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Fragrances - Estee Lauder - Sensuous Noir

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rated 3.6(45 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.6
  • 64% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.8
  • Price: $$$

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 1/11/2015 4:31:00 AM More reviews by LeMinx

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I have an absurd, bordering on obscene amount of perfume but when I got a whiff of this scent at Marshalls (thanks anonymous customer who decided to tear apart a box of this!), I just had to get it. The fact that it was a mere $30 didn't hurt either.

When I got this home and finally spritzed it on myself, I was highly disappointed and almost sure that I got yet another nasty perfume because the initial scent is quite masculine and almost nauseating. I can't recall which cologne this actually reminds me of, but it's not one that I like. I was ready to chalk this up to yet another blind(ish) buy that would be relegated to my "Unusable Perfumes/Makeup/Beauty Product" drawer (What? You don't have one?) but then it began to dry down. I've no idea what happens between the first spritz and the dry down but whatever it is, it's a miracle. The dry down is much softer but, predictably, a little dark with a tinge of spicy sharpness. I think the draw for me with this scent is the patchouli as I seem to like fragrances with that note. There's also a mingling of vanilla and pine that make it a little more interesting. I tried the original Sensuous years ago but something about it bugged me. Whatever that something was, I don't sense it in the Noir version.

As others have said, this probably isn't the most original fragrance out there but I like it. I'm not a perfume snob by any means, but who wants to smell like every other person out there? I think it's just unusual enough to be unique but still "normal" enough to be mainstream. As for staying power, this baby lasts. I fell asleep while wearing this and, being the bum I am, did so before taking a shower. I woke up the next day and could still smell it. I think that's how all perfumes should be considering most of them are crazy expensive.

Now, the negatives - I loath the name. For whatever reason, the word "sensuous" gives me the willies. There's something decidedly unsexy about that word despite it being almost universally accepted as being sexy. While we're at it, "noir" is also a tad cheesy. I think the smallest bottle is about $60 but that's rather typical of high end line scents these days. I likely wouldn't have tried this at its regular price but I tend to be a cheap-o.

All that said, Sensuous Noir is not a perfume I will be wearing daily. I like it but I definitely have to be in the mood for it. As it is a darker scent, I think it lends itself better to cold weather and since I live in the jungle, those days are few and far between. It's not a purchase I regret but I would recommend that anyone interested in it first get a sample to see how it reacts to your body chemistry.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 9/28/2014 10:20:00 PM More reviews by Aimbl

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Two stars, meritorious, but I won't wear it; too generic.

Estée Lauder rendition of a niche type scent, specifically serge lutens. Sensuous Noire is a cross between serge lutens filles et aiguilles (think cheery Christmas pine) and shiseido feminite de bois/lutens feminitie de bois (honeyed dried fruit and wood) (Lutens was the creative director of the Lutens and Shiseido scents). The original Feminitie du bois, I think, was released in 1992.

I consider both filles et aiguilles and feminitie de bois to be relatively easy mainstream niche in terms of wearability, provided one likes pine, wood and honeyed fruit accords.

Since I own FBs of the latter two, there is no need for me to buy a FB of sensuous noir.

I have great respect for Estée Lauder fragrances, especially vintage azuree, aliage, youth dew, Clinique aromatics elixir etc. I don't think sensuous noire is in that league because somehow it's distinctly mainstream, but SN is certainly much easier to wear than the more challenging vintage ELs.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/13/2014 8:54:00 PM More reviews by xrayer

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I am trying this today and oh dear....it's another one for the want shelf! It is a beautiful mix of spice and wood, slightly masculine but I don't mind that. I am wearing the original sensuous on my other wrist and that is a pale whisper compared to the noir, even though the noir is heavier I actually find it more feminine and 100x sexier! I do get the comparisons to dior midnight poison but i find this softer and prettier, less patchouli perhaps? I think this may oust shalimar from my favourites shelf! Definitely a cold weather fragrance.

