Tom Ford’s Noir is a daring, tenebrous take on the bergamot-patchouli-opoponax structure so masterfully explored in the Guerlain classics Shalimar and Habit Rouge.
It opens with a fresh, agrestic-citrus accord centred around bergamot that’s taken in an oily, green direction with violet leaf. Black pepper serves for spicy contrast and together with a civet note of unusual intensity, introduces the titular ‘noir’ theme. The similarities with J.-P. Guerlain’s masterpiece Habit Rouge become most apparent in the heart, where the herbal complex is softened with powdery orris and plenty of opoponax. In distinction however, the patchouli here is very much brought to the fore and encouraged to express its full range, from the camphorous through the earthy to the ambery. The latter facet, in combination with the opoponax, then links to a musky-vanillic Oriental base that retains a slight animalic vibe.
Makes me wish I liked to wear patchouli more!
Nose: Olivier Guillotin
House: Tom Ford
Release date (2012)
Notes (per Fragrantica): bergamot, verbena, caraway, pink pepper, violet, black pepper, nutmeg, iris, geranium, rose, clary sage, opoponax, amber, patchouli, vetiver, civet, vanilla.