Sunday, 5 June 2011

Il Profumo Patchouli Noir

I went through a bit of a patchouli craving a couple of months ago and ordered a number of samples from Luckyscent. One of them was Patchouli Noir, of which i had read some very good reviews.

The notes from Luckyscent include mint, cedarwood, patchouli, poppy seed and vanilla. I suspect this is a relatively sparse list, but the two primary notes give you an idea of what is to come - essentially a strong patchouli softened and cozied later by the vanilla. However, it is not as simple as that. The opening minutes provide that characteristic feel of a true patchouli fragrance, with plenty of camphorous, cocoa patchouli. If you've ever tried Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens, for example, you will know what I mean, although I think Patchouli Noir is perhaps a little stronger in the opening.

The patchouli note becomes richer and almost 'thickens' as the fragrance progresses and becomes a little sweeter. I haven't a clue what a poppy note smells like in perfume and whether its presence is felt or not, I cannot vouch for. After this, Patchouli Noir begins to morph quite noticeably as a much stronger vanilla note takes over. Fortunately, for me, this is a not a cloyingly sweet vanilla, but warm, enveloping and almost cozy in feel. There is still an edge of Patchouli to balance things which now has more of a minty feel. It's interesting, to be sure.

In the late dry down Patchouli Noir becomes very relaxed in feel, with the vanilla much cozier, almost a skin scent, which is a dramatic turnaround from the intense, patchouli-laden start.

I do like Patchouli Noir, only I was expecting it to be perhaps a bit darker and more challenging than it actually turned out to be, but nevertheless it is very well done. I think it is a patchouli scent for patch lovers, but won't deter others who are perhaps a bit more wary of the note and is a good compromise.


  1. I don't think I have ever seen a fragrance with poppy seed in it!!

  2. Michael, I'm following your patchouli trials with interest! I've also been on a patch kick, so it's like we're playing with the note together.

    I like Borneo 1834 well enough, and may eventually add a bottle, but I think I prefer smoother patchoulis, like Coromandel, most of the time. If the patch is strong and dirty, I'd rather it be a supporting character rather than the main.

  3. Frida, I have next to no experience of poppy either, so I really don't know. I've eaten poppy seed rolls, but can't recall them having much of a distinctive smell, other than bready!

  4. Jen, I must admit that I enjoy a strong patch, but I don't like to wear patchouli every day. I have to be in the mood. I also like Coromandel, but to date my favourite is probably Lui, by Mazzolari. I'd be interested to find out what else you've been trying!



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