Drakkar Noir – are you responsible for this happy marriage?

I was a-travelling with Olfactoria when I happened upon Brie in New York.
Before Brie’s star started twinkling in the The Fragrant Stratosphere she was given an Egyptian-style perfume bottle with a gold stopper, filled with an ounce of Mysore sandalwood oil. The gypsy woman who gave her this gift advised application on her third eye. The advice and bottle was discarded and well, this is a regret that Brie has learnt to live with.

There is nary a drop of Mysore Sandalwood left in the world until the vast Australian plantations are ready for harvest. Maybe I should have said nary a drop that is easily available. There are vaults of vintage Mysore sandalwood available to certain perfumers, but it seems to me that Neela Vermeire has either options or owns the vats and the vaults.

Note: There is an Australian native sandalwood that only Serge Lutens has been able to make sing with Santal Majuscule. The Mysore root stock has been planted in Australia and the scented results await our noses in the near future. We will be reporting on this sustainable harvest shortly. Right now we are zoomin’ over to New York to hear a story from Brie.

Cowboy hat

The Man in the Black Cowboy Hat
The Powerful Seduction of Drakkar Noir
Guest Post, by Brie in New York

The Fragrant Man recently quoted me as saying

I never wore perfume to seduce but rather it was the scent of perfume that always seduced me.

These words never rang more true for a circumstance that forever altered my life.

Come, travel back in time with me.

It is the summer of 1995 in New York City. I have just completed my first year of graduate school and to celebrate my girlfriend and I spend a humid August afternoon perfume shopping at our favorite haunt, Saks Fifth Avenue. By evening we were sticky, exhausted and parched. By chance we passed by a Country Western Club called Denim and Diamonds and decided to go in for a drink and bite to eat. After satiating ourselves we floated towards the dance floor and enjoyed watching partners two step. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a man across the room in a black cowboy hat with the most mesmerizing blue-green eyes I had ever seen. Ten minutes later he was standing by my side, asking me to dance.

Being in such close proximity while dancing with him allowed the scent that was emanating from his sweaty body to penetrate my nostrils and I was enthralled. A boozy, woodsy, incense and manly vanilla that made me want to swoon. It was one of those rare, never to be replicated moments where all visual and auditory input ceased to exist. There was just him and I, dancing together with that intoxicating aroma wafting from his neck.

And just like that he was gone. A week later I dragged my poor friend back to that club in hopes of seeing that great smelling man with the piercing eyes again. As chance would have it, there he was. Now, there are times in my life when my reticence and fear of rejection preclude me from engaging in that which would prove to be highly rewarding. Fortunately this was not such a moment, for, much to my surprise, I marched up to him and asked him to dance.

By our third date I got up the nerve to ask him what fragrance he wore. It was Drakkar Noir. He confessed that he only bought it after overhearing two young ladies announce that they would do anything for a man who was wearing Drakkar Noir. Eventually he stopped wearing fragrance all together and when I asked why he responded with a wink, “Well, I already ensnarled you, didn’t I ?”

Drakkar Noir Guy Laroche

Lassoed by Drakkar Noir, Brie marries The Man in the Black Cowboy Hat.

The scent that I most associate with him nowadays is Dove soap. My fragrant friend Neil Chapman tells me that a clean soapy smelling man isn’t such a bad thing after all and to this I would agree.

Drakkar Noir Guy Laroche Brie The Man in the Black

Drakkar Noir, Brie and The Man in the Black Cowboy Hat

However, every once in while I dig into our medicine cabinet and pull out that vintage black matte bottle, unscrew and sniff. I am instantly transported to 1995 and reminded of the incredibly seductive power of fragrance which fortuitously lured me to my husband and the father of my three children.

