The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Tom Ford Sahara Noir


Sahara NoirYou would think by this time that I would have learned that when wearing a Tom Ford fragrance that less is more.  In other words, a little Tom Ford goes a long way.  So now that we established that I overspritzed, that set the tone for the rest of my experience with Sahara Noir.

WHAT I SMELL:  Hay. It smells hay like that has been sitting in a barn for some time.  The smoke from a nearby fire has been absorbed by the hay.  There’s incense and what may be a hint of bergamot, but mostly smoky hay.  Nothing really happens much after this except that the hay becomes a bit dryer and woody and maybe just a tad sweeter; but I think that’s just wishful thinking and my mind playing tricks on me.

From Fragrantica:

Sahara Noir is an oriental-woody scent based on incense. Bitter orange, Levantine cypress (known as one of the plants growing in the gardens of the 1001 Arabian Nights) and cistus essence Orpur® (Orpur® are high-quality natural ingredients of extraordinary purity, developed by Givaudan) open the composition. The heart blends frankincence essence Orpur®, cinnamon, cool papyrus extract, rose absolute from Morocco and Egyptian jasmin with honeyed and animalic shades of beeswax from Burma.The base centers around warm amber notes – made of labdanum absolute and ambreinol (an intense natural labdanum fraction), cedar, frankincense resin, benzoin, vanilla, oud and balsams.

OK, I am seriously missing something here because Sahara Noir is incredibly linear and I am missing what I wish I could smell, like the rose absolute, jasmine and other notes that could brighten this a bit.

smoky hayWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Of course, I can only say…smoky hay.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SAHARA NOIR: boring, dull, there (I know, there is not an adjective, but Sahara Noir is just “there”)

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SAHARA NOIR: Adventures of Barberella, Scents of Self, Notable Scents

BOTTOM LINE:  When I first put on Sahara Noir I found it promising.  I thought that it would develop and morph into something interesting.  Unfortunately, it ended up sitting on me like a log.  By the end of the work day I was incredibly tired and worn out from wearing this fragrance so much so that I just couldn’t wait to get home and put something else on.  Uggggh.

  • Bone Rating: 2.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Woody
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  $150 for 50ml EdP

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

23 thoughts on “Tom Ford Sahara Noir

  1. Dearest Hound
    Isn’t it just the worst thing when a perfume that promises progression goes precisely no where?!?
    I’ve yet to try this and still will as I have a liking for smoky hay, but I’m not sure I’d want the fragrance to stay that way, especially if it is as strong as you say (which I have no doubt it is).
    Thank you as ever for exercising your canine nose for us.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


  2. I felt the same way about Sahara noir. Pretty linear. Now that is not a bad thing, but I was pretty tired of it after a while because it is so tenacious! That being said, I do like it more that any other Tom Ford fragrance.

    I still wouldn’t buy anything from the line. For the money, I can think of so many others that I like much more!


  3. I think it didn’t appear in Poland yet but a “smoky hay” comparison doesn’t make me want to try it really…


  4. I had high hopes for this one but with every review I read I think it will just end up being another Tom Ford for me. Which means I won’t need a bottle of it.


    • Truly, I had high hopes too and when I went to Nordstrom the other day they only had samples because the SA said they had sold out of the bottles they had quickly. So I’m thinking…oh I’m going to find some yumminess. Apparently the population here has lots of money and questionable taste. Hey, this is Washington DC so that makes perfect sense! Hope you’re doing well my dear Poodle.


  5. My experience was different than yours, as, on me, it was extremely similar to the discontinued Amber Absolute — only with oud. It was as if Tom Ford sought to soften some of the issues (well, *my* issues) with Amber Absolute (which I thought was very unbalanced) and also add oud in order to appeal to the Middle Eastern market. It was pretty much linear on me and it was also not my favorite thing, but I did think it better than Amber Absolute. I like some Tom Ford fragrances, like Oud Wood, Arabian Wood, or Tobacco Vanille, but I highly doubt I’d buy a bottle of any of them.

    I must say, the thought of hours upon hours of smoky hay sounds utterly exhausting. But I know exactly what you mean as I’ve had a similar experience with TF’s Café Rose, and honestly, it was positively draining to wear! I laugh at how consistently Tom Ford fails you, my dear. Some houses just are not meant to be. 😀


  6. I haven’t found a Tom Ford for myself yet either…
    This sounds like it sucks – I haven’t tried it yet and haven’t felt the need to. Still, yep, agree with everyone else – hours of smoky hay sounds tedious 😦


  7. So far I’ve smelled Sahara Noir only on paper and 1) thought it reminded me of TF’s Amber Absolute (that I like) and 2) I liked what I smelled. I was unsuccessful with getting a sample and I wasn’t about putting an unknown and, most likely,extremely tenacious perfume onmy skin at a store. I’ll test it once my local Nordstrom finally gets it but I hope it actually is similar to Amber Absolute: then even if Ilike it I won’t need a bottle.


  8. I like a couple of TFs, and love one, but damned if I can detect anything in this one except frankincense and labdanum. It happens that I love these two notes, but one wants a little more going on. I bought a little decant to try, and can probably layer it with some of my beloved growly jasmines, but for Tom Ford kind of money I don’t want to need to layer


    • I agree for the price you don’t want to have to layer, but later in the day I did the same thing. I spritzed on some of my Givenchy Ysatis over it thinking that the large florals in it would be nice over the smoke. Wrong, it just made the Ysatis shrivel up. Oh well, my Sahara Noir was only a sample that I won’t have to play with anymore. Thanks for stopping by FJ!


  9. Well, I have a few Tom Ford scents that I really enjoy, including Amber Absolute, Noir de Noir, Café Rose, Tobacco Vanille, but I have never paid retail for them! 😉

    To test his fragrances, from both of his lines, I dab a small amount during free time. They are all tenacious (good word) 😉 and have magnificent sillage! There is a time and a place for TFPC and his regular line, but it is not for work! So sorry, Hound!

    A regal evening out in the city, a date night, a cold and stormy weekend at home maybe. Think about Tom Ford, and his character, and that’s his audience for his perfumes. And wealthy people in your area who (ahem), shall we say have not refined their noses as of yet?


    • Julie – I keep having faith that there is a TF somewhere out there that is right for me. God knows he has plenty of offerings. I think you hit the head on the nail with lightly dabbing rather than spritzing as then they probably won’t be so “tenacious!” Thanks for popping by!


  10. This one is interesting. I spent more time with it, and there is a distinct difference on skin and paper/clothes. It’s better on the latter, and I just don’t get why they would do that. (Or was it even intentional?) I personally don’t like to “wear” perfume on my clothes – I want it on my skin. Very odd.


  11. There, there. Still there.


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