Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

Total Reviews: 210
Dracula's castle dungeon, with ashes and smoky vetiver. Medieval.

Not for everyone. But it's a cool take on vetiver.

This can be had for dirt cheap online so maybe worth a go if you're feeling spunky and are currently reading Bram Stoker's novel.

17th February, 2018
This is really a wonderful, dirty, wet, smokey vetiver fragrance with a very nice musk base. I find it perfect for cold and wet fall or winter days and also is a great formal event scent when one is dressed up. I don't really see this one as an everyday, signature scent. I need to be in the rights mood and wear it in the right weather or circumstances.

I am kind of surprised by many reviewers mentioning that this perfume has poor performance. I get excellent longevity, decent projection and very nice sillage. I got my bottle several years ago, so I am not sure if there has been any reformulation which could explain the poor longevity some people are getting. One thing I really like, and would like to have in more fragrances, is that with this one, I get modest projection, which does not really push out too far or brashly. However, if I move around, the sillage wafts out and leaves a scent bubble and trail which is really nice.
30th January, 2018
nice vetiver scent, but the longevity is quite weak, and a little bit too much iso e super for me.
22nd December, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Strong, inky, dark vetiver. Smells like you are walking through a medieval forest while being closely followed by Count Dracula. Not for everyone.
29th November, 2017
Encre Noire is something special, especially in the designer world. It's one of the two fragrances that got me started with this passion. Everything from the name, the bottle to the actual scent ties together perfectly.

It smells like burning woods, on a fresh fall night, that you've just put out with some water as it's got a damp feel to it coming from synthetic cashmeran and musk, but the dusty embers are still hot and with some smoke emanating lightly from them. The main player in this one is an excellent dry, rooty vetiver. Cypress is prominent too: It gives a green, coniferous aspect (The "dark forest" some ones talk about) blending in very well and also brings out the qualities of the vetiver even more. Finally as its name accurately implies, this smoky, scorched but airy, dusty, green and humid raw/earthy vetiver possesses an intriguing black, inky aura around it.

It inspires me the image of a mysterious, secretive, classy but rugged and strong man. It's absolutely a niche fragrance in a designer bottle as it is high quality and polarizing. It does take a confident or very confident person to comfortably wear it. It's not for everyone and it might very well need you to give it a couple of tries. If you are a fan of fragrances like Terre d'Hermes, TF Grey Vetiver or Guerlain Vetiver for example and want to try their darker and bolder "cousin", get your nose on this one. And if you enjoy it but feels like you can't pull it off, try the “Sport” version which is similar while being easier, lemon is added and it's brighter.

Encre Noire is an artistic and fantastic fragrance that is worth its (around) 125$ retail price. So for the pocket money price you can find it online it's almost literally a steal.
11th November, 2017
Its strong , and kinda nice, but its not my cup of tea .
A pure high quality vetiver, it gets compliments .
I can see why like this though.
10th October, 2017
The fragrance in itself is very good. It is dark, earthy, smoky and then some. A refreshingly unique scent, so different from the usual masculine products.
Why the thumbs down, then? The problem is that this fragrance does not seem to last more than a couple of hours. I have even tried deliberately over-applying, almost dousing in it, but to no avail. I am totally sure that my bottle is original and fresh, so I cannot figure out what could possibly be wrong here. I tried Terre d'Hermes once and could still smell it on my skin the day after, it's a pity that I didn't like it half as much as Encre Noire.
I am really disappointed because I love this fragrance and it would be great if people around me could actually smell it.
Sillage: none. Projection: none. Longevity: maybe three hours if you pour half a bottle on yourself.
03rd October, 2017
Very nice initial blast of vetiver and ferns, with maybe a lot of iso e. The scent power is high for the first half-hour or so. Then it rapidly drops in power, turning into a skin scent that continues on for a number of hours. My overall impression is that it is a well made scent with lots of iso e. Once the vetiver and iso e fades, you need to get close to your skin to smell the light vetiver and incense scent. Still I find it a very enjoyable EDT - more than I had expected to like.

