Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Total Reviews: 11
Some years ago, the hype around Black Afgano was so heated that it was difficult to think of approaching it with a cool head. Today, one wonders what all the fuss was all about. It is a solidly made perfume, decently balanced for a such a full-throttle blend of spicy incense and resinous woods, but I smell little that distinguishes it from a legion of butch creations in a similar manner spanning the range from some Amouage offerings, to Montales and on to the many designers that have opened up the box labelled ‘rugged, spicy oud’.
There’s smoke, there’s some leather going ‘Grrr’, there’s old-boy tobacco, in a mix that’s aimed at being dark and decadent but is now shorthand for a certain kind of knuckle-dragging perfumery masculinity. I suppose it is welcome that the makers market it as a unisex scent. But beyond that, this really isn’t dope, even though it claims to smell like it. Nope, I have loved ones who are warriors for cannabis freedom in their dreams but nothing about Black Afgano reminds me of anything they’ve ever brought to my nose. Kinski does a much more convincing job on that front. What Black Afgano does have is a pinch of pungent dried herbals in the mix, resembling crushed fenugreek and curry leaves, that mixes effortlessly with the spice.
Good if you like powerhouses in this manner. I find I’ve had enough of their persistent personalities after a few hours.
21st October, 2017
This smells less like hashish and more like the spent ash you throw away several days after you've smoked hashish. High concept, underwhelming implementation, but interesting for what it is, a phenolic/animalic/plastic mishmash.
05th July, 2017 (last edited: 29th August, 2017)
Not annoying to wear but not for me. I guess I just haven't had my nose adjusted for "high" perfumery. On the other hand, it is unique and I'm very happy I got to smell and wear this one.

Dry, herbal cannabis with incense in the background.

Performance is outstanding, both in projection and longevity.

18th March, 2017
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In terms of a quality perfume, I think this is top notch. It's incredibly powerful and long lasting. But beware. If you don't like the scent (like myself) it does not wash off easily. This just isn't for me. For whatever reason, I get a dark earthy mushroom. It has a funk to it I just can't get past. I hate to give it a negative review based on scent alone since it is so subjective. Not my style but if you like the scent, it's a powerhouse!
15th December, 2015
Notes: cannabis, herbal notes, resins, woods, coffee, tobacco, frankincense, oud

So today I finally got around to sampling the enigmatic and mythical Basenotes legend Black Afgano. With all the excessive hype and propaganda from the Nasomatto marketing machine, coupled with mixed reviews meant my expectations weren’t especially high (no pun intended). Then again smuggled ingredients, supposed extreme scarcity and the “evocation of temporary bliss” what’s not to be curious about.

First impressions? Mixed. I wasn’t overly impressed and it didn’t draw any “wow factor”, but my nose didn’t curl up and proclaim “bong water!” either. Worthy of the hype? No. Do I like it? Yes. Does it smell like Play-Doh? Kind of!

I’d describe the overall scent as dark, dry, resinous and austere with a very feint hint of sweetness attributed to a dry amber/vanilla/incense lurking underneath the beast notes. Straight out of the bong you’re greeted with a dense aroma chemical sucker punch made up of synthetic Givaudan oud, coupled with an underpinned cedar effect in the form of Kephalis (which is an Iso-E-Super substitute, only with a more woodier/smokier feel).

Finally I can make out some quite prominent vetiver/tobacco notes, adding to the “greenness” which the general nose picks up. I may be off, but I definitely feel like I’m picking up one of the main players here and that’s Norlimbanol™, which is described as an “extremely powerful woody/animal amber note. That has a dry woody note in the patchouli direction”.

As described by Chandler Burr, “Norlimbanol is one of the most amazing scents around, a genius molecule that should be worth its weight in gold; Norlimbanol gives you, quite simply, the smell of extreme dryness, absolute desiccation, and if when you smell it, you’ll understand that instantly—the molecule is, by itself, a multi-sensory Disney ride.”

It’s this same compound which I believe gives the scent its subtle leathery undertones along with the amber. Don’t be too impressed with my ability to pick out aroma chemicals though! I recently purchased a slew of them in a vain attempt to try my hand blending, so I’ve gotten to know them quiet well individually, but anyways, I digress.

