this one likes being a tease...
Black Vetyver Café is another star of this line although it rarely gets the praises it deserves. It has a somewhat harsh opening, reminds me of hairspray, but this lasts only for very little and is followed by a brief burst of vetiver. Very quickly the coffee notes enters the scene and this is the best coffee note I have come across in a fragrance. This is pure, plain coffee: no cappuccino, no frappuccino, no milk, no cream, no sugar added. Coffee notes very often seem to take a turn to the gourmand ending up smelling like those cheap flavoured coffee blends, a nondescript combination of coffee-chocolate-caramel-hazelnut concoction, straight out of the labs of food flavouring companies. This one however is surprisingly dry, dirty and herbal. It reminds me a lot of Greek/Turkish coffee, which is lightly roasted, preserving the herbal qualities of the bean. Coffee in this form reminds me of a light immortelle note. Throughout the development coffee is supported by the light green vetiver note and perhaps a little citrous, but it always stays the centre of attention. Many of the fans of BVC complain about its longevity. I have a different experience with this. On me it soon develops into a skin scent with incredible longevity. Just as I start forgetting I wear it I get a cloud of the rustic coffee note surrounding me again. I do not get a great deal of notes combining for this. Although Fragrantica lists vanilla in the blend I cannot detect a hint of it or of any other sweet smelling ingredient. I love BVC because it is dry, herbal and rustic and it becomes one with the skin. Sometimes it smells like I have spilled coffee on me and forgot to wash it off, which I find very charming and daring. Fortunately it has the right amount of vetiver to keep others from detecting it as such. I like the quiet storm feel, close to the skin quality, big longevity (at least on my skin) combination. I would have loved an eau de parfum version of this though. One of the best and most original of the line.
Notes from my nose: hairspary, vetiver, coffee, grapefruit, woods