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  1. #1

    Thumbs down Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    There is a class of fragrances people buy, not because they are enjoyable, but because they want to see if they can get away with wearing them publicly, this is one of those fragrances. It's in the same league as Secretions Magnifique, and Kuros, an olfactory dare to those around you "I dare you to tell me I reek!" Wearing Encre Noire is like being in a wedding party and farting in your tuxedo, oh the gaucheness, the cheek, how jejune! It's not a mature fragrance, it's a "pull my finger" fragrance for those out to passive aggressively assault others around them.

    I can kind of understand the draw of this fragrance to some conspicuous consumers out to show how stinky they can get and pull it off, but this stuff can only be worn as a dare or the olifactory equivalent of a power tie. It's got a sharp vetiver that just doesn't stop, it's abrasive and unpleasant from start to finish. Longevity? It's a beast, mercilessly clinging to you like an infernal leech sucking away your resolve to go on, you wanting only to run home and shower repeatedly.

    Suffice it to say I hated everything about this fragrance, top, mid, base. Its eau de rotting wood and mulch. It starts as a very chemically vetiver, and it stays that way throughout, though mercifully, it doesn't project much after the first hour, I actually found myself avoiding people so they didn't have to smell me. This stuff is headache inducing and even two sprays had me gagging by lunch time; I would say this is a definite smell before purchase.

    As for popular appeal, I validated my suspicions by having a couple of friends, male and female smell it, all found it highly objectionable with one commenting that it smells like compost. Since decomposing organic matter isn't what I want to smell like throughout my day, I won't be wearing Encre Noire ever again (thank god). I'm as big a fan of grit and balls masculinity in my fragrance as the next guy, I love Gucci pour Homme I, Dirty English, and Bang, but Encre Noire isn't manly, it's just just rank.

    I realize Encre Noire is widely acclaimed, but so was Beavis and Butthead do America and Titanic; to quote Kierkegaard "the crowd is untruth" this stuff is totally unwearable. Even those who give it kudos either confess they don't wear it often or call it a "suit and tie" fragrance (I.e. I might wear it once a year, but will probably reach for the Guerlain when the time really comes). I can see liking it as a piece of conceptual fragrance art or something, but what's the point of a fragrance you can't wear anywhere without being self conscious about the appropriateness of it...thumbs way down folks.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Decent frag IMO. I wear it in the fall and winter months.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    To compare Encre Noire and Beavis & Butthead Do America to Titanic is just appalling. Titanic sucks!!!

    I know that some people do not like the dry, stark aroma. I once was in a training seminar with a girl who mentioned that something smells like 'headlice treatment'. I draw a distinction between 'synthetic' and 'chemical' - EN may smell synthetic, but to me it doesn't smell chemical.
    Granted, this woman could not use boolean operators to save her life, and also mentioned her fondness for the tv program Two and a Half Men, so her opinion was dismissed almost immediately.

    I don't see EN in the same vein of fragrance as Kouros and DEFINITELY not SM. EN is not a "let's see how obnoxious I can be", nor is it akin to breaking wind in a tuxedo.
    I find it to be really rather wearable, and the vast majority of people that smell it really like it. I believe the very best time to wear it is in casual clothes on a rather chilly autumn day, and I sooner reach for the smoother and less dry Sycomore on days where I'll be in meetings, but I do occasionally* wear EN in the office and I think it's entirely appropriate.

    I, too, dislike the approach of prioritising the artistry of a fragrance at the expense of wearability, and my digs at Andy Tauer are numerous and constant. I do not, however, view EN as avant-garde or wildly experimental, and I must express surprise that you consider Dirty English an overtly masculine fragrance.

    I think EN is a very nice fragrance that smells different to most other fragrances out there, but it's no Secretions Magnifique.

    *With a rotation of over 150 fragrances I don't wear many fragrances more than a few times a year anyway.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Marquis, do you enjoy other vetiver fragrances?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I didn't like this one much when I smelled it, but I think it was because I had never smelled vetiver. But it's since grown on me, and I like it quite a bit. It's my SOTD. To me, I get a nice smokey wet wood smell which reminds me of camping and the forest. Definitely not a crowd pleaser and a try before you buy frag.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I think it smells very natural. It is a dark, "basenoty", woody, soft perfume . I don't think it is difficult to wear it at all. I think it is a very masculine fragrance and I wear it proudly.

