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Nirvana Black Elizabeth and James for women and men

Nirvana Black Elizabeth and James for women and men
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Total people voted: 230
female 25- 25+
male 25- 25+

I have it: 170 I had it: 18 I want it: 198 My signature: 4

main accords
powdery
woody
balsamic
vanilla
floral
warm spicy
Pictures
Nirvana Black Elizabeth and James for women and men Pictures Nirvana Black Elizabeth and James for women and men Pictures Nirvana Black Elizabeth and James for women and men Pictures

Twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launch a fashion brand named Elizabeth and James after their remaining siblings, which presents two dynamic, contradictory personalities merged into an outstanding balance - "Elizabeth’s uptown sophistication and feminine detail is paired with James’ laidback, downtown edge and masculine tailoring." They are launching two new fragrances under this brand - Nirvana White and Nirvana Black.

Both perfumes are described as sensual, edgy and mysterious. Nirvana Black is a woody fragrance, dark and somewhat masculine although intended for both genders. It is created by perfumer Pierre Negrin. The fragrance is built around accords of violet, sandalwood and vanilla.

Bottle design strives for simplicity, sensuality, luxury and modern but not too modern look. The fragrances are available as 30 and 50 ml Eau de Parfum with additional mini rollerball edition. Nirvana Black was launched in 2013.

Fragrance Notes

Violet Sandalwood Vanilla

Main Notes According to Your Votes

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Longevity

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poor 5
 
weak 5
 
moderate 25
 
long lasting 5
 
very long lasting 5
 

Sillage

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soft 22
 
moderate 24
 
heavy 5
 
enormous 1
 

This perfume reminds me of  
PG22 DjHenné
1 no yes
Wonderwood
1 no yes

Nirvana Black Fragrance Reviews

lilbit
lilbit

I received a sample of this in the mail (along with the Nirvana White) and thought they both smelled amazing. This could be a unisex fragrance. It's warm, sweet, woody, and spicy. I loved it. About 3 hours after spraying it, all I smelled was vanilla and sandalwood. It reminded me of a cross between Raw Vanilla (Coty) and a drug store vanilla body spray I have. Sigh. Not that it's a bad thing. I just have to decide if I want to spend $75 on I scent I will only LOVE for about an hour. Probably not.

Aug
28
2014
smalltownbeatnik
smalltownbeatnik

Hour 1: Love at first sniff! A soft, natural smell of creamy sandalwood. None of the harshness or pepperiness some sandalwood can have. Tell myself this is probably full bottle worthy.
Hour 2: Can only smell it when my nose is pressed to my arm. Suspect I'm becoming anosmic to the sandalwood. Questions if it's truly full bottle worthy.
Hour 3: The violet surfaces and it is strange on my skin. Sickly sweet grapes with a nauseating sourness at the edges. Can't get much sandalwood at this point. Doubt this is full bottle worthy.
Hour 4: The sandalwood reappears with a nice vanilla dry down, but not in time to save it from the grape kool-aid vomit heart notes.

Aug
26
2014
makeupguru
makeupguru

A lovely warm fragrance that has a nice lingering scent. It's sexy and a little bold which I like. I found it different to my other scents, which I'm wanted. I think I'll probably get more use during the cooler months as it's got that feel for me. I get about 4 hours before I need to reapply.

Aug
20
2014
mightymarshal
mightymarshal

This really isn't a celebrity fragrance any more than Bright Crystal is Donatella Versace's celebrity fragrance. Elizabeth and James is a very established fashion line and the Nirvanas are the perfumes associated with it, not with the Olsens

That said I really like this. I almost wish it was spicier so
I could wear it as a men's fragrance unapologetically. It's fantastic layered with White as a transition fragrance from spring/summer to fall/winter without being too heavy or light for either.

I don't smell as much vanilla as some people. I get mostly a wood-y slightly musky light floral.

Aug
13
2014
Museumgal
Museumgal

This is a lovely, creamy, slightly smoky sandalwood scent. Walking on the edge of gourmand -- the creaminess of the wood plus the candy powdery nature of the violets and the vanilla makes it on the sweet side. It's very well composed -- the sandalwood is both creamy and powdery, and the violet emphasizes the powdery aspect while the vanilla emphasizes the creamy aspect. The result is a very smooth, extremely well put together scent, although it is very linear -- you get all three notes at the start and they stay that way mostly. The only difference in the dry down is the smoky quality of the sandalwood comes out a bit more. Lasts about four hours, medium sillage -- great for any time wear, any season, good for most situations. Very versatile scent.

Aug
10
2014
arrode
arrode

Very, very strong sandalwood. If you're a lover of woods that reminds you of the smell of sun-warmed dresser drawers with vanilla, this will be the scent for you. I was quite surprised how this one smelled, to be honest. It's quite strong and lasted 6+ hours on my skin before dying down to a warm, cozy vanilla. Not bad at all. Radiates out a few feet for me. Definitely not a skin scent. Pretty strong!

