Neutral Reviews of Black by Kenneth Cole

    Find out more about Black by Kenneth Cole in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    rogalal's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of my pre-Basenotes signature scents, I have a difficult time with Kenneth Cole Black now. It's got an explosion of brightness in the topnotes, a mix of mint and ginger and lavender with an almost overwhelming chemical brightness. It's slightly sweet from a mix of fake citrus, that designer "grape drink" note, and that 90's green aquatic chemical smell, but the focus is definitely the brightness.

    From there, it has its good days and its bad days. On a good day, I smell nuts and spices and charred cedar, like someone toasting nuts and coffee beans on a campfire with a dark but bright haze of mint and rubbing alcohol surrounding everything. On a bad day, it's like doing laundry, a gross chemical mix of steamy hot detergent and bleach. No matter what, it's intentionally very synthetic, a meeting point between a gross bleachy aquatic and a dark chemical "woody amber". Honestly, knowing what I do now, I don't think I can give Black a good rating - that bleachy smell is pretty unforgivable, but I've had some good times wearing this, so it'll always have a spot in my heart, gross synthetic notes or not.

    14 November, 2012

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    a very pleasant citrus scent. good for spring/summer but really that's it. great for the 25 and under crowd.

    29 October, 2012

    OmerPervaiz's avatar

    Pakistan Pakistan

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    I have to change my opinion about this fragrance. it is good fragrance with vibrant notes of mint, zest and spice with tinge of woods. i don't like the bottle though its too simple 4 me. average sillage and longevity.
    I give it 7.5 out of 10.

    05 August, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    It reminds me a lot of other fruity, musky or powdery scents out there as Polo Black, Hot Water etc. For me this is an industrial, fruity, musky, incensey creation full of spices and with a sort of licorice undertone. Nothing special, nothing really dark or seductive. Green notes, spices and ginger provide a mentholated undertone, violet leaves afford a tad of darkness while musk, amber, incense and hints of smoke enrich the semi oriental-dusty trail. The mandarin is very prominent and the black suede (combined with citrus, violet and musk) impresses to the fragrance a velvety, leathery slightly boise temperament. That's the part of the juice i prefer (the final suede). Surely appeling, modern, versatile and boringly pleasant.

    09 February, 2011 (Last Edited: 09 January, 2014)

    undecided's avatar



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    i am a bit confused on this one..many people seems to like it..but it just doesnt have the staying power on me..after 2,3 hours then its gone..i must admit that it have a nice smell tho and have the potential of an even better dry down but i wish it stays longer on me..again, no repeat buy..

    03 February, 2011

    corvettesR1's avatar



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    I just sprayed it on for the first time but but so far, it just 100% lemon juice. I hope the dry down will offer nice changes.

    25 January, 2011

    Mindphlux's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is actually a pretty solid fragrance. I used to wear it quite a lot when it first came out but it got really popular where I live and I was tired of smelling it everywhere so I stopped wearing it myself. While its nothing new or exciting its just an extremely versatile cologne that can be worn all year round in pretty much any setting: interview, bar, date, etc. If you're looking for a solid everyday scent with good silliage and longevity this is it.

    19 April, 2010

    Kerosene's avatar

    United States United States

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    I really like the opening of this fragrance. Smells really clean with the notes of mandarin citrus. I gave it a 3 star rating because it only last about an hour.

    23 February, 2010

    thatsmr2usir's avatar

    United States United States

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    I actually don't find this to be a bad frag. It's nice and sort of boozy. But if you like this, try the limited edition. I think it's better and smells fresher.

    09 December, 2009

    kooza32's avatar



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    Like many have already said, Black smells good but you can get a lot more for the money because it is overly synthetic and unoriginal. Not only that, but I also noticed if you apply a tad too much it is extremely overpowering and unbearable. However, I could see how someone can see something good in this fragrance, just not me. You can definitely pull this off on a night out but not something you would want to wear during the day because for me its way to formal. If you want a good fragrance you can wear everyday and is less synthetic, I would suggest Romance Silver which you can find for the same amount of money.

