Launched in 2004 Eau Noire is one of three parting gifts Hedi Slimane bestowed upon his loyal followers before announcing his departure from Dior Homme as Creative Director in 2007. These three colognes are extraordinary fragrances however Eau Noire tends to get noticed more due to its unusual composition. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian was the mastermind behind the formula managing, I think, to convey the Dior Homme aesthetic in liquid format. Hedi took Dior Homme into the new millennium creating razor sharp suiting with sophisticated tailoring. His paradoxical style mixed grungy rock ‘n’ roll style with a sense of boyishness. Grunge, sophistication and youth can all be found inside this mysterious bottle.
A derivative of immortelle is the key ingredient that makes this fragrance so unusual. Giving off a scent that falls somewhere between smoke, curry and caramelized sugar Eau Noire is a great example of the gourmand family of fragrances. Vanilla and musk create the base that has gone on to become a Dior Homme signature in their men’s fragrance lines. Lavender brings this composition back into more familiar territory referencing herbes de Provence and traditional men’s eau de cologne. This fragrance creates a degustation for the senses and even if you are not in the market to buy I strongly recommend sampling if you have the opportunity. You will only find it in Dior Homme boutiques otherwise try stockists of the Dior Homme clothing range.
Slimane wanted Eau Noire to be an evening fragrance. Something his clients could wear with his suiting. Kurkdjian fulfilled the brief and Eau Noire is a great evening fragrance that can be worn in any climate. My only advise would be not to wear it to dinner particularly if you are eating cuisine that contains a lot of spices. The curry notes in the fragrance may confuse your guests who will think you have spent half the night with the kitchen staff preparing masala. It’s also a great option for urban city dwellers and could easily fit in to the café culture of Soho and the East Village. It’s the perfect scent for an under 30s creative guy wanting to separate himself from all the other moleskin clutching rayban wayfarer wearing latte crowd in the café.
Christian Dior Dior Homme, Annick Goutal Sables, Comme Des Garcons Dover Street Market, L’Artisan Timbuktu, Tom Ford Extreme, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, Hermes Brin De Reglisse.
Perfumer: Francis Kurkdjian (Givaudan – Quest)
Bottle designer: Christian Dior studio
Release date: 2004
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Floral