  7. #7
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I think it's a wonderful scent. Glad I own it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    It's a "chemical nightmare" to me but thankfully I found some old ones that do what I hoped EN would do in a "natural" way, for example Pierre Cardin's Paradoxe. Due to regulations or cost cutting it's hard to find those scents any more; even niche companies often use large amounts of iso e super and other chemicals that seem to irritate me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I couldn't help laughing at how outraged you are. Sorry. It`s not disdain, it`s sympathy.

    I actually like Encre Noire and I`m not fond of stinky scents. Whenever I wear it I give it one third of a spray - twice (sorry I`ve never been a math genious) because it projects and lasts a lot. I actually get just a few droplets of it and it gives me a nice warming sillage throughout the day (and it usually gets me compliments).

    I actually felt like you when I first smelled Guerlain Vetiver at a store. It smelled like a decaying carcass to me, believe it or not.
    "Unfortunately" I had already blind ordered a bottle. I went to the store again a few days later and I couldn`t believe how awful it smelled.

    When mine arrived, I didn`t think it smelled like a dead animal anymore. This time it was sickingly sweet! I know it`s crazy but that`s how I perceived it. Anyway, I kept on sniffing the bottles (of the 20 or so fragrances I bought) and it suddenly started to catch my attention. I started wearing it. It was my signature scent in 2012 and the first fragrance I actually reordered. Crazy!


    It might take some time until you start liking your Encre Noire. But anyway, that might just not happen because people just have different tastes and that`s how it goes. I could never pull off The Dreamer, for instance. It`s just so overhyped here and for me it`s simply AWFUL, strong, impossible.

    Bon courage!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I love the way it smells, and I'm not one who typically enjoys 'stinkers.'


    For some reason I really like wearing it to bed. But I'll wear it out too.

    Early on in my hobby I remember thinking it stunk, but I quickly acquired a taste for it. It doesn't smell unusual to me at all anymore.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    I love the way it smells, and I'm not one who typically enjoys 'stinkers.'


    For some reason I really like wearing it to bed. But I'll wear it out too.

    Early on in my hobby I remember thinking it stunk, but I quickly acquired a taste for it. It doesn't smell unusual to me at all anymore.
    I agree that "stinker" is for a scent like Kouros (and anyone with a bottle of Kouros he doesn't want can PM me about a swap LOL), whereas EN is a scent some of us find too "chemical" or "synthetic."

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I am quite surprised at this comparison between vetivers and rotting stuff. To me vetiver smells quintessentially fresh and natural. Perhaps you are hypersensitive to some material present in some of these perfumes. Encre Noire is full of woody ambery materials (iso e in particular), and while I like it at first, I do find it too synthetic smelling eventually, so I can see your point as being too sharp and synthetic. Sycomore occupies the same territory, but does it much better than the earlier EN, and smells vastly more natural and pleasant.

    cacio

  13. #13

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I am quite surprised at this comparison between vetivers and rotting stuff. To me vetiver smells quintessentially fresh and natural...

    cacio
    Our cultural background influences a lot! Lavender, for example, it typically associated with masculine fragrances out there whereas in Brazil, where I live, it's associated with a woman's fragrance.

    I can tell you that vetiver is not a "fresh" smell to an average brazilian nose! (DanielPlainview?)

    Other terms like "old lady", "christmasy" and "soapy" are also rather subjective if that cultural background is taken into account.

    BTW, I still haven't smelled Sycomore and I believe I'm going to love it!
    Last edited by Duver; 10th April 2013 at 04:44 AM.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Interesting. I can see how associations change from country to country.

    But I still wonder about vetiver. If you get the chance, you should try Vetiver Extraordinaire. That's the freshest, zingiest vetiver around. If that still smells rotten, I am really confused ...

    cacio

  15. #15

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Wow, now that is a decided opinion! I am one of those people who like Encre Noire.

