Earthy, green and woody fragrance that is original smelling. Hardcore wood lovers (real wood) will love this. This one would be best worn in autumn and winter preferably for outdoor events. 6.5/10
Another example of that "revival" (especially among niche brands) of classic fougère schemes as we already saw with Roja Dove Fetish Pour Homme (Moschino pour Homme) and Puredistance M (Bel Ami). Sombre Negra may in fact be easily re-bottled and rebranded as a '70s/'80s fougère, as it has them all: the austere masculine look, the aldehydes, the dark and heavy woods, the "masculine" flowers (lavender, carnation?), the tobacco, the (fake, evernyl-ish) oak moss, a bold and humid herbal side rich in hay notes and rural nuances, and some vegetable-fruity juicy notes, like red pepper or pimiento. The only couple of things which are a bit more "new" and different are this sort of rural-vegetable accord, and a (kind of pale and plain) incense note. A nice scent overall, nothing exciting – mostly because it reminds me so many old scents – but nice, sounds like a fun tribute more than else. Plus it has that slightly depressing "pale" and restrained personality many scents have today, especially niche, I don't know if that's about decreasing quality of ingredients, of the infamous and alleged "bans" on some components, or simple laziness or lack of talent. Not saying it's a bad scent, it's elegant and pleasant, but also just a (tiny!) bit, well, dull perhaps.
P.S. I don't know which version I tested.
This is masculine indeed and only for black scents lovers, just like having a patch of gasoline moving with you like a ghost (talking about the latest version, tobacco note gone) fizzling sizzling dark patchouli combo....
Colonnel Kurtz signature scent...
the horror, the horror...
08th September, 2013 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)
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On opening smelt like 'Black Tourmaline' with the most minimal dash of 'Blood Concept B'. Smoke and wood. I got the pepper soon after. It stays close to the skin and you have to get right up there to get a decent whiff.
This review is for the 2011 reformulated version :
Its the smell of the earth! in the light of the nocturne; smokey but rich yet grounded,herbal yet unmedicinal,boozy yet sober, warming but unclosing, the retrograding juxtapositions apart - its quite simply, one of the best/most orignal scent that i have smelled, longevity and sillage is both very good, my only complain is the size; would have been best if this was offered in 100ml than the sole 50ml.
The offset-note, on the patchouli is just brilliant!
I hope that YOSH releases, a few flankers so that i may find the excuse to dig into them.
18th August, 2012 (last edited: 03rd September, 2012)
Neutral review: Pros -- intruguing opening notes; cons -- low longevity, generic dry-down
Right out of the bottle, SN smells like a smoky tar monster in the same lineage as Patchouli Labo and Bulgari Black, with some of the warmth of the hay notes in Dzing!. For me, these types of fragrances are compelling as experiments, but not very wearable or attractive to smell on skin.
SN, however, makes a convincing argument for the smoke by blending it with spicy florals (or floral spices)--mainly the davana and peppercorns. Immediately after application, the inedible smoke mellows into a gourmand note similar to Lapsang Souchong tea, or peppery masala chai. Davana (one of my favorite notes, used brilliantly by Histoires de Parfums) brings warmth and creaminess. Surprisingly comfortable, after only a few minutes! On me, this fascinating phase lasted 2 - 3 hours, getting increasingly spicy and more incense-like. Vetiver is prominent as the main base note.
Just when I thought I might splurge on a full bottle, the drydown arrived as a generic woody musk, as boring and unchallenging as the opening was interesting. No traces of the smoke/davana/peppercorn were left after 3 hours, leaving only the completely mundane base. Definitely worth investigating for a more mellow version of Labo Patchouli, especially if the smoke/spice lasts on your skin. Maybe my skin just gobbled those notes up.
This review is for the sharper new formulation.
Sombre Negra is a powerhouse of new generation. It starts almost similar to Black Tourmaline (smoke, incense and turpentine) and ends like a resinous kind of vintage Trussardi Uomo. The dusty chaos of peppery and rooty harshness reminds me a bit the more fruity Shiseido Basala (despite the lack of incense from the Shiseido one). It's aromatic, spicy, woody and incensey. The incense is neither sepulchral nor ecumenical but classic, leathery and conservative. The general balance is severe. The note of earthy patchouli enhances the level of autority and darkness although i don't find this scent particularly dark. It's grey as the solitude of a widower in the Berlin's suburbia, it's serious, moody but not properly dark. The dry down is utterly sharp, peppery, incensey, resinous and rooty with the harsh smoky bitterness of tobacco and a woody kind of aromatic coolness of the forest made of cypress, vetiver, davana oil, mushrooms and moss. A touch of myrrh softens and balances the general harshness increasing the final level of mildness. A very distinctive, silent and restrained fragrance for irony and solitary mature men.
17th February, 2012 (last edited: 05th February, 2013)
Review for the original formulation:
Church forniture. Extremely earthy patchouli (not the head-shop one) and incense with strong resinous/woody notes adding an "angular" aspect. In the drydown pepper and cypress play a quite relevant role. Dense, smoky and deeply dark.
15th February, 2012 (last edited: 16th February, 2012)