Jul
30
2014
mooglebuns
mooglebuns

I initially thought that this would be my preferred scent of the two nirvanas. I was wrong. This on me is pretty much straight wood. I smell like a very clean dresser drawer. I don't dislike it, don't get me wrong. It's still pleasant. The wood is softened by vanilla, but not enough that I can actually sense the vanilla notes. I don't understand the comparisons to black orchid. That's such a heavy, beautiful, complex perfume. This just reminds me of staying with my aunt as a child and the way her clean clothes smelled right out of her beautiful and expensive bureau. Not bad, but just kind of not exciting.

Jul
11
2014
a5n8g8e2l4a
a5n8g8e2l4a

I am usually wary of "celebuscents." Most celebrity fragrances just smell too sweet. But a deluxe sample of this was available at Sephora,, and the notes were ones I liked, so I gave it a shot.

Boy was I surprised! This is not your usual celebrity fragrance. It's an elegant perfume. On me, the violet is very pronounced for the first hour, then the vanilla and sandalwood take over. The violet plays well with the vanilla and sandalwood on my skin.

It's not the most unique fragrance, but compared to the "celebuscents" I've tried, it's lovely.

I'm not sure about the comparisons with Tom Ford's Black Orchid, because Black Orchid contains patchouli, and so smelled horrible on my skin (darn skin chemistry!).

Jun
29
2014
spiderleenie
spiderleenie

If you are a fan of sandalwood, you will love Nirvana Black.

The sandalwood is the star of the show, with the vanilla note as its sidekick. The perfume starts off as very woody, but with a subtle creamy and sweet quality to it. Once the drydown happens, the violet kicks in a bit more, adding a balsamic and green quality to the creamy sandalwood. The violet isn't overpowering at all, though.

Nirvana Black tends to soften up a lot after the initial drydown, which makes this fragrance very "wearable," in my opinion. If something like Tom Ford's Black Orchid is too strong for you, but you also want something with a little "oomph" to it, then I totally recommend Nirvana Black. I think it's a great Fall/Winter/Nighttime fragrance for those who want a little bit more in their perfumes.

I would most definitely call Nirvana Black a unisex perfume, since there's also an earthy and masculine quality to this perfume. As a woman, I enjoy wearing this, but I think it would smell *fantasic* on men.

I also think that Nirvana Black is a pretty great perfume for layering/mixing with other fragrances.
I've layered coconut fragrances over this, and this combination is really, really sexy. Layering vanilla fragrances over Nirvana Black is a great combo as well, as it creates a warm and creamy fragrance that I'd wear during the Holidays.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised. With the Olsen twins being attached to this, I didn't have high expectations, but call me impressed!

Jun
25
2014
cake n' cuddles
cake n' cuddles

My expectations were exceeded by this. I got a freebie roller ball from sephora and was expecting it to be meh, but it's actually quite good.
The sandalwood is spicy and on the masculine side, I do smell sort of a warm vanilla, but it's balanced by a cool green violet. It's a nice combination of "textures" if that makes any sense. Quality wise I've smelt smoother blends, but it projects really well, especially since it's a roller ball. Sometimes if I don't spray a fragrance I can hardly smell it at all but even with it just rolled on my neck I can smell nirvana black for 8 hours. It does smell smoky! I am reminded of incense too.
Pleasantly surprised. I smelt the white one out of curiosity and wasn't as fond of it.

Jun
17
2014
garamascara
garamascara

Well this is a shocking surprise! I am a perfume snob of the higher order and I am obsessed with Mary Kate and Ashley's Nirvana Black. I have been humbled.

Jun
15
2014
HaNnAmAr1n
HaNnAmAr1n

I got a tiny sample of both Nirvana White and Black from Sephora. I couldn't remember which one I liked better so I bought the Black online. Turns out White was the one I initially liked better and when I first smelled the Black I purchased I was disappointed. However, it's really grown on me. The more I smell it, the more I like it. I usually don't go for scents like this- it's more spicy, woody, and powdery than I typically like but it somehow works. I think I'm going to save this one for special occasions when I want more of a sophisticated feel. The dry-down is distinctly sandalwood with a hint of vanilla.
Nirvana Black is a lot more masculine than White and I could see it being deemed "unisex" however, I think I would find it odd for a man to wear this scent; I find it to be slightly too feminine for a man.
The longevity is pretty stellar and the sillage is right where I want it to be- strong enough to pick up from a slight distance without being overpowering. I think Nirvana Black would best be suited for nighttime and for the fall and winter seasons.

***NOTE***

I recently purchased Nirvana White and the two scents smell amazing when layered.

Jun
10
2014
Beach Girl
Beach Girl

I was shocked and pleasantly surprised, the opening notes do smells a lot like TF's Black Orchid, no doubt! In fact it's almost a dupe but this one has more longevity and strength than an imitation. The die down however is not all that similar to BO's. What I'm reminded of is a vanilla incense stick, which to me is fantastic. Only a few notes are mentioned in the description above but I bet you there are many more than just three.
The bottle is nice, very modern looking, suitable for a man or woman.

Jun
04
2014
Eos
Eos

A clean, soapy sandalwood scent with rounded edges thanks to a good dose of powdery ionones and a vanillic base. This is a sandalwood that avoids the pitfalls of it's brethren by not being figgy, coconutty or rough and particle board like. Its very linear and certainly unisex. For those who are familiar with it, it smells close to the Bee and Flower brand Sandalwood soaps. Two thumbs up for what it is.

