Product Type: Paco Rabanne fragrances
Newest Review: ... I really wouldn't recommend that you purchase Black xs blind and instead I would get a tester to try before you shell out money for so... more
A rich dark and distinctive men's fragrance
Paco Rabanne Black XS Eau de Toilette
Member Name: jipp05
Paco Rabanne Black XS Eau de Toilette
Advantages: An distinctive and masculine fragrance
Disadvantages: You will either love it or hate it
~~~~~~~~~~ History ~~~~~~~~~~
Black xs is a men's fragrance that was created by Oliver Cresp in 2005 for the Paco Rabbane fashion brand. Black xs was created to appeal to a younger man than the company's original xs which was released way back in 1993.
To help it appeal to a younger generation than the original it was decided to be really bold with both the scent and the bottle and to this end the black xs comes in a black bottle with gothic style writing on it and is a totally different smell to the original being more punchy and distinctive.
~~~~~~~~~~ Black xs gift set ~~~~~~~~~~
I picked up a Black xs gift set on ebay for a fraction of its rrp. The gift set contained a 50 ml eau de toilette and a 100ml shower gel and comes packaged in a glossy black box. The aftershave and the shower gel look great together and the black is really set off against the white interior of the box. It looks expensive and classy and would make a great gift for someone.
~~~~~~~~~~ The eau de toilette ~~~~~~~~~~
The eau de toilette comes in a spray bottle which is reached by way of a flip lid which I find much better than the usual pull off lid that I normally end up losing. I absolutely love the design of the bottle and the bold white gothic style writing that adorns the front of the bottle.
Black xs contains top notes of lemon, sage and tagetes, middle notes of cinnamon and praline and base notes of ebony wood and black amber. These notes all combine to create a fragrance that is completely distinctive and unmistakably masculine.
The fragrance is really heady and it is a real love it or hate it kind of scent. There is absolutely nothing middle of the road about this particular aftershave and within a couple of seconds of spraying it you will know if it is for you or not. For this reason I really wouldn't recommend that you purchase Black xs blind and instead I would get a tester to try before you shell out money for something that you either will or won't love.
I wore Black xs years ago but I had forgot just how unusual it actually was and the first time I tried it again with this gift set it was immediately love at first sniff and I can't remember the original reason I stopped wearing it now.
As soon as you first spray Black xs you are immediately hit with a strong mix of both sweetness and spice with the fruity notes being the more dominant. It is a very sweet fragrance and one that some people might find a bit cloying to begin with. Personally I really love the sweet powerful opening. It does dry down to a less intense sweet smell but it remains at all times something different to the usual clean fresh scents that seem to be dominating men's fragrances.
Something that I appreciate in this aftershave is just how powerful it is. There is almost nothing else in the world that irritates me more than shelling out £40 - £50 on an aftershave that I love only for the smell to disappear within a couple of hours. There is no such fear with this aftershave as both projection and longevity are excellent. It stays on my skin for hours and I can spray it on in the morning and still smell it strongly on myself by evening.
As for who would wear this aftershave that is a tricky one. I do think it is a young scent and more suited to people in their 20's or early 30's as opposed to an older gentleman as I think the smell really does project a youthful feel however I do also think that even though the sweetness makes it young smelling there is a spiciness that gives it a more sophisticated edge.
I also don't really think this is an office kind of fragrance due to it being so strong and also so distinctive. It really doesn't blend into the background and for me personally is much more suited to night time and going out rather than being waster as a day time fragrance. I would also really recommend that if you are going to wear it to work or where you might be in a close confinement with someone that you limit the amount that you wear as two sprays is more than enough to scent you for the entire day and you don't want to spray too much and end up offending someone else's nose who maybe doesn't like the smell as much as you.
~~~~~~~~~~ The shower gel ~~~~~~~~~~
I usually find that shower gels that come as part of a set can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to quality. The designers of these aftershave expect you to fork out extra to buy the accompanying products but sometimes they can be low quality especially considering that the money involved in buying them isn't exactly the same as popping to boots and buying a £2 shower gel. Luckily the shower gel in this gift set matches the quality of the aftershave.
It has exactly the same smell as the aftershave and is a really unusual sweet and spicy mix with a strawberry smell to it. When I say strawberry it sounds as though this is going to be feminine but again like the aftershave this couldn't be further from the truth as to my nose this is one of the most masculine scents out there.
You only need a little bit of the shower gel to get a really good lather and it isn't overly drying on my skin. The scent is really strong when washing with it and when my skin is dried it does smell strongly of the fragrance. The smell from the shower gel isn't as strong as from the eau de toilette obviously but nevertheless it is strong enough that I can smell coming from me for hours afterwards and it makes a good way of wearing the fragrance during the day if you want to be more subtle about it.
~~~~~~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~~~~~~
I picked up this gift set on ebay for only £14.99 which I thought was an absolute bargain. The usual retail price is around about £36.00 which is about on par with designer fragrances. However unlike a lot of them this is actually good quality and if you like the fragrance then it's a good buy as it should last longer than normal aftershaves due to it being so strong that you only need a small amount of it at a time.
~~~~~~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
I would heartily recommend this gift set but I really would recommend that you try before you buy as it really is a fragrance that divides people. I happen to fall in to the side that loves it but I know plenty other people who hate it. At least it isn't bland and no one could accuse Paco Rabbane of producing some generic safe fragrance. And although there are loads of people who don't like this it is also one of the aftershaves that I have had the most compliments when wearing and had complete strangers coming up to me to ask what it is that I am wearing.
With Christmas coming up soon fragrance gift boxes will be everywhere once again and they do make a good deal as you usually get a shower gel or deodorant for free when usually they will cost you in the region of about £16 on their own.
I have nearly went through both my aftershave and my shower gel and plan on buying another one again as after having rediscovered Black xs I plan on wearing it more often especially now that autumn is here and winter is approaching as I find that the sweet spiciness of the fragrance is really warming and rich. As mentioned the longevity and projection of this is excellent which is something I personally appreciate as I don't buy aftershave for other people I buy it for myself because I like the scent and I want to be able to smell it on myself after half an hour and with this I can enjoy the fragrance for the whole day.
I really recommend Black xs and think it is an amazing fragrance and one that is so distinctive and unlike some other aftershaves I can mention Paco Rabbane haven't just went for a light middle of the road fragrance and have took a risk with a dark and sweet aftershave that is heady and intoxicating and it has really paid off.
Summary: A real love it or hate it fragrance
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