The most intriguing and eclectic cup of coffee so far in 2017 is award winning Dawn Spencer Horowitz’ dark and serene potion Café Noir which is an oriental coffee gourmand with highlighted with earthy-spicyness and balsamic laden tones. Just so one dare not be disappointed, Cafe Noir is akin to a fresh and potent cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Specifically, the Signature Blend No. 5 a smooth dark roasted blend that is pleasantly smoky and delightfully intense. For comparisons to the typical latte’s of the world and Starbuck’s one should look elsewhere fast, Cafe Noir is uniquely different. Besides the coffee, the ancillaries are equally impressive as you are instantly greeted with a powerful whiff of tolu balsam, pimento berry and labdanum. This is coffee on a different level that is sure to impress perfume devotees of this popular drink as I have not yet smelled anything as wonderful as this.
The choice of constructing this perfume with spices, resins, and balsamic notes is logical however there is something that is really irresistible in what specific ingredients DSH chose. I must admit that when I first sampled Cafe Noir I was left with the impression of a fuzzy bourbon cocktail. But after focusing further I noticed the balsamic! I had to close my eyes and concentrate so I could fully engage in this perfume. Remember, Cafe Noir is an experience. Returning to the irresistibility in this is the pimento berry fused with cinnamon, labdanum and tolu. In fact it does a tendency to overpower the coffee but as soon as you realize this, that dark and roasted smoky intense coffee comes back stinging with pleasure. You could even say this note combination has a coffee and leather feel but it is minimal at best as the opening Cafe Noir is fabulous.
There is a floral aspect present with Jasmine grandiflorum and bulgarian rose but that arrives later as the preliminary notes take center stage and settle in. The florals have a creamy effect to compliment the dark and mysterious notes which makes this more enjoyable. At this stage you are completely smitten by Cafe Noir. There is also Bergamot which mixes with the jasmine and rose which adds to your present coffee infatuation. The florals and bergamot might even bring a slight orange zest to the temporary candied walnuts and dark chocolate feel of this juice as it beckons so many things at once. Cafe Noir is surefire shapeshifter. Lastly, there is Benzoin and what I perceive as an madagascar vanilla? For the notes it lists a generic ‘Vanilla’ note but we all know how this works very well as the devil always lurks in the details swallowing everyone in his fragrant path. The benzoin and vanilla must represent the whipped cream topping as the perfect compliment to robust cafe. In this go-around it is tastefully incorporated for the ultimate topping so to speak. The vanilla is not overdone as it flirts throughout the fragrance once it unravels. Benzoin, also plays a great part also in Cafe Noir adding to the depth of vanilla.
Cafe Noir is a coffee you must try soon if you like some spicy amber and resins notes mixed with tolu balsam. The strength, quality and longevity over achieves for once. This is coffee done right.