May
30
2014
NatWeb
NatWeb

Aspendina I think your samples are mixed up because white is exactly like Stella.

May
26
2014
Aspendina
Aspendina

All I get is peony and rose, smells like Stella. I feel like Sephora messed up my samples because this is what I thought White wound smell like. However all I get from White is musk and I love it and there is no musk in the listing for Black so maybe it's right.. If my samples r right I prefer White over Black.

EDIT***

ok I had another sample made and I think they did mess up my samples last time this one smells better than the white and has a more masculine musky smell to it, and i LOVE it. however ever since i have sprayed it i have had a sore throat and both my kids are now sneezing and one has a running nose. I wonder if there is something in this that we are allergic too. but it does smell WONDERFUL

May
18
2014
angiebutterfly
angiebutterfly

I am so thankful for Bloodlust's review. In my opinion, she was spot on in that this fragrance smells synthetic and syrupy. I have definitely come to the conclusion that violet and vanilla together simply do not cater to my personal tastes. This perfume is incredibly loud in how sickeningly sweet and syrupy it is (and this is coming from a lady who loves fruity-floral gourmands) when I first put it on my skin. It's also quite powdery, which I should have expected from the violet. I honestly feel I know what Janis Ian in 'Mean Girls' meant by, "You smell like a baby prostitute," with this fragrance. :/ (Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it smells lovely on other people. It's just the impression I got on me.)

I was thankful the sandalwood FINALLY stepped in a tad to tame the sweetness and powderiness a little bit, but it didn't do as much as I'd hoped. It smelt better after a long while on the skin, yet I still couldn't help but yearn to wash it off. All in all, this is a very well received fragrance that just did not work for me. It happens. Perhaps I simply prefer more balance in my fragrances.

May
15
2014
lepalm
lepalm

I got this as part of a sample kit from Sephora. I was put off at first by the Olsen twins but I have to admit the fragrance is lovely. I'm a sucker for sandalwood. I like Nirvana Black better than the White but my husband would say the opposite. This was nice as a sample but I don't think I would ever purchase a bottle.

May
14
2014
Scotchyroo
Scotchyroo

A lighter, shorter-acting version of Black Orchid with Sandalwood dry down. It's not bad.

May
14
2014
kristin.jens
kristin.jens

Like most people, I got this one from a little Sephora sampler that had both Nirvana black and Nirvana white. I vastly preferred black, although both are pretty good. The sandalwood is the note that really stands out to me. It has almost a tabacco-like depth to it. I normally go for florals or citrus scents, but this one makes for a nice change (a little more unisex and tom-boyish). My husband loves this one. It's also very non-offensive for work. Not sure it's worth the price tag, though.

May
12
2014
SophieJ
SophieJ

I am a huge fam of this scent. Like Bloodlust below, I picked up the Sephora "Bottled Dreams" sampler for $58. I pretty much knew at the time I bought it that I would buy Nirvana Black, I was 95% sure. I just love to buy the mini perfume sets, they are so fun and such a great value. You basically get the 8 mini bottles for free.
So anyhow, picked up the sampler, and traded in my voucher for Nirvana Black. I already have hoarded about 10 different travel and sample sizes of this scent, beginning from before it was even launched in store. I was OBSESSED from the beginning. To me, the scent is like being at a fall or spring bonfire with the smell of delicious wood smoke in your hair and clothes, mixing with the sexy scent you are wearing that night (Dior Addict perhaps? Or maybe Givenchy Pi...). You're drinking a beer or mixed drink, and you get a slightly boozy hint too. Nothing too strong, just a passing whiff.
That smell of bonfire is my FAVORITE scent in the world, and it's bottled so perfectly here.

May
11
2014
Bloodlust
Bloodlust

I ended up with this fragrance from one of the Sephora sampler sets, where you receive miniature perfumes to try out, and then you choose one of them to get as the full size for no extra cost. I chose this one, as all of the other scents were very shrill florals, which I usually dislike.

Nirvana Black is the most one-dimensional perfume I have ever smelled. It's deep, musky, has that chic unisex ~*thing*~ about it that some people will love, but I have yet to actually wear it - it pales in comparison to other fragrances if you have a moderate to large sized collection. The ONLY thing I can think of when I smell this, is opening up one of the perfume flaps in a magazine and taking a huge whiff. It's cheap, plasticy, synthetic, bland, and syrupy.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay after the drydown, I can handle the way it smells, but I will wash it off before I get that far. I'm sorry if this is somebody's favorite perfume that I am unabashedly bashing.

May
06
2014
killer__queen
killer__queen

Wow, this is a great scent. I usually don't go for notes like these, but a win's a win! Where do I start? This perfume has my head spinning-- in a good way!

It's definitely best suited primarily for a fall or winter night, but I think with the sillage and longevity of this, you might be able to pull it off just about any other time! Very versatile. And the votes are right, it's a close-wearing scent that (unfortunately) doesn't last too long. About 3 hours tops, and doesn't hold onto clothes. Another downfall is the hefty price. For so little per ounce, and the constant reapplication, it's just not worth it again.

