Chambre Noire has a sweet, slightly boozy, amber-filled opening that quickly gives way to a sparkling violet/leather. A patchouli sits underneath along with a cool camphorous note that smells a little like lavender or maybe just mint.
A transparent, pink pepper-laden incense ties the fragrance together, whilst the leather turns plastic-y (and pretty nauseating). Quickly Chambre Noire goes from interesting to gross.
A woody note comes in which instead of being the smooth sandalwood it seems to be trying to represent just grates on me. The transparency I mentioned earlier becomes more apparent as a synthetic layer quickly blobs over the entire composition. All the notes suddenly become engulfed in a slightly “fresher” aromachemical - the woody/pepper combo beginning to smell like a generic men’s designer fragrance. The leather isn’t at all plush or rich, it isn’t a photo-realistic leather or a floral-suede, it’s a slightly bitter stain that doesn’t have the power and bravery of fragrances like Rien, and instead is more of a plastic.
The patchouli isn’t rich, heady and hippy-ish, neither is it plump and earthy, it is instead something so withered and lacking life that I stare at my hand blankly watching it pulverize into a sad dust. What is left on the skin after the patchouli’s soul disappears (20 minutes?) is a subtle, peppered incense, the faintest touch of violet/leather and a single bean from a grim vanilla pod – something I could smell in full glory in Von Eusersdorff’s Classic Myrrh to name one or even Armani Prive’s Cuir Amethyste. Here though… well, I think I’ve said enough
Chambre Noire 100ml EDP Olfactive Studio – 125 Euros www.olfactivestudio.com