Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir Fragrance Review

A classic men’s fragrance that was released in 1982, Drakkar Noir is a celebrated icon of the period and is still produced today by Guy Laroche. Therefore, as someone who likes the classics, it was one that I just had to review!

In this review, you will discover Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir as we touch on the talking points below:

Use the links to jump ahead or scroll on to read more.

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Overview

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir was developed by the perfumer, Pierre Wargnye, who is probably best known today for fragrances like Diesel Only The Brave as well as Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme and La Nuit de l’Homme.

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir Sky Background

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Drakkar Noir Composition

In the following section, we’ll break down Drakkar Noir, and aromatic fougère fragrance, with its individual notes and accords.

Head Notes

  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot

Dominated by peppermint, Drakkar Noir’s head is remarkably complex with a fistful of notes that deliver with a dizzying impact. Basil and lavender function as clean and tantalising aromatics while bergamot offers a slight citrus note.

Heart Notes

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir In Rosemary

  • Coriander
  • Absinthe
  • Cinnamon
  • Juniper

At the heart, we have some coriander a little bit of spiciness but it’s still quite green. There’s some spiciness as well with cinnamon, which is accompanied by juniper, specifically the leaves rather than the berries.

Although it’s tempting to compare it to gin, the alcoholic spirit I’m really thinking of here is absinthe, especially given the presence of both Artemisia and the wormwood, which provides a slight bitter oiliness.

Base Notes

  • Fir
  • Patchouli
  • Oakmoss
  • Cedarwood

Finally, the base consists of an intriguing and complex foundation of some woody and herbal notes. First of all, one of the most distinguishable notes was fir, it offers a pine freshness. Meanwhile, earthy patchouli, some moist oakmoss, and refreshing cedarwood are all present too.

Overall, the base is very resinous rather than being too herbaceous. You’re really getting the sap and the resin compared to the heart, which was quite balsamic.

You had all those spices and you had that booziness of the absinthe that really came together and created this almost oozing, unctuous flavour that sits quite nicely on the skin.

Drakkar Noir’s Life-Cycle, Wake & Strength

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir Bottle

In terms of performance, this is an aromatic fougère that gives you decent enough sillage but it leaves a bit to be desired. It does leave a trail but it’s a little bit limited. The projection is quite focused. You have a very short, small scent bubble.

And the longevity, expect four to five hours of performance here. You’ll need to top it up shortly afterwards. As you can see in the photos, I’ve got a small 50 ml bottle. It’s quite portable so this is a great one to carry around.

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What People Think Of Drakkar Noir

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir Olive Tree

As for the third party feedback, this is an interesting one. A lot of people seem to feel that this is a dated fragrance and I’d be inclined to agree. Some people have said that it really belongs in the 80s.

Although it’s very much representative of that era, it clashes with the trends today, as well as fragrances from that period and earlier, that have aged much, much better.

Unfortunately, I do indeed agree to a certain extent. I feel that this is a fragrance may struggle against a lot of the modern heavy hitters. Some people feel that it smelled a little bit odd as well. It seemed to have an unusual bouquet that didn’t quite correspond to their expectations.

Nevertheless, there were quite a few people that thought it was smooth, leathery, and quite pleasant.

When To Wear Drakkar Noir

In terms of seasonality, Drakkar Noir is a fragrance that is best suited for autumn and winter. Therefore, it would probably not perform very well in the heat. I think it’s too balsamic, too thick, and would probably be a bit stifling when you’re outside on a hot summer’s day.

Regarding our overall usage impressions, I think Drakkar Noir would probably be a fragrance best suited to people in their late 30s or early 40s. For anyone older, I would consider something somewhat more refined and mature.

Meanwhile, the time of day, this is probably an evening or a nighttime fragrance, but it could be worn during the day as well especially given that, in terms of occasion, I believe that this is very much an office fragrance.

However, I would refrain from wearing it during formal occasions and it’s too imposing for casual wear. In terms of masculinity, it’s a strong fragrance but it’s a lot milder than many colognes from the era.

Presentation & Value For Money

Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir In Sage

I quite like the bottle, although I do admit it feels maybe too much of a throwback to the 1980s. The plastic cap is a little bit of a shame as it looks like something that belongs on an Old Spice deodorant. Nevertheless, I do like the black matte finish and the striking text.

However, I wasn’t fond of the atomiser. It’s very short in range and produces a narrow mist. If you don’t press it decisively, it shoots out the fragrance like a water gun.

I actually like the packaging in many ways more than the bottle itself. It’s quite retro and I love the little red stripe as well as the embossed finished.

Finally, in value, you cannot fold this. This is a $30 to $40 fragrance, especially through our favourite retailers such as FragranceX. You can also find it on Amazon for a similar price.

Closing Thoughts

Drakkar Noir is perhaps a little bit dated. Nevertheless, it is a very influential fragrance and definitely one that you should, at very least, sample given its significance. Whether you enjoy it is another matter entirely. However, if you’re fond of classic colognes, it deserves to be sampled.

That being said, some may really enjoy its qualities, its characteristics and its regal elegance hidden behind a dark leather jacket exterior. You could potentially regard it as the lovable rogue of fragrances.

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"Although a little dated compared to other classic fragrances of the period, Drakkar Noir is one worth sampling, especially if you like retro scents."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

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