* Sahara Noir starts off with an explosion of frankincense.
* Explosion as in bomb- and very powerful but also familiar. It hit me that the initial stage of Sahara Noir is identical to Amber Absolute after the top calms down a bit.
* Projection is quite strong.
* The Frankincense stays strong as a sweaty wood comes in for a visit. I am guessing it’s cedar but am not sure.
* The progression is not clean from top to heart to base. There seems to be different phases every time I wear it. Sometime the woods stay present for a long time, and grass joins them. Other time the woods get spicy and resins calm them down.
* There is oud in the base but it’s neither aggressive nor prominent (you really have to sniff for it). Rather the base is more frankincense with a typical oriental feel of amber and vanilla with resins.
Summary: Sahara is being marketed to women, and that unfortunately might scare away a lot of guys who would really love it. While not as bold and aggressive as other scents, Sahara Noir is still a powerhouse. Please note that Sahara Noir wears differently on different people. Some get frankincense bomb all the way through. Some get a full transition from top to mid to base, like I described.
If you are a fan of Tom Ford Amber Absolute, this is very similar- but instead of being Amber with Incense, it’s Incense with Amber – the dominant note is different. Sahara Noir is definitely not for the office but would be great for a nighttime going-out scent. Longevity is great; this will last more than eight hours until you shower it off. As a FORDie (lover of Tom Ford scents), I find it interesting that the latest mainstream releases are more interesting than the recent Private Blend releases (and 1/2 to 1/3 the price as well).
Sahara Noir is available from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s and other department stores.
Disclaimer: Sample provided by publicist for review. Image courtesy of Nordstrom website.