Magie Noire was never a top fragrance choice for me. Through the years, it has become a cult classic, so I decided to revisit it and purchased a vintage bottle. I've worn it in two seasons before I've written this review, so I can feel I am accurately assessing my thoughts.
Back when it was first released, I wasn't a huge fan of this or any of Lancome's perfumes. But with all of the accolades surrounding it, I decided to give it a go again to see what the hoopla is all about.
It's definitely a cooler weather perfume. Wearing it above 55 degrees is nauseating. I've discovered that is one of it's flaws and perhaps why some absolutely abhor it. The temperature outside (or inside) must be cool enough for this perfume to work properly. This is a very strange potion.
Its aroma wafts and wanes around you, circling its fumes in layers of clouds that hypnotize and entice and mesmerize. How do perfumes create such images? Some scents hit head-on with no looking back, some sit in a corner of room expectantly, hoping for attention, and others are classics that need no introduction because they are simply elegant members of a family. But Magie Noire swirls around, dances and sings, appears light and floral one moment then impacts hard and deep as a chypre floral that's just very complex. This is not a try it once to decide if you like it perfume. It changes with the seasons, your moods and the climate. It's been called a witch's brew and the moniker fits it well. Although there are many that wear this only a few can truly pull it off successfully. It's must be worn with an attitude, from the base of your soul , with determination. Heavy on spices and woods, burning with incense and myrhh, musky with patchouli and wrapped in a tight package with a civets tail, this might or might not be for you. It is a Seductress perfume, an Enchantress' fragrance, it will bewitch those around you if you are the Femme Fatale wearing it.
Certainly not an everyday perfume, and definitely not an office fragrance, Magie Noire is wonderful for an evening soiree or a tete-a-tete supper. This is a strong perfume to use on your pulse points and let the heat of your skin bring it to its fire,
Rita Hayworth, Sophia Loren, and Bridgette Bardot could all wear this perfume easily.
Radiates strongly if you're not careful and lasts for hours and hours.
Top Notes: Cassis, Cassia, Raspberry, Galbanum, Hiacynth, Bergamot, Bulgarian Rose.
Middle Notes: Honey, Tuberose, Orris Root, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Cedar, Narcissus.
Base Notes: Spices, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Civet, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Myrhh, Incense.
No, no, no, at least to the modern version of it! Having read some raving reviews about this classic, I ventured out to the loal drugstore with a well-composed perfume section and took a hopeful sniff - instantly regretting it. Sprayed it on to give it a second chance - and rued the day. I had actually never come by a revolting perfume before - some could be nice, some blah, some too alcohol-ey, but this is just nausea in a bottle: burnt chocolate and plastic - 2 main ingredients that lurk in that cocktail waiting for another fool like me to approach the counter in search of an "oldie. but goodie". I will NEVER even think about trying again unless someone will give me an authentic vintage to sample ( perhaps it is just the reformulation that sends me bowing over the porcelan friend! )
Oh Magie Noire what have they done to you? Every bit of gorgeous, sexy smokiness has gone - cheapened to the point of extinction. There is a trace of the old magic like a wisp from Gandalf's wand then it poops out after 30 minutes. 'Fly you fools!' before it disappears into the abyss forever. A minute of silence for the old Magie Noire please.
I just purchased Magic Noire from Lancome, and it came today. All I can say is, boy did it take me back. This new version is lighter, but still packs a punch. Since I just got it, I'm not sure how long it will last on me. I will do an update review. For now, I will just bask in the lovely fragrance. The bottle is pretty, but i do miss the black top bottle that was on the original fragrance.
Magie Noire is discontinued!!!
I will not buy any other products from Lancome - ever!
Their line management are complete losers.
My Mum used to wear this in the 90s. I got a sample the other day, and they've changed the smell beyond recognition.
This smells like either an ancient man or an animal fell asleep in my bed and covered my sheets in rank sweat.
This really needs two reviews: one for the vintage formulation (in the funny round bottle) and one for the current edt sold in stores.
Vintage: starts out a bright raspberry and chocolate note that manages to be fruity and chocolatey without actually being sweet. A fierce, dark chypre is right behind it, and the raspberry and a touch of dried rose are woven through the scent as it dries down. It gets softer as it wears, but has excellent lasting power. Black Magic is the perfect name for this, and this perfume is perfect for making trouble.
Current reformulation: a gloss of cheap musty chocolate over a rough, chemical-laden approximation of Magie Noire's chypre structure, I don't smell any florals. After a few minutes it kind of smells sort of like the vintage, but less good, and after about 45 minutes it's gone.
This reviews came out all threes because I split the difference between the old and new versions; I would definitely buy the old again.
Straight up Bánh mě. It sprays on a promising, yet vaguely astringent oriental, but within seconds it is the various components of a Vietnamese sandwich. Cilantro, daikon, pork belly, chiles, pickled vegetables, right down to the yeasty tang of a crusty baguette. There must be something wrong with me; no one in their right mind would make a fragrance that smells like this. However, sometimes one is just in the mood for a sandwich, and this is certainly complex and delicious. Therefore -2 stars.
As far as I'm concerned, the true Magie Noire should be considered "discontinued." Lancome still produces something called Magie Noire, in a glass bottle. However, this is a pale and anemic distant cousin to the vintage smell. Do not be fooled by an initial similar smell if you try the new one. I compared both, one on each wrist, the vintage I'd put on in the morning far outlasted the new formulation's smell. I finally tracked down a vintage bottle at some random perfume outlet near Chicago. I refused to buy something over the internet. The old box containing the edt used to have little v's over the O in Noire if that helps. Edit: I have to cringe when I hear that raspberry is a note in MN. I discern no raspberries in it, nothing fruity. It's a mysterious oakmoss chypre.
I had no idea Lancome still sold this fragrance, that is how much I shop in department stores these days. Its a warm, slightly spicy sort of witchy ( in a good way ) scent...
Very big back in the late 80s, when you'd get a small bottle with practically every gift-with-purchase from Lancome. Not something I would have purchased, but getting it for free in the gifts, I decided to use it, and found that it was the one perfume that everyone loved on me. I'd never get compliments on the scents I picked for myself like I got when I wore this, and it did nothing for me when smelling it from the bottle - but sometimes you have to go with what works with your body chemistry, and this really works on me!
Anyway, came across it while Xmas shopping. The bottle has changed. Thought for old time's sake I'd purchase, though the bottle will probably last me forever. I forget to wear perfume most days, and if I do remember, I love Egyptian Musk oil...cheap, and a definite man magnet....but it will be nice to have this, for special occasions or for when I just feel sentimental.