Coming back to the scent and the million dollar question, does it warrant the name? In short no. If you inhale deeply and concentrate you can pick up some very feint superficial passing resemblances to hashish, but overall I personally don’t believe the name is warranted.

As for the final scent, it’s just as you’d expect it to be, it’s dense and the oud note is by far the dominant player making it very linear and overshadowing of everything else, but if you’re a fan of Dior Leather Oud, Bond No.9 Harrods Oud or Montale Aoud Cuir D’Arabie, then this one could be right up your street. (although BA is nowhere near the level of quality, originality and complexity of the latter listed scents, in my humble opinion of course.)*

Overall I’ll agree that it’s a well rounded aromatic fragrance, but I’ll also agree that it’s potentially “missing something” too. The longevity it boasts is extremely impressive and to be expected from an extrait de parfum, but the sillage is minimal unfortunately. With all that said, will I be buying a bottle? Probably!

Rating: 5/10
Longevity: 10/10
Projection: 6/10
Occasion: Casual-Semi formal
22nd December, 2014
ths is all about patchouly!!

strong raw, bitter patch just the same as it is done in Kokoricio, but here its not that synthetic!

It develops nicely, becomes smoky...pepery...looses that rawness from the beginning...and if you apply it lightly you will smell all day long! very longlasting and strong scent but i am not fan of this type of masculine patchouli scents, that amphasise its green, bitter side....but the drydown gets nicer! warmer with some tobacco and smoky notes!
18th January, 2013
Perfect cross between Chergui and Anvers 2. It's been done before, and more economically. If you buy, you're buying for the (admittedly) cool bottle, not for the (easily-replaceable cheaply) juice.
10th December, 2012 (last edited: 18th December, 2012)
I had to find out what’s all the hype about this, so I managed to get a sample of the stuff from ebay. Setting aside all the marketing and the fandom, the fragrance is interesting. Also, long lasting, complex and definitely unusual. But is it good? I guess if I was younger and wanted to be (smell) really different, I would swear by it. Kind of how Goths or Emos should smell like. Or Hippies – ageing, nostalgic Hippies who have lots of money.
It covers a whole range of smokiness, from incense to marijuana. Starts quite sweet, but becomes much cleaner and fresher towards the end. Well executed in all stages, but still can’t really convince myself that it is pleasant. It fits in with some of the fragrances from L’Etat Libre d’Orange as it aims more towards being different than pleasant. And just like that range, it is also somewhat contrived, pretentious and pointless. Or I am just too old to get it.
01st November, 2012
interesting aroma but it has not the power of an extrait, disappointing sillage, good duration but it takes too many sprays to be an extrait, irrimediably overpriced!
07th August, 2012 (last edited: 27th July, 2016)
Easily my least favorite Nasomatto among Hindu Grass, Duro, and Absinth. I like the cannabis in it (it's very subtle IMO), but outside of the cannabis it's a non-special incensey-patch thing. Maybe if the cannabis were stronger, amazing, and more prominent it could be worth the $165 for a 30ml flacon. As-is, I don't think it's Gualtieri's best work.

The drydown is quality, lovely stuff. It just isn't distinctive enough from their other scents to make it interesting to me. If I hadn't smelled their other products before trying out BA, I probably would think more highly of it BUT in the end, it would still be my least favorite of the bunch. Not because it's bad or whatnot - simply because it's not distinctive enough from its own pack. At these nosebleed price-points, for me it's all about being different in compelling ways, and IMO Black Afgano doesn't meet the mark there.

That said, if you like these sorts of rich, heavy, woodsy, incensey types of things, you absolutely should try it. It very well may be your cup of tea! Your Nose May Vary!!!!!
22nd February, 2012
Some tar, some smoke, some dryness, something red and fruity. It sounds and smells like something I would have liked considering my love of incense and birch tar, but there's nothing compelling about it. I feel this could have been an extension scent, part of the Red Series by Comme des Garcons. If you like Palisander, almost a more intense version, try this.
11th February, 2011