Narciso Rodriguez is driven by New York’s energy, how modern and creative this city really is. This is reflected in the perfumes he has developed for men and women. His fragrances are also influenced by his love for photography, architecture and a masterful style that’s modern and elegant. Reviewed here are some of those fragrant creations for men and women. Our best votes went to the Bleu Noir for the guys and Poudre for the women, because of their versatility, plays on the musk accord and longevity.
Launched in 2004, this is one of the earlier offerings from Narciso Rodriguez. The designer intended for the perfume for free, modern women and is an unusual and heavy composition. Made with love and sexuality in mind, the composition is lustful, with sensual musk right in the center, complemented by amber, osmanthus, and orange. The base is just as warm but clean and airy with vetiver, amber, and vanilla.
The fragrance can be grouped into a floral chypre, with a strong musk scent that is intensive and sharp. It does have densely sweet notes too, but these are much lighter and gradually reduce the aggressive top notes into more balmy, soft notes.
It was later launched again in 2006 as an EDP in a pink bottle. Both editions have a strong, central note of musk, but the second edition has a top note of rose and is soft and sweet. The original edition of the Her perfume is aggressive and sharp.
Sensual sandalwood notes
Stays close to the skin
Musk notes are weak
Loud and sharp top notes
We have to say that its a very feminine, sweet take on the musk scent, that’s normally used for a lot of men’s fragrances. If we were to place what this reminds us of, we’d say it’s the Tocca Cleopatra. Once on the skin, it smells more of orange, vetiver, and vanilla with a mild hint of musk. The composition may be strong, but it stays close to the skin and eventually, you’re left with the bitterness of the orange and the vetiver.
It lasts a long time so this might suit those who enjoy the bitterness of the dry down. Another let down of this fragrance is that it has strong, floral top notes for some and if you can wait a few hours for creamy musk to set it, then go for it! This type of composition can be worn in fall and even in summer too, but then you’ll just need a little of it.
The Essence was introduced as a limited edition and moves away from the previous Narciso Rodriguez For Him & For Her set. This new scent is fresh, pure, like a collage of roses bathed in sunlight. This is built on a base comprising of musk, iris, and amber.
The essence was developed to be a musky-powdery perfume, but with undeniable notes of rose petals, benzoin balm and iris. The fragrance is packaged into a glass bottle, this is because Rodriguez wanted to show how this perfume reflects the inspiration from the Narciso Rodriguez For Her scent. This edition stands out as a futuristic, sensual and modern composition
Refreshingly light for work and daily wear
More of a sterile feel than a clean and fresh one
Needs layering for more character
The bottle for this fragrance is unusual and looks like something out of Tiffany’s store. The scent is a fruity trail filled with shy pastels and gradually settles into the signature musk. After a while the strong aldehyde smell dissipates, leaving the musk accompanied by light, innocent notes of incense and balsam.
It feels like it belongs to the floral, woody group and not just floral as it starts out as fresh but then moves towards woody rose and benzoin. The composition is very similar to White Linen without the aldehydes and Nivea cream. Then again, there’s nothing in here that really stands out and really does feel like the previous edition a lot. That is a powdery, clean musk that suits men and women.
This is another variation of Narciso Rodriguez’s favorite – musk. Only this time its got oriental notes in it that begin with a burst of musk and orange blossom. It slowly simmers down to patchouli, leather, agarwood till you’re left with amber, incense, and vanilla.
It is well blended and rings in all the stuff we associate with oriental perfumes. Clearly cut out for those that love Oud/oriental fragrances, with the main difference being that it plays softly when worn and isn’t overwhelming.
The light version that can be worn daily
Not designed for oud/oriental perfumes connoisseurs
This is the first time we’ve come across an oriental scent, usually considered to be on the intensive side, that’s versatile, smooth and light. An interesting thing to note here is that its cold, so you wear it easily in the summers. Amber Musc has been toned down a bit so that it suits a larger audience. So, the musk, patchouli, and vanilla don’t stand out all that much, making it easy to wear.
It’s still persistent, smells fresh with a lingering aroma of orange blossom and a hint of earthiness to it. Fans of the Narciso Rodriguez perfumes will be disappointed to know that there isn’t a lot of musk in it. Comes close to the Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights.
