Here it is, I received it today from Amazon, as a blind purchase based on notes, reviews and my passion for other Dunhills. The package is intact; the box has a modern yellow and white splash Union Jack style printed on a black background, much like London. I open it, a heavy bottle with a metal cap comes out, and to my surprise something is wrong: the juice inside has a nice green colour between cobalt and emerald. Yet I thought I saw a grey liquid in other photos and videos. The picture here on the site confirms my amazement. I smell the perfume; it is shocking, particular, unique, and above all good, it has no rotten or stale undertones. I check the bottom of the box better, and I discover that P&G Prestige Beauté produced this lot, the code 0821 is very recent—Production date 07-10-2020. So, the cologne is safe, and once again, Alfred Dunhill surprises me with this variation on the theme.
Where to start, I don’t understand rates so low in every respect. The bottle is linear, minimal, massive, with particular carvings on the bottom, and a beautiful heavy metal cap seals perfectly and does not come off when you lift the bottle. For me, it deserves at least an 8/10 or higher. And the same goes for the perfume; for me, it is innovative, disruptive and charming on the nose. Maybe it’s not unique, but still nothing boring or annoying. Dunhill Black belongs to the aromatic and leathery herbaceous family. On the skin, it opens with a tremendous explosion of an inky green accord, something mysterious that I’ve never gotten to feel before in other perfumes. These are the nettle leaves, healthy and quite pronounced, slightly mentholated and musky, which here take the entire initial phase. There is a hint of citrus in the mix, but the green note is dominant. The initial stage is all too vivid, green, with a touch of floral and dewy notes that come from the heart. Nettle is best, and it’s something you don’t come across every day.
The floral notes emerge clearer after half an hour. As the nettle leaf fades, a sweet but subdued blend of jasmine and lavender comes together to add remarkable depth to the heart. These flowers are smooth and smooth, hold more than background notes, while velour acts almost immediately, making it smell like a wild animal, but not horrible. The lavender note, which is not exaggerated or dominant like in other men’s fragrances, but relatively subdued, turns into a gentle, slightly dirty, almost animalic thing. As for the jasmine, I’m afraid I won’t get too much, maybe it’s its transparency that makes it so subtly.
As it relaxes at the bottom, the flowers give way to a gorgeous soft suede with some woody base notes of cedar and guaiac. I get the almost rubbery, woody essence, a little burnt, and immediately afterwards it softens until it turns into a velvety, suede nuance, which detaches considerably from its herbaceous opening. Strangely, I find nothing “black” in this perfume, apart from the very mysterious beginning and this leathery base, however delicate, like suede and not rough, like raw leather; maybe that’s where the name comes from. However, it’s more like a dark, inky green than a black. There is a musky sweetness underneath, though, which I think is because of the mix of suede combined with woody notes and jasmine. Things get a lot softer during dry weather, but it doesn’t last long enough in the end.
Dunhill Black is a pleasant variation of the typical aquatic fragrances, although this is not a purely aquatic fragrance; however nettle, lavender and velour make it darker than the typical marine ones, less cloying, but fresh! As a delicate scent, with a daytime vibe, I find it a wonderful choice for the office or casual occasion, especially outdoor evenings during the summer such as garden parties, birthdays, weddings, social events. Maybe I will go against the tide, but I find it perfect for the cool spring and especially autumn weather. The quality of the fragrance is not questionable, but you have to appreciate that acute note of green nettle that persists for almost the entire life cycle of the cologne, to best appreciate Dunhill Black.
This review bases upon a 100ml. (3.4 fl. oz.) I own since November 2020.