    16 July, 2009

    terry81's avatar

    Singapore Singapore

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    i tot i smell jasmine or green tea. its has a very very fresh top note but the smell of jasmine-like middle note gives me headache. yes im allergy to the original ck one too,

    15 March, 2009

    mchoi76's avatar

    South Korea South Korea

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    I have to preface my review by saying that I love Kenneth Cole's clothing line.

    Having said that, I bought a bottle of KC Black mainly due to my love of Kenneth Cole (and before a real interest in fragrances kicked in). I have to agree with others that have mentioned the synthetic nature. Starts off with a blast of peppery mint then drys down to a heavy tobacco smelling base. Longevity is really good as a couple of sprays last all day.

    I wanted to love this one, but it gives me a headache unfortunately.

    07 January, 2009

    SirSlarty's avatar

    United States United States

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    Fizzy citrus and then musk. This has excellent sillage. Very similar to Boss Pure (which is synthetic), Moon Sparkle (which is more gray) or Polo Black (not Double Black). Not wholly unique.

    07 September, 2008

    Shaheen's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the opening notes. I smell incense, sandalwood, and lotus. Very nice, and doesn't strike me as another cookie-cutter "me too" fragrance. However, the whole thing loses its composure as it transitions into the heart and base and longevity is only in the 1 ~ 2 hour range. Because of this, I cannot recommend this fragrance.

    I hate to say it, but I feel that Kenneth Cole uses very cheap ingredients in his fragrances. They all have abysmal longevity, and seem to fall apart after the pleasant top notes start to dissipate.

    17 August, 2008 (Last Edited: 28 January, 2011)

    kharisma92's avatar

    United States United States

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    It's ok. Strictly casual wear. Very synthetic. I'm not too fond of Mass Market fragrances.........

    21st November, 2007

    markc's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is one I thought I liked until finding basenotes. After trying hundreds more, this now seems pretty inferior. It is a fresh clean smell with just a bit of suede. Easy for me to see now that this is not special or unique at all. I do get decent longevity, in contradiction to many of the reviews. Not bad, just not distinctive.

    26 October, 2007

    Andrewthecologneguy's avatar

    Nigeria Nigeria

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    Dissapointed. Smells decent, but nothing special...and not worthy of the Black name.

    26 December, 2006

    SternFan's avatar

    United States United States

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    In my opinion a very melancholy scent. I own a bottle of this, and when I first picked it up loved it. Hwoever, as time has went by I reach for this one less and less.

    This fragrance is not a stinker by any means, but the floral properties just stand out too loud for my personal tastes.

    10th September, 2006

    Cofthe3's avatar



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    Black is definately one-dimensional. Contrary to the name, I find it to be bright (fresh?), mildy reminiscent of dryer sheets or a glorfied version of a Glade 'plug in'. Plesant, yet not at all extrodinary.

    28 February, 2006

    teflondog's avatar

    United States United States

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    Pleasant enough but not at all what I was expecting. I don't see how this could be 'black' at all. I was expecting something leathery or extremely woody, but instead I get another bright, fresh, and citrussy frag. Longevity isn't great either. I wonder if all KC scents suck in that regard. Even if you bathe in it, you won't get much mileage. What puzzles me the most is that black suede, incense smoke, musk, and ambergris are listed as notes yet I don't detect a trace of any of them.

    07 January, 2006

    iMaverick's avatar



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    This was the next offering to the original, and on first smelling it, I was impressed, and bought the bottle right away. The longevity and the drydown however was a bit mediocre, and somehow it reminds me of another scent, but I can't pinpoint it for sure. Rather fresh, but with deep sensual notes interwoven throughout, but not heavy at all. In the style of Kenneth Cole's cheesy, yet amusing humor, an ink bottle design was used for this flacon. Youthful, relaxed elegance is the key theme in all his frags.

    25 December, 2005

    chris2005's avatar

    United States United States

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    No originality in this cologne. Just bland, bland, bland. You can't hate it, it doesn't offend in any way, but it's amazing how non-descriptive this Black is. You can't go wrong with this, but I just wish it had more oomph to it.

    04 September, 2005

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