Cacharel Noa: Good Morning Starshine


 Cacharel Noa is a like a caring beatific Guardian, dressed all in white, that nudges you awake on a cool summer morning, as the birds sing, and even offers you a strong coffee.

 Cacharel Noa was created in 1998 by Olivier Cresp. Yes, him. The one who thought Chocolate and Patchouli was a good idea when he made Angel for Thierry Mugler. He must be pretty good at this perfume lark though, because despite my deep loathing of Angel, it has been a bestseller for 22 years. No mean feat in the fickle world of fragrance.

In Noa then, he has made something that I find far more palatable. It has to be said however, that the opening is very reminiscent of Elnett hairspray. I have no objection to this at all since I think Elnett smells wonderful and would happily buy it if they made it into an EDT.

After the Beauty Salon opening number, Noa  becomes an ethereal mixture of  clean baby wet wipes, freshly washed hair, gentle Peony petals, clean skin just after a shower and a big pile of freshly laundered white sheets. And a cup of coffee.

Yes somewhere around the floaty middle notes full of wispy clouds and angels is a dark note of coffee beans. At first this is a little ambiguous. When I first smelled it, it was harsh against its feather pillow backdrop and I mistook it for spice or cumin. However, the coffee blooms and fades rather nicely, preventing Noa from becoming too insipid. It’s a bold choice for sure, but it doesn’t take anything away from its gentleness.

So pretty and inoffensive is Noa that I can well imagine it as a work perfume in any nurturing or calming environment. It is a clean, white scent that I am happy to add to my wardrobe for the days when I don’t want the edgy Orientals, or the prickly Chypres or the heavy Patchoulis (a day like that is rare with me, however).

Often, the Superdrug chain has a sale and recently, all 30ml Cacharels were just £10. That’s LouLou,  AmorAmor,  Noa,  Anais Anais and Eden (aka the strange new girl who eats her own hair and won’t play with the others).  I always find something agreeable in the Cacharel range. It’s affordable quality if you don’t mind smelling like lots of other people, and I don’t! And beautiful LouLou so reminds me of my happy student days…

In true Colombo style, I can’t help saying “just one more thing”…the bottle that Noa comes in is very beautiful, but alarmingly small! It’s not much bigger than a golf ball, but I can assure you that there is indeed 30ml in there, even it did take me a magnifying glass to read the little sticker on the bottom.


10 thoughts on “Cacharel Noa: Good Morning Starshine”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    What a wonderful opening line – that alone would have secured a try out for this one… but as you went on I found myself becoming more and more intrigued.
    As for Cacharel as a whole… I am with you 100%, where else asks The Dandy can quality be found so cheaply.
    Pour Homme I still hold to be one of the most fun men’s EdTs ever made with it’s zingy opening and bright as a button nutmeg.
    Anyway, I digress, thank you as always and keep up the good work!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy

      Thank you as ever for your kind comments. I’m glad you agree about Cacharel. You are among friends in your admiration for Cacharel pour Homme, I too have heard good things about it.

      The only Cacharel I have yet to smell is Scarlett, which I am currently seeking out (sadly not included in the Superdrug deal). Incidentally, I bet Noa would smell lovely on a man!

      Your friend

  2. Completely agree about being drawn into your reverie, as it was indeed a cool, albeit late summer morning in the southern hemisphere pre-morning coffee, that your post nudged me awake. Intrigued even more by your words on Cacharel, as was gifted and have recently taken to wearing Noa Perle (LisaWordbird again – thanks) which has pepper rather than coffee. Now here’s the inspiration seek out and wrap up into the original perfume. Thank you Iscent.

  3. Hello Rusty and welcome to IScentYouADay.

    Thank you for telling me about one of Noa’s flankers. I think I counted seven when I last looked, but too many to compare or discuss in one review. I’m very interested to try Noa Perle now, I imagine the pepper works very well.

    That LisaWordbird sure knows her stuff!

    So glad you liked my review.

  4. Hello Rusty! I did something useful? Coo! I’m very glad.
    Must go try Noa Perle now because it sounds lovely with the pepper. I like pepper.

    And IScent, you are SUCH an enabler! I am right now sitting on my hands and trying to forget the whereabouts of my credit card. Cacharel really do make good quality perfumes – who can forget Anais Anais in the early 80s and LouLou in the late 80s? I loved them then and love them still.

    (I tried Scarlett because I liked the sweeet bottle. Wasn’t over-excited, but your mileage may differ.)

  5. I think I went through about seven bottles of Noa and the irony is that I could never smell it on myself but whenever I wore it I garnered an enormous amount of compliments…especially from children (“oo…you smell so good!”)

    1. Hi brie, thanks for your comments. I know exactly what you mean, I can’t smell Noa on myself after half an hour by my husband could. It also smells good on clothes. It’s funny that you should mention children liking it, when i smelled Noa, I immediately thought this would suit a schoolteacher down to the ground!

  6. Same as the commenter above, I can’t smell NOA on myself although every time I wear it I always get a compliment. I actually bought it when it first debuted because I saw that darling bottle in a magazine ad and just had to have it (the pearl suspended in the elixir…delightful!) Definitely a great fragrance for office wear or a school teacher…in the same genre as Philosophy’s Amazing Grace-clean and non-offensive…will have to sniff again for that coffee note!

    1. Hi JustBreathe!

      Glad you like Noa- it’s one of those which will always be on my dressing table. I like how it just seems to suit everyone and smells a bit like clean hair!

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