It's not that there's anything wrong with Japon Noir (other than the name. I see neither the Japanese connection nor anything noir in this scent). It's very friendly to my nose and I like it quite a bit. I'd probably be thrilled and highly impressed to smell it on just about any random man. It's just that Japon Noir smells so classically masculine. The same thing could be said about Bois Rouge, but I personally find it darker, thicker and more worldly than Japon Noir.
The green-tinged spicy citrus opening says "man" as soon as it's applied and keeps things on the light side, despite the smoky patchouli that is the heart and soul of this scent. If you ask me, the rumors about jasmine, leather and amber are greatly exaggerated, though the vetiver is there, before the patchouli covers it. These promised notes only wake up when I layer Japon Noir with other perfumes from the Private Blend. Tuscan Leather, Amber Absolute and Noir de Noir all play very well with it. I especially like the last combination, because it gives the rose a whole new meaning.
Bottom line: The husband smells great.
Tom Ford Private Blend ($180, 50 ml) scents are available from Tom Ford boutiques around the world, select Saks and Nordstrom stores and Bergdorf Goodman. Samples can be purchased from The Posh Peasant and The Perfumed Court.
Photo by Nina Leen for Life, 1954