Two big fragrances launch this month on a black theme. Both have sandalwood in their notes.

Chanlel’s Coco Noir is a solid black bottle, a companion to Chanel Bleu their men’s fragrance.

It has notes of bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla. It has been decribed as a ‘nocturnal baroque’  but that is probably an allusion to its inspiration -Venice in the night .

Donna Karan’s Woman has a striking black bottle designed by architect Zaha Hadid with a sandalwood, orange blossom  and vetiver accord – a combination that is warm and fresh at the same time.

I think the bottle is stunning. It also has a companion body lotion.

Black is not usual in fragarance packaging for women. Not as common as pink or gold. It is much more masculine.

But as Karan said in an interview with British Vogue ” Woman is for the man in every woman.”

Black has a frisson of power and fashion in the modern context.

Tom Ford’ iconic Black Orchid  is an oriental so it is quite strong and  has orchid, ylang ylang, incense and sandalwood in its notes.

Bulgari’s Jasmin Noir another popular black is a voluptuos floral with a heady sensual mix of jasmine absolute and jasmine sambac as well as a hint of licorice.

My favourite black  (with a hint of pink) is Narciso’s For Her which won a Vogue Beauty Award recently. It has an Egytpian musk, honey and sandalwood accord and works well for day and night.

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