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/3/2013 4:12:00 PM More reviews by pauvres

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Being a guy, I never wear women's fragrances. Not because I feel like I have to stick to gendered fragrances, they just don't smell great on me. This is not one of them. I love this scent SO much, like you wouldn't believe. I sprayed it at work and instantly fell in love. It smells strikingly similar to another favourite, Yves Saint Laurent Belle D'Opium, of which I cannot wear because it turns on me. But this is more woody, with lightness given by the rose and jasmine top notes that skilfully disappear as the day goes on. The base of vanilla really makes a difference in lasting power, as this lasts a good 6-8 hours. This is particularly good for me considering fragrance wicks away from me and I have to re-apply multiple times in a day. A stunning fragrance, for men and women.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 9/6/2013 11:48:00 AM More reviews by stls

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Green

Sensuous Noir is a cross between Midnight Poison and Belle d`Opium with a smidge of Feminite du Bois and the original Sensuous infused with pine needles. I can picture a woman with an Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo suit wearing this. And yes, I find it a little androgynous.

Opens with an almost medicinal spicy blast of pine and pepper as strongly as the original Lolita Lempicka opens with ivy and anise. I like this part because it's quite unusual and cooling/ burning - almost like peppery mint. It remains spicy until the very end and there is definitely some clean patchouli in the middle. I can also detect benzoin which makes it a little more incensey but does not add any sweetness. The drydown after several hours is deliciously soft with whispering amber but I don't get any floral elements.

Where the original is creamy this one is smokey.

Therefore although Sensuous Noir is a perfectly enjoyable woody peppery perfume it lacks an interesting twist beyond the opening. I'd prefer it to be a little more edgy but I still like it.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 3/7/2013 7:18:00 PM More reviews by gmstrack

Age: 36-43 Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

Sensuous Noir by Estée Lauder is not a ground breaking fragrance by any stretch of the imagination; however, when compared to other designer fragrances, SN is a breath of fresh air. Basically, it is a sweet, woody oriental with a crowd pleasing pine/patchouli/vanilla-dessert note combo. Do yourself a favor during your next visit to your local department store: walk past Coco Noir and continue straight to SN—you will not be disappointed. Actually, stay at the EL counter and continue sniffing your way through the entire line. Be sure to stop at Cinnabar and Private Collection. If you find the two aforementioned fragrances too “vintage” for your taste, check out Bronze Goddess and Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia; there should be something for everyone.

Longevity and Projection: Good
Overall 3.5/5

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 9/29/2012 9:51:00 PM More reviews by nathaliez

Age: 44-55 Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

A big no for me as it smells like a man' s cologne to my nose
Actually my GP uses a cologne that smells just like it
I prefer feminine scents, Estee Lauder missed the target on that one, a scent can be dark, it doesnt t have to be so dry and masculine!

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rated 5 of 5 on 6/21/2012 9:42:00 AM More reviews by MonnieOnn

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Seriously, the most BEAUTIFUL fragrance I've ever smelt. I absolutely adore it. Although everyone's tastes are different, I just can't believe some people think it doesn't smell good. It lasts for the whole day, not exaggerating.. and even after 8 hours the scent is just so irresistible! I can't stop smelling myself! The other reviews are 100% correct.. a little goes a long way. I give 1 spray to my neck and it lasts all day. The price was as expected for an elite brand..but well worth it.. and will definitely last a while. It's great quality.. you won't regret it. :) A lifetime subscription to this perfume please! Hehe. Oh and also, today at work I had many customers tell me they love my perfume, in which they rarely do.

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rated 4 of 5 on 3/4/2012 1:42:00 AM More reviews by nailpolishdebby

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I had been wanting Sensuous for a while -it smelled great sprayed on clothes. But once tested on my skin, I ended up with Sensuous Noir instead. So glad I did.

I sprayed one wrist with Sensuous and the other with Sensuous Noir.Sensuous started off with that nice woodsy/oriental note that I like about it.Then it turned a soft floral, before ending up slightly powdery. And the end product was so so soft it was barely noticable.Sensuous Noir,on the other hand (wrist actually) started off with the same woodsy/oriental note as Sensuous,but stronger. Then it changed to a slight vanilla, ending in a soft musk (with a trace of the vanilla remaining) that was noticable but not cloying.

Sensuous Noir reminds me of Tom Ford Black Orchid and Black Orchid Voile de Fleur-it begins very strong then shifts to something softer. It's almost as if Tom Ford Black Orchid + Dior Addict joined together. Odd but quite the perfume for those that want something that is not plain.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 2/2/2012 1:43:00 AM More reviews by Jade716

Age: 30-35 Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

Tried this today and I think the word Noir is a give away that this smells like a mens fragrance. I don't love this but its not all that bad, just really strong in a mens fragrance sort of way, I actually think this would smell good on my husband, I would really love to smell this on him.

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