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I decided to buy a bottle of Paco Rabanne Black XS aftershave a few months ago, when I spotted it for the first time in a fragrance store in my local shopping centre. I had previously purchased and worn the original Paco Rabanne XS for many years, and so as I was feeling a little adventurous on this particular shopping trip I decided to try the Black version.
~~~ The Packaging ~~~
Paco Rabanne XS Black comes in a very similar bottle to the original XS bottle, but the main difference is the 'black' theme, which makes it stand out from the original. It is the usual fairly standard looking bottle, made from a black opaque style glass that is rounded at the edges, and has a few vertical ridges along the front and back of the bottle. It is quite a tall bottle, but slim at the same time, giving it a sleek and modern look about it. As the glass is opaque, it is not easy to see the contents within the bottle (unlike the original XS), and so it takes a bit of guesswork to know when the bottle is running out, and this always makes me feel nervous that the bottle may not have been filled up to the correct level when I first buy it, as it is impossible to tell!. Splashed over the front of the dark black bottle is a bright white rose, along with bright white lettering stating 'Black XS' and lower down 'Paco Rabanne' which really stands out against the black background. The lid is also coloured in black, and again it is a flip style lid, which works very well, as you do not have to worry about putting the lid down and losing it because it is constantly attached to the bottle. Once the lid has been flipped open, a nice black spray mechanism is revealed, and this is used to release the fragrance.
~~~ The Scent ~~~
The fragrance itself is a strong and dark and sensual fresh smell, which is quite woody, making the fragrance feel somewhat masculine. It has top notes of Calabrian lemon, kalamanzi, tagete and sage, out of which the citrus lemon smell really stands out to me. The heart notes consist of cinnamon, tolu balm, black cardamom and praline. The base notes are a combination of palissandre wood, black amber, patchouli and ebony wood, with the wood blending in just nicely to give a dark and mysterious kind of scent, which is fresh at the same time.
The result is very good indeed, and I actually do prefer the black XS to the original XS, as it feels somehow heavier, and darker, giving it a more serious feel to it.
Black XS is pretty much suitable for young or older males, meaning it is a very versatile fragrance which is probably ideal for any occasion during both the daytime and the night-time, however personally I view this fragrance as one which is slightly more suited to night-time. I would say that this is quite a strong smelling fragrance, and as such only a couple of squirts on the spray mechanism are required.
A big upside of the black XS when compared to the original XS is that there is a noticeable difference to the staying power of the fragrance. It is still not up there with the kind of fragrances that can easily be traced on your clothes the next day, but it lasts a good few hours longer than the original XS, meaning it can be applied in the morning, and still be quite noticeable by lunchtime or even mid afternoon.
~~~ Price and Availability ~~~
Paco Rabanne Black XS is available in both aftershave form and Eau de Toilette spray, and it comes in either 30 ml or 100 ml sized bottles. The price is pretty reasonable with a 30 ml bottle of aftershave generally costing around £12 - £15, with the 100 ml EDT bottle offering even better value at approximately £25, which will last a long time for the small amount that is required each time.
In summary this Black edition of Paco Rabanne's XS is an improvement to the original in terms of both fragrance scent and staying power. I will always look for this as my first choice between the two of them in the future, and I am glad I gave it a try.
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2011
A refreshing aftershave to complement the Paco Rabanne Black XS masculine fragrance /