This is a lovely vetiver scent. There's a clear, non-sharp lemon top note, very much like that in CdG 2 Man, which lightens the scent for the first hour or two. The 'black' is provided by birch tar. It isn't dosed sufficiently highly to render this scent pseudo-leathery (see Knize 10). Instead it augments vetiver's natural smokiness, without overwhelming it.
This citrus/vetiver/smoke conjunction does bear some similarity to Guerlain's classic, with birch tar in place of tobacco. This probably makes it smell less dated to modern noses.
There is plenty of gassy, grassy, vetiver here, enough to remove it from the 'starter' vetiver echelons, such as Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver. I presume the name of that scent inspired this one. Well, this is heavier than that certainly, but not particularly 'dark' in absolute terms; I think Encre Noire's crown remains unslipped there. There is no hiding from the vetiver though, so I think this is one for the true believer.
This is the first Phaedon scent I have liked. Pierre Guillaume is rather better known for gourmands but this is thankfully nothing like those.
Described as a 'high concentration eau de parfum', it does not lack projection, nor longevity (8 hours).
Pros: A novel twist on vetiver
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