Caron's description of this fragrance: "OR ET NOIR: Inspired by the rose, a muse of many faces, Ernest Daltroff created this glamorous fragrance. All the sensuality of the warm, bewitching, oriental rose blossoms fully."
This is a haunting yet classic rose-centered fragrance. On my skin, it emerges through three phases. At first, like many Caron fragrances, it seems almost overwhelming, with a top note of dark, wine-y rose. The second phase is greener, with sharp notes of carnation and geranium. The long-lasting dry-down is a spicy rose with the classic "Caron accord." Truly sensual and mysterious, and thanks to the natural essences, it has strong, true floral notes.
Or et Noir was love at first sniff for me. Others have described the notes, I will describe the feeling. Or et Noir blisses me out. When I smell it I swoon. This is by far the most beautiful rose fragrance I have encountered. It is perfection in a bottle and a tribute to all that is sacred, beautiful and divine.
The reviews for this fragrance are especially excellent. My thoughts while smelling this on my skin have largely been already mentioned below. I get very mature, ripe red roses (which are about to wilt), with oily sweetness and spices. It is reminiscent of AG Ce Soir ou Jamais, one of my favorite rose fragrances, although Or et Noir is darker, more morbid. It is virtually identical, however, to a BPAL oil called Tarot: The Empress. Same mature, ripe roses, same oily sweetness that borders on headshoppy. Like jjff, I thought about old, dying roses when smelling this, and yearned for something fresher and brighter (e.g. KM Damascena) or lusher, spicier, and sexier (Guerlain Nahema, AG Ce Soir). Or et Noir makes me think of Norma Desmond, an aging, bitter creature past her prime, desperately clinging to past glory. It's beautiful, in its dark and morbid way, but definitely not for me.
I was especially eager to try this fragrance because I am a huge fan of Caron, and because it is said to have been the inspiration for Parfum Sacre, which is one of my very favorite perfumes of all time.
On me, Or Et Noir opens very sharply, and it remains quite sharp for more than an hour. Though the rose dominates, on my skin the carnation is also very pronounced.(Must be my chemistry, as other reviewers didn't mention this). Actually, during this phase, Or Et Noir doesn't seem much related to Parfum Sacre to me. Instead, it smells like Bellodgia turned upside-down--the carnation and the rose trading roles.
A couple of hours later, it the sharpness of the rose settles down and the perfume softens into a harmonious blend. It is at this point where I can see the beginning of Parfum Sacre ("the very quintessence of rose, revealed by musk and myrrhe").
Like Dragonfly, I find Or Et Noir very comparable to Creed's Fleur De The Rose Bulgare. I prefer Or Et Noir VASTLY, for besides being a very realistic rose, it is also very vivid and lively; that is, a very LIVING scent-- whereas FDTRB lays flat and unchanging upon my skin, hour after hour, always the same with every application.
UPDATE: I had to upgrade this from 4 to 5 lippies! I have fallen- I am smitten- my heart has been conquered by this beautiful scent.
I concur with all that has been said about this beautiful perfume. I am not fond of rose based perfumes but this one grabbed me by the heart. It is Rose with citrus undercurrants and reminds me a bit of Creeds Fleur de The Rose Bulgarie but with more presence and fullness. Another caron parfum I hope to own one day.
Yes, this Caron excites me. It's a dark, strong, bold rose-oriental perfume that fears not. Or et Noir is even more dramatic than Nuit de Noel, as tempestuous and complex as some screen siren character of yesteryear, and I fancy growing older and into such a sophisticated woman's perfume. I will have to live a little more first.
Gold and black, of flame and of the dark, deep, somber, ceremonial colors evocative of luxury fit for a Medieval queen's dress--fixed, still, perfect colors whose heavy expression never changes. Devoid of life, the perfect name for a fragrance that opens on with a swan song of fully open roses, tired prima donnas already past their glory, their breath starting to carry forth a fragrance of peculiar intensity touched by impeding decay. Or et Noir is not a story of gracious early garden blooms--it's that of roses losing their first petals to the passage of time, of roses wilting on a royal casket, of rose poupourri and rose dust, the rich farewell note fading into the infinite dark, the lingering trail of incense, balsam and woods, an ominous bouquet worthy of Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal.
Interesting from the viewpoint of perfumer's art, Or et Noir conveys anything but a happy, careless feeling. As a perfume wearer, I'd much rather smell of joie de vivre than the gloire de la mort.
*The listed top notes per Caron are
Bulgarian rose, centifolia rose and
geranium, a heart of Anatolian rose, lilac and carnation, and a base of oakmoss and woody amber.
I wish I had 'saved', so to speak, the review that I wrote for Nahema for Caron's Or et Noir. My, my, my! I shall leave a more in-depth description of this fragrance's progression to our fragrance mavens (especially to dear Victoria, who kindly shared her sample with me). In the meantime, I will say that as far as rose fragrances go, Nahema has become my Fleurs d'Oranger, while Or et Noir is very evocative of Tubereuse Criminelle. This comparison refers more to the fragrance's emotive aspect than its actual notes. Nahema is beautiful, sultry in the way she reclines, slow like honey and mesmerizing. Or et Noir has no patience for slow seduction. This rose begins very green and swells to provoke and envelop her surroundings, a bit like the tuberose in TC which blows hot and cold all at once. Which is not to mistake Or et Noir's temper for chaos or mere flirtation: one should be reluctant to presume anything about the woman who wears Or et Noir. I would caution against a casual sampling of the fragrance, as you may not be able to rest until you own it.
I was lucky enough to try this and it's beautiful...it is indeed a slightly spicy, "oriental" rose. If "Parfum Sacre" is High Mass in a sumptuous cathedral, "Or et Noir" is the scent of the cathedral's carefully tended rose garden. Mysterious yet still soft and pretty.
This fragrance was created in 1949 as a darker, richer, slightly oriental version of Caron's Rose. It is utterly bewitching for even those who are not true Rose lovers. This fragrance inspired Parfum Sacre which uses Or & Noir's original bottles but is far less rosy. This is not available in edp, so if you are passing the Madison Ave boutique, stop by for a spritz but be prepared to lose your heart.