Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

Loving this one! Smells like an unsweetened version of Le Labo Ylang 49.
29th October, 2015
Great vetiver. Better than guerlain. love it
14th October, 2015
Tried it today through a Decant which I bought recently and first thing which I notice is the Smokiness in Vetiver ( more pronounced to my nose as for the past week or so I was wearing Guerlain homme l'eau boisee which is a master-piece / classic for Vetiver --clean Fresh Vetiver with touch of lime ) ..this on the other hand is smoky from the start and stays linear through-out.
This is not fresh Vetiver but inky / smoky and to me its more appropriate for a cold a bit heavy to wear
It last 4 to 5 hrs on my skin and projection is above avg.
My Problem with this is that it stays linear through-out the wear and I couldn't notice the top / middle / base notes in a very pronounced way ..there is definitely woodiness but everything is overshadowed by the heavy smoky inky vetiver ...
Its value for the money for the marked retail price.
I recommend it for a fall / winter weather.
14th August, 2015
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One of the most solid contemporary mainstream fragrances which doesn’t really need my (or anyone else’s) endorsement. It is extremely popular, but finally for a good reason: because it is unmistakably, undeniably really good for the price. If you’re on a budget and you want a good vetiver for even the most sophisticated situation, I can’t think of anything better than Encre Noire. Most of others in the same price range couldn’t really compete with this. A dark and crisp smoky vetiver, as much synthetic as able to disguise it under a genius “inky”, wet-paint look – it has some cheap nuances indeed, but none will notice them. There is cypress, there is Nathalie Lorson’s trademark love for clean, angular, futuristic dusty-woody shapes, and there’s a ton of vetiver and Iso E. You can easily guess what to expect, dark oily woods with a really pleasant sort of “transparent” texture which is able to keep the darkness, but without any thickness or heaviness. Which is probably one of the key strengths of this perfume – it’s dark, but an easy-going, versatile, even “bright” kind of dark (compare this to Jovoy’s Private Label to get my point about dark vetivers). A classy, cleverly modern crowdpleaser good for all seasons. If it was just a bit more persistent though... well anyway, recommended!

12th August, 2015
Tried this via a 3ml sample - 100ml is now on its way! My (amateur) thoughts:
I absolutely LOVE it, as a serial slave to Grey Flannel, Encre Noir is the most interesting thing I've come across in a long time. The honest truth, my very first reaction: oh no, it reminds me of my lovely old Nan (I guess she must have worn vetiver at some point), but once I was over that, the association hasn't returned. To me it's dark, cold, dank, with a perversely attractive bitterness and harshness. To me there's nothing nice, warm, sexy, wholesome or happy about it, but it's intoxicatingly interesting. An autumn night, a sinister man in a long dark coat walking through a Northern European churchyard. Wearing this I feel like "The Count" himself.
I applied 3 sprays at 7am - at 4pm I was still sitting in its thrall in the office feeling dark, sinister and powerful. Just keep the crucifixes and garlic out of my way until it wears off!
25th June, 2015
I find Encre Noire to be a slightly woody variant of the chemical Iso-E super.

That is the most complemented cologne I have ever used (but not my favorite).

I don't think it should be a blind buy, It should be tested at first.
You might love it and you might not.
Some people can't stand that note. Some love it and some (like me) love it only some of the time.
I can use it only once in a while. when It is appropriate – I LOVE IT!
when it's not .... I have to wash it off.

Longevity – more than 12 hours
Sillage – very strong
01st June, 2015
What a complicated fragrance is this!! Not dark, not sinister. Just an overdose on Iso E super. Top notes and the first hour is amazing, really coal smell with full vetiver. But then the drydown is the overdose of the hyper chemical smell of ISO E, wich means too much. It's kind of Terre, but overwhelming. Where Terre is a reasonable use of ISO, Encre is the no necessary excess. Easy on the trigger, then, and you'll get good results.
25th May, 2015
Encre Noire has a fantastic smoky opening- captivating and enjoyable. I guess iso e-super plays an important part here. As the great burst subsides, a deeply woody fragrance emerges. The cypress note is initially prominent, and is quite similar to the one in Eau des Baux. Cashmere woods contribute to the woodiness, while the vetiver holds together the composition. The vetiver in Encre Noire is earthy without being muddy or dirty, and has a hint of smokiness. It lends the fragrance a vague green vibe. On my skin Encre Noire dies down quickly and the dry down starts too quickly, which is unfortunate. The woodiness subsides as musk note peeps out and the vetiver continues to hum along.

