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Encre Noire by Lalique Men’s Cologne Review: Darkly Sensual

In 2006, Lalique launched its Encre Noire cologne line. Encre Noire was the first of many spinoffs and specialty fragrances.

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It was constructed by Nathalie Lorson, a pioneer in the fragrance world. It’s a dramatic, elegant scent. Its name translates literally to: “black ink” — a dark vetiver with a purely natural magnetism. 

Encre Noire by Lalique Men’s Cologne Review: Darkly Sensual

Packaging and Presentation

Lalique does a great job presenting themselves slightly differently from other perfumers. Encre Noire‘s carton is a black cube with a light woody texture. The fragrance name and brand is taped across each side of the carton.

Out of the carton, it continues to impress. The bottle itself is still a cube, with a large wooden cap. The bottle is jet black, smooth and solid. Even though the bottle itself is quite heavy, the cap is light and easy to remove.

The distribution of the fragrance is great. It applies a large spray across a wide range and length. Although it applies quite a bit when sprayed, it applies well to the skin. It mixes in wonderfully, smooth and undetectable. No irritation or mess. How well it applied, was one of my favorite parts of the fragrance. 

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How does it Smell?

For such an elegant fragrance, there was something jarring at first. The opening burst of Encre Noire, right after applying, can actually be quite harsh. Personally, I recommend you apply only one pump and mix it in with your skin.

Don’t try and test the smell right away, it won’t do the scent justice. After you mix it in, wait a few seconds and get a good waft of the scent. The smell you get should be of pure euphoria. 

Despite its rough opening, Encre Noire is one of the most wonderful smelling woody aromatics on the market. It does wonders as a vetiver smell. It’s relaxed, composed, and dignified. The scent oozes sophistication and masculinity.

If you looked at its minimalist composition, you would wonder where such complexion comes from. It’s top notes of cypress and vetiver mix to create a wonderful aromatic scent. After a little while, the top notes settle and dry out to truly show their composed nature. Finally, the base notes of cashmere wood and musk mix in to develop its unique smell.

The first time I tried the scent, I didn’t actually like it all that much. However, given the time the fragrance needs to truly blossom, I found it becoming one of my favorites in no time. It’s one that just can’t seem to be replaced by any of its peers. Truly a one-of-a-kind woody aromatic.


Encre Noire’s lifespan is influenced by how the fragrance blossoms. As the top notes lose their punch from the beginning, The scent really relaxes and continues its calm nature for the remainder of the time.

After some time of wearing the scent, it can seem like it gets a little weaker, but it is just shifted into its more refined nature. It continues to give off its elegant smell from the background. So it does last for the entire day. It does also, however, become more relaxed over time and fades out very gradually.


The scent itself has developed a distinct aroma for itself. To the wearer, it can occasionally feel invisible, as if the scent comes and goes. For those around you, it is a very identifiable aroma.

Encre Noire is composed as a scent and at times, blends in very carefully with the environment. So it will always keep you smelling wonderful. Those around you, just may not know where that elegant smell is coming from.

When to Wear It

Encre Noire does well in the colder months of the year during fall, winter, and spring. It doesn’t always mix well with hotter temperatures because it blends in so carefully. It is a great scent for both night and day and can work excellent for a number of different occasions.

Even though it’s a distinct scent, it’s also a wonderful smell and a great addition to many stylistic choices. It can work well for casual outings, romantic occasions, professional environments, and other important events. Its strengths are up to the discretion of the user.

Who Should Buy It

Anyone looking to add some elegance to their collection without having to spend hundreds or thousands should really consider this one.

For an everyday fragrance, it can add a lot of class to any wardrobe or any stylistic choice. Anyone that is a fan of vetiver scents will enjoy this one very much. It does well with its cypress top and woody undertones.

Anyone that is looking for a distinct smelling all-in-one scent should start by picking up this one. It’s a perfect, all-in-one unique woody aromatic perfect for almost any occasion.  

Encre Noire by Lalique Men’s Cologne Review: Darkly Sensual

Annie is a self-motivated, ambitious, enthusiastic individual and a self-proclaimed "people person." Her passion for communication and problem-solving is evident in a variety of media. She currently lives with her family in Washington DC.