Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

Total Reviews: 34
Perhaps the weakest thing I've ever sprayed. Instantly becomes a very faint skin scent, straight out of the bottle.

That's a shame, as it's marvelously evocative. Whilst the juice itself says vetiver, blonde woods and the faintest hint of ragù (seriously), the shower gel SCREAMS high end nappa leather interior. It actually made me emotional as I remembered my regretfully sold E89.

Verdict: the faintest whiff of quality. Very faint.
05th March, 2018
nice vetiver scent, but the longevity is quite weak, and a little bit too much iso e super for me.
22nd December, 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
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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
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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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
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.
05th February, 2014
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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.

23rd September, 2013
kida2007 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
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.
27th October, 2012
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 ?

07th September, 2012
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...
05th July, 2012
pkiler Show all reviews
United States
Vetiver? Where?

Iso E Super? Loads.

Plus some damascones, and a few odd other things.
13th March, 2012
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.
21st February, 2012
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.
29th January, 2012
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.
21st November, 2011
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...
27th October, 2011
jbr Show all reviews
United States
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.
03rd January, 2011
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
15th September, 2010
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.
06th February, 2010
Bigsly Show all reviews
United States
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."
29th January, 2010
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
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.
19th November, 2009

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.
3/5 stars
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
20th November, 2008