In Black by Spanish fashion designer Jesus Del Pozo was created in 2005 by perfumer Christine Nagel. Swiss-born Nagel is the recent recipient of a prestigious creative perfumery award. The jus, somewhat betraying a mercantile inclination with its pleasing-to-everyone-and-all fragrance family facets, is described as an oriental fruity-floral and woody fragrance.
In Black smells very black. It starts with a burst of black cherry juice mingled with fruity citrus-y notes (grapefruit), green nuances, and spicy undertones. After a while the blend smells like root beer........
The woodsy and oriental facets of the fragrance are marked, even heavy, a little powdery and sweet. Floral notes including rose, jasmine, black lily and violet mix with black licorice creating a medicinal accord. The dry-down is woody, vanillic, musky, and lasting. It is fairly pleasant but a bit pedestrian as the oriental impression is a bit on the generic side.
The composition is interesting however for its systematic adherence to a black-color thematic and thanks also to the off-beat feel it offers. One would even go as far as saying that it offers a bit of a "nerdy" character given the effort put into constructing an unusual bouquet of consistently black-smelling notes which tends to stress the willed character of the fragrance rather than its naturalness.
The quality of the ingredients gives the impression however at times that it does not quite match up the coolness of the composition.
The bottle designed by Juan Gatti is a definite plus on the scale of desirability. The creative mix of black glass, transparent plastic, and aluminium especially, as well as the architectural style of the flacon make it an object you want to exhibit. It garnered the 2006 Spanish FiFi award for Best Selective Women's Packaging.
The perfume would be great for Halloween. It's more generally great for people who want to smell "different" but are not too picky about the refinement of the ingredients.
Let's say that they would give the impression of using cotton mixed with synthetics rather than natural silk, which is not a statement about the superiority of natural ingredients, but rather one about the level of refinement of the perfumery materials used, be they synthetic or natural.
Top notes are black cherry, black pepper, pink grapefruit; heart notes are rose, jasmine, black lily, violet, licorice; base notes are Madagascar vanilla, softwood, Moroccan cedar, indonesian patchouli.
You can watch a video of the commercial for In Black on Ars Parfum
(Images from Ars Parfum)