I blind bought Encre Noire and EN Sport, not knowing what the combo of inky and rooty Bourbon and Haiti vetiver roots smell like. While EN is so damn harsh like the pure raw extract of the bitter vetiver root, EN Sport is similar to a black forest. If you think Encre Noire is such a good stuff, yet too heavy, gothic, gloomy and unwholesome for wearing during warm and hot summer days, then EN Sport is bold on its own and it's the right answer to your hopes. Please, stop me if you think you've heard this one before. Oh man, Mrs. Nathalie Lorson did it again, she magically stripped the mysterious black ink from all its darker edges and draped it with more fresh and bright tones driven by the codes of Sport.
To begin with, Sport is a real flanker of Encre Noire. The black inky and rooty vetiver D.N.A. is still there, luckily, which makes this scent recognizable since the very first sniff, even if you keep your eyes closed, yet it's tamer and much easier to wear than the original. The squared bottle and the wooden cap are pretty the same, yet the juice is dark green like an emerald and visible through the transparent glass. Sport opens up with a burst of energizing citrus fruits such as drops of sour grapefruit and powdery bergamot respectively, boosted by a rousing wind of cypress and subtly aromatic lavender. EN Sport opens up to sunlight, it is so damn easy and bright, not too zesty, with the vetiver roots beating and kicking for taking the foreground position.
Then comes the heart, which reveals an original aquatic accord splashed with spicy-sweet nutmeg. The heart breathes freshness and introduces two varieties of vetiver: the mild, grassy, and leathery Vetiver Bourbon and the mysterious, heavy, vividly smoky Vetiver Haiti. The top citrus and hearth aquatic elements are most notable in the first hour, and while the aquatic aspect hangs around a bit longer than the citrus, this ultimately dries down to just a lighter version of Encre Noire. To my nose, the ozonic/watery accord is not too overpowering, in general, I like it, though it can get annoying and feel very synthetic when there's too much of it, for instance in Bvlgari Aqva Marine.
In the base notes, musk and Cashmere wood seal the olfactive imprint of Encre Noire Sport. The warm woody base notes wrap and balance the top and middle and impart a clean, grounded energy, while the vetiver roots keep on going in the background.
Still, Encre Noire Sport's not bad at all, and there are times when I really enjoy it. For those who love Encre Noire, this is a plausible alternative during those hot summer months when the original seems too heavy to wear outside. It is a nice take on the original Encre Noire, retaining the earthy and smoky character but in a lighter version. It's a compliment getter, women seem to really like it. Ideal for the modern man, not for teenagers.the vetiver is dominating but clean and inoffensive. Performance is very good, on my skin with eight sprays I got more than 8 hours of longevity, with moderate projection and sillage. Not for everyone, but fragrance collectors and niche lovers will love it.