Lalique Encre Noire pour Elle, 2006

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encre noire pour elle

Perfumer Christine Nagel

Encre Noire pour Elle plays with the low expectation of floral prettiness, giving you more bleach and backbone than cute smiles. If I were to give it a Sanchez/Turin-style two-word fly-by, it would be moonshine detergent.

Categorically it’s a musky, woody floral—an enormous field. In spite of the common pedigree, though, it’s clever.  As for notes,  the flower is metallic. The wood is cedar, and I suppose is a nod to the cedar-like vetiver of the original Encre Noire, but I don’t in fact smell vetiver. The musk is bright, harsh and utterly desiccates the florals. When magnified by the musk, the flowers become a floral eau de vie, with a double-distilled, blanched feel.

A few points.

  1. Unlike the original, Encre Noire pour Elle does smell like ink.
  2. Noire? This is so bright I see spots.
  3. The dilemma of the Gender Flanker. Adding “pour Elle” to a perfume the same way one would add “noire” “fraiche,” or “sport” makes it a flanker. By extension, a woman is presented as a flanker to the universal-since-unnamed man.

This boy/girl thing is interesting if there is a twist—imagine the Rochas flanker ‘Femme pour Lui’ or ‘Brut for M/F Transgender’. Better still, imagine the world where Mugler’s Angel had been released as a masculine.


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