On my cold and dry skin Chambre Noire doesn't follow the note-pyramid order.
It opens with sweet plum, accompanied by sandalwood. This stage reminds me of Bois et Fruits by SL for example. My personal taste is definitely not met here.
After a while the papyrus and pepper notes appear, the patchouli and cold incense sit quietly, I'm also getting cloves. Moist and damp papyrus can be very appealing to me (Private Label Jovoy). This one is bland though, it has no charisma.
After several hours the perfume becomes even sweeter, to me it's more ambery than vanilla based. I get even cinnamon and something like cognac.
I was most looking forward to the leather and powdery notes many reviewers are mentioning. On me the leather doesn't become alive, I wouldn't call it leathery. The base is not powdery to my nose, but I can see why it could be described as sweet powder.
To sum it up: loud fruity sandalwood at first, then a rougher papyrus intermezzo that slowly merges into an amber patchouli base. A fruity woody oriental.
The perfume construct is somehow static and quiet, despite the transitions. It reminds me of a shy person, that finally decides to go somewhere out of his comfort zone- but then doesn't know what to do with himself and all he can think of is how to get back home, into the static surrounding he is familliar with. Writing this, I realised it (conceptually) makes sense again, especially after I searched for the inspirational photo- as it did with Lumiere Blanche. It's the Chambre Noire of an introvert, where all the actions are the inner projections, not the outer happening.
Longevity is good again, sillage is relatively low.
An interesting, solid scent, nothing too special.
Opens with a slightly odd watery leathery note, soon joined by a dry slightly musty sandalwood accord. I’m not too taken with the top of CN, however at drydown it develops a warming incense (with a slightly ambery direction) that is quite comforting, while the subtle patchouli forms a veil over the whole, softening and filling voids.
There’s an interesting play off between comforting notes contrasted with a slightly murky almost damp presence. It’s not noir, it’s washed out grey greens with earth tones permeating. It’s definitely nice, but it doesn't sing to me. There's something about the damp aspect that doesn't agree with my sensibilities. Solid but doesn't stand out.
Pros: Comforting, interesting.
Cons: Odd watery accord"
Chambre Noir is a well done woody/oriental fragrance that smells exactly halfway between Egoiste and Bois Des Iles (current formulation) with the addition of a tad of incense and, maybe, some leather. Good and satisfying with a slightly dark twist but I honestly don't see enough reasons to choose it over the two aforementioned masteripeces.