Divine Noir, the newest fragrance from Providence Perfume Company, is a variation on the same delicious theme of the original Divine: orange blossom and neroli over a rich base. Natural perfumer Charna Ethier took Divine to a darker place. Divine Noir was inspired by vintage perfumes and a different time. A time of thick oakmossy perfumes and magnificent sillage, red lipsticks in gold cases and evening dresses worn out to dinner.
The first thing I noticed in Divine Noir is that the oakmoss and patchouli burst through the layers of notes, making themselves known right away. The chypre structure is supported by actual chypry raw ingredients, and if you're a fan of the genre and this perfumery style you've missed them dearly and will appreciate their dramatic presence. The dark theme of Providence's Divine Noir is evident from the get-go. If Divine is heady and bursting with energy, Noir is as velvety as the night sky. It's thicker and heavier, so I wasn't surprise that the press release mentions Youth Dew as part of the perfume's inspiration.
There's something almost edible in the core of Divine Noir. A gourmand-leaning chypre? That's a modern concept, as is the root-beer accord created by the perfumer that makes Divine Noir not as sinister as it could have been were the oakmoss-patchouli base joined by an animalic leather accord. It's still very dark, but this Providence creation is meant to kill softly and seductively rather than declare itself a man-eater right away.
Notes: bitter orange, coriander, bergamot, orange blossom, neroli, jasmine grandiflorum, rose absolue, oakmoss, angelica, vanilla bean, elemi, aged patchouli.
Providence Perfume Company- Divine Noir ($26, 6ml. Other sizes and samples available) can be purchased from providenceperfume.com. The sample for this review were provided by the perfumer.
Photo: Greta Garbo in The Temptress, 1926, photo from an online auction.