Dahlias are lovely flowers. They can be large and showy, or quite small. They’re related to the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia and there are at least 36 species! While dahlias come in many colors, but one that doesn’t exist in nature, is the black dahlia. But “black dahlia” was the nickname given to a woman of a particularly gruesome murder in the 1920’s.
As you might imagine, the Dahlia is associated with beauty, and mystery.
A fragrance that is supposed to embody both beauty and mystery is Dahlia Noir, from Givenchy. This Eau de Parfum is soft and almost fragile, like the flower, but it also has notes of mystery, perhaps in homage to the black dahlia’s sensational association. It is designer Riccardo Tisci’s (with with perfumer François Demachy) first fragrance for the house of Givenchy–his vision, to embody the modernity and femininity of his ideal woman.
The outer carton is classic, clean and ladylike, white with blush pink inserts neatly trimmed in black and silver. The “noir” is the inner liner is, fittingly, all black with a subtle ribbed design. Inside, there’s the bottle designed by Fabien Baron: a precious gem of a bottle leaving all sides of the glass bottle bare, exposing the fragrance’s lightly tinted juice for all to admire. The bottle is a minimalistic rectangle dressed up with slim, indented edges that catch the light. There is a bold, rectangular, black and silver-trimmed cap over the silver spray diffuser. The entire top of the bottle is covered in silver with “Dahlia Noir” embossed into either side of the spray diffuser in simple, sans serif type. The presentation looks almost masculine and classic, but the beveled edges give it an elegant, feminine touch. There is nothing really “noir,” dark or sexy about it, but you get the idea that what’s inside is going to be powerful.
This fragrance smells floral, but different and is a welcome relief from the easy to understand but not terribly interesting, fruity florals on the market. Dahlia Noir is ladylike, but there is a hint of “tough girl” in it. To my nose, it’s sophisticated, but not over the top. In other words, it’s both daytime appropriate and special occasion worthy. It smells expensive, and in the scheme of scents, it’s on the upper end (but not stratospheric). It would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift, or a nice choice for a bride. Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz. $90.00; 2.5 oz. $11.0.00. There are auxiliary items such as a scented candle and a bath gel.
You can get Dahlia Noir at fine department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.