But it's a perfect unisex balance of sandalwood and vanilla, if it leaned one way or the other it would definitely be for men (sandalwood) or women (vanilla) only. I like wearing it because it does have that perfect balance-- I smell GOOD. Sexy even! But even if I didn't own this and I smelled a man wearing it, I can guarantee he'd smell quite attractive, and be a man I'd like to get a little closer to... to sniff, sillies! :D

Edit to add:
I took a picture of the sample card (pre-bottle purchase :P), it does state that the perfume is a women's scent, but I disagree.
oi60.tinypic.com/hv41es.jpg

May
01
2014
dkny27
dkny27

Deep... Sultry... Unisex... I normally steer clear of such heavy scents at this time of year (warm weather) but the SA @ Sephora was handing out generous samples....
This is an amazingly simple scent but suggests many layers... Beautifully done with vanilla and sandalwood with the slightest kiss of violets... Very reminiscent of classic memorable scents of the 70's and 80's but no way near "dated"....
A definite revisit when the cooler weather and dark nights return... Even holiday time....

Apr
30
2014
Glamamour
Glamamour

So this fragrance is meant to be layered with Nirvana White which I did. I gave this 3 wears before deciding this is not for me, and basically for one reason only. I am not a cigarette smoker. Indeed, the perfume bottle resembles a fancy vintage cigarette case and it makes perfect sense once you layer the fragrances. I was on a flight when it hit me! The man next to me smelled horribly of cigarette smoke, I am sorry if I offend anyone but that is not a pleasant smell. So anyway, I was wearing Chloe EDP, and Flight of Fancy from Anna Sui, and the air in the small area we were in smelt exactly like both Nirvanas layered! Yess that's what it was. It seems to me the twins wanted to make everyone smell like themselves, yup like cigarette smoke with perfumes. Anyway, I don't smoke, so as you can guess, this smells pretty bad to me.

Apr
25
2014
deadidol
deadidol

I recently had to ask some friends what it is exactly that the Olsen twins do these days, and I’m still not entirely sure I know the answer. Their talent seems to culminate in their capacity to look a bit gormless in various photographs. So I assumed that this perfume release, to which they’ve graciously lent their highly contoured cheekbones, is little more than an exercise in “lending their name” to whatever commodity can be hawked to a target audience.

But if this is the case (and let’s be honest—that’s exactly what this is), Nirvana Black isn’t that bad at all. I expected absolute trash—and to a degree, it is a bit trash. But it’s smart, thoughtful, and pretty articulate trash all the same.

Although I didn’t spend enough time with the bottle to check the quality, the design looks smart and kind of ‘80s retro-glam. Aesthetically speaking, it’s a bit of a hollow throwback—a superficial gesture aimed directly at a target audience who would recognize and appreciate such a design as ironic nostalgia (Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 etc.) But again, it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been, and some real thought went into the production and design.

The same might be said for the scent itself, which is a dodgy Tam Dao-ish thing—a javanol/ebanol cocktail of sour synthy sandalwood with a touch of lipstick iris for interest. It's cheap, gaunt, and probably not well suited for grown-ups, but it's not entirely vulgar either. Although it's got the weird "celebrity blob" effect in there (that sort of olfactory equivalent to GenericMeatProduct™ that invades 90% of these kind of fragrances), it's harder to dismiss this stuff quite so cynically. Again, greater consideration appears to have been given than what you'd expect from a fragrance like this, and I’d even venture to say that it’s “well handled.” There’s little to it, and the materials are "economical," but the blend’s quite solid overall. Ultimately, it’s a simple faux sandalwood scent that’s very similar to other simple faux sandalwood scents—but it does the job it sets out to do quite well and makes no real claims to do anything else other than being a simple, textbook faux sandalwood.

What's unclear to me about this release is the level of sincerity. Yes, it's a mass-produced celebuscent that's shamelessly riding on the back of socialites (socialites who would probably never let something like this anywhere near their skin). Yes, the bottle is designed to seduce an audience that has some affinity toward ironic nostalgia and kitschy glam. Yes, the scent is cheaply made, but it doesn't feel obnoxiously cheap—and probably wouldn't be parsed as cheap by people who haven't been exposed to actual sandalwood, extracted vanilla, or proper violet. But I'm curious as to how much of this is a genuine attempt to step it up a bit, or how much of it is a crass attempt to pull one over on a more focused demographic?

I'll never wear it again—I've no need to. But I've smelled worse expensive niche than this. If you're serious about sandalwood, there's much better available (obviously). But if the aesthetic, brand, and approach have some appeal to you, you're at least getting a reasonably solid product here.

(N.B. I guess this is technically a designer fragrance, although, given their afore-mentioned roles, the delineation between designer and celebuscent is a bit blurred here. With that said, whether you're a fan of the bottle, the brand, or you simply collect Olsen Twin memorabilia, the upshot is that you're getting a better fragrance than what all three of those options would usually offer.)

