The red thread running through all three of Beaufort London’s début offerings is birch tar and how much one enjoys these fragrances will likely depend on one’s tolerance for the overtly meaty, smoky qualities it expresses at higher concentration.
Coeur de Noir is the most singular in its darkness. Riding shotgun with the birch tar is a significant dose of isobutyl quinoline which not only develops the former’s leathery facets, but brings with it a pungent, earthy greenness. The listed notes speak to a myriad ideas but unfortunately, these are under-developed and smothered by the aforementioned materials. So it is that the ‘rum’ note, built with ethyl acetate, fails to convey much booziness at all by instead being a mere ghostly presence, and the ionone+vanilla ‘paper’ note is fairly illegible as such. The exception here is the nice addition of ginger whose warm, amber-like sweetness works, for a short while at least, as a counterpoint. The cedar too, is very clearly detectable, but its persistence is unmatched, meaning after a good few hours on skin/a few days on paper, all I smell is a dry, powdery woodyness.
Nose: unknown (brand owner Leo Crabtree)
House: Beaufort London
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): rum, ginger, ink, paper, leather, vanilla, cedar, tobacco, birch tar.