REVIEW | Encre Noire à l’Extrême by Lalique
It was 2006 when Lalique reinvented the most masculine olfactory note with their fragrance enigma Encre Noire – regarded by many as the contemporary “vetiver of reference”. Now in excess of its 10th Anniversary, Lalique challenged its nose, Nathalie Lorson to create a new chapter in the saga, aptly entitled Encre Noire à l’Extrême.
While the addition of ‘A L’Extreme’ to the fragrance name would suggest a much more aggressive offering than the original, if anything this new scent is sweeter and ‘less scary’ in the sense that it has a warmer hue to the nose. While it’s a much more easily accessible fragrance to the commercial fragrance sector, Encre Noire a L’Extreme has it’s toe on the line of commerciality but nothing more. The new fragrance is as complex as the original, but not as moody; it’s almost like having your favourite car repainted and adding a few feature modifications- it’s the same yet different.
The dry down gives a sweet innocence that the original forgoes opting for a much more sombre but equally intense affair.
On the dry down, the Lalique Encre Noire a L’Extreme returns to something much more like the original Encre Noire, now an iconic staple of a man’s fragrance library.
THE FRAGRANCE NOTES
Top: Bergamot, Cypress, Elemi
Heart: Incense, Java & Haiti Vetiver, Iris
Base: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Siam Benzoin
An element that people familiar with the original will instantly pick up is a spicier edge, which greets you on the top note and is replaced width a warm incense residual as time wears on. While the original was by no means a ‘weak’ scent, the new incarnation has be provided in an Eau de Parfum format, adding depth and longevity to the fragrance’s last and further intricacies in the transitions from note-to-note.
Lalique’s “Biche” inkwell (1913), has been reinvented for this new fragrance; half-black and half-transparent unveiling the scent’s rich cognac hue, the bottle is crowned with a black wood cap. Made in a smooth, matte black, it is circled with a hot-stamped strip in a shiny, warm bronze tint.
Such is the prowess of this latest edition, that it is lauded as much as the original, with Encre Noire à l’Extrême winning GOLD for Best New Male Fragrance in the Pure Beauty Awards 2016. Most certainly a fragrance to experience for yourself.