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Being a fan of woody, musky or oriental scents as I am, my daughter was sure I would like Sensuous Noir by Estee Lauder and decided to buy me some as a present, thinking I would like it and therefore feeling fairly confident about purchasing a bottle for me, hoping I would love it as much as my favourites.
One thing my daughter and I have in common is a love of the colour purple, so just as she was drawn to the purple bottle, she knew that I would find it attractive too.
I have never owned any Estee Lauder fragrance before. I have sniffed a couple of testers in the past and had a friend who was a fan of one of the fragrances, but other than that, I personally have no experience of Estee Lauder fragrance.
I have always associated Estee Lauder with floral fragrances, based upon the one my friend so often wore and the odd sniff of a tester and as I am not really keen on floral fragrances, Estee Lauder has never appealed to me and I certainly would never have associated Estee Lauder with sensual, sultry fragrance.
That has all changed now, since my daughter presented me with a bottle of Sensuous Noir, the follow-up fragrance to the the original Sensuous fragrance launched a couple of years back in 2008. Launched this year, Sensuous Noir is marketed as a Woody Floral Chypre which is intensely rich and seductive. Chypre is apparently the new name for a fragrance with a Patchouli base. Its key notes are described as feminine, seductive and mysterious. The mysterious part I find very appealing! It is said to embody the warm sensuality of the woman who wears it.
The actual notes are Purple Rose, Jasmine, Rose Essence, Black Pepper, Melted Woods Nature Print, Creme Noir Accord, Patchouli, Spiced Lily, Benzoin and Vanilla. So quite a collection there, however I do seem to own some fragrances which I really like that feature Jasmine and Patchouli, therefore it shouldn't have come as any surprise to me that I like this fragrance. I also have a penchant for Patchouli air fresheners too, so this note is a very positive inclusion in any type of fragrance for me, be it perfume or air freshener!
I still wondered before spraying Sensuous Noir onto my skin, if any floral scents would be detectable. I don't mind, just as long as they are subtle.
The original Sensuous fragrance is quite floral, but thankfully with Sensuous Noir, the floral notes do not seem as prominent. The first thing I notice when spraying some onto my skin is that it is indeed a rich fragrance. Initially it appears to be sweet as well as rich and I can dectect some floral notes, which then fade and the darker, woodier notes become prominent, with just a hint of Jasmine.
Because of its rich scent, I find I only have to spray a tiny amount of this fragrance to achieve the subtle effect I prefer when wearing perfume. I like to be able to smell it on myself, but don't want it to be overpowering. This is why I find it suitable to wear during the day as well as on an evening or night out. If I just spray a tiny amount, it gives me a long lasting subtle scent.
If I was wearing this on a night out, I would use a little more which makes it more intoxicating, but there is certainly no need to spray a lot of this, due to its richness and also its excellent staying power. Indeed, just spraying a tiny amount onto my skin on a morning is enough for me as I find it lasts all day. I can smell it on myself all the time, it just doesn't seem to fade.
I can understand why many would only wear Sensuous Noir on an evening, particularly if you are a fan of the original Sensuous perfume, as that would be the daytime fragrance and Sensuous Noir for the evening, which I am sure is the marketing plan for these two fragrances. However, the original Sensuous is too floral for my liking and I personally find if you just spray a tiny amount of Sensuous Noir, then the subtle scent you achieve is fine to wear during the day. Ideal for those like myself who prefer the warmer, sultry fragrances.
I have received a few compliments from friends when I wear it, so it must not be overpowering to them either.
The luxurious purple bottle and the actual fragrance combine to give an overall exotic and deeply sensual fragrance which will appeal to fans of woody, musky oriental-type fragrance. Because it wears so well, it is a favourite of mine and one I choose to wear when I am going to be out of the house for a while as I know it will last well.
I am so pleased my daughter bought me this fragrance because otherwise it may have passed me by. She thought I would really like it and she was right!
A 30ml bottle of Estee Lauder Sensuous Noir is currently priced at £32 at Debenhams, with the larger 50ml bottle priced at £43.
Group: Woody Oriental
I have a miniature of the original Sensuous Eau de Parfum in my fragrance collection so I was looking forward to testing a sample of this I was given in Debenhams at the Estee Lauder counter.
Just like the original Sensuous, the packaging is the same plain and sort of bath line-looking, round and flat-backed bottle with ribbed embossement. Only the colour changed from champagne pink to deep purple since the previous version to be better suited to the 'Noir' or Night theme. The flacon is capped with a small, hexagonal lid which honestly is a little bit cheap-looking.