Encre Noire is a very good and distinguished composition and perfectly unisex. It is definitely recommended to lovers of woods, smoky fragrances and vetivers. If you dislike iso e-super, you might want to avoid it.
30th April, 2015
Finally I tried Encre Noire as I have heard so much comparison to it of other vetivers. My first impression is that EN is simply a very strong linear vetiver fragrance. Dirty is a good description, but not in a bad or offensive way. It departs from the traditional vetiver fragrances I am used to that are blended with lavender or citrus. This must be what pure vetiver smells like. I don't get any recognizable other scent, such as the cypress, musk or vetiver. This is just plain grassy and earthy. A vetiver for the cold weather. I like it, but living in hot and humid Florida I would stray more toward a sweeter interpretation, such as Guerlain or Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver.
23rd March, 2015 (last edited: 08th September, 2015)
A monumental release. People are predisposed by the name and bottle and find this dark. It is not that dark but rather green and fresh. The cypress top note is fantastic followed by a strong vetiver heart and a musky dry down. Surely a synthetic composition (mainly ISO E Super) which stands among the best of the last years. It's bottle is also magnificent although this doesn't add to the scent and the prices so low that any vetiver lover must have a good reason for not having it. I've been wearing this all year around and have received compliments by both men and women. I would love to smell this on women too.
21st February, 2015
Amazing scent. Just purchased and WOW! The best blend of vetiver I have ever owned. Spray, wait 5 minutes and enjoy. I have had it on for a few hours now and the scent I smell from my chest is a cross between the well blended vetivers and the woods of the scent (cypres and cashmere) which smell like a freshly cut christmas tree. You won't be disappointed if you are in the market for a great Vetiver scent. Enjoy!
11th February, 2015 (last edited: 10th July, 2015)
I'm having difficulty with this. From the listed notes in the pyramid, it appears that the educated nose can not only discern predominant vetiver in this fragrance, but pinpoint its origin to two distinct sources: Haiti, and Reunion Island.

I'm baffled.

All I smell is a whacking great bucket load of Iso E Super, with a trace of Cashmeran.
09th February, 2015
So I just got my much anticipated Encre Noire after a long wait due to postal issues and all I can say is am bewildered and dumbfounded by this unbelievable amazing juice. It all I want and need in a fragrance, its classic in a sophisticated cosmopolitan kind of composition... the vetiver in this juice is excellently blended to give off this smooth and rich aura that's just out of this world. These are only my first impression thoughts but I can easily see this cologne replacing my signature scent Terre d'Hermes because its smoother and the quality of its composition is exceptional.

31st January, 2015
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Very strong vetiver that almost reminds me of the smell of matches or wet cobblestones. I'm tired of vetiver and this one did me in. Wear this with a black turtleneck sweater in winter and it will be apropos.
23rd November, 2014
The opening is a cedar log by a fireplace, not ashy at all but warm. I can see where people say this smells like ink, but not so much for me. Soon drys down to notes I find synthetic and all too familiar. If you like Hermes you may like this.
04th November, 2014
Picture Romania, then walking through a very dark forest on your way to Dracula's Castle. Burning leaves and wood surround you, the night howling of werewolves get closer. This stuff is what the undead would wear, the vampire would be at home smelling like this. Dark, evil, burning with no end in sight. This is potent juice, best left for those who suck blood and want to smell like a overflowing ashtray.
13th October, 2014 (last edited: 14th October, 2014)
Marais Show all reviews
United Kingdom
With fevered brow I dip my fountain pen in the desk-set black inkwell and begin to write: 'Dark clouds swirl ominously around Frankenstein's Castle...' Several chapters later it all turns a bit sour, with smoking firebrands etc, but getting there is such a thrill-ride. I especially liked that bit where the doctor screams 'it's alive!' as electricity crackles through the air, and that touching scene where the young girl ends up taking an impromptu dip in the local pond. A good scent when you're in the mood for a bit of light-hearted morbidity.
04th October, 2014
In my hobbyist study of scent vetiver has proved to be among the highest mountains to scale. It was hard to place, inextricable yet ephemeral. Finding that there exist vetivers of differing profiles did not surprise me but it did lend me some clarity. The type to which I am better inclined is implemented wonderfully in the older vintages of Carven's Vetiver- a rootsy, earthen smell with hints of salted licorice and ginseng. The other prominent type is the smoky vetiver, which to me evokes memories of ivy leaves, dried, smoked meats, and bonfires. This kind is less friendly but vastly more fascinating, and is the foundation for Encre Noire.
Here are a few reasons I have grown to enjoy this scent despite my apprehension for the smoky vetiver: The sillage is gentler and more ephemeral than smelling it at skin level. This took me some time to realize. Most people I've come across like it enough to vocalize their appreciation. The blending is superb, using 'kissing cousin scents' to bolster the many facets of the star ingredients which never overshadow the main player. It employs a vanilla devoid of sweetness, a true rarity in today's market.
I would not usually condone layering designer fragrances because it obscures the original intent and because the blended bases more often than not become a mess, but I have found that combining Encre Noire with Yardley's Citrus & Wood yields an incredible and utterly charming effect, like Terre d'Hermes lit aflame.
04th September, 2014
While I have loved fragrance since I can remember, I'm new to this level of the scent game. Encre was a blind buy for me but at $29 for a 3.3oz/100ml bottle and with the fandom, mystery, and passion around this frag, I decided to roll the dice. I've only recently discovered vetiver and this turned out to be a huge love at first sniff for me. I agree that this is a vetiver lovers dream but balances the crispness with a deeper darker warmth. Def a cooler weather sexy nighttime scent, probably a but formal as well. The wood and the musk are expertly balanced with he Haitian and bourbon vet. I love it and can't seem to stop smelling my wrist...the ink well look of the bottle lends credibility to the inky smell in the notes, but it is a lovely blend. Smells like a niche indeed. I think this works best for a slightly more mature male, I'm 36 and the mystery and sophistication of the scent go well with a nice suit and confidence that comes with age. Enjoy!
21st August, 2014
Dirty, dark vetiver not as good as it's big brother from another mother, Grey Vetiver. Priced right. 4.5 out of 5
09th August, 2014 (last edited: 01st September, 2014)
An outstandingly good fragrance. Serious vetiver-on-vetiver action; I'm talking MegaVetiver here; which has fantastic staying-power, moderate sillage, and garners lots of compliments.

