On The Way To Inky Vetiver: Encre Noire Masterpieces
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A question that JFP26 asked me, a user of this community, was the inspiration, and so I wrote this article about Lalique Encre Noire perfumes. And I am grateful to him for that.
First things first, they use vetiver plants in naturalistic engineering. It is, in fact, able to counteract soil erosion with its roots by carrying out a practical preventive action against hydrogeological instability. They bundled the plant’s roots, joining them in a series of thin but resistant and homogeneous filaments that can penetrate any soil, reaching a depth of up to five meters. Unlike many other species in botany, the roots of vetiver do not grow horizontally but vertically. By planting a series of plants side by side, their roots come together. They harness the ground by creating a barrier. A series of parallel rows of vetiver planted on a slope increases its resistance capacity. Furthermore, it is used to purify water and promote its decontamination of heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and chemicals. The vetiver plant survives all temperatures and cleans the soil of pollution.
Its essential oils serve the perfume industry. But vetiver is not just a fresh and seductive perfume: it gives relaxation and contributes to the psychophysical well-being of the person. Let’s find out together the primary uses in cosmetics and aromatherapy. When you hear about vetiver, I know, it immediately makes you close your eyes and take a deep breath. Only the term is evocative of that sweet, intense, and fresh redolence. Also known as the “oil of tranquility,” vetiver is a cure-all for the mind and the body: it helps to instill calm, seems helpful in reducing stress and tension, promotes concentration, and can contribute to the psychophysical well-being of the person. It also boasts soothing, protective, and toning properties. Especially on hot days, it is a natural cooler for hot skin. They extract essential oil from the dried and crushed roots of the vetiver plant. Its bittersweet notes, with a woody and spicy scent, make it the king of perfumery for men.
After this digression on the nature of vetiver, I would like to tell you my feelings about the trilogy of Lalique’s Encre Noire perfumes dedicated to vetiver. Starting in 2006, Lalique committed Madam Nathalie Lorson of creating three men’s fragrances inspired by the note of vetiver: Encre Noire Eau de Toilette, Encre Noire Sport, and Encre Noire à L'Extrême. As the name suggests, the master perfumer carefully blended the vetiver used in these creations with other accords to take on an aroma similar to black ink. I must admit that the similarity is phenomenal.
The opening is fumy, resinous, with dominant cypress wood. Kind of pleasant fresh, woody, almost lemony grassy alcoholic start that disappears quickly. When it turns off, it gets earthy and smoky, stronger on a blend of Bourbon and Haitian vetiver vibe in the fore. The similitude of black ink is unavoidable, and the name is spot on. Ultimately, the dry-down remains smoky with a creamy cashmeran and a musky laundry touch. It is intense on earthy, woody, spicy, and smoky accords with green and resinous nuances. Fall and winter days, evenings, and nights are the best times for wearing it.
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Encre Noire Sport
The Sport unfurls with citrus and floral accords. I love the mix of blue lavender and bitter grapefruit with piney cypress undertones. The heart still features the dryad of vetivers but blended with spicy nutmeg and an aquatic touch that keeps the vetiver clean and grassy. As it turns off, a clean musk mixed with a creamy cashmeran wraps the skin. Briefly, Sport is fresh, woody, earthy, green, and citrus. Good on warm days, for leisure and sports time.
Encre Noire à L’Extrême
L’Extrême unveils with the same dominant cypress wood note as the original, this time paired with sticky elemi resin. Smoky and powdery accords raise from the heart; it is tough on incense and orris. When it turns off, it gets sandy and balmy with earthy vetiver lingering in the back. Ultimately, L’Extrême turns a bit dirty with resinous shades. Shortly, it is smoky, woody, earthy, sticky, and spicy, suitable for colder evening and night contests. A L’Extrême e is the most refined, captivating version.
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To an untrained nose, they might smell the same, incredibly the original and L’Extrême. They project dark ink, smoke, and woods of contemporary wenge furniture, of exceptional quality. I smell materials like paper, paint, wood, charcoal, and ink, and it somehow has an organic smell.
I’ve got them all because I am a fraghead obsessed collector. As an ordinary wearer, you don’t need to have all at the same time. That said, I always get tons of compliments when I rock them. They have a great sillage; you seem it is gone but people can smell it. All the Encre Noire pieces have an artistic niche character and are not an easy one. I like the minimal, well-designed heavy bottle with the black wooden cap and thick black glass.