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Fragrances - Caron - Or et Noir

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rated 4.5(40 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.5
  • 85% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 4.3
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 9/18/2014 12:32:00 PM More reviews by Aimbl

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

I had the good fortune to be given a small amount of original vintage or et noir extrait from a friends original gold leaf covered glass bottle, and it is perhaps the most magical essence imaginable. Oily, golden, rich, ineffably wonderful. It has body and substance. And it's truly an olfactory work of art. To the point where I am afraid to open up my little vial again, because who knows when I will be able to obtain more. If current Or et Noire were anything like original 1950s Or et Noire (impossible with today's restrictions on fragrance ingredients) it would get five stars and push past FM Une Rose as my reference rose.

So this review is for the current fountain version of Or et Noir extrait. Although caron is criticized for its current urn formulations failing to measure up to vintage splendor, I believe Or et Noir is still way above many of today's modern perfumes. So it's all relative. It's on my to buy list.

Even in a modern incarnation, it's a DEEP dark rose, on the green unsweetened nutty side of things. Its far less sweet and more dark than the highly acclaimed l'arte di gucci EDP, which I also love. Or et Noir contains Rose, geranium, carnation and oak moss and evokes a much richer fuller wine than FM Une rose.

I am a recent convert to rose fragrances (after decades of intense dislike), and I don't think it would be redundant for me to have FBs of both Une Rose and. Or et Noir. I should note here that I am NOT labeling Or et Noir as dark in the modern sense of adding incense, smoke, amber, animalic or gourmand spice to accents that compete with rose. I define 'dark' as deep, essential rose, almost velvety and weighty, lush and rich. Or et Noir reads as a soliflore of exceptionally high quality and density, and it differs substantially from modern 'dark' rose hybrid categories that 'darken' the rose with other, non floral ingredients:

Or et Noir is nothing like these modern 'dark' rose fragrances:

- Incense plus rose: Amouage Lyric woman or man (latter has more rose) or Tauer's incense Rose; lutens Fumerie Turque (powdery dry down)
- incense/patchouli plus rose: perles de lalique (which straddles incense, wood, patchouli, pepper, citrus and rose, but manages to be both cohesive and a bargain price)
- patchouli oud plus rose: FM POAL; bargain alternative which is nice in its own right is vintage Gres Cabaret, no oud.
- Patchouli plus rose (fruited) : my favorite rose patchouli is Voleur de roses, which is tinged with dark plum and gives me the impression of old world wine like Barolo. I have an older bottle with a curved gold cap. Also Caron Pour une Femme extrait. Original release, 1930s, look for the 2001 rerelease in a clear crystal stopper base. Not black stopper. Plummy rose, not too sweet, but very fruity. A far less sweet (it's all relative) alternative than either VdR or PuF is Aromatics Elixir.
-Amber plus rose: Tauers Une Rose Chypre (gorgeous modern citric, bay leaf amber tinged with rose- more rose oriental than modern chypre) or original (very different from Tauer's) ungaro diva splash (honeyed rose tinged with amber, but not gourmand);
-citric rose- le labo rose 31
-Sweeter patchouli rose: Kurdjian Lumiere Noir, lady Vengeance (sweeter rose patchouli - not dark IMO); guerlain rose nacre du desert. Reviewers call these three 'dark roses;' I have no idea why. To me, they are sweet and gourmand, not dark.
-Modern oriental rose and/or animalic: lutens MKK ; Vintage EL knowing (rose with amber animalic);
Paloma Picasso - much less honeyed, animalic rose (I recommend the vintage version in the white bottle, not the black bottle) ; original agent provocateur (pink egg) is a toned down modern riff on PP.
-Indolic rose : Schiaperelli shocking (verging on urinous on my skin)
-green, nutty LOUD: Nehema extrait - much more polarizing- sample first - it's definitely a love or hate rose, even for diehard rose lovers.
- rose chypre classic : L'arte di gucci (I recommend EdP only; L'arte EdT is much greener)
Guerlain Rose Barbare - I like the fragrance, but it think of it as L'arte di gucci lite.
avon vintage to a wild rose - Mossy woods with a subtle rose undertone.
-reference rose : FM Une Rose. I have different editions of FM Une Rose. I think the older FM Un rose is most similar to Or et Noir in its deep, wine like character . (I happily wear all editions of Une Rose).

I believe BoisdeJasmin perfume blog review of Or et Noire says it is slightly more lemon zest due to a rose damascones issue. Lemon and bergamot sometimes turn candied on my skin, but not here. If I had the chance to purchase a well stored bottle of vintage original or et noire extrait, I would have little use for other rose fragrances in my collection. Until then, I am of course content with what I have in the dark rose category.

Extrait only. For Caron, I do prefer vintage extrait (this is particularly important IMO for Tabac Blond and Poivre - I don't find the current extrait memorable). Vintage NdN and parfum Sacre extrait (discontinued) are wonderful. Vintage bellodgia extrait, often on ebay, tends to have muted top notes (for carnation, I almost wonder if you are better off with the bargain priced, cognac colored, vinatge EL Spellbound extrait in the squat square crystal bottle with gold dabber, which is carnation tinged with amber). The only non-extrait versions of Caron that I enjoy are NdN EdT, faux stingray bottle) and the discontinued Bellodgia EdP in the tall curvaceous crystal bubbled bottle with gold ribbed bulbous cap. JMO.

