Christian Dior Eau Noire

So, it’s February. I realised on the first day of the month I felt a huge weight lifting. That’s not happened in previous years. I generally haven’t minded January. The weather wasn’t great this year, but I’m really not sure what the issue is/was. In any case, having now reached 5 February, I still feel that sense of relief.

I’ve been thinking about immortelle for the last week or so. Like my post January relief, I’m not sure where that came from.

So I pulled out my decant of Dior Eau Noire from the La Collection Privée which is the only thing I which appears to have that note.

This is from 2004 (oy, that’s almost 20 years ago) and was among the first three fragrances in LCP. I have no real sense of the other two but as soon as I sampled Eau Noire I wanted it. But … I didn’t want 125ml of anything at that point and I still don’t.

To me, these are sizes to split. But somehow instead of a split someone I knew on the Makeup Alley fragrance board offered a large decant (extremely kind of her) and that’s what I have – ie, around 30ml. I got it more than a decade ago and it still smells gorgeous.

The nose for this is Francis Kurkdjian and the notes include (per Fragrantica) thyme, sage, lavender, coffee, cedar, immortelle, saffron (there it is – another saffron I love is Theo Fennell Scent), licorice, vanilla, violet, leather and ‘stem greens’ (whatever that includes). Interestingly, in the Fragrantica picture, the juice is a stem green colour. In the Dior picture from the website now it’s vague yellow.

Portia wrote about Eau Noire in 2012 here.

So, this. I love this. It’s a heavy duty fragrance – unctuous (like, really – sort of oily and comes on strong). In the opening period (ie, first 45 minutes) I get thyme, leather, immortelle and licorice. A wonderful combo. Nothing really woody. More like a really great licorice that wouldn’t be sweet enough for a lot of people. There’s also a bit of coffee in there.

Like Kilian Dark Lord (my decant isn’t here yet) this definitely lives up to its ‘noir’ label. But it never feels sleezy or weird. Rather, it’s incredibly classy.

Unsurprisingly, this lasts forever on my skin (like 12 hours) and just gets better and more interesting before sighing into the smell of date molasses (or those burlap bags of dates you sometimes see in Middle Eastern shops here). In between it just maintains that heavy dried fruit sweetness but with enough of the herbal aspect to keep it from falling over a nauseating cliff and a good dose of licorice which seems to lend it a roughness in texture.

My decant is less than half empty however many years on. So, happily I won’t have to go hunting for someone to do a split with etc. It’s certainly something I want around, particularly in cooler weather (I once wore it to a party in the summer and that didn’t work too well, though no one was rude enough to say so).

Is this one of yours? Do you grow immortelle? Like dates and licorice? What about the other perfumes in La Collection Privée – any of those your jam?

Pics mine and Pexels 

  • Tom says:

    Sables is sort of my reference scent for immortelle, followed by (the sadly discontinued) AG Eau de Monsieur. I still have a bottle of the former. IDK why but this one didn’t do it for me.

  • Dina C. says:

    Cinnamon, I’m afraid this wouldn’t be my cup of tea. To my nose, saffron belongs in bouillibaisse. I have a sample of the Dior Feve Délicieuse, but I wear it rarely, as it also falls into that oriental gourmand category which is not my sniffing grounds, so to speak. It’s a bit of a weirdo on my skin. BUT, I’m so glad you have an intriguing winter favorite and plenty of it to last several years. That’s outstanding!

    • cinnamon says:

      It is very idiosyncratic and I imagine a love or hate. You made me laugh regarding bouillibaisse — there are definitely some notes in perfume that make me twitchy. saffron clearly isn’t one of them but lavender, unless used in a clever manner, is a no no. And then there’s the play dough note in some Guerlains. A big no thank you.

  • March says:

    My recollection was that I loved Eau Noire, although not enough to buy it, I definitely had a decant at some point (probably still do.) Immortelle favorites off the top of my head: Goutal Sables, Lolita Lempicka L (?), and ELdO Like This.

