Sombre Negra is one of my most recent discoveries in the category of the special fragrances that aren’t for everyone. And here I’m referring to the scents that do not appeal to the large mass of customers.
Manufactured by YOSH, a niche house founded by botanical perfumer Yosh Han and based in San Francisco, Sombre Negra has an interesting story behind its arrival on the market. Released for the first time in December 2010, as an exclusive limited edition for LuckyScent online perfumery (in a bottle that came pretty close to Nasomatto’s signature flacon), it was re-introduced in winter 2011. This time, based on its success, the perfumer Yosh Han conceived the second edition of this beguiling woody aromatic unisex scent (apparently, the composition remain the same!), as the debut perfume from the house’ recent “M” series line.
Given that, at the time I read about Sombre Negra (Spanish expression for “Black Shadow”) I was attracted by its depiction (“a smoldering noir fragrance” mentioned the tagline from the official website), you imagine that I was quite anxious to finally sniff the reality. And when this finally took place, to my pure olfactory enchantment I stumble upon a fragrance that was pretty different from what you are able to find on the market these days.
The aroma exhibited by Sombre Negra gives us a hint with respect to the fact that Yosh Han is famous for her exclusive bespoke scents. Dubbed by the same source as “the smoking gun of fragrance”, Sombre Negra shines with a double personality, being at the same time ubiquitous and ethereal, two features that are not at hand for the majority of olfactory creations.
From the first moments subsequent to spraying some whiffs of Sombre Negra onto my wrist, I was able to detect a beguiling aroma of smoke (due to incense), juxtaposed, in no longer than one minute, to a note of myrrh that was simply divine. Then, as the top notes vanished and Sombre Negra was entering slowly into its mid development and finally the dry down, a pervading aroma of frankincense (olibanum) was filling my nostrils with joy. In the end, I loved especially the fact that, opposed to the majority of incense-based fragrance, Sombre Negra manages to deliver this fascinating note without being too conspicuous about it (like in Olibanum from Profumum, for example).
The list of official notes is impressive (vetiver, patchouli, cedar, olibanum, pink pepperberry, black peppercorn, clove, juniper, citrus, nutmeg, cumin, Tonka and orris root), this only adding to the fact that Sombre Negra represents the type of exquisite scent. As for the perfume’s flacon, this reflects the idea of minimalism with brilliance, being made from transparent glass and having perfectly cut edges. The golden shade liquid is contrasting with the perfume’s name and everything is topped by a soft golden cap. Overall, this is one of my favorite fragrances, which made Sombre Negra into the second spot (side by side with Keiko Mecheri’s Oliban) of my incense benchmark.
YOSH Sombre Negra Perfume Details
- Sombre Negra by YOSH is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum Spray; the lasting power is above average (more than 10 hours!) and the sillage is excellent.
- Olfactory Group: Woody Aromatic
- For: Unisex
- Year Introduced: 2011
- Perfumer: Yosh Han
- Recommended Wear: Day
- Dress Code: Casual