Apr
16
2014
jameskpdx
jameskpdx

Smelled this scent in an ad in a women's fashion mag....OMG loved the scent...but I know better, sometimes scents smell fabulous on paper, but in person, not so great...Well this scent smells exactly like the paper sample. When I placed it on my skin, first thing came to my head, Tom Ford's Black Orchid. Which is my signature scent. After the dry down...no orchid, just vanilla. I am a gay man and that being written, I just don't care for sweet smelling scents, fortunately the vanilla is a warm vanilla. Not very sweet like a vanilla cookie or ice cream. I have read that some people only wear scents during certain times of the year "OH this is a summer/winter scent"...I wear scents that evoke a feeling, not a season. I would wear this anytime...I really like this scent. Does anyone mix scents together? I just mixed this scent with Betsey Johnson's Too Too...very interesting blend. You should give it a try.

Apr
06
2014
Raina
Raina

I'm not one for dark or woody fragrances, but Nirvana Black (and indeed, Nirvana White) seems to be designed around the idea of subtlety and polite acceptibility, while still retaining an edge.

Nirvana Black has some very similar elements to Tokyo Milk's Dead Sexy. The ebony wood is there, but dialed back so that it is a cleaner, dry, woody, yet airy presence. It's similar in scent to pencil shavings yet a bit darker and more breezy. The vanilla does a fantastic job here of balancing out that dark dryness of the wood, without being cloying or shouting 'sweet.' It's all very restrained and polite whithout being bland or nonpresent. It does not have a very loud projection, neither of the scents in this collection do, but it is still there for those who lean close enough to you. I find this layers really well with Nirvana White or alone for nighttime.

Mar
23
2014
ArkangeL
ArkangeL

Yes, well the bottles were designed based off of something in Mary Kate & Ashley's keepsake collection. They intentionally made them look antique-esque.

Mar
23
2014
In Vogue
In Vogue

Smells like that classic Chinese sandalwood soap that every hippie in the 70's used. And that's about it, very linear. I think this is more of a male scent. The bottle looks like a cigarette case.

Mar
23
2014
ArkangeL
ArkangeL

Nirvana Black & White were both marketed towards women. Nirvana Black represents a darker, sultry side of the Nirvana woman. However, the notes here are totally unisex. I put it on from time to time myself, although both boxes clearly state "HER" within the square of the title. This fragrance reminds me, not of Black Orchid, but of 10 Corso Como lacking the oud note.

Mar
23
2014
gabri
gabri

Very nice and comforting.I definitely don't smell the violet, but this is a brake from overpowering flowering notes.

Mar
23
2014
alchemist1976stephanie
alchemist1976stephanie

This is a softer version of Black Orchid to my nose. I definitely get the violet. It is also reminiscent of black violet in a much softer way. Only a few hours later do I start to really get the amber coming through.If I didn't already own BV, I'd definitely buy this. Well done.

Mar
21
2014
faubel
faubel

This is my edited review, having worn this a bunch more. I think it is absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorites right now. Others have described it well, how the vanilla and the wood play off of each other--I agree with Raina above except that I haven't smelled Dead Sexy so I can't compare the two. But this is soft and sweet but at the same time attention-catching and interesting.

The longevity is disappointing. I find myself wanting to reapply every two or three hours. After a few hours it has died down on me so I can barely smell it. This feels like a cologne or EDT. But it's SO beautiful and unlike anything else I've smelled so I bought a few samples for the purpose of dousing myself with it for a bit, and we'll see how that goes.

Mar
21
2014
ChadEric86
ChadEric86

This fragrance is the epitome of sensual smoothness. It reminds me of dressing in all black with a pair of Chanel sunglasses, walking through NYC in the fall. Everything about this is addictive. This is my new favorite scent!

Mar
19
2014
nebbe
nebbe

+1 to those who enjoy this scent, and to those who like to layer it with Nirvana White. I can wear the Black on its own, or with White, but not the White alone for some reason I haven't quite put my finger on yet. Too sharply floral for me? Again, not sure.

I dig the creamy sandalwood and vanilla. It is simple, cozy and warm. Pleasantly surprised with how well it layers with White - this is my first time layering the two and I am loving it.

I have a place in my life for straightforward scents that I can easily wear to the office, and one to two spritz of this on the back of my neck under my hair works perfectly for me.

Mar
14
2014
Eaugirlspirit
Eaugirlspirit

I am just in love with this scent. It is smoky, deep, dark and dry. It is not masculine but very feminine. It is light enough for daywear, fortunately and unfortunately, because it quickly becomes a skin scent on me. Perfect to keep you warm in winter but also beautiful and versatile enough to be worn in a variety of seasons. I am in agreement with past reviewers that have called this addicting. I have a feeling I am going to bomb through my 50ml so quickly.
There are a few fragrances I simply "love" and can't get enough of and this is definitely on the list, along with Stella, Pleasures Bloom, Infusion D'Iris EDP. Those I've literally gone through very fast-in one season of wear, which is unusual for me.

I don't understand why they don't make a 100ml of this, and I don't understand why there is no body care collection to help layer the Nirvana scents.
This smells to me like a smoother, lighter version of Estee Lauder Sensuous. However, my skin pulls out a weird note in Sensuous and I don't know what it is. My husband hates Sensuous on me but loves Nirvana Black on me. It is the sandalwood note in both fragrances that I am drawn to. I just bought a pure sandalwood essential oil to layer with this!
All I can say is, I absolutely love both Nirvana scents. Nirvana white is beautiful and simple, for its creamy musk-floral cashmere soft accord it creates on me but I become anosmic to it after a short amount of wearing, similar to Light Blue on my skin.
I am going to wait until Nirvana white gets marked down and will buy a bottle off ebay.

