Interesting that you have a comparison with Kenzo Tokyo.
NOW, I want to compare it to 06130 Zéro Six Cent-Trente Cedre.
It's true that Cologne Noire comes across kind of peppery in the drydown but it also has a
fairly sharp cedar 'tinge' as well. While it's true that freshly cut cedar is fairly sharp as well, it looses the sharpness pretty quickly when left to the open air to dissipate.
To my nose, this is where the cedar note of VCA's and the real thing begin to part ways.
That isn't a bad thing, it just doesn't have smoothness to me. Still beats the pants off Encre Noir tho.
For me, 06130's Cedre dries into a smoother, 'cleaner', more palatable, more layerable note.
Neither are like true cedar, however, the VCA does get pretty close to a cedar stump, split open which has begun to decompose. That may be 'REAL' enough for some.