Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

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    Japs's avatar



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    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.

    13 October, 2014 (Last Edited: 14 October, 2014)

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    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.

    04 October, 2014

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    04 September, 2014

    chitown23's avatar



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    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

    sidewinder's avatar



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    Dirty, dark vetiver not as good as it's big brother from another mother, Grey Vetiver. Priced right. 4.5 out of 5

    09 August, 2014 (Last Edited: 01st September, 2014)

    PeteH's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    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

    christiangrey12's avatar



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    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.

    23 July, 2014

    dweb23's avatar

    Scotland Scotland

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    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!!

    02 July, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    13 June, 2014

    D_Dar's avatar



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    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...

    26 May, 2014

    G.M.K.'s avatar

    Pakistan Pakistan

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    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

    IndianapolisVet's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    13 May, 2014

    Sniffington's avatar



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    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.

    28 April, 2014

    OneTimeOnePlace's avatar

    France France

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    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)

    teh_sqwirl's avatar



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    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.

    29 March, 2014

    Johannes's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Holy moly. Ink and plastic. I have a childhood memory of getting the guts of a leaky Bic all over my hands. Add a little musk, freshly cut white wood, a whiff of smoke and we're there. I like it because I want to. Or is it the utterly cool inkwell it comes in? Anyway, I'm keeping it.

    27 March, 2014

    Zgb's avatar

    Croatia Croatia

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    There is a slight connection with Gucci PH I and Chopard Noble Vetiver, however it's a style matter, not a scent per se. Encre Noire has a character of its own and quite a noble scent this is, warm in its coldness and cold in warmness. Vetiver is dominant in it, refined and rich, also quite cold and distant, like an echo of the spirit of time. Linear like Terre d'Hermes but in its own league. Encre Noire won't be liked by the masses because it's too sophisticated and it takes experience and certain love for this hobby so that one may recognize the potential and the story this fragrance tells, albeit the fact that the person doesn't actually like it. Dark, cold, mystical and yet pleasing, accommodating and warm. An excellent creation indeed.

    18 March, 2014

    Theo's avatar

    United States United States

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    Encre Noire is a perfect example of why I don't blind buy anymore based off of favorable reviews for a fragrance, although I was very tempted to based of it's low price point. With a recent Fragrancenet order I saw they had sample spray vials of this, so I added one to a recent order.

    First off, the opening is horrible. It literally does smell like ant spray (the pungent ink note). It was scrubber for me but I could still smell it after I washed it off and it didn't smell AS horrible, so I sprayed some on paper and allowed it to mellow a bit. I also retested on my skin again. I can see the appeal of this for others, but it smells extremely synthetic, is very linear after the drydown, and all of descriptions of it being a 'dark', 'smokey', and 'brooding' fragrance are complete and utter hyperbole. It's doesn't smell earthy, or dark. I definitely get a bit of green from it throughout it's life, albeit synthetic green.

    I own Grey Vetiver and love that fragrance. Vetiver is a tricky one for me because it does smell different based on the other notes used with it. EN is a total miss for me. Don't believe the hype, this is one of the cheapest, most synthetic fragrances I've smelled, and I'm shocked to hear people call this niche-like, worth $100, art, etc. It simply falls flat for me and is totally uninspired.

    27 February, 2014

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    The opening is flawless. A bit of vetiver and bourbon for the first half hour.. Then I get a ton of musk.. The vetiver does not mix with the musk and the bourbon is gone.
    Great opening with a terrible drydown.. I will retest it before the spring hits but I doubt I will change my mind..

    12 February, 2014

    Rodolfo's avatar

    Spain Spain

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    There is a strange, disgusting vibe in whole fragrance development, like an electric current running through a wire all over the scent. This feeling, extremely synthetic to me, ruins the woody dark green musky smell which is nice. So try it before buy if you don't like super iso e super loaded scents.

    05 February, 2014

    ZAAR's avatar



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    I was drawn to the purchase by the exotic reviews. Well, let me tell you..just my opinion but this stuff seriously smells like a old damp basement replete with spiders webs and leaky plumbing..ah, no thanks..you can keep that cute dark bottle..

    03 February, 2014

    randydjack's avatar



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    Simply lovely.

    Encre Noire is an old librarian who, in between sips on a dram of single malt, describes the forests that The Brothers Grimm traversed so vividly you begin to smell them. It has an ancient and mysterious nature to it, and one that is stunning. It dries down into a mix of the cypress and cashmere quite nicely, as the librarian either passes out drunk (the boozey accord of EN doesn't feel so much dominant as simply present, like the uncle who gets hammered at your family get together...if he was dressed like a proper chap and spoke the kings with perfection) or goes to do whatever book sorting it is that is left for the day.