Essence In Color came to life only after the original Essence was discontinued. It comes in a deep purple flacon and is more on the floral side with middle notes of rose and iris that end up with amber and musk. Light and fresh composition, with an appealing coldness to it.
Fresh, light scent, great summer wear
Similar to the original Essence EDP
It’s fresh, light, clean and sits exceptionally well in the summers. It comes close to the Anna Sui by Anna Sui fragrance largely because of the iris top notes, but this one has a rosy dry down. Another difference is that it’s fresh and clean whereas Anna Sui is more powdery. This scent also plays softly and a few spritzes last the entire day.
Very few companies came close to recreating that freshly washed linen scent – and is this is your signature scent or if you loved the original Essence – Essence In Colour should do it for you.
A unique, addictive fragrance filled with a vibrant spirit, it is supposed to showcase a dual nature of grace with boldness. Fleur Musc for Her is meant for the woman who is independent yet has this exquisite charm.
It’s supposed to be enchanting too, with a beautiful floral bouquet filled with the signature notes we love so much – musk for that sensual warmth. That’s for the softer side of women; to bring out the independent side, this sweetness has been enhanced by woody, amber and pink peppercorns.
A pink floral scent deserves something similar to carry it. So the house of Rodriguez decided to go with one of their signature bottles but in pink. A first in this collection.
Balance between sweet and musky, bright new pink bottle, strong but delicate, well balanced
Hardtop notes, sour rose notes
The first spritz nearly knocked us over as the top notes were too harsh! After some moments, it transformed into something beautiful, so don’t be put off by that! Overall, we’ve got to say that this is a lovely perfume. We were expecting it to be more or less similar to the black bottle, but it does have its own scent.
The longevity and sillage are pretty decent. It remained soft, feminine throughout the day but you do have to be careful about using too much at a time. We did notice that the rose was more prominent and the addition of musk makes it sour. In spite of this, the perfume stays close to you and is very well balanced. Reminds us of Floral EDT from Gucci and Black Opium by YSL.
Bleu Noir is for the man that’s elegant, modern but has an air of mystery to him. To reflect this, the creators went with a fragrance that was sharp, sensual, clean but had the depth to it. They didn’t forget the musky fougere of the original scent either but have improved on it by further adding spicy notes of cardamom and nutmeg. At the heart, you also have black ebony and blue cedar.
The result of this composition is something that moves away from the typical men’s musk cologne and is less impactful, pleasing and wearable for any occasion, without losing its masculinity.
Lighter form of musk, added spicy notes, woody notes for depth, the right portion of sweetness
Longevity and sillage is on the milder side
We can’t get over how inviting and warm the scent is. The projection and the lasting power is on the mild side and that’s great for the summer. But if you’d like to improve on that, a few extra spritzes should fix it. Bleu Noir really has been made wonderfully, it plays perfectly from start to finish where the top notes are a bit sharp but that slows down in a matter of seconds.
This is one of those fragrances that retains the additional notes and turns juicier as it dries down. As you know, most fragrances work the other way around! So you do get to enjoy the vetiver like cedar and black ebony surrounded by the spice notes all day. Usually one would consider these to be too warm, but Bleu Noir is light enough for the entire year actually. If we had to pin it down any other scent, we’d choose Cartier’s Declaration.
The For Him perfume is the second half of the Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT that we reviewed earlier. This version designed for the guys is their take on the classic men’s Fougere perfumes that were popular during the 1980s.
In this version, they chose to blend notes that we typically see in most men’s perfumes, such as amber and musk. They’ve added character to it by adding a violet leaf, patchouli and amber as well.
Does have heavier sillage
More suited for people with traditional tastes
Stronger violet leaf notes
What’s unique and interesting about this musk offering is that it reminded us of walking through mossy woodlands right after a rain shower! The performance is heavy but does work for us. However, we recommend testing out how it plays on your skin first.
This is because most users said that the violet leaf becomes prominent than the musk, with the patchouli turning more into an overtone. It’s because of this play that the scent takes a while before you get used to it. Top notes are sharp and green, very similar to Carolina Herrera’s 212 for men. We got more of a sophisticated, darker, smoky and damp vibe later as it dried down. That’s probably why it’s packaged in a grey bottle too!
