Encre noir was a blind buy for me due to my love of vetiver plus reviews saying is was a dark and smoky blend that was potentially overpowering for lovers of the more traditional/ cleaner vetiver fragrances. Sounded right up my alley.
Being fairly new to the fragrance game, but having a wide experience with a variety of essential oils, particularly vetiver, take my opinion with a grain of salt, but this fragrance does not do justice to vetiver in anyway shape or form. The opening, as others have stated, does have a wonderful burnt, damp woodiness to it, but this dissapates fairly quickly to a what smells suspiciously like a heavy, slightly woody, floral accord of some kind.
The natural warm, smokey characteristics of vetiver are disguised during the dry down rather than enhanced. I like it for what it is, a wonderful opening which leads onto a dark floral base with woods fairly quickly, but as for being of interest to lovers of vetiver, as far as the characteristics of smokiness or woodiness go, I would not recommend encre noir at all.
This is easily remedied however. A couple of drops of vetiver essential oil, along with a couple of drops each of amber absolute and oakmoss absolute transform the otherwise incredibly beige drydown into something with the actual smoky woody earthy character this fragrance promised while retaining the interesting opening
A very good scent to continue a fragrance education. The contrast with something like Guerlain's Vetiver really does show, as many have written here, the spectrum that vetiver scents can take. This one represents the rooty, wet, earthy side of vetiver.
I don't find much in the way of development of here; more that elements of the scent come and go (that could be the iso-e-super). Variously, it is a dense woody accord, sometimes a fairly stark and lean effect, sometimes overlaid with a kind of almost savoury-umami effect that works to emphasise the wild and outdoorsy aspect of vetiver. Not elast due to this "pulsating" effect, I experience good longevity and sillage. It also adds to the "inky" nature of the marketing and packaging aspects of the scent.
In short, rather different to the kinds of things you might get on the average high street. I find this good for casual wear, not so much for formal. At the price, definitely worth considering.
This was purchased for a man in my life but I wear it more than he does. Not a typical man's fragrance. More nuanced and warmer. Nothing "blue" about it - thank g-d - but lots of sexy skin and depth.
i just bought this. and therein lies the problem. i'm a vetiver fan and have been wearing the best vetiver scents for decades. so coming back down to earth with this was the wrong direction. perhaps this is better suited as a starter vetiver.
because i get very little vetiver here. instead it is a chemical-laden woodsy iso-e-super bomb. very minimalist and a tad industrial. the only vetiver shows up in the dry down, but it's a very bleak and downtrodden vetiver. almost stoic and/or depressed in its presentation. not bright and stringent like i am used to in some of the better niche offering. nor is it paired to any kind of complimentary fruit or floral accord. this is a goth scent whose character is perfectly summed up by the plain black square bottle it comes in.
not a scrubber, though. and alas, at $30, i'm not beating myself up. but if i had to do over again, i'd save that $30 for a vetiver cologne that lifts my spirits and makes me actually smell good.
The low prices this celebrated perfume commands raised my suspicions even before testing the juice. Once bitten, twice shy: I had once too often been disappointed by popular fragrances smelling rough and ready; works-in-progress marketed long before they were ready.
Anyway, my suspicions were justified because Encre Noir smells half-backed, sharp, thin, lacking depth. Compairing it to decent vetiverts like Guerlain's or even Tom Ford's is a bit of an insult to the latter two. I bought 100ml of EN "for reference sake" and never feel masochistic enough to wear it. Won't recommend it, unless you're suffering from anosmia.
BLUF: Fantastic vetiver scent, masculine and fresh. Unlike most folks, I have longevity and sillage problems with this one. In my top 3 inexpensive men’s fragrances and quite possibly #1 based on price and quality of scent.
Slightly smoky vetiver and a healthy dose of well-placed Iso E Super make one hell of a team here. I’m not sure if the name planted a mental seed or not, but I absolutely get a hint of a wet ink (encre noire = black ink, for those unaware). I’m in the minority here apparently, but I think it’s a great summer scent. I was surprised to see how many folks suggest the opposite. How different we all are…one thing I love about the online community.
I don’t really have anything new to add, EN speaks for itself and is one of the best values out there. Unfortunately for me, it becomes a skin scent fairly quickly (1-2hrs) and doesn’t project well. Maybe I got a bad/old batch/bottle? (my batch code doesn’t register on checkcosmetic.net…) but chance are pretty much zero of anyone faking it though.
If the only other vetiver you know is Guerlain's Vetiver, be ready for a much earthier, smokier, less bright affair with zero tobacco. If Guerlain's offering is grassy, this is rooty.
I would recommend this as a blind buy more so than any other male fragrance. Huge thumbs up.