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December 14, 2009



I think you are correct - this is really a Rose Chypre and a great one, at least in its original formula. I love it!


Oh my this was one of the first fragrances I started wearing in the early 80s, I think it might have been a hand-me down from my mother. Prior to that I was wearing the pretty benign Lauren, which really wasn't me, but when you're unemployed early teen you wear what you get for christmas. But when I started wearing Magie Noire it was like I had FOUND my fragrance. It was in your face, and as I was I at that time of my life. I was a bit trampy, and so was my perfume.

Wonderful site. I have half of it open in other tabs to be read!


I love the idea that an unemployed teen gets in touch with her inner trampiness with mom's Magie Noire! Hey, it's happened to the best of us. :) Thanks for stopping by and I'm so glad you're going to read more!

Holly O'Leary

Best description of this perfume I've ever heard! It is my one and only scent and I was first turned on to it in the 80's as it was my best friends mom's one and only scent as well. In fact, my best friends father once said to me (when I first started sporting the devious scent) that I smelled like his ex-wife. I imagine at one time this was a very, very good smell.

I must admit, I'm convinced that the Magie Noire concoction changed slightly somewhere in the transition to the new square-ish bottle with the gold cap. I have compared this bottle and the old oblong one with the black lid side-by-side and there's definitely a difference. The old bottle, even though I had it for quite some time, still had the captivating characteristics as you mention. The newer bottle, however, smells like granny. Have you ever heard of this? Any thoughts? Thanks!


Hi, Holly. That's quite a story you have there about your experience with this devious perfume. :) I have not smelled the square bottle with the gold cap, but even the one you're describing, the oblong one with the black cap, might be a reformulation. And I was going to say that it's not a bad one! (I was at my mother's recently, and sprayed some of the oblong/black cap version on. It was pretty delicious in any case.) The one I have smells less synthetic than the oblong bottle one, a little more subtle (as subtle as this perfume can be!). It's so frustrating to have to do all this sleuthing just to figure out if we're talking about the same perfume! Must be something about the slippery medium of perfume itself that allows them to get away with this. I often bring up film analogies, but can you imagine renting what you thought was your favorite film — oh, say Hitchcock's Vertigo — and then finding out this version stars Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen instead of Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart? Yeah, its hard to imagine! But here we are sniffing A, talking about B, and possibly comparing it to C, all the time thinking its the same thing. Sigh.


Thank you for a lovely review of this! I ordered a vintage 80's mini bottle of edt from ebay last spring, without ever having smelled it. (I blame Flora, my Fairy Godmother Enabler!) Fragrantica calls it a floral oriental, too, so I was expecting some rich, cozy flower pudding of a scent.

The day my bottle arrived, it was warm and sunny, and I opened the black box with cabalistic symbols on it to discover a rounded clear glass bottle inside. I gently unstoppered it to sniff and got one drop on my thumb, and what happened next was that My Brain Exploded. I couldn't figure it out, and I sat at my desk just sniffing and remembering and imagining, utterly captivated. When I finally got up, storm clouds had blown up in the sky, and I had to think that Magie Noire had done that all by itself.

Although I don't remember smelling it at all when I was young, and so have no specific memory of the fragrance, it smells old and it smells timeless, an elemental power of the earth - something similar to your No. 19 imagery. (For me, No. 19 is about the seven-league boots of catching one's dreams, and the power of honesty.) I don't wear Magie Noire often because it captures my thought processes so that I can't get anything done. There's a (fairly indulgent) review of it on my blog, if you're interested.


Glad you enjoyed the review! I had a lot of fun with this one; it practically wrote itself. Or, you could say I was possessed...


I adore Magie Noire. I originally received it as a gift from my younger brother, who knew me better than I knew myself. Although I think this is one of those perfumes that can turn very rank on some, depending upon body chemistry, it suits me perfectly. Dramatic, seductive, mysterious, abandoned. It's the Great Marriage, the full sexual rite enacted between the king and the high priestess for the salvation and purification of the kingdom in the old, old days. Primitive, dark and irresistible. Obviously not for everyone, it takes a strong personality to carry it off. I was so sad when I bought my most recent bottle and found that they had changed the design to a truly banal, columnar plain glass bottle with a gold cap; it doesn't reflect the perfume at all. Imagine my horror to find that the perfume itself has also been reformulated! Since I still have a little of the last bottle, I haven't used the new version yet and so can't really comment on the difference. I've heard others say that the formula has been ruined. I will be so sad if my true signature fragrance is gone forever. There are still some old bottles available on ebay, but mostly they're out of my budget entirely. Sigh.

Katie Puckrik

Barbara, I adore your blog and love revisiting the wonderful perfumes you discuss. I'm now severely hankering for Magie Noire. How does the parfum compare to the other concentrations? Is there one that you consider the best?


