Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lubin- Black Jade

Lubin's Black Jade, a nice modern floriental, gained reputation for all the wrong reasons: First was the over-the-top marketing trying to convince us that Black Jade is an authentic recreation of Marie Antoinette's signature scent. Then came the rude and hostile reaction from someone within the company, left in the comment section of Olfactoria's otherwise positive review.

I first tried Black Jade when Lubin first launched it at Henri Bendel and really really enjoyed it. I mean, what's not to like? The fragrance is a sophisticated blend of flowers and spices that belongs next to some of my favorite florientals. It's just sweet enough without losing elegance, very feminine, somewhat rosy and delightfully ambery. It's also quite modern. Florientals of yore (and by that I mean the 1980s and early 90s) had a nice plushy thickness that's missing from Black Jade. The flower notes are light-hearted but not too literal. It's more an abstract garden than a still life bouquet. I can't say I smell the promised galbanum, but there is a green thread that runs through the fragrance's opening, so I guess that's as close as we'll get.

A review of Lubin's Black Jade can be found on Another Perfume Blog. Also, Elena from Perfume Shrine reminds us about other Marie Antoinette-related fragrances.

Notes: galbanum, bergamot, cardamom, rose, jasmine, incense, cinnamon, Indian sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean, amber.

Black Jade by Lubin ($130, 50ml) is available from MiN NY, Henri Bendel, Aedes and Luckyscent.

Image: Paper Wigs by Nikki Salk and Amy Flurry via Trendlend.


  1. I have grown tired of seeing 'historical' references in perfumes or attempts at (unsuccessfully and dishonestly) reviving old perfumes and perfume houses lately and Marie Antoinette's name had been particularly overused as a cultural reference. I admit I didn't know about the blogosphere issue, but even so Black Jade seemed to me too little to carry off this type of advertising. It didn't last long on me and it wasn't special enough given the publicity and price. Pleasant, yes, but not special enough. It's a perfume with a tag, but without a soul, a life of its own.

    I wish they had spent more time in creating the perfume instead of creating a myth to surround the perfume. I want the perfume to tell me its stories when I smell it, not when I read the PR kerfuffle.

  2. Gaia, thank you for including the link to Olfactoria's review and the comment it elicited. I disagree with you that the comment was rude. It reads like an impassioned response to what was a rather snarky, dismissive opinion piece about what Lubin was trying to do with Black Jade. And you have to give the commenter this-- it takes a blogger relatively little time to write a review, compared with the effort of creating a product and bringing it to market. I enjoy reading blogs, although the snark can be tiresome. I think Olfactoria could have been a little more gracious about the correction. The upshot for me is that I am absolutely going to seek out Black Jade to try some this weekend. Whoever wrote that comment showed a lot of integrity.

    1. Agree 100%. Those who complain about marketing really need to evaluate their own lack of identity and life purpose.

  3. I missed the dust-up in Olfactoria's blog; thanks for linking to it. I got a sample of Black Jade that I had promised to write about on the Posse but never did and I can't remember why..

    As for the comments from the owner, hissy fits are never attractive. A factual correction is of course warranted, but when you're putting your marketing hype out there you could expect some critical response. I've liked several Lubin scents but find the copy behind them to be, well, purple. So much that they don't do justice to the scents.

    It took years and the labors of hundreds for Chris Bangle to design and have produced his BMW cars, It's almost universally held they were the worst looking BMWs in history. Time and effort means nothing if the product is bad; ask any housewife who has burned a roast.

    Oh, and sorry, the caps do look cheap in person.

  4. True Tom, hissy fits are never attractive. There is a difference between a well-warranted smack-down and a hissy fit, though. I read and enjoy your work on PST and the Posse; I love the Non-Blonde and enjoy reading Olfactoria occasionally. You all influence my fragrance purchasing and provide a lot of fun and sometimes stimulating reading. But I'm going to stick to my guns-- the Lubin response does not strike me as rude or out of line with the nature of Olfactoria's comments. I think she got a little carried away with her critique of the advertising story. And if you look at the Lubin website, there is nothing wrong or offensive about what they write. I am interested in history, particularly the history of perfumery, and expect that the Lubin connection to the royal court is well documented. It appears they did try to come up with a contextual fragrance, and to make a cultural statement-- now that might or might not be of interest to a lot of people, but it is to me. I am not necessarily a sucker for all marketing, but I enjoy reading old perfume and cosmetic recipes, and am interested in the modern translations. I have a bottle of perfume which supposedly came from an old De Medici recipe, and I enjoy it. It smells completely old-fashioned and medicinal., which is about what you can expect for a recipe that pre-dates the invention of aroma chemicals by several hundred years. I am interested in checking out what Lubin accomplished, and even more so after reading the comment to Olfactoria's blog. She writes a good blog for the most part, but she didn't get the best of that particular exchange, in my opinion. Of course, it probably helps that I happen to agree with some of what the commenter said-- there are some bloggers out there who write just mean-spirited stuff about perfumes I like, and complain about reformulations--for perfumes which I know for a fact smell exactly the way they ever did! Anyway-- take care Tom. I'm going to try to get to Luckyscent this afternoon to smell that Black Jade!! If your back is better, maybe I will see you there!

  5. All advertising tells a story. We all identify with different things- wouldn't life be boring otherwise. Our opinions are simply that- opinions. Trying to tell someone who has put time, money, blood, sweat & tears into a project that you think their story is full of BS is fine. Just don't be surprised if they respond. They have a vested interest, after all. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

    1. Made my way to Luckyscent. I love that place. And Black Jade is a beauty. Beautiful fragrance, gorgeous bottle presentation in silk covered box. Love it!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget