TFPB – Black Violet and Noir de Noir

In the continuing series through the virtual perfume patch of the new Tom Ford Private Blends, we go meandering over to see…

Black Violet — Notes of citrus, pulpy fruit accord, black violet, woody notes, oakmoss.  Okay, I’ve been trying to think what this reminds me of, if anything, and I keep thinking it’s like Serge Lutens Bois de Violette and Tom Ford’s Black Orchid met on the downlow, had a brief, but passionate love affair, which ended horribly, and they no longer speak to or about each other, but but Ms. BdV was left impregnated with BO’s love child… Black Violet.  I put this on and at first think love…maybe, then not so much, then hate… then lust, followed by its best friend self-loathing for keeping my nose buried in it. I’ve put it on four separate times with the same result.  There is a BO’ish feel to it somewhere lolling around early on, but it never pops up enough to make my hate last.  And all the way through it is this slightly candied violet… that someone took to town and turned out in low-slung, but incredibly stylish daisy dukes and a halter midriff top, just a little too much makeup, and a lollipop jutting from her mouth to lure in the pervs.  Yeah, she’s a whore, but she’s a classy whore.  As much as you hate watching her denouement at the hands of Mr. Ford, her virtue shines through and makes you fall in love a little and then a lot.  Make sense? No, probably not, but this is the quintessential love/hate perfume for me, and while I fret over it, it just mesmerizes me and makes me laugh and curse — how dare Tom do this to my beloved violet!?  — though she is a lot more fun like this.  But wait, the drydown is exquisite — the saint/whore dance doesn’t last forever or sometimes not long enough, and then it is just beautiful violet standing in the woods with her eyes closed, and she has been disgraced, but her neck is unbowed.  I wish I could tell you what those who hated Black Orchid will think here, but I am bereft of an opinion on that since I never found anything to hate in Black Orchid, nor did I find anything to love.  Which makes Black Violet even weirder, I feel both, but land firmly on love. 

Noir de Noir — notes of saffron, black rose, black truffle, vanilla, patchouli, oud wood, tree moss. When I first saw the notes for this one, I was pretty sure it would not be one I would like.  That list of ingredients is my worst nightmare, except the oud wood.  This goes on soft with the notes of saffron and vanilla taking center stage on the open. It reminds me a little of Vetiver Tonka at this stage.  After the open, you can start to smell the rose and truffle, and it is held up with the base notes of patch, oud wood and tree moss.  I find this to be the most classically beautiful of the 12 scents.  It is soft and pretty, but the base notes keep it interesting on the drydown, though there is one phase that I’m not that fond of, it seems to carry too much patina? I don’t know how else to describe it.  Once that phase passes, I like it quite a lot. I could wear this one every single day.  It is smooth and elegant, but charming and interesting as you keep sniffing just a bit of skank beneath that polished surface. It is not my favorite  of the line or even in the top 6, but there is much to recommend it.

  • qwendy says:

    Hi Patty! Count me in for some of the Noir de Noir (unsniffed as of yet) — it sounds like what I love! I’ll get to Neiman’s in a couple of weeks to start sniffing…………about Tom, as I live in Hollywood, where, to paraphrase Leonard Cohen “Everybody Knows,” I think that he has decided to play up the bi thing for his business! And the Nicolai Vie de Chateau isn’t new, as I know I sniffed it 5 years ago for the first time…………I Love New York (the Nicolai fragrance that’s a kind of green chypre too) you might want to give it a try too! You can see I’ve caught up on your blog all at once, it sure was fun!

  • Judith says:

    Speaking as someone who hated BO (and who just received a whole set of samples in the mail with her bottle of Oud Wood), I am not crazy about Black Violet (although I like it a lot better than BO). It’s somewhat too sweet for my tastes–but I thought your description of it was perfect!! Noir de Noir is a bit better on me, but what I really like about these 2 is their similarity (in the base) to some of the ones I like better; so far I like (more or less in order) MossB, OudW, AmbreA, and TobV. There are still a number I haven’t really tried. I have high hopes for Bois Rouge. . .

    • pitbull friend says:

      Judith, this is reminding me why I thought about doing some kind of glossary to abbreviations on here. There’s just no way I can read about someone who hated “BO” and remember they’re talking about “Black Orchid!” :d — Ellen

      • Judith says:

        Well, I have to admit that I wrote that with a certain amount of malice aforethought. I don’t like that scent. :d

    • Patty says:

      Don’t say you don’t like Black Violet, it’s hard on her self-esteem.

      Bois Rouge is like the Chypre Rouge I though Serge would do. Not so crazy about it in the top, but love it in the drydown. Great stuff.

      • Judith says:

        No, I meant I don’t like (actually I hate) Black Orchid. Black Violet is OK–just not one of my faves.

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh lord, woman. Don’t do this to me. Please don’t suck me into the Tom Ford mania. PLEASE!! I have my hands over my ears and I am humming loudly…I don’t hear you…I don’t hear you, Patty!

    Honest…I am impervious to all of this. =;

    Hugs!

  • pitbull friend says:

    Patty, another lovely piece of writing. Neither of these sounds like me (not a violet fan, dislike Vetiver Tonka, despise oud with a passion), but I really enjoyed what you had to say.

    Oh, btw, looks like I am seeing the sweet mystery sniffing guy again this weekend! This brings a whole new dimension to “I wonder what to wear on our date.” –Ellen

  • Amy says:

    Okay, okay, you win!!! I’ll go to Bergdorf’s, I’ll sniff the dingdong things!! Happy now?!?!

