An hyper-synth and kind of sticky woody-mysky-incensey thing that sits somewhere between a Gucci Pour Homme I wannabe and Dirty English. Only sweeter (which is often a con in my book especially when it comes to vanilla type of sweetness) and slightly lighter.
I would have probably liked this some years ago, but I've grown terribly bored of these post-Gucci rip-offs.
A floral opening, predominantly violet - on the sinister side - with a lovely ivy note - like standing near an ivy-covered wall - with a heavy sweetish aroma of an overripe fig. The drydown veers into the realm of incense and dark peppery spicy scents, with a tonka base. It sounds sweet and cloying but it isn't.
The concept is quite original; it is a rich, deep and dark experience with good sillage and projection and six hours of longevity in my skin. Wintery I'd say. 3.5/5
Wow!! What a wonderful fragrance Carbone de Balmain is. It is dark with incense and fig, perfect for the Fall and Winter. Also contains woody and spicy notes. I get a wiff now and then and it makes me and my nose very happy. This is already one of my favorite fragrances.
Another really nice cheapo wort having. Kind of ambery and musky at first, with a heart of cedar, pepper and vetiver(ol) and just a hint of floral dark gracefulness. The general vibe is "trendy" yet also meditative, shady and "pencil sharpener" as other users correctly say - that is the prominent heart of this scent. Some waxy feel too. The fig, I don't get that much honestly: but perhaps it is what causes the slight "lactonic", sweetish creamy note I detect underneath the general woodiness, which blends perfectly with it. Overall much synthetic and "modern", so absolutely safe and elegant for anyone, but also quite distinctive in a way as it's darker and more peculiar than other "safe mainstream scents". I can't say I don't like this, as I find it the perfect example of a solid, unpretentious but quality scent: it does smell good... really good actually (my guilty pleasure: I quite like that "pencil" feel), it feels classy and versatile, it costs pennies. Basically no evolution, bold projection and really good persistence. Encre Noire fans or of other contemporary/dark/synthetic woody scents - from Gucci pour Homme I on, basically - will love this. Separated at birth from Montana Graphite.
01st May, 2014 (last edited: 06th February, 2015)
Cedar / Pencil shaving lover's kind of paradise
It does have a pencil shaving opening a la Gucci I, whoever morphing into fruit like mid notes. A skin scent with amazing longevity without much evolution. It does not fall into designer's oriental genericness, thus the reason for my 4,5 / 5. Blame the 1,5 on the fact it does feel synthetic.
As per its similarities with Rochas Lui, it lacks its sweetness. Well, as a matter of fact, IMHO I can't see any resemblances between both.
Cons: Very synthetic feeling - needles in the nose and un identified smells lurking around those of pencil shavings</p>
23rd October, 2013 (last edited: 20th June, 2015)