    • cinnamon says:

      Sables was never one of mine. I’ve sampled Like This but have no memory (and I may even have written about it on Posse — will have to look. EN is like TF Scent for me in that I love it but it doesn’t get enough time on skin.

    • Musette says:

      isn’t this the one someone dubbed “Eau No”? Or am I ‘misremembering’ that? I need to go see if I have a sample of this – the notes sound right up my alley!


    • alityke says:

      Is the immortelle in Like This what gives it the maple roasted pumpkin note? We’ll knock me down with a feather! I love Like This so much I bought 100mls back in the day. Sables was pure curry.
      Maybe I need to sniff immortelle scents again

  • Kathleen Smith says:

    I wish I knew what immortelle smelled like. I’ve not heard of it growing where I live. I’ve not sampled Dior Eau Noire. I love dates and licorice though, especially the salty black licorice from the Netherlands. Fève Délicieuse and Dioramour are the only perfumes from the Privee Collection that I have.

    • cinnamon says:

      I have never had the salty liquorice. Sounds interesting. Per the interweb, immortelle actually smells like honey, hay, tea and rose. I guess that’s where I get the date-like smell. As with the Gucci special line I need to smell more of the Privees.

  • Portia says:

    OOOOH Cinnamon, you have the ORIGINAL formula. Quite early on it was reformulated by the DIOR crew and it went acid lime green. Eau Noire has just been taken back by Francis Kurkdjian and given a retrograde reform, it’s good but still not quite as satisfying as the original. Bloody good though and I love my 40ml.
    You’d slap me if you knew how many of the DIOR Privé are in this apartment. It’s one of my favourite lines.
    LOVE immortelle. There are quite a few around here. Even smelled it once at our Chinese Gardens here in Sydney. YUM!
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      Why was it reformulated? I can imagine it was perceived as a bit much. I find it beautiful but I am aware of how strong it is. I surely would not be surprised by anything you have in that apartment perfume-wise. It’s like a fragrance museum.

  • alityke says:

    Immortelle is not my friend, though I do have a 15ml Eau Noire mini. I have no recollection how it came to me, I suspect as a BN swap. It is that sort of swamp green juice. I should wear it to see if my tastes have changed.
    I rediscovered a 10ml decant of Dior Mitzah this week. I had forgotten what a beauty Mitzah is, not earth shatteringly cutting edge but a wonderfully rich amber. Why was she discontinued?
    Today I’m wearing Francesca Bianchi Sticky Fingers, to my nose very similar to Mitzah, though for me Mitzah is the more enjoyable

    • cinnamon says:

      Back in the day when I did a lot of trading and gifting of samples I was constantly surprised to find things. Actually really lovely. I think I was gifted a sample of Mitzah at some point and it likely ended up at a charity shop here. I hope whoever got it enjoys. I have no memory of it.

  • Tara C says:

    I wear Parfum d’Empire Immortelle Corse and Atélier Cologne Blanche Immortelle. For me they are summer scents because they smell like sun-baked skin. Haven’t smelled Eau Noire in many years, obviously I didn’t love it enough to buy even a decant. I do have quite a few Dior Privées: Mitzah, Cuir Cannage, Ambre Nuit, Fève Délicieuse, Rose Gipsy, Belle de Jour, Vanille Diorama, Rouge Trafalgar, Colle Noire, Gris Montaigne, Tobacolor.

    • cinnamon says:

      That is quite a few of Privees 🙂 This version of Eau Noire is definitely not sun baked skin on me.

  • ElizaC says:

    I grow immortelle – if I brush against it while gardening I get wonderful wafts of scent all day! Does the Dior Eau Noire have that rich, sort of maple scent? I have the Serge Lutens Le Participe Passe which has the most beautiful, intense and rich immortelle. Just love it.

    • cinnamon says:

      What’s your climate like? I looked at a couple of the online plant shops here and no one appears to have immortelle. Sigh. Another Lutens to try.

      • ElizaC says:

        I’m in Seattle so its rainy and not super hot or cold. The plants don’t seem too easy to find here – I just lucked into finding them at a local plant nursery. My gardening skills lean towards benign neglect and the two plants seem happy with that.