Feb
25
2014
genny17
genny17

This is very similar to my nose to Madonna Truth or Dare Naked....in the vanilla balsamic effect, it is a rich scent, not so black though, like it isn't really spicy, or heavy..it is interesting, borderline unisex, although I find it more feminine than masculine..not something I feel I would wear, but certainly not bad at all.. Maybe overpriced for sure..

Feb
25
2014
arenee92
arenee92

I love how smokey and sensual this scent is. It's mysterious, edgy, and very, very warm. The sandalwood is very prominent, the vanilla is more noticeable in the dry down, and I personally don't smell any of the violet. This fragrance is very peppery, powdery, and definitely not for the faint of heart. I find it lies close to the skin, on me.

I have the rollerball, and I love to layer other fragrances with it. I purchased the spray, and had to return it, as soon as I sprayed it, it gave me an instant headache.

Definitely a lovely scent, though. Be sure to smell it in person before you purchase.

Feb
23
2014
artemiss
artemiss

I love this..it's a simple warm vanilla sandalwood. I can see where people think it has been done before, but to be honest, that is what I like about it: at the end of the day it smells like me.

Feb
14
2014
AmoreProfumi
AmoreProfumi

Oh YASS Hunnie! this was my tax time treat, just purchased a bottle of this after going through my whole sample, OMG! this scent is easily addictive, It's pretty apparent the sandalwood is the dominant note here but that vanilla, oh yess mmm that warm sexy tasty vanilla doesn't hide it's there helping round out the sandalwood's edges. It's a little dirty smelling as to why I see this being ok for a guy to wear, it's sexy, intriguing, a real attention getter, I was so indecisive as to what size to get...b/c I really have enough perfume that I need to go through, but this was the only one on my wants list. So I said what the hey it's only $20 more so I splurged && got the larger. I think the price is a lil steap esp. for just a 1.7 but I'm sure I will use this alot, I think this will be especially nice with layering, I already experimented with my 'Freak Scarab'...very nice combo!, so I'm interested to see how it will smell with my 'Vanilla Extasy'.

I think even though too this is more suited for winter, I will have no problems wearing this on a nice summer night layered with a lighter scent to help lighten it up. Anywho...very nice scent, The bottle is fantastic has a nice solid quality feel, the longevity is on point && the sillage borders between moderate && good, If you love a nice sandalwood scent with added vanilla this scent is deff. up your alley, give it a try! ;D

Overall: 9/10 (loses a point for the price lol!)

Feb
14
2014
Stacierew
Stacierew

Also wanted to add that it reminds me a bit of Lolita Lempicka...anyone else get that? Might be the violet and vanilla...just wondering.
Maybe I just want to layer them. I do think "nirvana black" would be fantastic for making your lighter scents work in the winter. I definitely want to try layering it with elli saab (which I often find too light) and of course, with Lolita Lempicka.

Feb
13
2014
Stacierew
Stacierew

I am almost ashamed that I love this scent as much as I do. Not big on "celebrity scents", though I am certainly not a perfume snob. I had not read the reviews here, when I tried this at Sephora. I immediately said to the staff "It reminds me of Black Orchid!" I am glad I am not alone in that comparison! I love how unique and brazen BO is, but my nose has a hard time taking in all of the notes. It is a complex scent that I want to wear, but find it difficult. This is a much softer and more wearable version of BO, in my opinion. I also got the tokyo milk "tainted love" similarity. I sampled this, wore it for about two hours, then returned to the store to buy the bottle. It is pretty delicious, a little dirty, and definitely a sexy scent. I will be curious to see how long it lasts on my skin.

Feb
13
2014
GarnetMoon
GarnetMoon

My signature scent is sandalwood and I have to say that I am glad these young ladies got it right. The sandalwood is the base scent and it lasts all day. It is difficult to find a women's fragrance that has a woody scent. I don't do florals or citrus/fruit. These don't fit my personality. Great job, ladies!

Feb
13
2014
APassionateJourney
APassionateJourney

One of my new favorites. Yes, this does smell like Tom Ford Black Orchid but only BO's dry-down stages. If you love Tom Ford BO but you don't like it's harsh opening, try this one on for size.

This opens up smelling of woods and vanilla and dries down to a very soft and subtle woods scent with just a hint of vanilla. It's extremely soft so I'm continuously re-spraying throughout the day. When layered with Nirvana White it turns into a sparkling, woody floral. Like a sparkling sandalwood wine.

I do really enjoy this scent but for $75, which is DESIGNER price and not celeb price, I don't expect it to be this weak. I literally DOUSE myself in this puppy and it stays weak. I hope they bring out a body cream. It does last but it stays extremely close to the skin. For these reasons I wouldn't repurchase this at full price. It would have to drop 30+ bucks for a repurchase! LOVE the bottle, though!

