Red – The Next Trend In Perfume?

For decades, Black or Noir has been the most prominent colour to appear in product names. Recently, it seems like Red could  become the next colour trend in perfumery

When it comes to perfumes, colour is not just about attractive bottles and the possible hue of the liquid they contain. Every perfume creates an impression, and that impression is the true colour of the perfume. Even though it cannot be seen, it surely can be experienced.

Colours in Perfume

Black is one of the most prominent colour trends in the world of perfume. It seems like new fragrances labelled as Black, Noir or Nuit are launched almost every year. However, Noir is not the only colour perfume users should be aware of.

Lately there has been a surge of new fragrances labelled not as Black, but as Red. Whether the trend of Red perfumes can become as established as Noir perfumes remains to be seen. And after all, even if Red perfumes remain a passing trend, there can never be too much colour in the world!  It is, however, quite possible that in the future people will reach more often for the Red perfume instead of the good old Noir fragrance.

But what does Red or Noir actually mean considering perfumes, which after all, are created primarily for the nose instead of the eyes? This can be figured out by considering the connotations that are attached to these words.

Black or Noir evokes a sense of mystique and the occult, of jealousy and sin, but also of self-confidence and elegance. Noir of course also refers to the classic film Noir movies and their most common characters: the cynical male detective and the mysterious and fascinating femme fatale. All these associations make Noir perfumes an interesting and bold choice for those who want to make an impression that will not go unnoticed.


Red, on the other hand, points out to different connotations. Red is the colour of warmth and ripeness, of spiciness, speed and seduction. It is a striking colour that stands out of the crowd and also carries with itself a sense of danger. Furthermore, Red reminds of the setting sun on hazy late summer evenings. In other words, Red is the colour of choice for those who want to highlight their character with a touch of style. Red is the colour that draws attention in a more powerful way compared to the mysterious Noir.

The Rise of Red Perfume

While there have been a few Red-themed perfumes before, it is only recently that the colour has been adopted by the major perfume houses. This fact alone suggests the rise of a possible new trend.

Last year, Ralph Lauren launched his new Polo Red fragrance for men. The fragrance is said to be inspired by cars, speed and thrill – a theme that is also reflected in the sleek and glossy design of the Ferrari red bottle. Polo Red opens up with a sharp start: fresh and accelerating red grape combined with fruity cranberry. As the scent shifts into the second gear, a spicy note of saffron and red sage rise and mingle with the top notes. And all the time, the warmer base notes of wood, red amber and coffee berry stay at the bottom like the humming of an engine.

Polo Red is truly a novel approach for Ralph Lauren fragrances. The competing fruity, spicy and sweet notes create an impression of movement and speed. Polo Red can be described as a characteristic fragrance for confident men with a sense of fashion.

This year, Calvin Klein launched two Red-themed perfumes, one each for him and for her. The perfumes are a modern take on Calvin Klein’s iconic CK One unisex fragrance, which was released in 1994. The new perfumes are named CK One Red Edition for Him, and for Her.

CK One Red Edition for Him is an aromatic woody fragrance, spicy and modest at the same time. The perfume opens with an amazing burst of fresh and sweet pear, which is toned down by a classy scent of suede. The contrast of bright and heavier notes continues as the fragrance develops. Soon after the top notes have faded, fresh ginger and black pepper arises with the support of the looming base notes of vetiver, tonka bean and musk. This perfume combines the spiciness, warmth and exotic qualities of red to great effect.

CK One Red Edition for Her has quite a different aroma profile. If CK One Red Edition for Him is a spicy and warm Red perfume, CK One Red Edition for Her is all about the height of the summer with an abundance of blooming flowers and fresh fruit. The fragrance starts with a healthy dose of sweet watermelon and aromatic violet. After a while, the watermelon tones down as even more floral notes rise to meet the lingering scent of aroma. The base of the fragrance is quite light in itself, consisting of white amber, patchouli and musk. Overall, CK One Red Edition for Her is a great feminine perfume that celebrates summer with an abundance of flowers and fruit.

The Body Shop too launched a Red-themed perfume of their own, dubbed Red Musk. Red Musk is a different kind of feminine perfume that perfectly captures the spicy character of the red colour. Although designed for women, this perfume has a clear masculine and exotic quality to it. Even the design of the bottle with its black top fading into deep red and dark orange hues towards the bottom has a more masculine than feminine character.

Red Musk opens up with a clear note of pepper, which soon combines with the slightly warm scent of cinnamon. Then all of a sudden a powerful note of dark tobacco kicks in, providing support for the awakening scent of smooth and spicy musk. At its best, Red Musk is a fascinating combination of spicy musk and deep tobacco seasoned with a dash of cinnamon and pepper. The dry-down leaves a wonderful spicy musk note to the skin with lingering notes of pepper. There are absolutely no floral notes in this perfume, which really makes it seem more like a unisex product than a fragrance designed especially for women.

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