A few weeks ago we talked about the association between scent and colour, and how a fragrance can showcase a vast array of shades and effects. One brand that seems to think of colour when it creates perfume is Narciso Rodriguez. For their original fragrance, they created the olfactory equivalent of pink satin, whilst NARCISO was an ode to the nude tones of beige and their masculine For Him is as grey as a scent can be. It’s not just the power of suggestion in the shades of the bottles either, these scents all have a distinct hue making the Narciso Rodriguez collection one of the most finely tuned out there.
Colour once again sits at the heart of the latest scent from Narciso Rodriguez, two of them in fact: blue and black. For Him Bleu Noir, Narciso’s brand new masculine is inspired by the designer’s love for the unfathomable intensity of a blue that’s so dark it almost appears black and unsurprisingly, the resulting creation is something entirely more seductive and sensual than the stark greyness of For Him. Bleu Noir is a new addiction for the fashion-conscious man who wants a fragrance that lures people in. It’s a dark and sexy scent that presents the ideas of ‘blue’ and ‘noir’ in an entirely un-clichéd manner. Just like everything Narciso Rodriguez does, Bleu Noir is impeccable in every way.
Top: Nutmeg & Cardamom
Base: Blue Cedar Wood and Black Ebony Wood
How Does it Smell?
If the name Bleu Noir leads you to expect something evocative of the deep blue sea then you need to give your expectations a good talking to because that is not what this fragrance is about. Not in the slightest. Bleu Noir is a sexy melange of spice and woods that feels as rugged as designer stubble. A pepper-soaked grapefruit note brings freshness but it’s a sharp, warm and slightly sweaty kind of freshness that feels multi-faceted and more than just a little bit sexy. This clash between freshness and woody spice forms a large part of Bleu Noir’s signature, making for a bold wear.
I’d say that Bleu Noir is relatively linear, meaning that it doesn’t offer up a vast olfactory journey, but there is a slight shift in nuance as it dries down. Things soften and the density of the top notes opens up a little, allowing for a sense of space to be created. Ashen woods blend with the dryness of cardamom, creating the darkness evoked in Bleu Noir’s name. It takes the opening’s freshness and it pulls it right to the depths of each note, giving the impression of dark blue fabric tailored to perfection. As with all of Narciso Rodriguez’s fragrances, musk plays a large role, adding a soft breeze of elevation that gives Bleu Noir a smooth finish.
Bleu Noir sits at the opposite end of the spectrum from the original For Him. Where the original was a sensitive and almost effeminate blend of violet leaf and musks, Bleu Noir feels decidedly more robust. The original was clean and earthy, creating the impression of a ballet dancer in grey jersey moving across the floor in a flurry of shapes – a clash of masculine and feminine, whereas Bleu Noir is darker, moodier and altogether more dirty. This is the Narciso Rodriguez fragrance for those gents out there who like something a little bit more rough and ready.