Feb
13
2014
canadianpetite
canadianpetite

Dark and peppery. The sandalwood here is dry not sweet, thus too peppery for me. Yet I am drawn to it. I find myself wanting to sniff the scent again but not up close. The vanilla softens it without any sugar - more of a cashmere hug than a sweet treat. The violet is fleeting and almost undetectable. Maybe because it's winter right now and am wishing for spring so I prefer the Nirvana White even though I find it somewhat simple. I think I'll just enjoy samples of it until, hopefully I find it at a bargain price. Love the bottle.

One spray on me:
Sillage: a foot of a trail
Longevity: 5 hours
Rating: 3/5

Feb
11
2014
Perfumedsecrets
Perfumedsecrets

This is nothing like Tom Ford Black Orchid, which stands alone in it's complexity. You won't find a dupe of the scent with E & J Black. All this is is a simple sandalwood with powdery violets. It smells good and is an easy daytime winter scent, but it's nowhere near the sophistication or intensity as the TF perfume.

Feb
11
2014
JaiTee
JaiTee

I tested this many times, embarrassed, yet secretly enjoying it, sniffing my wrists in hopes I'd find something to dislike.

I was in denial over how unfair I was to Nirvana Black because of its Olsen twin pedigree. And then, when I finally admitted to myself that I really like this scent, I purchased a full bottle, and my guilt disappeared because it makes me feel so comforted & safe.

I love wearing this in the evening and falling asleep with it around me. On my skin, it's a simplistic perfume. It starts off at full-force, already powdery with a dusting of vanilla, and then softly fades away, like a stick of incense.

In fact, that sandalwood scent reminds me of the incense my grandmother used to burn throughout the year as she made offerings of fruit to different gods and goddesses. So wearing this scent reminds me of my beloved grandmother.

I love how perfume has the power to take us back to a place and time, to conjure up loved ones long gone. That is why I prefer to wear this scent in the evenings, for myself. And that's why it doesn't matter to me what brand is attached to it.

When I close my eyes and inhale, I feel calmer, and I remember how I felt being loved unconditionally by my grandmother.

Nirvana Black lasts only a few hours on my skin, and wears very close to my body. I can't detect the violet.

Feb
11
2014
Barky
Barky

I am pleasantly surprised by this scent. It's more complex than the notes suggest. To my nose, the sandalwood is quite dry and peppery. The vanilla is present, but it functions more to take the edge off of the fragrance than it does to sweeten it. I do get the nod to Black Orchid, though it's not a dupe by any means. It might be a good alternative if you find TFBO to be "too much" for certain occasions (or too much, in general).

I'm happy enough to wear my sample for now, and also happy enough to wait a year until it ends up at T.J. Maxx to bring it home.

Feb
10
2014
Briburto2
Briburto2

I recieved a free sample of this from sephora and immediatly fell in love. I bought it the next day!. The vanilla and sandalwood is very creamy on me which I love. The bottle is amazing, it almost resembles a flask. To my nose this scent is perfectly balanced. I'm head over heels for it.

Feb
09
2014
NoireFox
NoireFox

I actually really love this. It smells like a tie between Tom Ford Black Orchid and Tokyo Milk's Dead Sexy with an extra hint of Vanilla. It dries down to a very creamy vanilla/Sandalwood. The only downside is that it has nonexistent sillage, wearing very close to the skin.

Feb
05
2014
hannah.reed.9085
hannah.reed.9085

The black one smells like an ancient dusty baby powder. I cannot do smells like this.. I'm sorry Mary-Kate and Ashley I love you girls but this perfume combo isn't the best. The white one smells ok but oddly like a floral spray can air sanitizer :/

Feb
05
2014
aliora
aliora

To my untrained nose, this smells smokey, peppery (like black peppers) and there's a note in there that reminds of gardenia. None of those notes are there, so this is all just from my perception. I can see the resemblance to Addict, but this is drier (and in my opinion, less cloying) and can be easily pulled off by a man. The sillage seems fairly close wearing, and I will have to update this review on its lasting power, but it seems pretty decent. Like some have also said, this is like the top notes of Black Orchid, so if you love that but hate the drydown of BO, you may want to try this.

It's dark, but not heavy. I will most likely end up getting a rollerball of this lovely gem.

Feb
02
2014
leavesofgrass
leavesofgrass

I've only sniffed this so far on the paper tester Sephora gave it's "clients" with our orders. It is a sweet, musky scent but doesn't seem overwhelming actually pleasant. My first thought was this reminds me of one of the BCBG Girls fragrances, either Star or Sexy (which in my head were a little similar to each other). Perhaps I am thinking Star, which I think was a little powdery like this one.

Feb
02
2014
Tovah
Tovah

Ooooo - this is GOOD! My reaction upon trying was the one I had when I first tried Hypnotic Poison, Narciso For Her, Dior Addict, Musc Ravageur: the quintessential "man-magnets". I swooned. I think Nirvana Black is gorgeous, rich, elegant, and majorly sexy. It smells like dark vanilla, sandalwood, and slight hints of powder balanced perfectly. Something about the top notes of Nirvana Black calls to mind Tom Ford Noir (which I adore wearing), but women who, unlike me, wear only specifically "feminine" scents won't be put off by Nirvana Black. Yes, it has some notes that used to be considered "masculine", but nobody's going to mistake this for "men's" perfume. Anyways, I love it!

