Shiseido • Nombre Noir • Fragrances
|Would buy this product again.||40%|
Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium Hair: Brunette Eyes: Hazel
Dense, rich, heady 80s floral. Nombre Noir is to rose what Samsara is to jasmine. The "Wall of Sound" production style applied to perfume (Wall of Scent?). Not the kind of thing I wear often--or outside the house. Something I wear for myself, now and then.
It evokes deep, wine-colored velvet with a peach lace overlay. I can see what Luca Turin meant about it being girlish and mature at the same time. If I may quote him: "The voice of Nombre Noir was that of a child older than its years, at once fresh, husky, modulated and faintly capricious." There's a compellingly delicate, fresh aspect--I can't think of what it reminds me of except lace and tiny white flowers--atop deep, unctuous rose. There's also a fatty-peachy aspect reminiscent of the smell of a baby's hair. Lasts a day and then some. The very late drydown and following day reveal a marvelous sandalwood note.
Takes time to warm up on the skin--apply with care as it gets stronger. I also advise not to apply to fabric unless your bottle is perfectly fresh--the scent seems to show its age more readily on fabric, spoiling the scent with the bitterness of wilted rose petals. Must be that problematic damascone chemical. There's a hint of that on my skin but the scent is still intact enough to be enjoyable. Henceforth I plan to apply to naked skin only and stay out of the sun!
TOP NOTES: Aldehydes, Coriander, Bergamot, Marjoram, Rosewood
HEART NOTES: Rose, Geranium, Orris, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Carnation, Lily of the Valley, Osmanthus
BASE NOTES: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Honey, Amber, Musk, Benzoin, Tonka
Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue
I would give this a 3.5 if I could. This parfum, to me, smells dated. Dated in a sense like been there, done that. The sample I got was not bad, but it has that overpowering quality like the Opium parfum. The wafts I got of this continuously all day, while at first were nice, grew to be uncomfortable, like sitting too close to some perfumey women at an opera.
I get the prominent plum note, amidst a dark, resinous base, it has a very vintage Japanese quality, but the darkness of this fragrance belongs in the 20s. It reminds me of flappers and women wearing the gauzy headbands and loose clothing hanging off their white pale skin and bony shoulders with their long cigarette holder and dark kohl, smoking some ganja, hash and opium and not giving a crap about anything or anyone. Very Great Gatsby, but perhaps in imperialist Japan? How about some of that, in perfume form? Here it is. Opulently unnecessary, like gold etched into black, at someone or something's expense... While that is all good and well, there is some opulence that is better left in the past, so much has happened since this, and awareness to me is much higher of a turn-on than not caring nowadays. There's too much societal nonchalance for that to be interesting anymore.
Delicately well-crafted, to be sure, but museum quality. To be sniffed and not worn. It belongs on a woman who had this as her signature scent many, many years ago when the world was a different place, and people were proud of their destructive exploits, like cutting down huge trees without any respect for the environment. Why does this perfume remind me of that? It has that cold, heavy-lidded, non-caring attitude-- so thickly and intensely, that this perfume could be an overdose of that. Nothing is pulling me closer, instead it pushes away in its soporific boredom with everything. It is ruthless, dark and seductive, but old.
I can see why SL decided not to release this again. They have a lot better, more modern things going now (Rose de Nuit), and I think this one has seen it's time in the spotlight.
Age: Unknown Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
I recently acquired a small 4 mL mini of this legendary scent.
Straight out of the bottle, it has a dark, rosey, plummy, chypre quality, reminiscent of SL Rose de Nuit (which of course came after it). The rosiness is intense, like a rose so deeply red that it is black. At one end, it quickly evolves a deep smokiness that brings to mind gentlemen in velvet smoking jackets, smoking fine, fine cigars. At the other end, a surprising astrigency, or perhaps soapiness, that I suspect is the effect of the osmanthus. I understand that there is some Hedione in here too, which adds a kind of juiciness. The osmanthus-Hedione effect is to leaven the texture, so that the overall accord spans octaves, from the smoky depths of the deep, dark rosey-chypre, through a surprising fruitiness, all the way to a dewy floralcy up top. It seems perfectly balanced to me, with an opulence and richness that nevertheless does not fall into the decadent orientalism of later Serge Lutens works.
If I may venture a small criticism, I do find that the soapiness keeps it a bit "cold", i.e. it's missing a bit of human warmth that I like to have in my fragrances. I suspect, too, that the vintage juice has lost some of the intense rosiness of the original (those rose damascones, being notoriously sensitive to light, have probably degraded somewhat). (Nevertheless, I've rated it a "5", as it really is a stunning fragrance).
Alas, I fear that we are unlikely to ever see Nombre Noir released again. I read an interview with Serge recently in which he says that it is unlikely that he would ever attempt to re-introduce it. I also hear that the high levels of damascones in this were photosensitizing, which was one reason it was discontinued.
Age: Unknown Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine Eyes: Blue
I get the prune and woodsy smell. And I've been lucky to get several of the REAL samples.The osmanthus is strange,intriguing and addicting.This is a wonderful scent. It does not make me swoon, but I would (and have) keep buying it again. Too bad the big bottles are not available.
Age: Unknown Skin: Other Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown
All my instincts are saying that I should be writing a *rave* review of NN...that I should be getting bleary eyed searching for NN on the net. I'm a huge SL fan. I love virtually all of his scents and Luca Turin declared this to be one of the five best scents of all time. I think I'm just going to have to go out and find a tatoo artist who can print "philistine" across my forehead....this is *not* a rave review. I like NN, but am I swooning, sighing and composing sonnets? No. I'm writing this based on some I was lucky enough to try recently, but back in the early 80s (this came out in '81, SL's first scent for Shiseido) I bought a bottle simply because I adored the black octagonal design and the scent reminded me somewhat of Shiseido's original Zen ('64), which I loved and wore at that time. However, I found myself even then reaching for and wearing Zen far more frequently than NN (so no issues with potential loss of attractiveness due to aging with that bottle). To my nose it is a rather intense, aldehydic fruity floral. It seems to me to be far closer to SL's Rose de Nuit than to his Bois series and if I want something along the lines of NN now, I will happily reach for Rose de Nuit instead. Skulks away, off to look up tattoo artists in the phone book.