WHAT I SMELL: Magie Noire opens with this delicious rich creamy and warm blackcurrent that enraptures your nostrils with a deep and opulent bouquet. It’s just so incredibly dreamy and powerfully beautiful that it takes your breath away. That majestic opening calms ever so slightly to reveal some spice and then the jasmine and rose settle in giving the fragrance this floral headiness that seems to fill the air around my head every time I take a breath. All of what I mentioned thus far is wrapped up in this smooth and creamy honey like cognac and its texture feels rather boozy without smelling boozy. After around 20 minutes Magie Noire becomes more mysterious in nature as it becomes darker and slightly animalic which is rather surprising, but which makes me love it even more. Usually fragrances seem to thin out as time goes on, but Magie Noire keeps up the opulence. After around an hour, Magie Noire once again settles down into the beautiful chypre like floral that radiates like a force field off of your skin. For being a fragrance this was introduced in the late 1970s, I have a hard time wrapping my head around how this could be associated with the bad fashion comprised of synthetic polyester as this is just too beautiful for such a horrid time.
Notes as cited from Yesterday’s Perfume:
Top notes: Cassis, bergamot, hyacinth, raspberry, green note
Heart notes: Honey, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, narcissus, orris, rose oriental
Base notes: Patchouli, castoreum, civet, vetiver, musk, oakmoss, benzoin
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A book of secrets. It’s magical, spellbinding and completely takes your breath away.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE MAGIE NOIRE: opulent, magical, breathtaking
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MAGIE NOIRE: Muse in Wooden Shoes, Yesterday’s Perfume, Scent of the Day
BOTTOM LINE: There’s a tragic side to this story. I picked up small used bottle of the parfum extrait at an estate sale. It only cost me $5 because only 1/2 of the 7.5 ml bottle was remaining. As I was organizing my perfumes the other day I noted that the cap was missing off of the bottle (it didn’t fit right in the first place) so the perfume has been sitting for a couple of months without a cap on. Unfortunately only a little bit remains and it is pretty thick and concentrated at this point. So please bear in mind that my experience with this review may be just slightly different due to concentration, evaporation levels…but make no mistake, it was heaven when I first got the bottle as well. The vintage parfum is selling for ridiculous prices on eBay, but I will continue to search out a new bottle (of vintage parfum)….this is my quest!!!
Also note that I can’t speak to the current version of Magie Noire, but as you can see below, they appear to be rather different. According to the Lancome website, the notes for the current EdT are:
Top Notes: Bulgarian Rose, Blackcurrant Bud
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang
Base Notes: Amber, Sandalwood, Patchouli
- Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Chypre Floral
- Classification: Feminine…but who cares, I love it!
- Expense: Review based on parfum extrait. Vintage bottles can be found on eBay.
May 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm
Many years ago when I smelled Magie Noire I didn’t like it but probably it’s time I tested it again – with a more mature (in all respects 🙂 ) nose.
I wish you to find a pristine bottle for a song.
May 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm
From your lips to the eBay gods 🙂
May 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm
I see my twin beat me to leaving a comment. I am so lemming this like you wouldn’t believe! Wonderful review!
May 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm
Thanks my dear. I just wish this lemming wasn’t so darn expensive in parfum form. Who spends $350 on 7.5ml???!!!
June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am
Magie Noire is a Force of Nature. It is not something I wear often, as I like to save it for witchy weather, the better to savor what’s left in my mini EdT bottle (it seems to be the early packaging with the cabalistic symbols on the box). And I struggle a bit with that coriander. But, my goodness, does it blow your hair back.
June 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm
Funny, I don’t really get coriander in this at all. I haven’t tried the EdT, but I have the feeling that the parfum is a bit smoother as this really blew me away, but in a really pretty, but dark and mysterious way. All I know is that I want more!
June 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm
I don’t consider myself as having any real interest in perfume till 2008, but I somehow managed to buy myself a bottle of this in the 80s, wore it, and thought I was the bee’s knees! Still have a teeny vintage sample somewhere but the modern version is wan and horrid.
June 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm
“Wan and horrid”…are such wonderful descriptors. I”l have to use them in the future if you don’t mind 🙂
January 6, 2021 at 2:11 am
Just came across your very lovely & nuanced review of Magie Noire, but I had to smile at your surprise that it was created during such a “horrid time.” in fact, Magie Noire & other wonderful, enchanting fragrances like Oscar came into being in the mid to late ’70s because all fashion of the time was not hideous, lol. I remember, for example, wearing jeans with jewel toned, velvet or velveteen blazers with knee-high boots – leather only – to UCLA. There were actually many more natural fabrics in the fashions of that era. Most of my friend had some silk blouses, I remember owning the softest, form fitting, long, ribbed cashmere sweaters in deep moss green, that had 3/4 length, cuffed sleeves by a designer named Renee Tenor. I purchased it when I was 18. it was one of my favorites, & it was affordable! That was the age of the great department stores: Bullocks, I. Magnin, Bonwit Teller, Robinsons, the Broadway, & May Company – to name a few. The variety of designers & quality for the price can’t be rivaled by the mass marketed, sweat shop merchandise in today’s department stores. I mean, really, if you look around at the fashion on Main Street, today…
Just sayin’. What you see on That ’70s Show is only a small part of the fashion that was out at the time. Even the discos weren’t as hideous as portrayed. Polyester was out there, as it is even more, now, but it all depended on where you went. Hollywood likes to exaggerate.