iris Resin, Egyptian Geranium, Bulgarian Rose, Clary Sage, Opoponax, Amber, Indonesian Patchouli Oil, Vetiver Oil, Benzoin from Laos, Civet and Vanilla
How Does it Smell?
Noir Eau de Toilette is recognisably ‘Noir’ right from the outset. The original’s signature opening accord of citrus and violet leaf is intact, however in this EDT version a bracing wind of mint and cardamom joins the foray to create a sparkling and entirely more relaxed atmosphere.
The cool notes don’t last for long however, and before you know it Noir EDT warms up with accents of spicy rose, amber and patchouli. Things don’t reach the height of oriental luxury as seen in the EDP, but the spices flicker nicely in the heart, allowing for more than just a mere hint of stubble.
Vanilla and iris are most prominent in the base, giving the impression of a sweet and delicate powder. There’s also a touch of something slightly sour but not quite animalic lurks in the background, providing depth and maintaining a link with the richness found in the original’s base notes.
Noir, in this new Eau de Toilette concentration, succeeds in capturing the spirit of the Eau de Parfum in a lighter, more transparent presentation. At no point does it feel dumbed down or unnecessary, instead it’s a more casual interpretation that, as the rather accurate press release quite rightly states, is as “handsome as a bare chest beneath a white dress shirt”.
Seeing as Tom Ford doesn’t exactly do casual (has anyone seen the man in anything but a suit?), one imagines the gentleman wearing Noir EDT to pair it with a lighter coloured and more paired down suit, perhaps with a few eccentric touches as seen in the first image above.
Whatever one wears it with though, Noir EDT is a great addition to the Tom Ford Signature Collection, and whilst I personally feel I would opt for the EDP as a matter of preference, this version is great for those occasions when one wants to smell mighty fine without donning something quite so dramatic and heavy.
Noir Eau de Toilette is available in 50ml (£50) and 100ml (£68) sizes.
Sample, notes, image 2 and quotes via Tom Ford. Image 1 via monicapetroski.wordpress.com.