Sometimes I just don't get it. Did the world really need another citrus cologne with a light wood base? Not to mention that Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire is an exclusive high priced luxury line. Is there a room there for a basic cologne? Some might argue that the Mark Buxton-composed Cologne Noire is just as unique as Frederic Malle Cologne Brigarde, and I'm not going to argue with that. I'm not a huge fan of that one either.
I will admit that Cologne Noire is very well done. I like the subtle way the spices are introduced into what is mostly a tall glass of orange juice. I wouldn't call this fragrance spicy-- it simply has a touch of spice in there. The sparkling orange cologne slowly gives way to a pale wood dry-down. It's surprisingly long-lasting, with an incredibly pleasant softness on skin level. I guess Cologne Noire can make a nice office scent for someone who needs to keep a low fragrance profile. It's elegant and smooth for what it is; but in the end of the day this is a citrus cologne. A $185 per bottle citrus cologne.
Notes: Bergamot, bitter orange, mandarin, ginger, cardamom, pepper, and woody notes.
Van Cleef & Arpels- Cologne Noire ($185, 75ml EDP) is available from Bergdorf Goodman and Luckyscent.