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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Perfume Review: Lancôme Magie Noire

Review by Beth

I am a woman with a past. I won’t say anymore than that to protect the innocent who may be reading this, but I have lived life hungrily at times, too often with little or no restraint. My spiritual nature is much more heathen than religious. I really do believe in magic.

Magie Noire came into my life in my very early twenties, and I know now that I was far too ignorant of its potency to wear it wisely. It was first given to me by a mysterious Scorpio woman, with cat-like green eyes, who was the CEO of the only woman owned steel brokerage in Cleveland. She gifted me with the perfume and a warning, that men adore it and to be very careful wearing it because it was the smell of abandonment and passion, not love. Wearing Magie Noire is a bit like unleashing a wild pagan spirit, something of the past but strangely disquieting in the fragrant autumn wind or a shiver of the spine so erotic that it’s not so easily understood. Initially there is the scent of honey and tuberose, bergamot and raspberry and according to Osmoz, blackcurrant, hyacinth and oriental rose. The delirium comes as the base of civet, patchouli , castoreum and vetiver are unleashed while your skin warms to their touch. Worn with suede it becomes a totally bewitching potion. Mixed with the breath of a gorgeous thoroughbred horse it is beguiling and animalistic to the point of intoxication.

Think of Kim Novak in “Bell, Book and Candle”, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman made wiser by their journey through “Practical Magic” and Catherine Deneuve in almost anything. This is not a fragrance for an ingénue, but for a sensual and independent woman who understands and desires the spell it will conjure. I put Magie Noire away many years ago except for very special occasions with my husband who unabashedly loves it. Yet it is the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the moon is almost full and I decided to go for a ride yesterday in the woods around dusk. It was a beautiful evening and I sprayed some on before I went. The light was dappled , the trail fragrant with wind-fallen apples and it was simply breathtaking. As we moved through the hunt field, my horse Henry pulled up short with a quiver that ran all of the way down his elegant sorrel neck. Out of the hedgerow came a cat I’d never seen before, black as midnight and just as quiet. We turned and followed her down the path.

I told you, I really do believe in magic.

Magie Noire can be found at Sadly the perfume is discontinued, but can still be found occasionally on ebay.

Bell Book and Candle poster courtesy of Wikipedia.
Lancome ad courtesy of Parfums de Pub
Photograph of Catherine Deneuve courtesy of
Photograph of Practical Magic soundtrack courtesy of


Blogger Kelley said...

Beth, beautiful review. I consider myself a heathen as well and the word, "heathen", is a British word that refers to uneducated country folk that live in the heather. I have always loved claiming to be one as it makes me feel wild and untamed.

10:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I loved the review so much! You are now in charge of PST's magi(c)kal department :-)

10:36 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Lovely review, but I am so sad to read that Magie Noire is discontinued! I've never smelled it, but I want to now..

10:43 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth, you are a woman after my own heart - I love this stuff! I was also once too young to wear it, and alas now that I am not, it is so hard to find. They should never even THINK of discontinuing this one - it's so much better than any of the current Lancome fragrances. (I can't believe someone at the company actually thinks Tresor is something we would rather wear.)

3:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Beautiful review for one of my all time favorite fragrances! And noooo! Tom, are you serious? Where did you hear this? I must go buy a couple of extra bottles before it disappears! This is truly unthinkable! Sacrilege!!

6:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an enchanting review, many thanks ! I had a miniature of MN in my teens, which I treasured. I could do with some now...

7:30 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Wonderful review! I could use some magic in my life right now. Must go scour ebay for this.

7:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Checked online, still seems to be widely available, but the packaging is totally different from what I remember. Does anyone know if it has been reformulated ?

7:42 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Great review of a great scent! Must dig mine out and wear it. Sylvia--I believe it has been reformulated. I would go the vintage parfum route.

8:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When I was in my 20s, I bought a bottle of Magie Noire as a gift for my high-spirited mother. She smelled bewitching in it and loved it, but interestingly enough, her husband (my step-father) was so disturbed by the scent that he kept making nasty comments about it and finally went out and bought her a bottle of Ralph Lauren's "Lauren." LOL, what does that say?

Magie Noire is just as you describe it, and I am now longing to smell it again. Thanks for this awesome review!

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I red in the review that the perfume was discontinued and read that as the whole line was. Duh!

Still, something that sounds this great should have a perfume as well

10:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! Heathen is such a beautiful word. I have always felt that those country folk were the wisest of us all. I'm not suprised that you consider yourself one too. One has to only look at your gorgeous artwork to see that you have indeed a very magical nature!

11:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Of all of the titles that I have ever held, I KNOW that this one will be my favorite! Thank you so much for the honor and I am so glad that you liked the review! The wonderful space that you've created for us here is the loveliest of magic!

11:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed the review and totally surprised that you've never smelled Magie.....I think that you would love it. It's deep and sexy in a way that I think suits both men and women. You do still have the opportunity though, I should have been more specific and said " Parfum"! You can find the Eau de Toilette fairly easily. The perfume was incredible and if I could ever find it again I would buy it no matter the was that good.

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I agree with you completely about Tresor, I just don't seem to understand it as a fragrance although it smells beautiful on several women that I know. I am so glad to meet another Magie's our secret potion and there is something about it that makes you feel as if you are annointing yourself!

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


It's such a pleasure to meet you and I am so glad that you loved the review. You are right , it would be total sacrilege if they ever discontinued Magie. The thought is enough to give me a bad case of the hives, I love it so much. Luckily for us, we are to be spared such insult :)

11:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


I remember those little miniatures....did you have the incredible black bottle? I am so glad that you enjoyed the review, and you know, you don't have to do can find it on ebay and a little goes a long way!

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Magie is instant magic! Be careful.....make sure that you want what you are about to ask for :) It is potent stuff! Magie got me into way to much trouble:)Good trouble to be sure...but.....!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed the review!

11:41 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed the review....Magie is one of my all time favorite potions and I am so happy to find so many who still love it. Definitely try it again, and lucky you if you have some of the vintage stuff left! I would love to find some!

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Your post made me laugh out loud...Lauren, your poor mother. Not at all my favorite. Not that there is anything wrong with it per se, but if she could wear Magie in such a fashion that your stepdad felt so threatened, well she must have been HOT! Thank you so much for letting me know that my description was so evocative for you. It is indeed a wonderful fragrance for these beautiful autumn days. I've never stopped loving it and it sounds like you haven't either! You must go find it again!

11:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Anonymous.....Yes, it is!!!!! It's a troublesome fragrance in the best way possible :)

12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Beth, that was delicious. You truly have a gift, and what a beguiling review... I want to try it, and mourn its passing!

12:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this dying to know what you're protecting those innocents from! : )

1:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much! That is really high praise coming from one who writes as incredibly as you do. I am glad that my thoughts about Magie have left you intrigued enough to try it. Fortunately for us all, we can still find it on ebay and a few department stores still carry it. I think that you will really like it. It's very earthy!

1:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed the review! As for the Innocents...I will of course have to let you draw your own conclusions :)Let's just say, I've had a very sweet life :)

1:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Aieee, scandalous!

Thank you, Beth-- I am utterly jealous of this one.

On the note of writing... anyone else doing the NaNoWriMo thing this year? I think I am.


3:19 PM EDT  
Blogger sharkman said...

You made me want to smell the fragance.. I am intrigued by it. Well done review.

12:13 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth, What a wonderful way you have with words! I have used Magie Noire since its introduction, when I was far too young to appreciate and understand its powers! :-) All of my friends in college could find me by following my scent. My husband still likes me to wear it, and wonders what I'm up to if I wear it to work or out somewhere without him! It is the one scent I plan to wear well into old age.

10:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, lancome is still making Magie Noir, they just changed the bottle.

but i agree, MN is a fantastic fragrance. i had a girlfriend who wore it, and when i moved away to another city i got a whiff of someone wearing it, and it hit me like a mac truck. i asked everyone in the coffee shop if they were wearing it. it's that good. rare, distinctive, sensual, sexy, unforgetable.

2:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous PJ said...

Magie Noire is the only fragrance I've worn for over 25 years. I discovered in my 20s and still love it in my 50s. When I first tested it, the Lancome rep said, "Not many women can were this, but those that can should never wear anything else." So true! Over the years, I've been approached by men in elevators, in the gym, and waiting in lines just to ask what perfume I was wearing. My male friends have asked me to write it down for them, because they wanted to buy it for their wives. It's magical and mystical and powerful. It's a shame that it's so hard to get now, but I'll never replace it.

2:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Britt Åse said...

Aww! I had this one in my twenties and never finished the bottle, but gave it away along with all my other perfumes in fit of something I do not longer understand.
Thank God for Ebay ;-)

3:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Amy Eades said...

This is a wonderfully evocative review, and very accurate. Magie Noire is unrestrained, unbounded, untamable and unmistakable. When I was having a hard time finding it, a Lancome saleswoman told me that even if it was discontinued in the U.S., it would likely always be available in Europe, where it is more popular. Americans tend to prefer less complex fragrances. Oddly, it was my brother who chose this for me. I think it's usually a mistake to choose a fragrance for someone else because it's such an intimate thing and it's so easy to get it wrong, but in this case it's was a perfect match. There are others I love and wear, but I think Magie Noire expresses more of my personality than any other.

7:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

i would love to meet all of you who love this fragrance. i love it too. but i think it's a small niche of women that are drawn to it. shouldn't there be a magie gathering of some sort? just like there are book clubs?

10:25 PM EDT  

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