Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Encre Noire by Lalique

Total Reviews: 142
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
This was purchased for a man in my life but I wear it more than he does. Not a typical man's fragrance. More nuanced and warmer. Nothing "blue" about it - thank g-d - but lots of sexy skin and depth.
06th 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…) 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
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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
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!

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
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)
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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
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!

01st August, 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 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
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
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.
27th March, 2014
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.
18th March, 2014
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
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.
09th December, 2013