Top notes: jasmine, rose, black pepper, spices
Sensuous Noir opens with light and transparent but immediately recognisable, warm and honey-laced vegetal amber note strongly reminiscent of the scent of the Body Shop's limited edition Warm Amber range. The honey and amber were soon joined by a fairly distinct, nose-tickling but well-blended black pepper aroma which lifted the fragrance and added some character to it. I liked the contrast in Sensuous Noir, the fact that it broke away from the almost unavoidable and ordinary fruity openings so common in modern releases nowadays.
Heart notes: patchouli, lily, molten woods, crème noire
About 15 - 20 minutes later Sensuous got denser, richer, sweeter and spicier. Amongst the amber and creamy, soft but somewhat non-descript white florals I picked up a certain spicy and warm, aromatic chocolate-like note, similar to the accord in Yves Rocher Rose Absolue. There's actually no chocolate note in the fragrance, it just happens that my nose translates spices and roses as a chocolatey accord when blended in a certain way.
I appreciated the overall warm, spicy but somewhat filament-like ambery feel that was softened and fleshed out by the floral notes and unlike Sensuous, luckily never becoming overpowering or two sweet and still staying in the oriental realm. The heart notes practically melted onto my skin creating a unified but complex veil that fit like gloves. This only happens with quality raw materials so it was a nice surpise to see it happen.
After about 3 hours, the fragrance turned into a quieter and more subtle but rich and multi-faceted oriental with woody undertones alternating between an exotic - balsamic and a sweeter, fuller, more generic and creamier spicy floral accord having a herby, clove-like heart that must have been the lily. Jasmine was present too, not indolic or amimalistic in the slightest but rather clean with some dark residue lurking around its edges.
Overall, the heart was dominated by subtle white florals paired with spices and a dark, woody structure that lasted for about 4 - 5 hours hugging the skin and had a moderate - weak projection especially towards the drydown.
Base notes: amber, benzoin, honey, vanilla
Sensuous Noir seemed to go off on a tangent and had no real projection left for the final phase. There was a definite presence of non-foody, balanced but a bit flat and non-spicy vanilla that turned a little bit soapy and woody. In the final 2 - 3 hours a very light layer of patchouli - vanilla and sweet amber combo was detectable close to my skin up to 8 - 9 hours after application, however it was practically non-existent for me or those around me which was a bit of a letdown.
Although I have a miniature of the original Sensuous, I find it too overpoweringly sweet and floral and not dark or oriental enough contrary to it being classed as an oriental woody fragrance. As expected, Sensuous Noir is meant to be the darker, night version of its predecessor and indeed it's darker, spciier and less overpoweringly floral number while being discreet and rich thanks to the well-balanced, playful, wholesome, gourmand and oriental elements.
While it isn't terribly long-lasting as the sillage only lasts for 5 - 6 hours, Sensuous Noir is surprisingly well-done and decidedly feminine for a modern and sweet fragrance whilst not being tooth-achingly sweet or too common and cheaply-done. I'd never call it sensuous as in sexy as it's so clean and light to be even close. It's pleasant and creamy with additional spices and amber for a darker and more oriental tone.
Altogether better-done than the original I recommend Sensuous Noir for the colder seasons or with a more generous application for a night out for ladies who like their orientals discreet and soft with a touch of spice and amber.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Available in department stores at Estee Lauder concessions and drugstores such as Boots for about £36.55 - 50ml and this size / type of product seems to be the only one available so I wouldn't be surprised if Sensuous Noir was launched as a limited edition for the moment.
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk
Sensuous Noir is a new fragrance by Estee Lauder and has a stronger, more intoxicating and more seductive scent than the prior fragrance, Sensuous. The top notes include a floral blend of purple rose, jasmine, rose oil, black pepper and spices. The heart focuses on the warm wooden notes, typical for this scent, with the use of the innovative Nature Print technology. The smell of dissolved wood generated by pine tree and guaiac wood merging "was captured" exactly by this technology and used as a seductive note that was first used as a sensory note and complemented by innovative Noir cream, lily flowers and patchouli notes. The base notes include benzoin, amber and soft vanilla with amber aroma. The fragrance is available in a distinctive bottle of thick glass in enchanting purple colour and decorated with a luxurious red gold stopper.