    Maybe it's the Iso E Super?
    Last edited by Primrose; 10th April 2013 at 08:07 AM.
    "...her fragrance all in my keeping; softly she comes in the night." Lyrics, Gordon Lightfoot, "Softly."

  16. #16
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Quote Originally Posted by timdoeswell View Post
    To compare Encre Noire and Beavis & Butthead Do America to Titanic is just appalling. Titanic sucks!!!

    I know that some people do not like the dry, stark aroma. I once was in a training seminar with a girl who mentioned that something smells like 'headlice treatment'. I draw a distinction between 'synthetic' and 'chemical' - EN may smell synthetic, but to me it doesn't smell chemical.
    Granted, this woman could not use boolean operators to save her life, and also mentioned her fondness for the tv program Two and a Half Men, so her opinion was dismissed almost immediately.

    I don't see EN in the same vein of fragrance as Kouros and DEFINITELY not SM. EN is not a "let's see how obnoxious I can be", nor is it akin to breaking wind in a tuxedo.
    I find it to be really rather wearable, and the vast majority of people that smell it really like it. I believe the very best time to wear it is in casual clothes on a rather chilly autumn day, and I sooner reach for the smoother and less dry Sycomore on days where I'll be in meetings, but I do occasionally* wear EN in the office and I think it's entirely appropriate.

    I, too, dislike the approach of prioritising the artistry of a fragrance at the expense of wearability, and my digs at Andy Tauer are numerous and constant. I do not, however, view EN as avant-garde or wildly experimental, and I must express surprise that you consider Dirty English an overtly masculine fragrance.

    I think EN is a very nice fragrance that smells different to most other fragrances out there, but it's no Secretions Magnifique.

    *With a rotation of over 150 fragrances I don't wear many fragrances more than a few times a year anyway.
    Tim,

    nice post. That first paragraph is gold. Two + a half men. LOL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Didn't you have the same kind of over-the-top outlandish commentary about Terre d'Hermes? If that is how you feel so be it, but I love the stuff (both of them).
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) Polo vintage (Ralph Lauren) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  18. #18

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I really cannot understand such opinions.

    Its one thing not to like it but its another to write paragraph after paragraph bad mouthing a perfume.

    Especially because you are very wrong in your opinion.

    Given the stats (price, brand not being an actual perfumery, availability) it is an excellent perfume and an accolade among designer perfumes.

    When I don't like something, I try to learn why and then in the end I simply say I disliked it for so and so reason. I don't condescend it and the people who enjoy it.
    for swap/sale:



  19. #19

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Sounds like you just don't like vetiver. Just stick to the aquatics, let the big boys rock the vetiver
    My Ultimate Top 5:

    Fahrenheit (1988)
    Hugo (1995)
    Burberry London (2006)
    Eau des Baux (2006)
    Arpege pour Homme (2005)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    EN is great. Masculine and very unique between designer scents. My girlfriend, mother and father also love it.
    Currently wearing: Reflection Man by Amouage

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    EN is absolutely awesome, and nowhere near the Secretions Magnifique category of scents. On the contrary, it smells incredibly fresh, clean, almost clinical in its cleanliness. It smells like freshly pressed linens, or a just-starched dress shirt with a bit of starch spray still in the air. Yes, it is extremely dry, bone dry, with zero flowery/sweet/sugary things that most other fragrances are based on. Perhaps that's why it's not working for you, as you are expecting something different. Do you like vetivers at all? Have you tried Chanel Sycomore by any chance? It's the closest thing you can get to Encre Noir, with a touch of burnt leaves added to the mix, but underneath that it's pretty much dry vetiver - just like ER. Sycomore is praised for its scent and quality (rightfully so), and I definitely keep Encre Noir in the very same category, in the same playing field. If you don't like ER because it's too dry for you, it may just be that dry vetiver and/or dry woodsy scents are not your thing, in which case - simply move on to something else. Don't knock ER just because it doesn't work for you. It's not a nasty scent made to make people gag by any means, it is quite the opposite - for those who love dry woods and vetiver - it's very very close to the holy grail, and it smells A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

  22. #22
    Dependent Darjeeling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarquisdeSod View Post
    an olfactory dare to those around you "I dare you to tell me I reek!" Wearing Encre Noire is like being in a wedding party and farting in your tuxedo, oh the gaucheness, the cheek, how jejune! It's not a mature fragrance, it's a "pull my finger" fragrance for those out to passive aggressively assault others around them.

