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I enjoy this fragrance immensely, from start to finish. Right away, several different textures, weights, and sensations clamor to find their place, the major players being dry, sharp lavender and other pungent herbs (sage?), and sweet, spicy, curried helichrysum. As the sharp dryness of the lavender subsides a bit, I notice an anise impression that's not terribly strong on me, doesn't take over as it can do, and adds a perfect balance to the dustiness of the herbs and powdered curry of immortelle. I find the cologne concentration of this really a remarkable facet of its success because if Eau Noir were an Eau d'Parfum, I could imagine it having the impression of "too much of everything" and becoming a perfumey, syrupy mess (how I might feel about Parfum d'Empire Fougere Bengale if I didn't like it so darn much!). But with Eau Noir, there's a sense of place for each of its notes and accords, and while we are exposed to many foody ingredients, there's something about this sense of balance that keeps me from the fear of smelling like a plate of Indian food. Or like coffee, or licorice, or like pancake syrup (and come to think of it, those thoughts don't bother me in the least). Its dryness (mostly toward the beginning) doesn't grate and its sweetness (in the middle and toward the end) doesn't cloy: the balance of impressions experienced in Eau Noir is incredible to me. When a lot of the clamor that is experienced at the beginning settles down, I see where Eau Noir wants to repose and it is in a perfect marriage of sweet spice and herbal harmony.
14th September, 2008