Interesting opening… it’s light, bright, citric, and spicy; this initial accord has an airy or aromatic feel to it – it’s quite spectacular in a quiet sort of way. I think the opening’s ginger / coriander, in combination with the citrus notes, creates its very special effect: The accord has sort of an olfactory three-dimensional aura from the soft, clean aromatics. It’s a unique and long lasting characteristic, and this gentle accord doesn’t seem to fit with the “black” part of Black Angel, but the “angel” part is quite appropriate. I think the fragrance holds on to its excellent momentum when it moves into its heart notes: With the gradual retreat of the spices, the floral middle begins asserting itself, there is enough spice remaining to augment the jasmine, muguet, and orris in a beautifully refined heart accord. I get some powder in the heart notes, but the powder certainly doesn’t dominate – rather, it broadens the accord for more depth to a quiet, but full floral / spice accord. The changeover to the heart is simply done, but it increases the depth of the fragrance significantly. I suppose that the dry down is the “black” part of Black Angel… The drydown is a well-done smoky wood that adds a bit of darkness (it’s really too ethereal to be called “dark”) to the fragrance package. It’s the fitting result of the previous movements in every way. This is such a beautiful and beautifully constructed fragrance – a work of genius, IMO.
I feel that people are overthinking the Mark Buxton releases a bit...
Black Angel's got a good interplay between the brightness of the citrus elements and the bracket of spices, especially in its open. The middle brings out more spice but it ultimately finishes as smoky-fruit-wood, emphasis on the fruit. It's at this latter point that, for me, it begins to resemble raisin-wood compositions like Botrytis, though Black Angel never comes off as dense or 'heavy.'
At the end of the day Black Angel is a good fragrance. It's not angels singing the Hallelujah chorus, but it's well-balanced, has longevity, and is easy to wear. It's probably the nicest of the set, and is overpriced as usual, but what the hey, we're all overpaying anyway.
Mark Buxton Black Angel
Notes: citrus, bergamot, mandarin, orange, rosemary, ginger, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, jasmine, lily of the valley, orris, styrax, guaiac, patchouli (from luckyscent.com)
Mark Buxton certainly knows how to assign evocative names to his fragrances. So far, despite the sex-appeal of the images he creates, I have found the juice itself to be solidly composed, with homage to classic fragrance structures. Black Angel is one that does not quite fit this mold, although I still do not find it terribly ground-breaking. It is very modern, with ginger, tea, bergamot and mixed citruses in the top notes. The effect is somehow very green, despite the strong fruitiness of the orange and accompanying citrus notes. The middle development is slightly leathery with mixed white florals, iris root and some sweet, powdery, vanillic amber. I was all set for a perfect finish, but the base turned out to be a let-down. It is primarily composed of Iso E Super and some other vague woody, smoky incense notes. Although Black Angel bears very little resemblance to something like Bulgari Black, both these fragrances firmly fall into the vanilla-woods, modern oriental model. Try Black Angel as a nice, though not ground-breaking, alternative within this fragrance family.
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Mark Buxton Black Angel
Mark Buxton has been hailed by Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez in Perfumes: The Guide as one of the currently working perfumers they believe to be amongst the most creative noses out there. With that kind of praise it certainly makes every colognoisseur take notice when he produces a new fragrance. It really makes me take notice when he decides to create his own line. In 2009 Mark Buxton created a series of seven fragrances, of which Black Angel is a member, under his own name. I am not a full-fledged member of the Mark Buxton fan club because while I find all of the scents he's made interesting many of them just don't seem to soar in the way that I expect them to. Some of this is due to expectations and some of this is likely due to the simpler reason that our aesthetics are slightly off. In looking through the pyramids for the new series the one that stood out for me was Black Angel and I thought this was a good place to get started in trying these scents out. In this case the pyramid did not lie and Black Angel is quite good. The top is a mix of citrus and bergamot, now stop me if you've heard that as a description of a top notes before. Here Mr. Buxton keeps the citrus soft and instead of the sharper aspects that citrus brings this accord brings to mind more of the pulp. This is also achieved without getting too sweet. This aspect of softness is the perfect lead-in, as this theme continues, as a grouping of soft spices appear starting with cardamom and ginger followed by rosemary and coriander. This early phase of Black Angel is my favorite part of this fragrance as it feels like pulling on a cashmere sweater that just hugs me and comforts me. The heart finishes with a nice orris which is joined by jasmine to add a little sweetness to things. The base is guaiac and patchouli and they stay true to the tone set earlier as both are kept reined in and very lightly used. Black Angel is a beautifully composed scent, which is what Mr. Buxton is known for. In the past, I've found previous Mark Buxton creations to be lacking in some area, for me. Black Angel feels like a complete fragranced idea made reality. Black Angel has great longevity and moderate sillage. I'm going to have to try the other six scents in the Mark Buxton fragrance line but they are going to have to be pretty darn good to be better than Black Angel.
Dark, spicy and delicious. I love the orange with the cardamon which drys down to jasmine and orris. Its alittle heavy but I wear it in the fall& winter.