Al Haramain Perfumes, from the United Arab Emirates, is known for delivering very reasonably priced fragrances with a middle eastern flare as well as a few decent dupes of expensive niche and designer fragrances. I’ve delved a little bit here and there into the brand, and today’s review will unlikely be my last from them. I picked up this weighty bottle with substantial packaging that I look forward to reusing as a storage container from Amazon. My hefty bottle was less than 50 dollars and includes a fairly large dose at 75 ml.
Launched in 2018, Junoon Noir is the second of three perfumes bearing the Junoon name, the first being just Junoon, and the third, Junoon Rose. This one is an amber floral fragrance targeting women, I’m not the greatest fan of florals, but I will readily overlook them as main notes when you mention the word amber (although amber is not a listed note):
- kumquat, lime,
- orris, violet, jasmine lily-of-the-valley,
- vanilla, musk, sandalwood, cedar
For me, it’s the kumquat, resinous woody base, and Middle Eastern je ne sais quoi in this fragrance that floats my boat. It’s deliciously strong, thick, and long lasting. It’s a great bang for your buck if you like it as I do. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, I get a warm melted chocolate note in here, and I attribute that to the jasmine and its interaction with other notes. Jasmine has this incredible ability to morph into other smells. Another common smell I get from jasmine is bubble gum. James Heeley’s Bubble Gum Chic comes to mind (or perhaps it’s the effect of tuberose?). Adding to the richness of this juice I also detect some marzipan – I say almond paste as opposed to just almonds because the sugar from lime-laced kumquat has rolled out any possibility of bitterness in this. There is whipped cream and jam stirred into this mixture, too, and the violets add a soft powderlines.
If you like Montale fragrances, you might appreciate this one. (I think it’s the warm and furry musk in here that makes me think of Montale.) Junoon Noir is not light at all, and I don’t only mean conceptually. There is a lot of oil in here – it will leave a slight trace of stickiness on the skin so do beware, but the juice doesn’t stain, and I have already used it very successfully on clothes, where it lasts even longer. Despite the peachy sweetness and weightiness, I feel this is more of a warmer weather fragrance, but not when it’s humid perhaps. And I think Noir is a misnomer. You can easily wear this in the day. Also, I think gentlemen would enjoy wearing this, too.
I mentioned a minute or so ago that Al Haramain likes to make dupes, and apparently this one is their take of Dama Bianca from Xerjoff – the Casamorati line. Xerjoff a brand that tends to carry much more serious price tags. I blind bought this, but would unlikely blind buy anything from Xerjoff. I have not sniffed Dama Bianca, but my guess is that this is not an exact match. Although I do think Al Haramain dips into clone territory from time to time, I would place the brand more in the duping category. It could be up to 80% similar, though.
This was a very successful blind purchase for me. Anytime a fragrance is priced below average and has good performance, I’m going to give it a thumbs up, as long as I like the quality of the smell, naturally. This won’t please everyone, of course. Smells rarely do.
Much as I appreciate the box because I can upcycle it, I’m not a fan of the bottle. It’s a thick glass container that could easily bruise or even break your toe if you dropped it. I suppose the fact that the glass would unlikely break is a positive, though. There is a also 1980s aesthetic to this bottle as well that did nothing for me 30 or 40 years ago and does little for me now! It’s what’s inside that is most important, so I’ll decant my bottle. Not just so that I don’t have to look at it, but also so that I can bring it on the road.