Tom Ford Noir de Noir

by Nava

Yes folks, I’ve gone trolling in my own collection, yet again. It’s coming up on Sniffapalooza time, and much as I would have liked to be there this year, I’m sorely disappointed that I will not be able to make it. I’ve been missing New York quite a bit lately, mostly because I became a great aunt last month, and I was hoping to see my great nephew before he leaves for college. Alas, his christening will be in January; barring any unforeseen blizzards, I’m hoping to make it back for those festivities.

Sniffa got me thinking about my 4 ginormous Tom Ford Private Blends. I bought them at Bergdorf’s, where I sniffed them for the first time at the spring Sniffa 3 -1/2  years ago. Neroli Portofino, Tobacco Vanille and Purple Patchouli were the ones I instantly fell for, but Noir de Noir grabbed me almost as hard. It is classified as an “oriental chypre”, and much as I like to stay far, far away from anything chypre, it doesn’t smell like one to my nose. The notes are saffron, black rose, black truffle, vanilla, patchouli, oud wood and tree moss. My nose picks up mostly saffron, rose, vanilla (of course) and a bit of patchouli and wood. No moss, and no truffle note that potentially reads skank on me.

As I’ve said before, I find the Private Blends well done in the same vein as Serges, and sometimes almost as challenging to wear. I don’t wear these scents very often, with the exception of Neroli Portofino – I wore it fairly regularly this past summer – but when I do, I revel in their complexity. They’re great scents for this time of year, as well as winter when you need a good snuggler to keep you warm.

So, who’s going to Sniffa? Tell me which scents you’re looking forward to sampling, and any other details you care to share. I’m a shameless voyeur…indulge me!

Disclosure: All Tom Ford scents mentioned are from my own collection.




  • AnnieA says:

    Back from the SF sniffa, where I was able to try out Byeredo’s La Tulipe. The Barneys SAs were welcoming, especially Jonathan. Alas that the tulip was pretty but fleeting — and twice as expensive as a Chanel exclusif! So, I contented myself with LQ’s Jean Queen. My other purchases: Diptyque’s solid perfume in L’Ombre dans L’Leau, Smashbox eyeliners and Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom bath oil.

    Also was able to try out Dior’s Jules, and I found out that Cire Trudon candles are in fact scented, and quite originally at that.

    I had a metric ton of fun — maybe there will be a Portland sniffa sometime…

  • Olfacta says:

    I’m going — first time, and will gladly sniff whatever I find — once, at least. Haven’t been to NY in about 20 years, I hear it’s different :d — going to see the AbEx show at MOMA, too, and whatever else the 3 1/2 days will allow!

  • waftbycarol says:

    HEY , I’m going to Sniffa !
    i will be taking my computer this time and blogging direct from NYC , with lots of pics .
    List is growing longer , but I am looking forward to sniffing :
    L’A Traversee du Bosphore
    Guerlain Arsene Lupin Dandy
    Cartier Les Heures
    New Krigler scents
    and :
    Le Metier makeover
    Inglot store
    new addition to the Sniffa line-up : MiN store

    will report for all of you !

  • Gina says:

    I just bought a 50ml of the NdN and now most mornings I hold the NdN in one hand and the Black Aoud in the other, wishing I could wear either one to work.

  • Tom says:

    I wish I was going but I am sadly not..

  • Musette says:


    Wearing some oudhish scent today (a decant/split) – Al Mas. Started out rrrruffff! Smoothed down smooooth. Not sure what’s in it, other than oudhish roses but it’s nice…

    what’s that got to do with Tom Ford? Nothing. Just wanted to share. ;))

    Like Louise and Ann N, my fave Tom Ford is Japan Noir. My first TF try was Black Orchid and it was an epic FAIL – smelled like Grape Jelly on me.

    Louise – hope the dentist visit is painless.

    Not going to Sniffa – I never get to go anywhere. All I do is work! Hanging on by my fingernails to my plan to go to the World Percheron Congress in DesMoines – and that’s right around the corner! NY is a pipe dream these days, alas.

    xoxo >-)

    • karin says:

      Hmmm…two mentions for Japon Noir, and I think I have a sample of it tossing around somewhere in my samples box. Must try! (Or is it Japan something else? Now I need to go look for it and confirm!)

  • maggiecat says:

    Attending a sniff event is on my “bucket list” and my DH, bless him, even though he is not at all into perfume, is encouraging. but not this year, alas – the recession has hit us hard. Someday though…In the meantime…samples! Lots of samples! And decants!

  • Fragrant Witch says:

    A London Sniffa?? When does this happen?
    And can I join you please?!

    • Louise says:

      The London Sniffa was 2 summers ago-Sniffapalooza goes to a foreign country each summer-check the website for old and upcoming events.

  • maidenbliss says:

    NdN is gorgeous. It opens with a soft vanilla rose, rich and sexy, with hints of patchouli and a very sensual woodsy drydown. I don’t pick up any chypre either, but I loves my chypres. There’s something a bit sweet, but not cloying. A very wearable unisex scent is how I think of it.

  • Louise says:

    I like NdN, but much prefer the Japan Noir. Those Tom Fords were quite the bomb when they were released, no?

    Not going to Sniffa this time. It was a real adventure the first time, about 3 or so years ago, and I met some truly great folks, who have become friends. All the perfume world was exciting, and I spent way too much money on new releases. The London Sniffa was wonderful!

    Nowadays, I find much fewer perfumes grab my interest, and I get my fix mostly from decants. I am way more patient about getting around to sniffing new things-and am just enjoying my beauties a lot-today is vintage Dioressence for a trip to the dentist!

    I seem to becoming increasingly crowd-avoidant, and love my little sniffing parties with a couple or few buddies….so no Sniffa for me. I’ll miss seeing old and new friends, and hope for some good reporting back from attendees.

    • Louise says:

      “many fewer”. darn my grammar.

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Nava, good post. I, too, love me some Neroli Portofino (have the cutest little roll-on bottle) but with my traumatic summer, I kinda forgot about it. Kai was my comfort/dealing with near-tragedy scent, and although it’s sometimes dismissed as a lightweight, it did boost my spirits considerably.
      Thanks for the wise reminder that sometimes it’s nice to go back and visit some old faves. As Louise mentioned, I think it’s easy to get too caught up in trying the newest thing. Although I enjoy Noir de Noir, it’s a litle potent for me much of the time (although in extreme cold and/or dressed-to-the-nines occasions, it really rocks!). Like Louise, I can wear Japan de Noir with a bit more ease. Anyway, thanks and everyone have a great weekend!

      • Ann N. says:

        BTW, haven’t ever attended Sniffa, but it does sound fun. Although, truth be told, I do love Chicago and San Francisco more than NYC, as I find it a little overwhelming at times. But next time there are sniffing events in those cities (and I have a job :) ), I would love to go.

  • Abyss says:

    To me, Noir de Noir is a higher quality version of Black Orchid. I also often wonder if by “black truffle” they mean the chocolate type since both scents contain this note and both smell like chocolate (the dark, aromatic sort).

  • Eric says:

    I keep thinking I should snap up some Purple Patchouli but I remember trying it one and actually having one of those “allergic reactions” the IFRA is so scared of. Personally, I’d like some anyway just to have some but a full bottle might be pushing it….

    This one sounds amazing but I would definitely regret not getting any moss. ;3