    Longevity? It's a beast, mercilessly clinging to you like an infernal leech sucking away your resolve to go on, you wanting only to run home and shower repeatedly.

    Suffice it to say I hated everything about this fragrance, top, mid, base. Its eau de rotting wood and mulch.

    I'm as big a fan of grit and balls masculinity in my fragrance as the next guy, I love Gucci pour Homme I, Dirty English, and Bang, but Encre Noire isn't manly, it's just just rank.

    I realize Encre Noire is widely acclaimed, but so was Beavis and Butthead do America and Titanic; to quote Kierkegaard "the crowd is untruth" this stuff is totally unwearable. Even those who give it kudos either confess they don't wear it often or call it a "suit and tie" fragrance (I.e. I might wear it once a year, but will probably reach for the Guerlain when the time really comes).
    Never smelled the scent, but LOL.

    Like many scents, I may not ultimately want to wear this post myself, but I can appreciated the skill and artistry that has gone into its composition. I still want to try it, and I'm pretty sure it's a scent that I'll like.
    Currently wearing: Black by Bulgari

  23. #23

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Riley: I actually don't mind Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver and Occitane's Vetyver is a nice Cyprus Vetyver I find quite wearable.im not anti-vetiver, I'm anti- filthy filthy chemical spill vetiver a la Encre Noire. I mean if I had a choice I wouldn't reach for a Vetiver as my staple fragrance, but I don't find them objectionable per se.

  24. #24

    Default

    Finally someone that hates EN as much as me. Overpowering obnoxious Vetiver Unrelenting.

    It's the kind of crap that you can almost taste.

  25. #25
    Basenotes Junkie FullCollapse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I love the stuff! I wear it all the time and get complimented every time I do. I cant detect any rotting smell at all. Very fresh and snappy IMO. Guess that leaves more EN for the rest of us.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Hating Vetiver on Basenotes is blasphemy lol.
    I think Encre Noir is wonderful, I have 2 bottles of it, I prefer it to sycomore now. Its complex yet and simple at the same time.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarquisdeSod View Post
    Riley: I actually don't mind Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver and Occitane's Vetyver is a nice Cyprus Vetyver I find quite wearable.im not anti-vetiver, I'm anti- filthy filthy chemical spill vetiver a la Encre Noire. I mean if I had a choice I wouldn't reach for a Vetiver as my staple fragrance, but I don't find them objectionable per se.
    IMO you dont like raw vetiver note.

    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver shouldnt not even have vetiver in its name. Vetiver there is so light.
    And L Occitane has prominent spicy and sweet notes that makes it very different. I personaly like this one too.
    Currently wearing: Reflection Man by Amouage

  28. #28
    SillageMonger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    Encre Noire is a fragrance that I enjoy and am happy to own. It's masculine and unique. Decent juice!
    Currently wearing: Bijan for Men by Bijan

  29. #29

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    What's crazy, IMO, is how regulations prevent scents being made the way they had been for decades, but EN is fine with them, despite the clear physical symptoms that occurred when I wore it. One day it will likely be regulated into oblivion too but at least in this case I will agree with IFRA or whatever agency does it. LOL.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Encre Noire: Eau Hell No!

    I love many vetivers but also found Encre Noire to be too synthetic/unnatural/chemical-smelling - though I did enjoy it for the first half hour.
    For swap/sale: Fougère Royale, AdP Colonia Club, Tauer Lonesome Rider, MDCI Cuir Garamante, vintage Tiffany for Men, Floris Mahon Leather, Creed Spice & Wood, Roja Dove Amber Aoud Crystal, 1 Million Intense, Montale Cuir D'Arabie, Bentley Intense, Prada Amber PH Intense, Prada Amber PH metal travel spray, Loewe PH, M7 gel, Roma (women's), Obsession, others.
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