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Tom Ford Noir review

Tom Ford Noir Review

A fragrance that I still feel is absolutely classic and that many people view as his defining entry into men’s fragrances is Tom Ford Noir. A totally different scent from many mainstream men’s fragrances, it can be quite divisive due to its dark nature.

But is Tom Ford Noir eau de parfum right for you? Let’s take a closer look at this interesting and powdery scent from one of the best in the game.

Brand History

Tom Ford is a fashion designer, filmmaker, and fragrance creator known for his luxurious and sensual style. He launched his own fragrance line in 2006, following his success as creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

Ford’s fragrances are celebrated for their bold and sophisticated scents, often featuring notes of rare and exotic ingredients. His debut scent, Black Orchid, is a modern classic and has been followed by a range of other popular fragrances, including Oud Wood, Tobacco Vanille, and Neroli Portofino. Tom Ford’s fragrance lines have become a staple for those who seek refined, unique and seductive scents.

Perfume History and Story

Tom Ford Noir eau de parfum was launched in 2012 and was inspired by the classic film noir genre of the 1940s and 1950s. The fragrance was created by perfumer Olivier Gillotin, who worked closely with Tom Ford to capture the essence of a man who is mysterious, complex, and confident.

Tom Ford Noir features an incredibly interesting array of notes – it has top notes that are bright and airy, with bergamot, pink pepper, and violet flower. The heart switches things up and starts invoking some lighter and floral elements such as black pepper, nutmeg, iris, and Bulgarian rose. The base notes go totally dark, with dark amber, leather and the dreaded civet – a note we’ll talk about more later.

This combination of notes helps the fragrance be both sophisticated and sensual, with a warm and spicy aroma that is suitable for both day and night wear. Since its release, Tom Ford’s “Noir” has become a popular scent for men around the world, cementing its place as a classic in the Tom Ford fragrance collection and yet again cementing his position as someone who releases different scents.

Perfume Bottle & Presentation

The bottle and presentation of Tom Ford Noir reflect the scent’s sophistication and luxury. The sleek black glass bottle has a rectangular shape and a clean, minimal design, with the Tom Ford logo in gold lettering at the top. The black and gold colour scheme gives the bottle a classic and elegant look, fitting for the scent’s inspiration in classic film noir. The bottle is also topped with a black cap that has a ribbed texture, adding a certain element to the presentation I think is really classy. Overall, this leads to an understated yet luxurious feeling, as Tom Ford aims for.

As with almost all Tom Ford fragrances, the sprayer leaves a lot to be desired. It isn’t amazing a gives quite a delicate and wide spray, which many people don’t like. This is only a minor gripe though and doesn’t detract from the scent at all.

Our Thoughts

Tom Ford Noir was one of the scents that had a guttural reaction within me. It was totally and utterly different to everything else I had ever smelled – light in the opening and so very dark, mysterious and enticing in the drydown.

Tom Ford Noir pulls absolutely no punches and announces its arrival. Whilst it doesn’t scream, it subtly pulls attention. It’s a fragrance that does its best when you wear black – yes it’s that dark.

It was my signature ‘nighttime’ scent for a few years and never let me down, so it has a very special place in my heart.

How many sprays are required?

Tom Ford Noir isn’t a mega-strong scent and many people who have sprayed noir have found this out. You don’t want it to encompass everything around you – it’s a fragrance that is designed to encapsulate people and draw them in.

Because of this, you want to go for around 3-4 sprays when you’re wearing this in most situations. That will have you covered for a good few hours. I wouldn’t wear this in the heat – it’s a bit too dark and powdery. In cooler weather though, you can probably go for 4-5 sprays with TF Noir.


Let’s go over the notes you’ll find in Tom Ford Noir – It’s an absolute cacophony of notes that is masterfully blended.

Top Notes


Pink Pepper




There are a lot of notes in the opening of Noir eau de parfum, but the main thing you’ll get is a cool bergamot laced with a bit of spice and cleanliness. The violet adds a small tinge of petrol, but it just sits in the background and won’t make you smell like a petrol station!

This opening only lasts around a minute though, before the rich floral accord notes start to shine through from the middle notes.

