NOR BLEU, NOR BLACK, MORE GREY
Year of launch: 2015
Recent alteration: 22/01/16
Model: Billy Vandendooren
Photographer: Zeb Daemen
Strange: still no mention of Blue Noir at http://www.narcisorodriguez.com/fragrance. I went ‘to him’ just beause I was curious about the man Rodriguez had in mind, if he had one… Yes he had. Narciso Rodriguez: “This fragrance is for the mysterious, modern and elegant man.” Sure. And about the color: “I love blue so dark that it appears black. I like black which takes depths of dusk.” Sure. But why did he choose Bleu Noir instead of Noir Bleu?
The first refers (for me) more to the coolness of water and the infinite sky – in other words: a fresh-airy fragrance with a certain kind of depth. But just by judging the ingredients, I think it would have been more intriguing, if not more appropriate, if Noir would have come first in place. Because the fragrance is (for me) more black then blue – because of the lack of a spright citrus tinkle. Instead a hint of fresh and green cardamon accompanied by a dusty nutmeg. And than the fragrance turns dark.
WHAT DO I SMELL?
Since the launch in 2010 of Bleu de Chanel the couture house leads the way with a ‘new kind of dark’, a new kind dark woody fragrance for men in the masstige (a contraction of mass en prestige) department. Like Miyake’s Nuit d’Issey (2014), like Sauvage (2015) by Dior – already called Blue de Dior. Bleu Noir walks the same path to a dark woody base infused by a slightly salty touch and ‘distant’ smoky-burned accents. But it never gets too dark. Not too black, not too blue.
In fact, the more I smell it, the more I see a grey landscape arise because of the paleness and bleakness of the chosen woods: cedar, ebony, vetiver. Softened with amber and musk – both not adding a warm comforting, but are more straight and upright manly greyish and clean note. Like the ass trail of cigarettes on asphalt. And: Billy Vandendooren is only a few steps away from becoming the first white model who – like Al Johnson once – transforms into an Afro-American…