I was very surprised at this scent. I expected something leathery and perhaps a bit animalic. I actually found it to be powdery & musty. It reminded me of Guerlain's Mitsouko a fragrance, like many early Guerlain's that I find extremely unpleasant.
Chambre Noire is a woody oriental fragrance along the lines of Chanel's Egoiste! No it does not smell like Egoiste, but it floats along that realm.
It opens up with prune/plum with leather & incense! It stays that way for a while with the prune/plum eventually getting bumped in the back but still present. The leather approaches making this scent somewhat dry giving the fact that the sandalwood note is there. It last 8 hours or so on my skin with medium projection. For use in cold weather as it does well.
This is not a masterpiece, but it is good. I am not crazy about the fruit note as you can find better fragrances who use that note much better such as Montales Dark Purple.
On my cold and dry skin Chambre Noire doesn't follow the note-pyramid order.
It opens with sweet plum, accompanied by sandalwood. This stage reminds me of Bois et Fruits by SL for example. My personal taste is definitely not met here.
After a while the papyrus and pepper notes appear, the patchouli and cold incense sit quietly, I'm also getting cloves. Moist and damp papyrus can be very appealing to me (Private Label Jovoy). This one is bland though, it has no charisma.
After several hours the perfume becomes even sweeter, to me it's more ambery than vanilla based. I get even cinnamon and something like cognac.
I was most looking forward to the leather and powdery notes many reviewers are mentioning. On me the leather doesn't become alive, I wouldn't call it leathery. The base is not powdery to my nose, but I can see why it could be described as sweet powder.
To sum it up: loud fruity sandalwood at first, then a rougher papyrus intermezzo that slowly merges into an amber patchouli base. A fruity woody oriental.
The perfume construct is somehow static and quiet, despite the transitions. It reminds me of a shy person, that finally decides to go somewhere out of his comfort zone- but then doesn't know what to do with himself and all he can think of is how to get back home, into the static surrounding he is familliar with. Writing this, I realised it (conceptually) makes sense again, especially after I searched for the inspirational photo- as it did with Lumiere Blanche. It's the Chambre Noire of an introvert, where all the actions are the inner projections, not the outer happening.
Longevity is good again, sillage is relatively low.
I don't understand how people smell anything romantic about this fragrance. All I smell is play-doe and powder. No leather; no vanilla; no incense. I've tested this in several scenarios and every time it was the same outcome. Powder! The people of the opposite sex that smelled it on me recommended that I never wear it again. Not full bottle worthy.
The beginning is beautiful! First few seconds: leather, strong punch of incense surrounded and sweetened by rich amber notes. Second phase..heh... after 2-3 minutes - already going towards the drydown. Fragranced talcum powder – the old-fashioned way, heavily infused with violet strengthen by jasmin. Over the next 2-3 hours the leather will remain far in the background …no incense, no amber but powder, flowers and powder …
Sure, there is some sandalwood, patchouli and even a generous amount of pepper in the background but all remains hidden under a thick layer of powder....
I'm glad Chambre Noir does not last for too long... extremly difficult to wear for someone who does not like violet and powdery scents.