The real beauty, we think, lies in it being a solemn fragrance blended with very simple notes, making it pretty linear and that’s why it stands out. So it’s definitely an old fashioned, classic scent that suits older men, the business crowd and for workwear.
The Narciso Poudree is part of the Narciso EDP Musk perfumes with minimalist bottle designs. This EDP comes in a delicate light pink bottle that represents seduction. The scent, on the other hand, is powerful but still velvety and delicate, befitting the Poudre tag.
The scent was made to highlight the persona of mature, natural feminine quality, so the main accord is largely a powdery musk. The top notes are floral, with distinct notes of jasmine, rose and finally dries down to a woody nature marked by white and black cedar with vetiver.
Floral take on the musk scent
More on the powdery side
Sillage and projection are mild
Has to be layered or complemented with other musk scents
The scent only looks intense but is actually pretty mild, leaning towards the classic side like it’s meant to. So it might not work for a younger person and is suitable for the summer when you want something light and fresh. A light scent that can be worn night or day, layered or not – again, that’s the beauty of classic fragrances.
Poudre begins with very strong notes in fact but graduates to a milky, creamy musk with a noticeable accord of rose. It isn’t complex but still manages to play towards your individual personality. Poudre stands out its own clean and gracefully, but can even be dressed up and be polished too. We think that this is essential that belongs on every woman’s dresser, even though it feels like a scent that older women would enjoy.
The Narciso Rodriguez L’Eau For Her EDT was introduced after several iterations of the For Her & For Him EDP. This EDT is a lighter and more refreshing form of that heady, addictive musk seen earlier. Simply put, L’Eau is a younger playful take of the original musk recipe.
It is supposed to symbolize the feminine aura that’s elegant as it is impulsive. This impulsive side is brought alive through the floral accords comprising of jasmine, rose, cyclamen, pink peonies, frozen lily of the valley and amber. The elegant side stays true to the Narciso Rodriguez musk theme filled with patchouli.
Well blended rose & musk
Fewer musk notes
Choose this L’Eau if you want a lighter, less aggressive version of the For Her scent. It is more green though, with barely any trace of sweetness. On the downside, fans might not like this because the musk isn’t prominent. On the upside, this is a fit for people who don’t really like musk, but still, want to experience the Narciso Rodriguez Musk themes.
The rose does make it a bit feminine, but it’s clean, innocent and subtle, with mild to average sillage and longevity. On some people, the floral notes stood out and were used to tone down the muskiness of the EDP. The patchouli makes the dry down more energetic and lively. Caramelized musk is the best way to describe this perfume that works exceptionally well in the summer.
This rendition is another incarnation of the musk perfume that’s deeper, seductive for the personality that is passionate and strong. To bring out the lasting air of mystery, the composition has powerful notes of jasmine and tuberose absolute. Needless to say, at this heart, you will find musk but it’s accompanied by sandalwood, amber, and patchouli. It clearly stands out with intense aromas and is great for festive occasions or for those who love intense perfumes. It’s even packed in a deep violet bottle also.
Bold floral scents
Mild longevity and sillage
This is a seductive, dark take on tuberose and jasmine, two flowers otherwise associated with light summer fragrances. Its a character is gothic, brunette vintage vixen made gorgeous with tuberose, jasmine, etc.
The first top notes are fully tuberose, followed by sweet jasmine a few minutes later. By the time the amber and sandalwood become obvious, the scent turns to a more velvety, creamy finish. The weird part is that it’s been given the name ‘L’Absolu’ which is normally kept for strong fragrances. This one is delicate and familiar.
We’d have to agree with that as well because the tuberose is dry, isn’t too floral or green. There are these very light notes of patchouli and jasmine made spicy with just the right amount of sandalwood and amber. The dry down is creamy, dense, musky and warm. The L’Absolu is similar to L’Istant De Guerlain and Dior Addict.
If you love musk but still want to add variation to this basic accord, Narciso Rodriguez is the perfume brand to go to. There are so many renditions of the signature musk and we’re sure you’ll find something that’s your style.