Worth buying for men who are older than 27. This is not a kids scent.
09th September, 2017
When I put this on this morning I was like wow that's good. On the drive into work I keep getting notes that really interest me. Very good smelling cologne. However it's already fading so I imagine the longevity will be poor.
And it was.
15th July, 2017
I'm clearly missing something here. I don't get it. I found this to be simply horrendous- way too sharp and bitter. Seeing all of the love here, I'm going to give it another shot, but I"m not optimistic.
07th May, 2017
Ifti Show all reviews
United Kingdom
2 years and 3 bottles later... still beguiled by this!
05th April, 2017
Amazing vetiver scent from Lalique! Encre Noir was a complete blind-buy that I do not regret.

Encre Noir bears a great resemblance to other "green" fragrances like Lacoste (original), Versace Green Jeans, Versace Black Jeans, and the newer (still in production) Curve Black: A damp pine forest, full of woody warmth and character that relaxes the mind and envelopes like the presence of a good friend. But this fougere doesn't have the sort of sharpness of Green Jeans nor especially of Lacoste (original), which makes it more wearable for me.

I instantly got complimented wearing Encre Noir on the same day it'd arrived by mail. It will occupy a welcome part of my personal collection; and like the other Lalique fragrances I have, Encre Noir will be sure to please for years to come. ;^>
09th March, 2017
My first Vetiver dominated frag. bought based on a comparative thread from this site (thank you all). Very high quality given the budget price and a nice way (beyond a test vial) to figure out how something as dark as "V" appeals to you.

This one is nearly all about the V, with a cedarish scent in the background (Cyprus I suppose). Very little on the top to balance this top to bottom. Its a nice V for sure, a bit earthy IMO, yet not particularly so.

It took me a while to develop a nose for anything this dark. I still dislike most dark scents; but, I like this one. "Black Ink" is a very appropriate name. As one could expect from a big dose of V; it has very good strength, projection and longevity. Not for everyone; but real nice if you might favor "V".
15th February, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Encre Noire is the essence squeezed out of a smouldering patch of ground which had bushes of Vetiver & Patchouli and a nearby unknown tree. And that's how it feels wearing Encre Noire too; the scent hangs around me like smoke from the smouldering ashes of a dry leaf & twigs campfire. This is a cologne for men who drink smokey flavoured grain spirits, who say no to delicate floral scents and who occasionally burn down barns for fun. I can't wear Encre Noire all the time as it's quite a strong cologne. I only wear it on Friday when I am at my most longing to go camping or hiking on the weekend.
13th February, 2017
Swanky Show all reviews
United States
Encre Noire is perfect for guys who find Grey Vetiver too reticent and Guerlain Vetiver too earthy. It sits on the horizon line between the two. Make no mistake, this is a vetiver fragrance; if you dislike vetiver, pass on this one. It's very well done, but since I already have a few vetiver fragrances, it's not essential for me. If you're exploring vetiver, though, this is a perfect place to start.
28th January, 2017
This is a very intense, pervasive, deep and earthy fragrance. It wouldn't surprise me if there was some vetiver EO in here, but it's coupled with (read dwarfed by)synthetics that drive it directly upwards, and into ones nostrils.
I'm not sure why I like it, but I sure do.
EDIT: I figured it out... this smacks of cypriol. I haven't encountered it much yet (aside from the EO I have), and it's truly interesting...
11th January, 2017
This is a great fragrance, sophisticated with vetiver but also fresh with spicy cedar and sexy musk.This is a one of its kind. It is THE BEST in my collection.Fall, winter or spring. Office day fragrance mainly, but would also OK for club.
10th December, 2016
If Batman wore a fragrance and you stepped inside the batmobile...this is what it would smell like. It is dark, accumulative, mysterious,inky and rich. Its the quintessential barometer to assess how you feel about vetiver. When I wear it I am in love with it for two hours and then it becomes too much. There does not seem to be a reprieve and the fragrance seems to gain strength on the skin as time goes on. This fragrance is always mentioned in the same breath as Sycomore and initially you can see why. However Sycomore has me smelling myself like a demented drug addict after 2 hours whereas Encre Noire has me counting down the minutes until I can shower it off.
Its so cheap you have to have it in your collection to spray on when you feel like batman but as a daily wearer you'd have to be batman permamnently to get away with it.

