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.
Image credit - http://www.luckyscent.com/