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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Perfume review: Eau Noire by Christian Dior

Review by Tom

Well, it was another hot weekend here in LA, which of course meant shopping. I visited the iPhone (see my blog for the reason why I'm not getting it), dropped into Neimans to once again realise that even at 50% off I can't afford it, and variously cruised through other department stores along Wilshire Boulevard before deciding that yes, I did deserve a trip to Cold Stone Creamery for my new favorite treat: Sweet Cream ice cream: nothing but frozen slightly sweetened cream. Not that I would be able to remember, but sex cannot be better.

Of course you are now most likely thinking "get to the point!"... geesh!

While in the mens department at Neimans, I spied among the mens colognes a gargantuan bottle marked "Eau Noire". I knew I'd read about it but I had never tried it. I went to give myself a delicate spritz and managed to have it come out like a fire hose. Really, it was like a joke: some Exorcist parody with cologne rather then pea soup.

Looking at Colombina's review, I wrote that I was going to run right over to give this a try. Since that review was over a year ago, well consider this report a little (ahem) tardy.

Eau Noire is gorgeous. It, like Annick Goutal Sables, is built arround the accord immortelle. While Sables brilliantly plays up the slightly sticky nature of that accord with its heavy and almost gourmand sense of maple sugar and smoky bourbon, Eau Noire is drier, woodier and greener. I don't get a lot of development from it: it runs the gamut from A to B as Ms. Parker once wrote. But since this is delightful I don't care. It has some of that fenugreek "whoopee" that I love in Serge Lutens Santal Blanc as it dries down, as well as an incensey sage, and while it does have the tenacity of Sables, it's not overwhelming: it was as light and delicious in the searing LA sunshine as it was in the Artic chill of Beverly Hills department stores, and since I had inadvertantly hosed myself in enough of it to wet my all-stars I think I can write that with impugnity,

That 4.2 oz bottle is at Neiman-Marcus for $115, and will shortly be added to my cupboard.


Blogger Marina said...

All I am going to say is, Toldja!


10:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I do the same thing with NM - every time they have a new markdown, I get full of hope that perhaps *now* I'll be able to buy something! Nah, never works out. Coldstone Creamery sweet cream is my fave, too! With raspberries. Nummers! As for Eau Noire, it's my fleece blanket in a bottle. Love it!

11:26 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know!

12:30 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It's true. One day I hope that there will be some alchemy that makes 60% off an $800 dollar sweater $20. So far no go.

Sweet Cream is nummers, eh? I haven't gotten into adding fruit in yet, I am still savoring it plain, and very seldom since I am sure that it's not exactly figure friendly.

Aren't you and Marina hitting the city this weekend? You have to try the latest transplant to NYC from LA: Pinkberry. I love the green tea yoghurt, the regular tastes just like the yoghurt you used to get at the counter at Bloomingdales. Which is not a bad thing. So wish I could join you! Have a slice of that dicine NY pizza for me, and hoist a couple at the Algonquin!

12:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I know that accidental fire hose effect very well. Unfortunately, I usually encounter it with scrubbers. Eau Noire is now not only on my personal to-try list but also, unbeknownst to him, on my DH's.

1:00 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I've been there. Lukily this one is the polar opposite of a scrubber. If I had a DH I'd douse him when he wasn't looking. We'd neer leave the house, but oh my!

1:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't we all been hosed with scrubbers? But I wouldn't mind soaking in Eau Noire daily, it's that gorgeous! If I ever get unexpectedly rich (should happen any day now, I've been visualizing the moment with such fervour), I'm gonna get a BIG bottle of it. As opposed to all the other wonderful scents which I'd happily own in 30 ml instalments...

3:12 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I wonder if we have any Cold Stone Creameries around here. Probably not. :-(
I am going to have to retry Eau Noire again today. I *know* that one day my skin chemistry will reward me for this persistent retrying and it will suddenly be as magical on me as it is on everyone else. I think it's the lavender that is giving me a hard time. But I have faith that will change. Eventually.

8:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to colombina, I was able to try Eau Noire, and it is lovely! I'm already regretting my scent of the day and wishing I had applied Eau Noire instead. I wish it came in a smaller bottle. 4.2oz is a bit much. If it came in a smaller bottle, it would also be more affordable.

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I could see going for that big bottle...

12:21 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


They seem to be all over the place..

12:23 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I can't argue with that: I am all for smaller bottles being available..

12:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprises here... But I only had room for one oversized bottle in my heart - Bois d'Argent won me over just that teensy bit more.

1:21 PM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Inspired by your post -- and by the 1/2 hour I had to kill in a department store -- I spritzed some Eau Noire on a paper strip. Smells utterly delicious, almost tasteable. I'll be doing a side-by-side, his'n'hers spritz test with the Brit to see which I prefer on us, of Eau Noire and Sables...

1:59 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Who knew?! Thanks for that link. There are indeed several in this area. Clearly, I don't pay enough attention. I shall have to go this weekend w/out doubt.

3:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

Love this one. Have the world's biggest vat of it, too, which I got off eBay. It was one of those nightmare eBay stories, but it was all eventually worth it.

5:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I love your reviews and I am usually in line with what you have to say--although your exuberance for Musc Kublai Khan baffles me--but I completely despise eau noir. I cannot understand why people love it (and the other Diors from Hedi Slimane for that matter, except the dior homme edt) because to me, all it smells like is massaman curry and greenery.

PS: update your blog more often!

6:47 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh you have a blog! I can't wait to have time to read :)

Not so sure about Eau Noire. Thought I'd love Sables but sniffed once or twice & its pungence put me off. Too dry or smokey or something. So you haven't tempted me with that but darn you, now I want ice cream. Mmmm green tea mochi in my freezer as I recall .... hmmm .... excuse me, must run ...

6:55 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I haven't tried that one, and I am afraid to...

At the very least Marina will be doing another "ToldYouSo" dance :-)

7:02 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


For your own sake, order the smallest size to start. The cups are teensy but the pile them very high..

7:03 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I like both, but I think Eau Noire is a bit more wearable in the heat. For me Sables is a winter scent.

7:05 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think eBay is a lot worse off since they booted the decanters. Just sayin'

7:05 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Billy d-

It's all about the skin chemistry- on me MKK is a purring kitten of a scent, I am told on others is smells more like kitty-box.

Thanks for the props on my blog!

7:08 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Green tea mochi? Now you've got me going!

If you see Eau Noire, give it a sniff. It's not as er, definite as Sables (I didn't care for Sables at first, but after being basically unable to wash it off I fell for it)

7:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

Tom...."unable to wash it off", Hah!!! That is so true. My large bottle of Sables (purchased due to your sample program) is quickly disappearing. I love it in the heat. Well, I just love it. It's the strangest thing. I can't even tell you what it reminds me of...

As for Eau Noire, I am placing it on my "to try" list. This sounds fantastic.

9:54 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I am so glad you like Sables- I think you will like Eau Noire as well..

10:23 PM EDT  

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