    Anyone know how stingy or generous they’re being with samples?

    • Patty says:

      :d I think Judith managed to snag some samples, but I’d take some vials just in case.

      you do have to sniff them, but the problem is sniffing out of the bottle will just be a mess. The base is similar, and doing a bottle sniff, they will quickly just run together. So you definitely need to talk them into giving you samples.

      • Judith says:

        If you buy a bottle they are being very generous. One SA sent me carded samples of each one with a bottle they sent (and these are large sample sprays). I don’t know they are quite so generous if you don’t buy, but I would guess that they would at least give you a couple. They seem very nice.

  • Louise says:

    Oops-liking, not linking many. Too much googling on my part.

  • Louise says:

    Patty-darn ya for those samples…I am linking many-$$$. Black Violet has a beautiful opening on me, then goes pretty fast to straight no-stinkum violet, which I love…but then it dies quickly on my awful skin. Noir de Noir has much better longevity, but becomes Noir de Blanc-vanilla-very fast. And oddly, it reminds me of 31 Cambon-I need to compare notes. Happy Weekend!

  • Marina says:

    Black Violet reminded me of Cuir Amethyste. Noir de Noir reminded me of a mix between Agent Provicateur and, god help me, Nombre Noir 🙂

    • Patty says:

      A little cuir amethyst, but not that much. Noir de Noir and Nombre Noir? Yeah, a little. It’s not like Tom isn’t borrowing from about every good scent out there for his line, but I don’t care, he did make them enough different.

  • March says:

    That is SUCH a perfect description of Black Violet! I definitely get that same buttcrack note that’s in the base of Black Orchid — maybe this was another mod for that scent? I wonder.:-? But yeah, in the meantime you and I, both violet lovers, can revel in the weird loveliness of the combination.

    • Patty says:

      I think it might be.

      It is weird and lovely to be sure, but it really is lovely from about midway in to the end. It’s moving up in my favorites pack, to be sure!

  • Elle says:

    It does not bode at all well for my budget when you say that a scent you could wear every single day is not even in your top six. Stares bleakly at on-line bank statement. Switches to a search to find out which oligarchs are currently single or in need of an appreciative female they can lavish money on at perfume boutiques.

    • Patty says:

      Get two! There are some klunkers in here for me, never fear! But I know at least one that about turns my stomach is Marina’s favorite. Odd, that.

      • Judith says:

        Well, Ellen, I have to say that I am using that particular abbreviation with malice aforethought. I hate that scent.:)

  • Maria B. says:

    Does the violet retreat to the forest to do penance and thus cleanse her soul? Many an anchorite of old went into the wilderness to do that. I just got an actual Parma violet, ‘Marie Louise’–gosh, she’s pretty…and virtuous.

    Patty, I’m wearing Parfums de Nicolai Vie de Chateau. You must try it! It contains oakmoss, hay, and leather. Your kind of thing–and, oh, mine too. What it actually most reminds me of is SL Chene! Can you believe it? The small bottle is only $25.

    • Maria B. says:

      Oh, and let us say a prayer of thanks that Sanjaya has left the building.

    • Louise says:

      OH! Maria-does the Nicolai last???

      • Maria B. says:

        Hi, Louise. It’s not the longest-lasting fragrance. It’s an eau fraiche. However, I still have traces of it on my skin nine hours after I dabbed it on. BTW, thanks for the tip about L’Ombre Fauve. It’s amazing.

    • Patty says:

      Yes! That’s it exactly!

      Oh, now I have to hunt down that PdN. Is it new?

      May Sanjaya find many fruitful opportunities that do not involve singing. 🙂

      • Maria B. says:

        Patty, no need for hunting! BeautyHabit has the 30 ml. bottle of Vie de Chateau for $25 and the 100 ml. for $60. :d I don’t know how new it is. Kevin at NST reviewed it in early July.

        I join you in wishing Sanjaya a bright future away from singing. Maybe he can be a mime.

        • Tigs says:

          Vie de Chateau has been around for quite a while: since 1992 actually – though it was originally under the name “Eau de Cheverney” as it was created for the Comte de Cheverney (and this earlier name is the one it is reviewed under in Luca Turin’s Le Guide.) It is a lovely, pastoral scent with excellent lasting power for an eau fraiche, though – and with all due respect to Maria B. – it is not very similar to Chene to my nose. It does not develop as godawful sweet as it seems in the vial, but comes off rather like toffeed grass and hay. And may I just say that those Nicolai 30 ml bottles are stone-dead genius! I hope she makes a killing on them….

          • Maria B. says:

            Well, Tigs, do remember that my skin reacts with perfume differently from other people’s. On me, it resembles Chene, but as they say in legal disclaimers, “Your results may vary.” 🙂

          • Tigs says:

            Oh, of course, results always vary! In this case, our results vary a good deal. 🙂 Skins are wacky things. Oh, and Patty, after reading your Chene and MKK comparison with interest, I did a comparison and I see exactly what you were writing about. There *is* a similarity.

    • Solander says:

      I was introduced to the fine gentleman Vie de Chateau far too early in my forays into perfume, and I couldn’t stand him. I strongly suspect I’ll have to get reintroduced… After all, I hated Bandit too once, found her too sharp and musty and now I think she’s a pretty summer beauty frolicking in the green… Perhaps I’ll even find the once so bitter Vie de Chateau a little bland, nowadays?