22nd November, 2016
Have to join the minority here and go with thumbs down. This is an Iso E Super bomb, with so much "lifting" on display that it calls to mind artificial peppermint flavoring of the sort that gets up your nose and creates a sensation of "chilled." The vetiver escapes me entirely, as does any other aromatic component. A scrubber for me and not just that -- I felt compelled to take the tester strip outside for disposal because it was strong enough to fill a room. Not my thing, clearly. Normally when I don't care for fragrance I can understand how someone else might like it but that doesn't seem to be the case for Encre Noire.
04th September, 2016
It's well realised, technically. A woody, nutty power-vetiver. The fragrance stays strong and linear for a long time, longer than I could bear for the 3-4 wears I have attempted so far. Because I bought the bottle, because it is an amazing bottle, as could be expected from THE name in glassware, an extraordinary masterpiece of minimalism, proportions and colours (or a study in the lack thereof) and it's my favourite paperweight.

Nevertheless, I could never get past the screechy turpentine feel (is it the Iso E Super? or just whatever they used to replicate a woody vetiver?) and always end up feeling a bit sick whilst wearing this.

If your introduction to vetiver was Malle or the original Givenchy or even Guerlain, this could disappoint. It's not an expensive mistake and the bottle alone is probably worth the current market price.
03rd August, 2016
Encre noir was a blind buy for me due to my love of vetiver plus reviews saying is was a dark and smoky blend that was potentially overpowering for lovers of the more traditional/ cleaner vetiver fragrances. Sounded right up my alley.

Being fairly new to the fragrance game, but having a wide experience with a variety of essential oils, particularly vetiver, take my opinion with a grain of salt, but this fragrance does not do justice to vetiver in anyway shape or form. The opening, as others have stated, does have a wonderful burnt, damp woodiness to it, but this dissapates fairly quickly to a what smells suspiciously like a heavy, slightly woody, floral accord of some kind.

The natural warm, smokey characteristics of vetiver are disguised during the dry down rather than enhanced. I like it for what it is, a wonderful opening which leads onto a dark floral base with woods fairly quickly, but as for being of interest to lovers of vetiver, as far as the characteristics of smokiness or woodiness go, I would not recommend encre noir at all.

This is easily remedied however. A couple of drops of vetiver essential oil, along with a couple of drops each of amber absolute and oakmoss absolute transform the otherwise incredibly beige drydown into something with the actual smoky woody earthy character this fragrance promised while retaining the interesting opening
18th May, 2016
A very good scent to continue a fragrance education. The contrast with something like Guerlain's Vetiver really does show, as many have written here, the spectrum that vetiver scents can take. This one represents the rooty, wet, earthy side of vetiver.

I don't find much in the way of development of here; more that elements of the scent come and go (that could be the iso-e-super). Variously, it is a dense woody accord, sometimes a fairly stark and lean effect, sometimes overlaid with a kind of almost savoury-umami effect that works to emphasise the wild and outdoorsy aspect of vetiver. Not elast due to this "pulsating" effect, I experience good longevity and sillage. It also adds to the "inky" nature of the marketing and packaging aspects of the scent.

In short, rather different to the kinds of things you might get on the average high street. I find this good for casual wear, not so much for formal. At the price, definitely worth considering.
14th May, 2016
This was purchased for a man in my life but I wear it more than he does. Not a typical man's fragrance. More nuanced and warmer. Nothing "blue" about it - thank g-d - but lots of sexy skin and depth.
06th May, 2016 (last edited: 01st December, 2017)
i just bought this. and therein lies the problem. i'm a vetiver fan and have been wearing the best vetiver scents for decades. so coming back down to earth with this was the wrong direction. perhaps this is better suited as a starter vetiver.

because i get very little vetiver here. instead it is a chemical-laden woodsy iso-e-super bomb. very minimalist and a tad industrial. the only vetiver shows up in the dry down, but it's a very bleak and downtrodden vetiver. almost stoic and/or depressed in its presentation. not bright and stringent like i am used to in some of the better niche offering. nor is it paired to any kind of complimentary fruit or floral accord. this is a goth scent whose character is perfectly summed up by the plain black square bottle it comes in.

not a scrubber, though. and alas, at $30, i'm not beating myself up. but if i had to do over again, i'd save that $30 for a vetiver cologne that lifts my spirits and makes me actually smell good.
26th April, 2016
The low prices this celebrated perfume commands raised my suspicions even before testing the juice. Once bitten, twice shy: I had once too often been disappointed by popular fragrances smelling rough and ready; works-in-progress marketed long before they were ready.

