Perfume Directory

Black (2013)
by Comme des Garçons

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Black information

Year of Launch2013
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 88 votes)

People and companies

HouseComme des Garçons

About Black

Black is a shared / unisex perfume by Comme des Garçons. The scent was launched in 2013

Reviews of Black

After the peppery - anisic - boozy rush of the intro it could be possible to talk about the many nuances there are in Black, but this would probably be misleading because they're really no more than a sideshow.

Black doesn't take long to settle into its groove of burnt cedarwood and rubber with a sweet marshmallow undertone. The cedarwood is the principle actor here, and its also a basenote - and we'll see why this is important later on.

Cedar is paired with a smoky note - which may well come from cade oil and birch tar, but the woody core also smells like it contains an empyratic grade of cedarwood oil (which the amateur can buy in head shops in the UK) and this oil has a remarkably similar smell of blackened wood and rubber to that which is found in Black.

The best part is this early main phase where the rubbery and smoky notes add a frisson of danger, but the rubber soon fades away (which is characteristic of the head shop oil) and leaves only the smoke clinging on. The smoke then merges with rising incense and bitter powdery iris notes, which do nothing to change the direction of the scent, or its desiccated texture. These secondary notes are essentially replacements for the more interesting modifiers that preceded them.

For a while Black is driven by a contrast of bitter smoke and sweet fruity notes, but as they fade out and the internal dynamics unwind it loses a lot of its mystique, and once this transition point is reached the profile doesn't change that much anymore. All thats left is a slow and linear decline of the incense, smoky and sweet notes from around the burnt cedar which, eventually, is left standing on its own just with a whiff of licorice.

The licorice is a nice touch but its still not enough to stop the smell of charred wood from getting pretty boring by the end; and by the end we're talking days, not hours; and remember - its been there right from the start, almost...


At first the idea of burnt smoky wood and black rubber seemed bold and inventive, but with more exposure to it I've changed my mind. Black starts off well but it gets tedious - it far outstays its welcome.

***
29th January, 2017 (last edited: 03rd February, 2017)
This is a good, basic sort of woody scent, the sort of thing CdG has as a specialty. Starts a bit sweet. Develops smoky, woody notes with a noticeable licorice aspect. The leather and wood give a gentleman's club atmosphere. Eventually the scent resolves into a simple but pleasant wood chord, of good longevity.
23rd September, 2016
I get mostly liquorice and fireplace or burnt rubber... it reminds me a bit of Tauer scents. It's interesting and I kind of like it but the burnt smell gets annoying after a while.
My wife says that it smells of Christmas.
22nd July, 2016 (last edited: 06th November, 2016)
Remember in Taxi Driver when Travis Bickle burnt all the flowers he sent to Betsy, but they were sent back 'cos Betsy thought he was a nutter? That scene is how this smells - evocative, dark, menacing, tragic.

The black pepper smacks you in the face like Mike Tyson smacking you in the face if he were drenched in Black Pepper. Which he isn't. Or i assume he isn't. Who knows? But if he were then this would be the general effect.

A tremendous fragrance whose accords lend it something distinctly unique. It's not for everyone granted, but if you can search past the pepper and the tar and then appreciate the combination and the balance, you will be hooked.
30th April, 2016
Absolutely wonderful! A sharp blast of black pepper opens things up…and it just keeps getting better! With all of the “blackness,” it carries itself deftly, never overwhelming. This is never smoky, but dusty, like ashen coal? As things warm up, frankincense, licorice and cedar smooth things out. I’ve experienced birch tar overshadow when used, but not here! This is modern in construction, but very familiar in execution, and more versatile than one might think. I need to get a bottle! Thumbs up!
31st December, 2015
CdG made their own Body Kouros? Great!I love a good cedar and licorice. If this had rose as well that would really ice the cake for me.

Performance of Black could stand to be a bit better but it's an all-around likable scent which seems to unify the themes of Body Kouros, Bvlgari Black, Eau Noire, and Wonderwood. Just lovely.
25th December, 2015

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