    Longevity and sillage both do well in my book (which consequently smells a bit like EN right now.)

    20th January, 2014

    RobbieX's avatar



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    A unique fragrance. Starts smoky like an Islay whisky. The drydown is a smooth vetiver with woods and a soft floral background. Seems to have been expertly blended. It's subtle but not weak and it persists nicely. A sophisticated men's fragrance.

    09 December, 2013

    MFfan310's avatar

    United States United States

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    Probably the best blind buy that I ever made, period. This is an amazing smoky vetiver. It smells rich and woodsy, yet it has the versatility to be used any day of the year. A perfumery gem.

    At the full retail price of $95 USD/bottle, it's worth it. At the discounter price of $35/bottle, it's a true steal. Either way, worth every penny.

    14 November, 2013

    lairdangus's avatar



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    A bubbling witches brew of dark vetiver

    I didn't want to love Encre Noire.

    When I first sampled it in the middle of the summer, I found it too heavy, too sour, and too dark. But I couldn't forget about, either...

    So I tried again recently, hoping that it might work as a fall-winter fragrance. Wow. Does it ever.

    Along with Sycomore and Timbuktu, Encre Noire is one of the top 3 vetiver-dominant fragrances on the market today. I love all three of them--Sycomore for it's champagne effervescence, Timbuktu for its otherworldly exoticism, and Encre Noire for its dark simplicity. It doesn't hurt that a 3.4 oz bottle of Encre Noire can be found online for under $30!

    It lasts all day and projects as well as any fragrance in my wardrobe.

    Highly recommended for vetiver lovers.

    Pros: One of the top 3 vetiver-dominant fragrances on the market
    Cons: none"

    22 October, 2013

    RichNTacoma's avatar

    United States United States

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    Encre Noire Review by RichNTacoma

    One moment, I think dank mushroom forest. The next, soapy soap. I admit that I struggle with vetivers in general, and only have enjoyed a couple. I am not sure that this is one that I enjoy. The musk and vetiver combo takes it into the animalistic at the start, and it does dry down to something more clean. My guess is that at some point I will come back and give this a better rating; that day is not today.

    _________

    Four hours in, and we are looking at pure soapiness. 10 hours, still a fairly present on my skin; major longevity.

    23 September, 2013

    VincentVega's avatar



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    Strange Brew

    This was a blind buy based on some positive reviews...sigh. Huge projection and longevity on me... so much so I had to wash it off because it was giving me a headache. Horrible scent. Heavy, cloying, burned cedar wood...not for me. Brought it back from whence it came.

    Some reviewers are describing this as sexy or a masterpiece. Really? If someone wore this at a dinner party I'd have to leave.

    Regardless of whether you want to smell like a campfire or not, a "masterpiece" scent is one you can actually wear. I honestly do not know when or where you'd wear this...unless when cooking hot dogs on a stick.

    Warning...Do not blind-buy this scent.

    Pros: Projection...for those who love a six foot vapor trail
    Cons: Heavy, cloying, burned cedar wood"

    12 September, 2013

    MrMookie's avatar



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    Pencil & ink

    Masterpiece no doubt.

    Imagine this :

    Take some liquorice wood (sweetwood) some dry vetiver, dry cashmere wood and cypress al dried to bone, poor raw alcohol on it and set it on fire till it burns and when its burns real good poor a big bucket of ink on it to put the fire out... now smell the smothering dense smoke coming from this substance. thats lalique encre noir!
    Its sophisticated vetiver with a great sillage.
    Im a true fan!

    Pros: Natural and sophisticated woods
    Cons:

    28 August, 2013

    Quartz's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Great Scent

    I'm not a fan of vetiver but this one is really different. The vetiver is certainly there but it's augmented by a very pronounced smoky note which makes this quite different. For me, its longevity is terrific- a good 12+ hours. Not at all like most of the department store designer fragrances and a fantastic buy for about $35/100ml.

    You'll definitely want to sample this one first because not everyone will find this to their liking.

    01st August, 2013

    rbaker's avatar



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    Dark vetiver

    Vetiver and wood - that is what it is on my skin in a nutshell. Deep, dark, and with synthetic undertones. An unusual scent, with decent silage, projection, and four hours of longevity.

    17 June, 2013

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