Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

Total Reviews: 151
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
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
Ifti Show all reviews
United Kingdom
2 years and 3 bottles later... still beguiled by this!
05th April, 2017
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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
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
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
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 checkcosmetic.net…) 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
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
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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
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!

7,5-8/10
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 (last edited: 22nd April, 2017)
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
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: 03rd December, 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.

10/10!!!!
31st January, 2015
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
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!

June 2017 - the new bottle I have has markedly less Vetiver and is considerably more synthetic. A shame, for sure.
01st August, 2014 (last edited: 25th June, 2017)
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