At first I was thinking, "The Knize Ten, but less oriental and complex," but then I was thinking, "vintage Red for men but with leather instead of sequoia, and again, less complex." And after a few hours, at most, my thought was that it was far too "chemical," as in chemicals being spilled in a lab! I find Leather Oud by Dior to be more "natural" smelling, and therefore superior, but it's in that "general ballpark" as well. I can understand the appeal, especially for those who like these kinds of scents and don't find this one to be too "chemical," so I'll give it a neutral rating.
Aside from the idiotic name (who would want to buy a scent that promised to smell of nothing at all???), this has a lot going for it and a major strike against it.
From a distance, it is a beautiful sweet leather, strong and pungent. Turin gives it four stars, calls it an "animalic leather," and notes that is "no other unsweetened leather out there."
In addition to the notes mentioned above, "Incense, Rose, Leather, Iris, Cistus, Oakmoss, Black Pepper, Aldehydes, Cumin, Patchouli," I detect a good deal of cedar and Oud. It is the Oud that gives it too harsh and sharp an undertone to be ultimately a pleasant experience for me.
Had Etat left the harshness out of the formula, this would be a go-to leather scent for me. As is, I will stick with my Knize Ten, Chanel's Cuir de Russie, and SL's Iris Silver Mist as my favorite leathers.
Aldehydes and leather with incense is how it starts. Big and bold, the leather is a little animalic, at the edge of being offensive. Developing into the heart, something sweet emerges, I suppose it's the styrax. Further, the fragrance becomes a creamy leather accompanied by the flowers and goes like this for a very long time.
It is not for everyone, that's for sure, but I like it. Not usually a fan of animalic perfumes, and this one kind of walks that line; but it is more than that, the carnal leather mixed with the flowers are addictive, making you lust for it. It might seem daring and repulsive, but you can't take your mind out of it. If you don't like it at first, give it a chance, it might surprise you.
Phenomenal sillsge and projection. I get animalic, incense, patchouli and oakmoss and it stays on your skin forever. Well I could still sense the smell after a shower. It the kind of scent 2 sprays would go all day long and many compliments. Quality, powerful stuff.
The listed notes tell me that I should adore Rien, but the sparks never really fly. Rien starts out with a burst of aldehydes and dry powder, soon followed by a gentle incense note and a very light rose. Because it's utterly devoid of sweetness, the rose/incense accord feels weightless and ethereal, even when leather and oakmoss rise up beneath it. The moss and leather are seasoned with black peppercorn in a medicinal combination that brings to mind a very soft oudh.
Rien persists in this vein for quite some time, becoming drier and more woody with age. Though none is listed, I smell something suggestive of cedar in the base, and that note brings the drydown surprisingly close to the late stages of Diptyque's cedar-lined Tam Dao (!?). On the whole, I'd describe Rien as a very dry, gray "scratchy" fragrance, and believe that earlier reviewers have been spot on calling it stony or mineralic. In the end I think it's interesting, but not necessarily compelling.