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The weather has been chilly according to San Francisco standards.  The sky is dark and grey, even a bit of drizzle.  Midwinter is here.  Days like these, I find it hard to get out of bed. I want to take refuge under my down comforter and sleep, sleep, sleep. I could sleep until Spring if I could get away with it. I don’t know what it is about mid-January.  I get melancholy and want to hide from the world.  I become stuck in a rut, uninspired and unmotivated (hence, my lack of posts — oops!).   Lately, I’ve been leaning on Donna Karan Black Cashmere to pull myself out of my winter doldrums which has proven to be my medicine for melancholy.

For almost two years, I have been jones-ing for Donna Karan Black Cashmere. I was first introduced to Black Cashmere when I saw Katie Puckrick’s video series on her envious perfume collection.   Among her many, many, many, many bottles of perfume in her collection, she picked up her tester bottle of Black Cashmere and sprayed it on herself.  As soon as she put her nose to her arm, her eyes lit up and said, “Oh Wow!”.  From then on, I became intrigued and wanted to get myself a bottle. Unfortunately, my dream of purchasing a full bottle was put on the backburner.  It was discontinued and a rare find which meant forking out major cash! I selectively erased it from my mind until this last Christmas when I unwrapped one among a plethora of smelly gifts from Santa Husband. There it was in my hands — a sleek, black bottle of Donna Karan Black Cashmere! I was stoked! Thanks to the hubs, I learned that Donna Karan Black Cashmere had been relaunched and is now part of her permanent collection. Yipee!

Fragrances inspired by textiles fascinate me.  Leather notes have made its mark practically everywhere but fragrances with notes such as “hand knit woolen mittens” in CB I Hate Perfume Winter 1972,  Chanel Jersey inspired by Coco Chanel’s favorite textile, or Penhaligon’s Sartorial inspired by the bespoke tailors of Saville Row are the ones that grab my attention. When you say Black Cashmere, I think of an ultra soft, warm and toasty black turtleneck sweater making it the perfect winter fragrance. As jersey was for Coco Chanel, Black Cashmere was spawned by Donna Karan’s love for cashmere and the feel of this luxurious textile against bare skin:

 I love cashmere. I wear it year round, design with it, sleep with it, and give it as gifts to those I love. You could say I’m obsessed with it. For me, cashmere is simply a way of life…I wanted to create a fragrance which would be a kind of an essence of black cashmere, something dark and mysterious with a sensual and rich texture. There is nothing more opulent!

Description:  Our sexiest Donna Karan Collection fragrance, Black Cashmere is the color of mystery, the texture of luxe, the scent of sophistication—wear it with anything or nothing at all.

Notes:  saffron, masala spices, white pepper, clove, nutmeg, pimento berries, broom flower, patchouli, rose, incense, wengue wood, bois de miel, and labdanum

Scent:  At first sniff, I was captivated. Like Katie Puckrik, my eyes widened and couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Oh, wow!”. I get an initial blast of sweet spices and creamy resin.  In the background, I smell the glowing cinders of wood and church incense far off in the distance.  After the embers die down, I’m left with the delicious smell of candied peppercorns.

Sillage: Decent sillage. First spray can be potent but it’s not a pong monster. Within 30 minutes it settles closer to the skin.  People can smell me when I’m in close proximity.

Longevity:  Excellent.  On me, it lasts around 7 hours.

Season and Occasion: Late Autumn and Winter.  Evening.

Who Can Wear This? People who love incense and the darker side of fragrances.  Although this is marketed to women,  I smell Black Cashmere as a unisex scent. Men can totally pull this off.  I’ve seen my husband sneak some sprays and it smells great on him.  Definitely a mature fragrance for ages 30 plus.  I don’t think a high schooler or college student can pull this off. It’s way too dark and complex.

Would I Purchase Again? Yes, yes, and yes! Black Cashmere will be part of my “forever collection” and I can see it becoming my winter signature.

Final Verdict: Black Cashmere is a very dry fragrance — toasty and warm, comforting and soothing.  It feels as if its arms were wrapped around your body shielding you from the harsh elements of winter.  The composition is finely tuned and balanced.  A texture reminiscent of cashmere, this fragrance is sensual and soft with no sharp edges.    Luxurious and seductive, Black Cashmere is a feathery yet delicate olfactive fabric gently caressing your naked skin.

Donna Karan Black Cashmere is an EDP.  3.4 oz retails for $98 at donnakaran.com.

Men’s Fragrance Friday Series, weekly reviews of men’s and unisex fragrances.

[Image 1] via donnakaran.com
[Image 2] via ulta.com