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rated 3 of 5 on 1/7/2013 7:10:00 PM More reviews by debrsl

Age: 44-55 Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This review is for the urn parfum. It started out with marigold, which is okay if you only put on a tab, but bad if you put it only liberally. It then progresses into a soapy rose. It's followed by a heavenly, rich drydown. I agree with the other reviews: the drydown is incredible.

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rated 5 of 5 on 12/9/2011 10:48:00 AM More reviews by fenlady

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

A gorgeous, gorgeous perfume! Definitely a love-at-first-dab affair for me. Caron sent me a sample along with a tiny bottle of their Rose extrait, which was being discontinued. Or et Noir is a worthy successor to that great fragrance. The opening is a little sharp, but pretty, and the rose comes through strongly all the way to the dry-down. When it's joined by the oakmoss (or tree moss, or whatever Caron is now using after IFRA banned oakmoss), the effect is deliciously soft and romantic. At the same time, it's also quite a "grand" perfume, which I can imagine wearing to the theatre or opera on a big night out. I like it any time, and am currently sporting it whilst I sit at home answering e-mails. I don't think I will ever get tired of it. There are rumous at Caron that it might be discontinued in a few months, so if you love it, buy some now.

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rated 4 of 5 on 10/13/2011 9:37:00 PM More reviews by nlutes

Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

I found a decant of this yesterday (I had forgotten about it) and put some on.... I might be in love. This is so interesting and fascinating. The drydown is stunning, and the fact that it's so non-linear holds one's interest. The rose is beautiful --- it's classic and elegant without being stuffy or dated, yet at the same time it's very dark and brooding. I'm going to spend some more time with this. There are so many facets of rose in it!

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/6/2011 2:17:00 PM More reviews by noisome

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

Just to add to the raves below, Or et Noir mimics a fine attar and would certainly stand up to any of the exorbitantly price niche attars from Amouage, etc. Ok, maybe it's not *quite* as tenacious as those...but still. The drydown is mysterious and warm, the roses boundless throughout. HG.

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rated 3 of 5 on 4/8/2010 10:17:00 AM More reviews by chrystelica

Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Other, Warm Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

This unfolds a bit bright on me, due to the chypre. It does turn soapy, but simultaneously retains the full, rich oiliness of the roses without being overpowering. The middle and base notes are evident in the beginning, it must be the geranium that I'm getting, but it adds a green sharpness to the rose.
A friend mentioned to me she couldn't take the 'seriousness' of this perfume, and I will admit, it is hard to find particularly agreeable, but at the same time I don't find it disagreeable. I'm having a hard time deciding if I like or dislike this one. It is very well crafted, and it is nice, but it probably isn't me. Caron's Tuberose didn't work on me either, the spiciness of the classic Carons just aren't completely to my taste. This is still better, but I am just OK with it, wavering one way and then another.
It has a definite beauty, nonetheless, and I prefer it to the Caron Tuberose. I would give this a 4, if I weren't so turned off by the sharp soapiness that makes my eyes want to water when I put my nose to my wrist.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/18/2009 6:08:00 PM More reviews by sunshinesmile

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I wore this recently for my wedding :) I have many fragrances on my dresser but only this is wedding-worthy. It went well with the red roses and aromatic lily's in my bouquet :)

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 4/3/2009 12:58:00 PM More reviews by fragranceisall

Age: 56 & Over Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I am in love, beyond all reason, with this fragrance! In search of the perfect rose scent, I've tried/bought a multitude but, with the exception of Ce Soir au Jamais, have been disappointed. Rosine de Rosine didn't have enough ooomph, was too watered-down, Jo Malone's Rose lovely, sweet, but lacking drama and mystery. Gres' Caberet haunting, lovely, but not enough rose. I am always conscious of the roses that bring to mind dry, exceedingly genteel old ladies and this definitely isn't one of those.

After reading reviews on MUA, I had to sample this and was totally blown away! As others have mentioned, the geranium top note is pretty intense, but doesn't last long and the various permutations the parfum travels through as it reaches a long-lasting dry-down are sublime. For those living in New York, the Caron boutique has moved from Madison Ave. to 58th & Lexington, entrance on 58th in the Phytos building and Diane, a lovely lady well-versed in the art of Caron parfums, is a true asset to the company. It's worth a trip; the boutique is elegant.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 11/20/2008 11:01:00 PM More reviews by Wyrmiax

Age: 44-55 Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium Eyes: Hazel

Such high hopes, utterly crushed. I knew the opening might be rough, and its harsh soapiness did not disappoint in that regard. I resisted the strong urge to scrub, waiting for the magnificent drydown, but it just switched from soapy to sour. At least it washed off quickly, as if the perfume disliked me as much as I detested it.

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rated 5 of 5 on 2/2/2008 3:29:00 PM More reviews by Tabby2

Age: 44-55 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

Be prepared for a wintery blast of floral when you first apply the scent. But as other MUAers have so eloquently said already, the drydown is heavenly, and well worth the 1-2 punch of the first few minutes of the scent. I hope to be able to purchase a full size of this, and other Caron scents in the near future.

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