Certainly this is one I would try prior to purchase, as other reviewers have recommended, unless you are already a fan of frags with a prominent vetiver note, in which case I'd suggest that you go straight for a 100mL bottle!

01st August, 2014
Smell like a old burnt out building. I am not fond of this scent. This scent can not be worn in FL at all. Even the coldest day of winter here is not cold enough for this scent.
23rd July, 2014
Wow......Bought this as a blind buy based on reviews and the fact that I managed to get a 100ml bottle for £17 shipped. As a newbie I do not really feel qualified and quite knowledgeable enough to delve into the intricacies of this masterpiece, and to MY nose it is a masterpiece. All I will say is that I have found my signature scent. From start to finish this is simply incredible. The dark, smoky and green accords in my opinion are perfectly balanced and make this a lot more wearable and versatile than some reviews I have read may lead you to believe, yet remaining unique, interesting and quite calming I think. Again just my opinion! I have heard the words campfire, mossy, rooty, damp, earthy, inky opening being used to describe it and to me that's pretty much spot on. I imagine walking through a forest on a crisp, damp morning. Some kids camping out last night lit a bonfire the night before, which got put out gradually by last nights rain. You get a whiff of the extinguished campfire as you walk past. I do not get synthetic or harsh chemical from this at all, although I could see why someone would dislike this. Oh yea.... and the presentation is just as good as the juice!!
02nd July, 2014
Genre: Woods

A superb vetiver. Period.

In my experience, vetiver scents tend to fall into two broad categories: the crisp, suave variety, as in Guerlain Vetiver, and the pungent, uncompromising sort, as epitomized by Route de Vétiver. Encre Noire to some extent straddles the two groups. It is a bold, hard-hitting vetiver, but not in the earthy manner of Route du Vétiver or the sharp, dry style of Malle’s Vétiver Extraordinaire. Potent, dark, and yet transparent, Encre Noire is aptly named. It smells “moist” and rooty, but not dirty. Its vetiver is nutty, smoky, and pleasantly bitter, and it is balanced by the merest touch of sweet licorice or anise. In character it is perhaps closest to Givenchy’s reissued Vetyver, but Encre Noire is a bigger fragrance and distinctly less "polite."

Once it establishes its central vetiver accord, Encre Noire holds to a linear course, and with a heart that’s so well crafted I don’t object. While it is by no means a weak scent, Encre Noire does wear fairly close to the skin, and its sillage is not going to fill a room. The vetiver becomes woodier in the drydown, and is eventually joined by some warm musk and maybe a touch of labdanum before it drifts off altogether. On acquaintance I find Encre Noire to be a distinctive and successful take on vetiver that’s easily qualified to stand next to my favorites, which include Route du Vétiver, Givenchy Vetyver, and The Different Company’s Sel de Vétiver. If you’re fond of vetiver based fragrances, I think you owe it to yourself to give Encre Noire a try.
13th June, 2014
As the name suggests Encre Noire sure as hell smells like ink when you first put it on, to some this may be a shock because the smell of raw ink isn't exactly what one expects out of a fragrance.

This quickly fades in the first few minutes and the layers of the composition divide and begin to smell like wet earth and burning wood in a hammam. The cypress doesn't get as much attention as the vetivers. It's smooth as silk.

Encre Noire certainly doesn't come across as a generic man EdT to say the least.