Cowboy Hat

The original cowboy hat from 1995. Photo: Brie In New York

Further Information

quintessential ’80s prowler scent, a macho fougère.
Bryan Ross
The history, notes and an update on Drakkar Noir
From Pygros

Drakkar Noir
Information from Basenotes

Perfumer: Pierre Wargnye

Top Notes
Lemon, Lavender, Tangerine

Heart Notes
Coriander, Juniper

Base Notes
Patchouli, Oakmoss

Further Reading
The latest on Neela Vermeire Creations from Kafka

Portia Turbo interviews Neela Vermeire

Santal Majuscule Review at Bois de Jasmine

35 responses to “Drakkar Noir – are you responsible for this happy marriage?

  1. What a fantastic post. Lovely story, lovely photos and a wedding kiss — all wrapped up in the ribbon of perfume! I’m so amused that he stopped wearing the Drakkar Noir once he “ensnared” Brie. Thank you both for such a happy post after a long week.🙂

    • And thank you for your lovely words Kafka. We always have Happy News at The Fragrant Man. Hope your weekend becomes a Lovely Loooooonnng one. I love a newly-coined word. Ensared vs Ensnarled; I think I am enchanté. Poetic enhancement and enchantment.

    • Great to see you,Kafka!
      Unfortunately hubby was never a fan of fragrance especially during allergy season which hits him hard (hence my segue into essential oils which are non-offensive to him). But at least we saved the bottle for my own personal sniffing pleasure🙂 !! Enjoy the weekend!

  2. What a lovely story! It’s very touching. You know, when I met my husband (in 1998) he was wearing Obsession for Men. Now that we are married he doesn’t wear it anymore either, but he always smells of Dove soap! And Old Spice deodorant stick (the classic original scent). I have gifted him numerous bottles of fragrance over the years, but he never wears them. On another subject: Mysore Sandalwood. I remember a shop in NYC that I used to haunt as a teen that had rows and rows of apothecary jars filled with herbs, roots, spices, powders. They had hundreds of glass bottles of essential oils. I bought Mysore Sandalwood there, maybe about 1/4 or 1/2 oz, with my pocket money. It was one of the more expensive oils they sold, but I was entranced with sandalwood because my cousin had a necklace of carved sandalwood beads that she had shown me, tucked away among her keepsakes, and I had fallen in love with the scent. The Mysore sandalwood oil was thick and viscous and heavily scented. I don’t know what ever happened to that bottle but I wish I had it now! Who knew that such substances would become so rare and precious. I have become a hoarder in my old age. I hate to lose anything now. 🙂

    • Lilybelle-
      Welcome! Obsession for Men was one of my favorites as well! And like you I gifted my hubby many other bottles over the years to no avail. They would sit in our bathroom cabinet until finally I would offer them to my father and he would happily take them off our hands. Men either enjoy fragrance or they don’t. I don’ t think there is a happy medium. I lived in NYC for 30 years before I met hubby and there was an abundance of everything fragrant! It would be fantastic if you could find your old mysore bottle again! Funny, but as I have gotten older I have had the opposite response…I gift everything away! (I was more of a hoarder in my youth🙂 !!)

    • Oh and by the way, call me old fashioned but I rather like the smell of Old Spice (even if it is in deodorant format😀 !!)

      • Thank you! I love the combination Old Spice stick and Dove soap. I was surprised to find out that quite a few men use both of those.

    • Very thoughtful really of both your husbands to stop wearing scents as a sign of settling down. Now sell his unused bottles and reapply the outcome to vintage Mysore. Thank you for your story Lilybelle. I have something coming up that includes Lily of the Valley.

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  5. Dearest Brie
    What a hilarious, touching and spine-tingly piece.
    I’m so glad that you got your man!
    And who’d have thought it… of all the perfumes in the world you had to go and fall for a man in a Country and Western bar wearing Drakar Noir!
    Please Brie, please can we have some more?
    More posts please!
    Thank you too fragrant man for bringing Brie to centre stage where she surely belongs.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • Mr. Dandy-
      I am touched by your kind words..fear not..more posts to come🙂 !
      And just so you know the cowboy boots and hat were just a “personna” : hubby really is a conservative, educated nerd! (let us hope he never reads this!)

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