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.
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.
All I smell is a whacking great bucket load of Iso E Super, with a trace of Cashmeran.
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.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
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.
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.
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.
Pretty linear, very muted smelling and i do get smoke but its sort of dampened at the same time with all the woody/inkyness going on.
Its a pretty cool scent and i do like it, just not enough to either buy it again or wear very often.
I have a vetiver soap that smells the same but more smokey and dusty i sooo wish it smelled like that i'd wear it all the time.
I waited 2 years to buy this one, i tested encre noire at the same time as oud wood, that's why i forgot, what it smelled like :-) but still bought a bottle a couple days ago.
What does it smell like: uomo III and gucci pour homme mixed together.
Is it good ? yes, but i have gucci pour homme and uomo, which none of them give me a headache in the , unlike this one.
Is it wearable ? yes, but no sillage, not sure, what people mean with good sillage, i have none after 20 minutes ( just enough to get a headache )
Longevity: not good, except on clothes, sprayed on my shirt 2 days ago and can still smell it.
Is it of chanel quality ? not even close, Sycamore is next in line for me.
Would i do it all over again ? I rather buy myself a nice filet and through it on the grill.
Sorry lalique, not a fan so far, but nice try
Do yourself a favor and buy the real deal, sycamore. you really think the quality could be the same between a $45 and a $120 frag ?
I got this blind, as many have, due to the reviews. I had Tom Ford's GV and thought that a bit too old man-ish. So I went for Encre Noir blind as there are no local shops that stock this scent and I wanted a smoother vetiver scent.
To be honest I am disappointed. There is almost zero projection and the scent itself, whilst interesting, has so little presence as to be not worth while applying. I put two good sprays on the back of my hand and I almost need to touch my hand with my nose before I can smell the stuff. This is a shame as the actual scent unusual and, to my nose, most appealing.
There is a very subdued vetiver that is nowhere near as astringent as GV or Gurlain's interpretation. Woods are in there, too as is a smokiness. Its probably like being in a wood cabin. However the vetiver does add a freshness to Noir that makes this a daytime scent for me.
That's if anyone can smell it, of course...
Iso E Super? Loads.
Plus some damascones, and a few odd other things.
Encre Noire is a nicely composed vetiver that I don't wear any more. It has balance and treats the vetiver honestly, focusing on the woody/cedar tones. It has a well-defined linear feel. You know, it's the sort of linear fragrance that rotates through its range of notes rather than simply having one tone, only louder at the beginning.
But I don't wear it. Along with a few other perfumes from its general era it has come to read as a treatise on Iso-E Super. So many perfumes started seeming like they shared the same trajectory, the same qualities or tones. Suspicious, I bought some Iso-E Super. Bingo. Mystery solved.
It wouldn't be so bad if these perfumes simply had a note or range of notes in common. The problem is that Iso-E Super is known more for its qualities and the olfactory textures it imparts rather than how it smells (although there's that, too.) Worst case scenario for Encre Noire is that I just don't want to wear it any more. A better case for me, but possibly worse for the producers, are those perfumes that I had admired but would no longer consider buying. Examples: l'Artisan's Timbuktu or Ormonde Jayne Woman. Somewhere in between are the fragrances that I never wanted but now recognize as simply belonging to the Iso-E Super genre, eg. Terre d'Hermes.
The above perfumes do all share that woody, turpentine/cedar scent of Iso-E Super, but it is the pervasiveness, that seeping quality, the almost ultrasonic background tone that turns me off. The code-word for this characteristic in perfume criticism is "radiant" and I now cringe when I read the word.
I own a few a few other Iso-E Super-heavy scents (Lutens's Feminite du Bois, CDG's 2 Man) and enjoy them, so it can't be just the aromachemical alone that bothers me. Perhaps a particular use of it. Poor Encre Noire. It's certainly not the worst use of Iso-E Super, maybe just one of the more egregious, and likely just the last straw.