Anyway, my suspicions were justified because Encre Noir smells half-backed, sharp, thin, lacking depth. Compairing it to decent vetiverts like Guerlain's or even Tom Ford's is a bit of an insult to the latter two. I bought 100ml of EN "for reference sake" and never feel masochistic enough to wear it. Won't recommend it, unless you're suffering from anosmia.
15th April, 2016
BLUF: Fantastic vetiver scent, masculine and fresh. Unlike most folks, I have longevity and sillage problems with this one. In my top 3 inexpensive men’s fragrances and quite possibly #1 based on price and quality of scent.

Slightly smoky vetiver and a healthy dose of well-placed Iso E Super make one hell of a team here. I’m not sure if the name planted a mental seed or not, but I absolutely get a hint of a wet ink (encre noire = black ink, for those unaware). I’m in the minority here apparently, but I think it’s a great summer scent. I was surprised to see how many folks suggest the opposite. How different we all are…one thing I love about the online community.

I don’t really have anything new to add, EN speaks for itself and is one of the best values out there. Unfortunately for me, it becomes a skin scent fairly quickly (1-2hrs) and doesn’t project well. Maybe I got a bad/old batch/bottle? (my batch code doesn’t register on…) but chance are pretty much zero of anyone faking it though.

If the only other vetiver you know is Guerlain's Vetiver, be ready for a much earthier, smokier, less bright affair with zero tobacco. If Guerlain's offering is grassy, this is rooty.

I would recommend this as a blind buy more so than any other male fragrance. Huge thumbs up.
04th March, 2016
Encre Noire by Lalique was another blind buy due to popular review and it's another hit, a smoky tobacco/leather mix that bluntly rings masculine without being too harsh. I don't get cypress or bourbon or some of the other notes mentioned in several sources, but it certainly has a woody character--it strikes me as more of tobacco woodiness than cypress, spruce, cedar, etc. And I'm not detecting much of a liquor aspect, myself.

I liken it to Banana Republic's Black Walnut with less citrus and more smoke and leather, preserving the same tobacco aspect but more in a bitter / nighttime / cold weather-friendly sense, with Black Walnut being a great daytime / lighter / warmer weather partner. I'm sure most wouldn't regard the scents as similar, but the analogy rings true to me.

Another steal in the men's fragrance world ($25 for 100ml on FragranceNet), projection and longevity aren't strong but for the price, you can spray as liberally as you need to. I opted for 2 on each wrist and 3 on the neck. It fades quickly after the opening but holds on for decent longevity for an EDT. I imagine I'd limit this to cold weather situations exclusively, as this could be quite cloying and unpleasant in extreme heat.

6 out of 10
15th February, 2016 (last edited: 02nd March, 2016)
I want to like this more than I do right now but I think this will grow on me. I get "orange peel" or "orange zest" when I smell it, which comes off as very fresh but not in the traditional aqua or powdery feel. Wife said I smell like the inside of a high end salon, whatever that smell is. I do like getting whiffs of this throughout the day, just not sure if others do too.
24th December, 2015 (last edited: 21st October, 2016)
As so many others have said, there is a distinct family resemblance between Encre Noire and Chanel's Sycomore; some say they are identical twins, but to my nose they are more like fraternal twins or first cousins. Sycomore is smoky but sparkling, like a campfire on a crisp cold morning - Encre Noire adds a layer of inky darkness, as its name suggests, that seems more like the forest at midnight, mysterious and almost menacing. And Encre Noire lasts and lasts, with great sillage. It's wonderful.
18th November, 2015
With so many reviews, I guess I don't have much to add, except that Encre Noire is a near-perfect mix of vetiver, rose geranium, and smoky, piney iso e super. The geranium does most of the work, but the vetiver gets the credit.

It's worth noting that, if you like this, you should really check out the CDG Incense series, which has a similar smoky pine spirit. At the discounted prices available online, I think this is one of the best deals in perfumery.
10th November, 2015