and she was: Puredistance Black

ramones Schott jacket

It’s been at least a year since I wrote a perfume review; it seems like the more time passes, the faster it goes. Weeks turn into months, months into years… and my raptures go unwritten.

At some point I put down my keyboard to let others, better and more enthusiastic, tell the tales that so frequently inspire us to empty our wallets on un-sniffed scores of every vintage; no corner of the earth too far to search for that flawless bottle of pre-reformulation Vol de Nuit… but every so often, I feel I owe it to the fragrance to add my scribbling to the fray.

As a fragrance house, Puredistance is about as boutique/exclusive as it gets. Yes, there are more expensive perfumes out there; but not many. When Antonia (the green) was released, I swooned, and was graciously gifted with a crystal column for said swoon (here). While each fragrance in the line is a study in sophistication and elegance, Black is closest to my heart (and perhaps the state of my soul?).

I know who created it, and when. And I can give a pretty accurate guess of what’s in it (read kafkaesque blog for a thorough what’s what)… but that’s kinda not the point. What you want to know is, what’s it like to wear Black?

It’s rich, woody, and warm; an amalgamation of all of my favorite things.  It’s rotary engines and fast foreign cars,  a custom Schott jacket. Candelabra, and smashing the crystal after downing the bourbon inside. It’s luxurious, yes– but not afraid to kick down doors. The ingredients are top-notch, nobody skimped anywhere. But it’s about as ‘special occasion’ as that perfectly fitted leather moto mentioned above; it clings to the wearer with abandon. A familiar spirit, a rockstar fragrance that would, if it could, wear Frye’s and not Choo’s; because with the right attitude you can go anywhere in anything.

It’s the most sophisticated, yet utterly wearable fragrance I know. It’s absurdly expensive, so I ought to treasure my scant supply… instead, I keep it zipped in the pocket of my own leather jacket (which perpetually smells of Black), where it belongs. Most sensible people will protest spending $200 on 17mL for a fragrance that is so wearable; a cursory review of Fragrantica’s entry for Black will confirm. True, it’s not that different from several very good woody amber’s… but it’s these subtle differences (extrait concentration of highest quality oils) that make Black so extraordinary.

Black is what you wear when you can afford to wear whatever you want, but don’t need anyone to know what you’re wearing. For the rogues who cut the labels out of their designer clothes, this one’s for you.