I'm giving this a neutral for now, not because I don't like it, but because there are so many vetivers I prefer. This one has a musty note that dampens the effect for me, but does not render the fragrance unwearable, by any means. I bought this bottle as a blind buy around the same time I acquired a bunch of decants of various vetivers, including Chanel Sycomore, guerlain's and givenchy's variations and Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver. So far it is my least favorite, while Tom Ford's version, another Super E Iso interpretation, is possibly my top choice. This is not even mentioning the plethora of other vetivers that have been very highly rated, such as Frederick Malle VE, Creeds Original, Etro's version, and about a bajillion others. The GV is much brighter and cleaner, which is not necessarily better, but which I just like better on my skin. It is less complex then EN, but pleasant throughout it's dry down and bass. As the Sycomore dries down, the musty, wet paper towel note diminishes, but doesn't completely disappear. However, this fragrance is partly redeemed in the dry down, which feels more smokey then musty. I will keep the bottle, and will wear this on occasion, but far less then TFGV, Guerlain or Chanel, hence the neutral rating. I would say this is a decent fragrance, but maybe not the best blind buy, and not the top of the vetiver list for me, as there are too many better choices.
Encre Noire is a smoky, woodsy vetiver with nice longevity. I think I've come the conclusion I don't much like Vetiver (I think I'm the only one on basenotes that doesn't), so I'm giving Encre Noire a neutral simply because I can't recommend something I wouldn't wear. I should hasten to add that if you like Vetiver this is probably one of the best scents out there. Much superior, for example, to Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, which gets lots of praise.
Advertisement — Reviews continue below
Speaking of Iso E Super, Lalique ENCRE NOIRE appears to contain quite a bit of the magical molecule, but before you get to that big projection, very longlasting drydown, you must contend with the opening.
To me, more than ink, ENCRE NOIRE evokes memories of the somewhat strange smell of toner cartridges. Now, to some people that may sound like a real turn-off, but to those such as myself who always loved the scent of gasoline coming out of the nozzle at the pump and also that of freshly printed glossy-paged books, it's not really bad at all and even possesses an inexplicable attractive power. In fact, I can see why this fragrance has garnered such a loyal following: the opening "inky" odor may actually be as addictive as is sniffing glue! From there, the Iso E Super-saturated vetiver arrives on the scene and since it, too, appears to be addictive, well, there you have it: double addiction potential!
I myself find ENCRE NOIRE interesting, but I do believe that my cells would recoil were I to don this composition except very infrequently. Now and then for the novelty, yes. But it could never be a part of a regular rotation for me, and I definitely understand why some people have been lamenting the fantastic popularity of this creation. I could see it getting old very quickly, say, if all of my colleagues wore it to work. The longevity and projection verge on obnoxious, if overapplied, as some people probably do...
Encre Noire is an undeniably suave creation, and from a conceptual standpoint I think it is a complete success. My problem, then, is with the execution. Vetiver can be a tricky note for me, and my appreciation of it in a starring role like this depends almost entirely on what its supporting cast brings to the table.
Encre Noire has been compared a few times by previous reviewers to Guerlain Vetiver, which I love - personally, I don't see it, and would go so far as to say that in many ways they are really polar opposites. Where the latter is designed to smooth away some of vetiver's rough edges, Encre Noire takes every opportunity to enhance its sharp, pungent earthiness. This approach doesn't really work for me, which, of course, is entirely a matter of taste.
A well-made fragrance which deserves a respectful neutral.
This is a BRÜTAL vetiver. There are hints of citrus, musk, and tobacco, along with a big dose of smoked woods, and they all look up in awe at the mighty vetiver note that stomps and thrashes the metropolis below. The smell is pretty nice, and it's strong both in longevity and sillage. I really enjoy it.
So what's wrong with it you ask? Well, the head-smashing, rooty, earthy, sparkly, grassy, dewy nature of this particular vetiver ALSO bears a moderate resemblance to onion. I take thorough showers to keep from smelling oniony, and in one fell swoop a fragrance undoes all my work. I really can't condone that type of behavior, but at the same time, it does smell great. Hell, I love my salads with raw onion, but I would never, EVER eat one before going out.
So, I've compromised my love and hate into a neutral
Two stacked black cubes: one glass, one wood. What do they hold? What mysteries swirl within these cubes of night?
The first sniff: burning, smokey, cold yet intriguing.
The inky allusions pile up: the inkwell bottle, the blackness, the acrid smell of the ink, the cedar of sharpened pencils, a bit of gritty graphite.
