Olfactive Studio was one of the most visible brands at the Elements Showcase in NY last August. Visible because among many great smelling products, Olfactive Studio also had a strong visual accompanying the four perfumes in the line. Each fragrance is the result of a collaboration between a perfumer and a photographer and is meant to evoke an emotion and tell a story. Chambre Noire was created by perfumer Dorothee Piot (from Robertet); the photograph (above) is by Clemence Rene-Bazin.
The dark room of this perfume story looks like a hotel room. You sit on the unfamiliar bed and watch the sun set over the city, the day turning into night, the city lights calling to you-- it's invigorating, exhilarating, but there's also something intimidating about leaving the safety cocoon of the dark room and stepping out into the unknown. The olfactive part of this Olfactive Studio opens up with a very lively and peppy pink pepper note. It almost jumps at you with enthusiasm and makes you wear a party dress and go go go.
The more introverted part of Chambre Noire is the smooth wood core that starts almost fresh and green but mellows down into incense and soft leather. It smells very modern and I imagine the dark hotel room to have that anonymous mid-century modern vibe of an urban hotel. It's also easy to wear and doesn't burden you with real or imaginary baggage and luggage. You don't need to over-think it as you stand there looking at the river and the city planning your next adventure.
Chambre Noire has decent but polite sillage and longevity of about 6 hours. It leaves a somewhat generic musk hint on scarves and jackets that feels very clean. I'd say this fragrance has absolutely no gender. To me it reads a bit masculine, but a man with a skin chemistry that amplifies violet and/or jasmine (the wood swallows them on my skin) might actually find it too feminine.
Notes: pink peppercorn, jasmine, papyrus, violet, prune, incense, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, vanilla, leather.
Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire ($145, 1.7oz EDP) is available from olfactivestudio.com. There's an $8 sample set of all four fragrances.