Drakkar Noir (1982) Eau de Toilette

Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) by Guy Laroche
Bottle Design: Pierre Dinand
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Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) (Guy Laroche)
Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) (Guy Laroche)
Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) (Guy Laroche)
Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) (Guy Laroche)
Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) (Guy Laroche)
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7.6 / 10     323 RatingsRatingsRatings
Drakkar Noir (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Guy Laroche for men and was released in 1982. The scent is spicy-woody. It is still in production.

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Perfumer

Pierre Wargnye

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesArtemisia, Basil, Bergamot, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon, Lemon beebrush
Heart Notes Heart NotesCarnation, Jasmine, Coriander, Juniper, Cinnamon
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Oakmoss, Leather, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Fir, Vetiver, Cedarwood

Ratings

Scent

7.6 (323 Ratings)

Longevity

7.5 (210 Ratings)

Sillage

7.2 (215 Ratings)

Bottle

6.0 (225 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 11.12.2018
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Reviews

Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Unique allrounder
This is a unique fragrance that has been around for a long time because its a classic scent that wont go out of style. This is a great scent for the office, it has that just got out of the shower aftershave scent.
The only test that matters with any fragrance is whether or not you would you buy it again? Having regard to the price and the bouquet 110% yes, this is one fragrance that I would buy again and again.
Helpful Review    2
Drakkar Neutral
In the old days before digital, photographers would calibrate their cameras using a mid grey card, 50% black 50% white.

Drakkar Noir achieves a similar balance by mixing the dark tones of leather, patchouli and tree moss with lavender and coumarin. DN may be called black but to my synesthetic nose it smells grey, grey like fluffy mould.

The neutral tones of DN were adopted by feminists when it first came out in the eighties. The tactic of wearing traditionally male perfumes allowed women to sidestep olfactory stereotypes long before Serge Luten's Palais Royale brought crossover scents back into the mainstream.

A middle of the road fougère, sweet yet bitter, moderately heavy, opaque but nebulous, it still divides people today. Some love it. Others perhaps unsettled by its vague indeterminate nature don't like it at all.

It is easy to overdo it with DN, too much can get suffocating so moderation should be the order of the day - not too much and not too little.

I think its not bad - but not great either, just quite nice. Technically its no great shakes either, another barbershop fougère.

And the legacy of Drakkar Noir : eighties gender bender or the smell of shaving foam in a can?
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 5.0/10 Scent 7.0/10
Helpful Review    7
Shield wall! Now!
Let's talk some statistics for starters. The sentences in which the word "school" is usually included in Drakkar Noir's reviews are rougly divided between the ones having "high" and the ones having "old" in front of it. But since I'm pretty sure that all these "high schoolers" are in no case under 40 years old, both adjectives conclude one thing. Drakkar Noir is by no means a modern fragrance. It's something that trend followers would ironically call an old lady fragrance and amuse themselves for belittling it even further by not associating it with men.
Dear trend followers, unfortunately I cannot pass as an old lady, cause despite having quite long hair, it's nowhere near white. Perhaps my year old beard has some part in it too. You see, bearded ladies belong to the same place where Drakkar Noir belongs too, according to your refined taste and aesthetics. Freak shows...So how would you call a man in his mid-forties who's featuring all this hair and digs old fragrances named after scandinavian battleships? Wait! Did someone say "a bloody Viking berserker"? I guess I could pass as one.

So, let the battle hymns fill the air.
(You may start running for cover now trend followers.)
Enter Led Zeppelin.
(Another much despised "old lady" thing.)

"We come from the land of the ice and snow from the midnight sun where the hot springs flow."

It actually came 10 years after the first Drakkar had already landed on the fabled western shore. It sailed from river Seine, which does not make it a Viking thing exactly. But who cares? This one was black!
I guess a matching black sail decorated with a skull and crossbones was fluttering on its mast as well. Too early for that you said? Pirates you said? I agree, but I also beg to differ. Pirates were not looting only gold coins but golden ideas too. And this rather unrefined emblem had always made gold coins jump into treasure chests by themselves upon showing up on the horizon. Let alone that Vikings actually WERE pirates!

If its intention was to terrorise its opponents and make them flee, Drakkar Noir landed a serious blow without even raising its hand. As we speak, many otherwise hard-boiled dudes are fleeing like cockroaches taken by surprise when someone hits the lights by seeing this veteran warrior approaching.
It brought the same amount of mayhem with a Viking fleet landing in the middle of a raging battle, cause this is exactly what the '80s were. A huge battlefield where ferrocious warriors were exchanging devastating blows in order to prevail and get all the maidens.

Drakkar Noir came to avenge its fallen brother who had perished under the combined attacks of Italian lancers (Gucci pour Homme), English bowmen (Halston 1-12 and Z-14) and Spanish expatriated swordsmen (Paco Rabanne pour Homme). And it routed them single-handedly, conquering their realms and dethroning them from the Kingdom of Macho overnight. For some years it was the absolute ruler of everything, gloriously daunting in its black panoply and towering over every laughable attempt made by usurpers trying to succeed it. Then it was its turn to be conquered, but only by time, and not without making a legendary last stand which is still reverberating through fragrance lore.

If there ever was a fragrance smelling oily and arid in the same time, this was the one. Like sticking your head into an old abandoned well and smell the thick darkness. Cold, dry and slippery. Like a dormant volcano surrounded by glaciers, occasionally venting its ire through fumaroles.
And I say "was" cause the current version of Drakkar Noir smells like a splash bottle being forgotten open since 1982 and smelled again in 2015. The ghost of a scent. And even the most ghastly ghosts become less frightening after a few decades.

But in its heyday Drakkar Noir was turning dimly lit discos and clubs into much feared lairs, packed with predators waiting for any unsuspecting prey to be lured and pass their gates.
Other fragrances of the era like Azzaro pour Homme and its kin were all about machinations and facades in order to trap their victims. Drakkar Noir was the adamant abettor of the good ol' proverbial clubbing on the head. Since we're talking about the Nordic pantheon, the first could be impersonated by Loki, while the latter was 100% Thor, and change clubbing with hammering. No elaborate wording or flamboyant behaviour here. Just plain dark spleen and meaning business. Just the thing to make a Viking warlord proud.

"Yeah, but it's so old school!"

Who said that? C'mon, who said that? No one said that? Right lad, stay hidden in the crowd! This was always a very "brave" thing to do!
Old school? Really? It's a drakkar for Odin's sake, not some high-end missile cutter! Drakkars are still badass and fabulous after more than 1000 years have passed since they first hit the waves. ("Launched" would be too obvious a pun here.) What are the chances of any high-end missile cutter to be remembered and admired after 1000 years? Probably the same with a fragrance launched during 2015 to be widely acknowledged and respected after almost 35 years, the way Drakkar Noir is as we speak.

So come closer to the fire brothers, and with swords held on high, let's bellow in unison.

"Odin I await thee! Your true son am I..."

And rest assured that the ancient gods reposing in the melancholic chambers of the fragrance Valhalla may be gone but by no means forgotten.
jtd
Helpful Review    5
loud, blended fougère
I love a good fougère. I think the genre is underrated, and still recovering from a bad spell that lasted from the 70s to the 90s. The ubiquity and heavy-handed use of Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Azzaro pour Homme and eventually Drakkar Noir in the US in the 70s-80s as well as the association with a troubled era of masculinity made people run screaming from the aromatic fougère. Then Cool Water and the like made the more traditional lavender/coumarin fougère seem stale.

To Drakkar Noir. It’s bland and it’s loud. It’s the fragrance equivalent of battleship grey at volume 10.
2 Replies
Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 7.0/10
Very helpful Review    4
Big and scary or... meh?
While at a social event this weekend I picked up on someone in the crowd wearing an old school, masculine fragrance. The man wearing it was easy to spot. As he moved through the crowd he was the embodiment of the word "sillage." The experience of observing him was very synesthetic. It was as though my eyes and nose were connected and I could visualize his odoriferous wake. Even though I don't have a great memory for fragrances there was no mistaking the scent. It was the dreaded Viking ship of 1980's perfumery, Drakkar Noir.

If you read reviews of Drakkar Noir you'll soon realize it evokes pretty strong opinions and memories, both good and bad. The one thing most people agree on is that it's a big, powerhouse fragrance. After that, opinions divide. Proponents talk about its rich collection of notes and how it evokes memories of the 1980's. Detractors talk about its suffocating, over the top collection of notes and how it evokes memories of the 1980's.

What's surprising is that, aside from it's huge sillage, I didn't find Drakkar Noir loud in an abrasive sense. Maybe it's annoyingly omnipresent but there weren't notes or accords that stuck out or punched me in the nose. If anything, its many notes are so homogenized that it has a somewhat pleasant, yet monotone, B flat kind of presence. As my ever patient and tolerant wife said, "You know, for as strong as it is, it's not bad. It's sort of nice, actually, but kind of, I don't know, meh, boring."

The other surprise about Drakkar Noir is that it opens with such prominent fougere top notes; a strong lavender matched by savory, mellow lemon. As it dries down, the lavender and lemon recede into the pleasant yet ordinary homogenized whole. After while the leather notes come through, slightly burnished yet, like everything else, homogenous and shoulder shruggingly nice.

If Drakkar Noir was the fragrance worn by a boatload of Vikings to go pillaging I doubt they were wearing horned helmets, chain mail and course linen tunics. Nope, these Vikings would have been wearing khakis, Bass loafers and pastel Polo shirts with the collars turned up.

Statements

MrHonest 173 days ago
From my 2004 bottle - Green, spicy, yet tender oakmoss reminiscent of vintage aftershaves. No sweetness whatsoever, yet surprisingly smooth.+3
Bottle 5.0
Sillage 7.0
Longevity 8.0
Scent 8.0
DPArtist 39 hours ago
Fresh, spicy, green, manly & timeless. A precursor to 90s power freshies, it's like taking a shower in an evergreen forest in springtime.+2
Scent 9.0
Hajuvana 21 months ago
The SI-standard of pre-aquatic male freshness kept next to the prototype metre bar. Slight harshness suggests reformulation.+2

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