Then the longeurs: out of the bottle on to skin and its... fine. Fresh. A little bland. A little flat, like a photo which catches your eye, but when examined closely isn't as interesting as you thought at first. A little disappointing.
Then time passes: the whispers begin. didn't it just smell deeper than before? What was that bit of silage--so smokey! Wow, this thing is not going away... a bit of deep woods warmth like laughter in a shadowy forest...
More time passes: another curl of fragrance.. burning temples.. ancient cities... wow, it's still going, like a swimmer reaching out for a long pull in inky water.. not even beginning to feel tired hours later.. drifting... dreaming... the black water of the Nile... the cedar shavings packing precious antiques...
History is written in Encre Noire.
This is not a "newbie" fragrance. You have to understand the vetiver note and have experience with how it has been handled in fragrances in the past. If not, you will likely hate it or think you like it, but then after a while, get bored or nauseated by it on subsequent wearings. Personally, I prefer a more subtle handling of vetiver, with it being one note among several. I don't like it being featured prominently, and that is the case here. As others have said, it has an "unbending" quality, and for me, that means it should not be the "star of the show." Others really like this approach, so the obvious thing to do is to take your time and make sure you know where you stand. If you do like this, then I'm sure you will have a grasp of the nuances in this kind of fragrance that I may never achieve, so I will defer to those reviewers. I'll give it a neutral because it might work for me if I diluted it, but because I like the vetiver approach taken in fragrances like M; Men, I don't see any reason to do such "experimenting."
Ummm … am I the only one who thinks this is predominantly Iso E Super? Vetiver + Iso E Super? I can't find an Eccentric Molecule sample right now for comparison, but I hope someone else will do a side-by-side and opine. As far as the “ink” association, I think it's more related to mimeograph ink than the haughtier ink well or Mont Blanc sort. Yes, EN smells good, and the name and bottle show marketing genius, but revolutionary? Certainly not. Now I'm wondering whether the forthcoming women's version will smell akin to CK Eternity.
I ended up giving it away as a gift to a pal that loved it
at first smell.....he wears it well.....
Merry Early Christmas!!! i said!
11th November, 2009 (last edited: 13th November, 2009)
A most unique smell. This is easily one of the most intriguing smells I've come across in a long, long time.
The Vétiver is strong in this one (It’s the main theme- two vétivers bourbon and Haiti - no secret here) but unlike the 'soapy' ones or the 'green' ones on the market this one is ‘dark and smoky.’ I sense a medicinal aroma that I'm hard pressed to identify...Also I detect a trace of fruitiness at times. The adjective that comes to my mind is 'Mysterious'. I like to think of this one as the Darth Vader of fragrances - at least the ones I've tried.
I would give this one a higher rating , I really would, since I really like the frag and its concept HOWEVER after only wearing this a few times I found that it gave me pretty BAD HEADACHES! Not for everyone - not me that's for sure.
01st April, 2009 (last edited: 01st October, 2009)
This smells very natural, classy, and masculine.
But it smells far too much like some of my first attempts at woody scents:
see: SD-39c/Cypress/Sandalwood/Katrafay/Vetiver root/etc.
Too easy an effect to produce with essential oils.
Very classy and respectable, much better than most consumer woodsy scents
Very similar to Comme Des Garcons Man2 IMO, seems to be very linear I can smell only strong vetiver and wood. Very strong longitivity and sillage but gave me a headache
[Under Construction] - Original Review Under Revision - Currently Sampling
11th October, 2007 (last edited: 23rd September, 2009)
Very woody dark fragrance. To me it smells of Santal, ashes and a fireplace. It puts me in mind somewhat of Greyland but little brightness just about cuts through like a grean leaf buried in the cold embers. Perhaps a darker Vetiver des sables with slightly fruity sweetness and a patchouli note? Not my type of thing, but for others, I think this could be an excellent addition.
I have tried Encre Noir, twice.
The top notes remind me of India ink and the hours I used to spend practicing caligraphy when I was young. Sweet, soft, yet composed.
The bottle is memorable and very handsome, like an ink well. And Encre Noire is different from the current offerings.
It is initially, spicey, rich and dark, but it lingers for only a moment. Wait for the eau de parfum as it should be much longer lasting in this format.