The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Puredistance Black

PuredistanceBlackWHAT I SMELL:  Black opens with a sweet and deep incense and smoky accord.  I want to say there’s some bergamot and what seems to be a bit of floraled honey mixed with the smokiness.  That initial smokiness breaks away somewhat to reveal this almost butter like creamy light almond.  But as soon as I notice that, the incense starts to waft up from the bottom again, this time with what seems to be a bit of sueded leather.  There’s a bit of sour that makes an appearance that doesn’t detract, but like the smoke and incense, seems to pop in and out.  After around 15 minutes it seems like there is a bit of peppered metallic that makes an appearance.  Again, it comes and goes like all of the other notes which seem to intermix seamlessly without one note dominating.  In the end you’re left with a very light, close to the skin, smooth and elegant slightly woody incensed perfume.

From the Puredistance Black release materials:


Puredistance Black is an understated elegant and mysteriously charming perfume inspired by the concept of BLACK; a concept that for centuries has been associated  with secrets, mystery and style.

Puredistance BLACK is created in Paris by the famous French Perfumer Antoine Lie  based on a concept of Puredistance founder Jan Ewoud Vos. The essence of  the concept was to create a perfume that is close to the wearer and releases sensual and elegant scent layers in a whispering way – without shouting.  A mysterious fragrance that stays in the shadow, giving away – only every now  and then – part of its delicate nature.

Antoine loved the concept and created a sophisticated perfume full of charm with the same elegant personality as the timeless classic Puredistance I, but then more masculine and oriental.

And as a consequence of the concept of BLACK (that treasures the beauty of the unknown) we will not reveal the ingredients of Puredistance BLACK…. Envision, Smell, Feel. Don’t analyse.



WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A man of many secrets.  What I mean is that there is a mysteriousness that surrounds Black.  It’s very subtle and holds very close to the skin.  It leans masculine and it doesn’t reveal itself until you are close at hand…you might catch a whiff of the fragrance from a slight distance, but you wonder where this deep and dark fragrance originates from.  Then you realize, It originates from the man of many secrets.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLACK:  quality, enigmatic, smooth


BOTTOM LINE:  Once again Puredistance has created a fragrance that is of the utmost quality and elegance.  The one thing about Black that I was not expecting though is how subtle it is and how much it wears close to the skin especially for a parfum concentration.  But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because Puredistance is not the house that creates perfumes that shout…”look at me,” and that’s a good thing!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Nose:   Antoine Lie
  • Classification:  Leans masculine
  • Expense:  Black is a pure perfume (25% perfume oil) and will be available in November 2013. The EU retail price will be 165 euro for 17.5 ml, 275 euro for 60 ml. and 490 euro for the 100 ml. flacon.

Disclosure:  Product for review provided courtesy of Puredistance.


Black by Comme des Garcons Play Series

I love spicy and peppery food.  I practically put Tabasco sauce on everything that I eat.  And like perfume, I would have a hard time living without it.  As much as I like spice and pepper, I don’t want to smell peppery!  As a pepper scent, Black isn’t all that bad, it’s just not my thing so I’ll try to do it justice without being too prejudiced.

WHAT I SMELL: Black goes on cool to the touch almost sweet in a fashion.  That quickly fades and a smoky incense comes to the surface.  I’m not really smelling the pepper at this point, instead it’s almost a woody incense that swirls and curls like smoke.  Eventually, the pepper comes to the surface and it’s sharp.  The incense that seemed so smoky still is there, but the punctuated sharpness of the pepper gives it all a bite.  But like the incense, the pepper seems to be a bit subdued as well.  It’s like you are waiting for the ingredients to jump out in a blast, but as each note appears it manages to contain itself without being too loud.

Black Notes:  black pepper, pepperwood, red pepper, violet, thyme, black tea, birch tar, incense, tree moss

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Dried wood boxes that have been sitting in a smokehouse storage basement, but not as they just came out of a building, but rather if had been sitting outside for a month or so to smooth out the sharper edge of the remaining smoky smell.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLACK: Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, CaFleureBon

BOTTOM LINE: This is an interesting scent and I find that its well done if you like your scents to feel more modern and remote.  For me, it’s great for sampling but not for wearing.  Black is one of a trio of scents in the Play Series.  The other two scents are Green and Red which you can read more about in the above cited links.  I do like the playful bottle though!

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Classification: Leans Masculine
  • Nose: Antoine Maisondieu
  • Expense: Approximately $100 for 100ml EdT