Heart Notes

Tuscan Iris

Bulgarian Rose

Black Pepper



Clary Sage

The middle notes brighten things up even more, with a rich and powdery iris taking the lead. The other big smell you’ll get is the floral notes. These floral notes aren’t girly at all and help tone down the powderiness of the iris, with the rose being a good clean rose and not a feminine one. The nutmeg and pepper add just a bit of spice and keep things interesting.

Base Notes

Indonesian Patchouli Leaf









Tom Ford Noir dries down into an incredibly interesting scent. Some people have said it’s odd like calling a ‘molten chocolate cake refreshing’ to turn a phrase, but I find it different and unique.

The biggest smell I get is a slightly sweet and earthy patchouli, backed up by the sweet benzoin, amber and vanilla. This isn’t cloyingly sweet, just sweet enough. It’s very dry and powdery.

Along with the dry sweetness, the drydown also has a ‘funk’, thanks to the animalic civet. Many people are scared of this note since it’s an animal musk and has a reputation for being stinky (in a bad way), but in this fragrance, it adds a really nice musky texture that just brings everything together.

The vetiver and opoponax just help things to stop being too sweet and aren’t very prominent. The smoky leather adds some dustiness and again isn’t very prominent. Finally, the opoponax and styrax and a sticky feeling to the drydown and a bit of robustness.



The sillage of Tom Ford Noir isn’t massive. As I stated before, it’s designed more to draw people in, so it doesn’t push too far outwards. You’ll get a moderate sillage trail behind you through the entire duration of the fragrance, with the drydown having the best trail as it’s sweet and mysterious.


This has some tremendous lasting power. Whilst it’s not super strong, it lasts. You’ll get an easy 6 hours of wearing, with some people getting 12 hours plus. As usual, it’s a case of how it works with your skin chemistry.


The projection is pretty soft. It barely gets a few feet on me and many people find the same. This is fine though as it’s not designed to be a screamy type of scent, so if you’re looking for a room filler you may want to try something else.

Target Market

This is unashamedly masculine. Age-wise, it’s incredibly dry and mature, so it would be more suited for 25+.

When to Wear

TF Noir could be a great signature scent – despite its rather strange profile, it’s quite easy to wear. The scent bubble isn’t obnoxious and sits nicely, so you can get away with it in an office.

It’s perfect though for nighttime events, dates and winter wear. It really shines when you wear it in these situations – especially if you’re going for the mysterious vibe. You’ll smell totally unique


This scent is in a unique genre – a soft scent that’s alluring but with an animalic growl. There is nothing quite like it out there – at least that I’ve found – and so you’ll be pretty safe wearing this and being unique. It’s quite the head-turner as well when people get close enough to smell it, thanks to this uniqueness.

Value For Money

Whilst some of Tom Fords’ fragrances are priced incredibly high – such as his Private Blends – Noir is in the Signature Line and so priced a bit lower. 50ml bottles can be had for around £70/$89, which is a very good value for how unique the scent is.

If you can get a deal on this, I’d personally say give it a shot. But if you’re maybe a bit hesitant due to how out there it is, give it a sample first as it can be a shock to the system.

Pros & Cons


  • A unique sweet oriental perfume
  • Great lasting power
  • Alluring and mysterious
  • Brilliant in the cold
  • Nice presentation
  • Typical amazing Tom Ford blending


  • Some people may not like the uniqueness
  • Can be a bit musky
  • Doesn’t work in the heat
  • Doesn’t project far

Similar Perfumes

Guerlain Habit Rouge

Habit Rouge is a classic from the French hour Guerlain. It smells similar to Tom Ford Noir but is a more summer-friendly version. Not as dark or mysterious, this could be something to look at if you want a ‘light’ version of Noir.

Zadig and Voltaire This is Him

An absolutely stellar designer scent, this can be had for pretty cheap. It has the same dark and mysterious vibe as Tom Ford Noir except with different notes. The main ones you’ll get are a juicy grapefruit up top, dark incense in the middle and superb vanilla in the base. If you want to smell mysterious on a budget, give this a try. Performance is ok as well.

Our Verdict

TF Noir is a defining scent, combining incredible blending with some unique notes that you don’t smell often. If you want to walk around feeling like a 1940s Noir film detective, exuding a mysterious and captivating charm, you should definitely check it out. Sample it first though.

0/5 Bottle
0/5 Scent
0/5 Sillage
0/5 Longevity
0/5 Projection
0/5 Price

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