This month Puredistance has presented its latest extrait de parfum, BLACK.
Created by perfumer Antoine Lie, who is known for his subversive creations with houses such as Etat Libre d’Orange, Comme des Garcons and Nu_Be; Lie has designed a perfume for Puredistance around the concept of mystery, elegance and subtlety. BLACK has been designed to wear close to the skin. By this I mean the diffusivity of the scent throws only a short distance from its wearer. The sensual nature of this style of perfume is that others perceive it only when they enter within an intimate radius of the wearer. Adding to this sensuality, the notes are designed to unravel in layers that whisper softly instead of shouting their presence. Perhaps the most mysterious approach to sharing this new perfume with the world is Puredistance’s decision not to reveal the notes of BLACK. The company’s owner, Jan Ewoud Vos encourages his audience to “envision, smell, and feel. Don’t analyse.”
Without any olfactory roadsigns of a perfume pyramid to guide me through the experience of BLACK, I approached the scent with thoughts of what the word, and concept symbolise to me. As a word, black has many associations. Etymology suggests black is derived from ancient languages that used similar words to communicate “darkness”, or “to burn, scorch and gleam.” Black is connected to ancient words for ink; no doubt because these inks were the result of mixing burnt materials with animal glue and resins. Even today, black is the preferred colour for writing, and although I describe black as a colour, depending on whom you talk to, black is the result of either blending all primary colours together or it is also the result of no colour at all, it is the absence of light. This seemingly contradictory statement is part of the mystery of black. From the Middle Ages, black gained its association with magic, illusion and witchcraft. As new dyes were discovered, black came into fashion, afforded only by royals and aristocracy that could afford garments coloured with these expensive new dyes. In today’s fashion world, black is indispensable, a symbol of timeless chic, from men’s “black tie” to a woman’s “little black dress.” In perfume, black is word that is often used to evoke the mystical nature of scent and how it flirts with our subconscious. Lancome’s Magie Noire uses black to conjure an emotion of spells and dark magic, a potion to capture the hearts of men who fall under its spell. Tom Ford’s perfumes often feature the word “black” or “noir” in their titles, “I love the colour black, it is elegant and luxurious. It is the colour of mystery,” says the American designer. Bvlgari’s interpretation of black harks back to the word’s origin and explores the odour of burning rubber. From the classical perfumes of Caron to the modern Serge Lutens, black is an eternal theme in perfumery.
Puredistance’s approach to this primordial theme is a perfume that dances in shadows. Soft and textural, it feels like perfumed velvet, wrapped around a crystal well of jet black ink. I enjoy BLACK’s dry herbaceous opening, which to my nose is also charged with fiery black pepper. A layer of ripe dark fruit gently unfolds and a cocktail of violet hued ionones carry the nose to the base of the perfume, which is where the soul of BLACK is truly revealed. Woods are blended with patchouli and vetiver; musk and sweet resins lock the scent to skin. Although the beginning the of the fragrance reads dry and cool, BLACK evolves into a warm mix of velvety woods, sweetened with the scent of honey.
The Giveaway – 5 sample vials of BLACK:
As the notes of BLACK remain a mystery, the best way to explore this new perfume by Puredistance is to smell it. Puredistance are offering five What Men Should Smell Like readers the opportunity to do just this. If you would to have the chance to win a 2ml sample vial of BLACK, leave a comment below and I will randomly draw five names. The conditions of entry are:
- You need to follow Puredistance on Facebook or Twitter in order to receive your prize https://www.facebook.com/Puredistance , https://twitter.com/puredistance
- The draw will close on Dec 2 and winners will be announced in the comments of this post on Dec 3, Australian time (I recommend ticking the box “notify me of follow-up comments by email” when you submit your entry by commenting- this way you will be emailed my response on the 3rd with the list of 5 winners)
- When I announce the winners I will also include my email address, which winners can use to contact me with a postal address
- A sample will be sent to each winner from Puredistance directly (please note I am not responsible for non-delivery or lost packages)
- This prize draw is open to readers in all countries
- If you wish to alert friends you think will be interested in this prize draw, please use the hashtags #wmssl #pdblack on Facebook and Twitter
- Good luck!