Givenchy’s Dahlia Noir captures the vision of Riccardo Tisci

by Katie on September 29, 2012

I don’t know why I’m surprised that I like Givenchy’s ‘Dahlia Noir’ quite so much. I guess it’s because when a huge and influential brand launches a new fragrance, we expect that it will appeal to the masses and, in doing so, loses some of its power, influence and affect. After all, there’s big money and big marketing behind a launch this large and it’s got to appeal to the many rather than a few high-minded fragranistas. 
However, this one rather blew me away, pertaining to a beauty and a powdery era of long hence while being extremely modern in its approach. What did I really expect from the genius that is designer Riccardo Tisci and brilliant nose, Francois Demachy? Of course it was bound to be briliant.
The first clue is the bottle and packaging. Resolutely and squarely modernist with it’s signature Givenchy branding, black edging and set against a pale pink backdrop (not unlike another favourite that surprised with it’s bowled over femininity, Narciso Rodriguez’s original ‘For Her’). This is a bottle that looks good. Even the name is hidden. (You have to remove the cap to find Dahlia Noir etched in metal). She’s a forward thinker but classic with her faint tinged Deco appearance that thrills. As easy and at home in ’30s vintage as in the future forward Givenchy couture of Tisci’s imagination.
And then there’s the perfume. Oh la… A huge burst of powdery warmth that’s like being caught in a warm cross-wind and enveloped in the powdery pollen. Is it rose? Is it blackness like sheer silk organza brushing against skin? Is it just the finest feeling? Its floral chypre warmth cascades from the off.

What Tisci has done is create a fragrance from his imagination, not caught in the past but catapulted into the future like a 21st Century Vionnet or Erte, taking his medieval tinged modernism four steps forward with nods to Hubert de Givenchy’s tradition and achievements. Of course, Demachy delved into Tisci’s background to create a rose, iris and mimosa creation with sandalwood and patchouli at its base that caught the vision – at both powerful and provocative.
Dahli Noir resonates with the contradictions that makes Tisci’s designs so striking, so leap-forward and beautiful. Leather fringing on a couture gown, interior sequins that flash like a forbidden wink, low cut backs that tease with dominatrix style quandary, it’s all in here. Like any good designer, Tisci loves women and creates gowns that enthral. 

Tomorrow, Tisci shows his latest RTW for S/S’13 in Paris. I, for one, cannot wait to see what he does next. Visionaries are rare in this world. When one can give so much to fashion and fragrance, he deserves to be applauded.

Dahlia Noir is priced £42 (30ml EDP), £62 (50ml EDP), £73 (75ml EDP). Body milk, bath dew, skin dew, bath gel and a scented candle are also available to complete the Dahlia Noir experience.

Givenchy Fall 2012 Couture imagery featured used by kind permission of

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