Apparently this contains both Haitian and Bourbon vetiver. The vetiver notes are excellent. And oh man are they something special.

This isn't an aquatic, woodsy, chypre, fougere or a gourmand.. This is a perfumers ode to Vetiver... Imagine Darkness bottled.

A word of warning: DO NOT BLIND BUY THIS... this needs a decent understanding of fragrances and notes to understand or at least an open minded approach to fragrances.. So if you're looking for a usual Acqua Di Gio kinda deal (people pleasers) dont even bother with this; you will be disappointed.

As for me; I LOVE this thing and recommend it to anyone who would want to get out of the old adages of perfumery and smell something that is totally out of the box...
26th May, 2014
Love in first sight does not happen always...sometimes it takes a lot of time to understand the characteristics and attributes. so is the case with Encre Noire with me...when ever I sniffed it , it reminds me of two very Beloved scents which have been discontinued unfortunately ,Gucci Pour Homme and Lui Rochas...IMO, EN has a similar vibe of that muddy , wet, Vetiver which we call 'KHUSS' , a very nice take on Vetiver with lovely musk , I m in love with this these days , especially for my all time favourite notes of woods, musk and smoke.

I can have a little of all my favourite fragrances in this single fragrance...GPH, LUI, Grey Vetiver and Terre d Hermes.

I initially regretted the blind buy but I now regret that regret. Love Encre Noire.
20th May, 2014
Encre Noir smells absolutely wonderful... in the bottle. About once every six months, I dust off this little black brick from my wardrobe, inhale a huge gorgeous whiff off the cap, spritz myself once a day for a few days, and try to fall in love with it. And I fail every time. Too synthetic? Too much vetiver? Too much like good smelling perfume, too little like good smelling man.
13th May, 2014
Encre Noire opens up woody and somewhat 'fresh'. Not uplifting, not bright, "darkly-fresh" if you will. Then slowly creeps the earthy, sour vetiver which becomes the main player. It becomes a smoky, elegant green scent that reminds me of rain soaking tree stumps, with roots coming out of the soil. And the dry down... The vetiver becomes smoother, colliding with musk and a hint of cashmere. Very nice. And actually, not as dark as I've been lead to believe.

I do see why some people are put-off by EN. It can be a bit harsh at times, and had actually gave me a minor migraine, but it's still not as harsh as some people said. Just don't dose yourself too much with this. Also, not good with high temperature. Definitely a night / colder scent. Longevity & projection are good.

Definitely try this out before buying a FB.
28th April, 2014
One of the worst scents I've ever smelled. I simply cannot understand the hype around this perfume. First of all it smells really, really synthetic, it evokes me the scent of something you would spray to kill little insects like bugs, mixed with what smells like splashed ink from a fountain pen. Why would I want to smell like that?

It basically have no top notes, no middle notes, nothing, just a raw, chemical and linear abomination that lasts and lasts and simply won't go even after you wash it off several times. It's incredibly potent. Worst blind buy ever, sorry for the people who love this, no disrespect, but i find no beauty in this whatsoever. It may be original, but it simply doesn’t smell good and is incredibly unpleasant to wear.

Edit: i like it somewhat better, i tried it again today and it was kind of different. The scent has actually CHANGED from the last time. Yet it's the same bottle! No i'm not crazy. My guess is the difference of temperature made this smell change! The last time i tried it it was in winter, weather was cold and wet. It's now very warm where i live, and i swear the fragrance smells different, incredible! i knew perfumes could smell different according to the weather, but it just goes to a whole new level with this one! I couldn't bear it a few months ago when it was still cold outside, and today, warm weather, wow! the fragrance evolves into something new and quite pleasant, almost fresh and crisp while retaining the dark vetiver note, but not in that awfully inky way i had experienced previously. Very interesting. Still not something i would wear, but i'm amazed at how this fragrance changes according to weather.
21st April, 2014 (last edited: 10th June, 2014)
I registered with a Basenotes account just so I could answer all of the recent negative reviews of this scent that I've seen--review that are contrary to my opinion. In the last eight months or so that I've worn this scent--I'm about to switch back to my spring/summer scent of Guerlain's Vetiver--I've never in my life received so many unsolicited compliments on my smell. I quite truthfully have clerks at stores and coworkers at remote offices I rarely see specifically mentioning the alluring and hypnotic quality of the aroma of this cologne they detect on me; often many hours after I apply just a couple sprays. To those of you who have left reviews that, to me, seem bizarrely skewed towards finding this aroma to be odious, I have to recommend the following. Please, do seek the treatment and advice of an otolaryngologist. Without any desire to express disrespect, but out of human concern, your olfactory senses are either damaged or congenitally malformed. Treatment is available and there is hope for you.
29th March, 2014