Hi Katie. I'm a big fan of your blog, so I feel honored that you enjoy mine! I'll have to double check my perfume stash (which is scattered to the winds because of all of my moves), but I believe mine was an EDT. I'm betting, though, that any of the vintage Magie Noires are amazing...Go get you some!


Barbara, so pleased to be on the 2-way street of honor! Thanks so much for your response. I'm off to scour the Interweb for MN.


Here you go, Katie.  15 bucks, vintage mini. http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-vintage-MAGIE-NOIRE-Toilette-MINIATURE-mini-NIB-/350469518457?pt=fragrancehash=item51999c7479


Now I know exactly what I'm looking for! Thanks, Barbara.


Can't wait to hear your thoughts when you get it..


I ordered one of the small vintage bottles of Magie Noir off Ebay and it was at the post office today, waiting. I couldn't wait to get home, I ripped the packaging apart as soon as I was out of line and dabbed a little on my wrists.

Oh my.

It was hard to drive home (manual transmission) with my wrist attached to my nose.

This scent is captivating. Dark and lush. It would definitely take a certain kind of woman to carry it off. I'm not sure if I can, but I'm going to try.

This perfume makes me want to get out my old Indian tapestries and hang them up on the walls and over the furniture, light some candles and do a tarot reading for someone.


Hey all I was digging around in my mothers old stuff, we emigrated from Europe back in 1991 and found a few bottles of the 1978 Magie Noire 15ml still in shrink wrap!! I have no need for them as I am a guy, but am wondering as to how much something might cost this day and age?(On the bottom [5893 07] Not sure what this # means. Any suggestions, ideas?


Here is a calculator to find out the production date of your perfume from numbers on the packaging. I plugged in the numbers you gave but
it didn't give a production date. Maybe you could re-check them


It appears to work, I bought a sealed vintage bottle of Opium on Ebay a few weeks ago that was listed as being about 10 years old, and I just plugged in the numbers and got a production date of 2000.


As to cost, you can check against the prices for vintage Magie Noir on Ebay


That's great information, Carrie. Thanks! How'd you find this out? (I vaguely remember reading it somewhere. Perhaps from one of my commenters a while back!)


The batch year calculator was found in the comments section of either a blog post or in the reviews of a perfume. I've read so much about perfumes in the last couple weeks I can't even remember where I saw it now.

I quit wearing perfume for years, and have recently started again, but only vintage perfumes. There is nothing new that appeals to me, and I love the old ones like Magie Noire, Opium, Mitsouko. I've just this week ordered some small bottles of Diorella, Bandit, Fracas and Femme off of Ebay. The sellers will give you the batch numbers if you message them and the numbers are available. :)


Well thanks for sharing your knowledge, Carrie! Many vintage perfume lovers in these parts who appreciate your help — myself included.


Magic Noire was my most sexy fragrance signal to my lover. They have changed the formula, too bad for them. My first perfume miniature of Magic Noire was a gift from the gods.


Roz - a gift from the gods is right! Also, still readily available, those minis.

Maggie Black

I have been a fan of Magie Noire since it first came out and have worn it exclusively until they made the change to the formula. It doesn't smell the same it doesn't last the same. My children noticed first that I never smelled like Magie. Lancome maintains they have not changed the formula but I know they have. Do you know if they are now selling the toilette water as perfume? I would love to go back to it if I could find the original.


I first smelled Magie Noir when a lady wearing it came into the shop where I worked. I was so attracted to the fragrance, I asked her what it was she was wearing. I went and bought a bottle the very next day. It was, for me, the only fragrance I wore for many, many years. Today, my mental memory smelled Magie Noir again and I thought I must buy a bottle and start wearing it again. Then I read the comments here and learned the fragrance has been reformulated. How disappointing. I will still go to the Lancombe counter and smell it to determine if I'm still as attracted to it as I once was. Thank you for this blog and all the comments.


Hi Terri, thanks for the comment and memories. You could also go to ebay and look up vintage Magie Noire. Its around!

Sent from my iPhone


Are we talking about vintage perfum or eau de toilette. I love mn and can not find a replacement for it.....I have tried, LA panthiete by Cartier comes so close. I had Tom Ford white and black orchid. It got stinky after a year. I was very disappointed. I would love to just go back to mn, but if it going to go bad after paying$200...well I would just wish to avoid this. Please advise a fellow Magie Noir addict.


Sorry I meant Tom Ford white and black patchouli. I have tried: Cartier must, Hermes merveille, coco Noir, bottega veneta eau legere....


Hi Susan,

Im not sure whether I bought MN edp or edt. Id say try to find vintage edp on eBay that looks like its in good shape. Good luck!

hilary Punton

I have a sealed box of Magie ref 6118. I can not find a code unless I open package. This is 1/2fluid oz. Can you advise me of its worth. Many thanks.

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