Feb
01
2014
tessture
tessture

Vanilla with a very run of the mill mall-style floriental base dries to boring sandalwood. Eh. Nothing special.

Feb
01
2014
SorceressOfTheDark
SorceressOfTheDark

I recently tested Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. No, no, not for me. Not either of them. Let me explain.
Nirvana Black comes across as pure pepper. Very strong pepper hit me immediately and stayed throughout the life of this perfume. It never diminished. A wash of sandalwood envelops the peppery sense as if it's framing it solidly. Here's the problem. The sandalwood smells synthetic. It's not woody. It's not natural. It doesn't bring any pleasant images. On top of that, the pepper stings. It bites.
As two lonely prominent notes, they're headache inducing. Unfortunately, in Nirvana Black, they were the only two notes that surfaced.
It was suggested to me to at Sephora to layer Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. I did. I tried the suggestion. Now, bear in mind the cost of this suggestion. Even at the cost of the rollerballs which are $22 apiece, that would be layering $44 worth of perfume, just to make Nirvana Black better.
Frankly, it only made it worse. Nirvana Black is far stronger and overpowers Nirvana White, which is an in your face blast of a floral. Peony is the main note and it hits you full frontal in White. As in Black, White has the power to smell synthetic.
So what did Nirvana Black really remind me of? Walking down the laminate plastic aisle at Home Depot. That's my mental image when I smell my hand, my wrist, and where I sprayed this perfume. These are not people-pleasers. At least not to me.
On the up side, they lasted for five hours, that's at least the point that I decided to wash them off. So longevity is wonderful. After the initial blast, which is rather strong, they do sit close to the skin. Nirvana Black seems more suitable for shopping in the winter-time in any home-remodeling store and Nirvana White just comes across more as a floral room spray.
Both are listed as unisex fragrances, but they didn't seem masculine nor feminine to me. Probably because of the more synthetic feel to them, I couldn't nor I wouldn't classify them as either type of fragrance.
These two perfumes are encased in a rather chic container, stylish and sleek. Actually visually pleasing and different. It's the one aspect of the perfume I did like.

Feb
01
2014
ummimtrish
ummimtrish

I was not expecting this to smell like Black Orchid, but it totally does! It's just not as potent.

It's amazing; lots of sandalwood and vanilla. I was expecting violet, but I barely smell any...This smells even more beautiful when layered over Nirvana White.

Edit: I have sample sizes of both TF Black Orchid and Nirvana Black so I sprayed one on each wrist. Black orchid smells sweeter than Nirvana Black...I actually prefer this one. I'm still smelling sandalwood and vanilla with a slight powderiness which I think may be the violet that I didn't get before.

If you're a diehard TF fan, you probably won't like this because you'll realize how much of a copy cat it is. If you like Black Orchid and you're someone who likes to save their hard earned money (like myself) you probably need this in your life.

Jan
31
2014
Eirlys
Eirlys

When I received this sample I got this really nice smell from the package, and it turns out some of this sample spilled. The smell is a rich, warm scent that is almost like scented paper, the kind that is really expensive. I love the smell, and when I spray it on, it's got a really warm tone to it, I feel like I'm wrapped in a cashmere scarf and sitting in front of a fireplace. I think this is a great perfume for winter time, and it feels a little bit grown up, so probably it's more suitable for mature women or mature girls. Definitely a great scent though, I might buy it when I run out of the sample.

Jan
28
2014
happygeisha
happygeisha

this truly smells lovely but its nothing new, trust that. mix a little sandalwood and a little vanilla in a bottle and you're bound to please some noses but again, for the price, you're just not getting anything unusual or inspiring. no, the best thing about this frag is the design. period. the artistic visual of nirvana black and its "twin" will be more that likely what drives the sales of this line. the black and white sleek, modern bottles with gold edging look attractive and feel solid in your hand, not fragile but sturdy and portable. the studded texture and "thin" flask shape are breathtaking and will most certainly compliment any vanity for which they are placed.

Jan
27
2014
AmoreProfumi
AmoreProfumi

Ok so...are we sure this is actually unisex?!...I mean it makes no never mind to me if it is or not...but I just seen on the sample packs that they both just say "for her"...so got me a lil confused, I know the white is deff. feminine but honestly to me even though people say how they see the black being a lil masculine...it also smells feminine to me...I think there's a little confusion The Elizabeth && James Line is after all a women's line that has the balance of feminine && masculine styling...

"Launched in 2007, Elizabeth and James embodies the duality of sophistication and feminine detail balanced with downtown edge and masculine tailoring."

So if I'm not mistaken these are both labeled for women, wouldn't you agree?...Like I said though it makes no difference if it is or not, I'm still getting it b/c it's heavenly && I wear whatever I like && it is just a label...but I just think if they're indeed both for women it's just kind of misleading saying its for both...I mean I'm not 100% sure and I don't care just thought I'd bring it to attention and clarify. :)

Jan
17
2014
Srebecca
Srebecca

When it first hits the skin it's very reminiscent of Black Orchid, which my boyfriend hates on me... But then it sits and starts to smell musky and like massage oils which I LOVE. I mix it with Nirvana White for a perfect combination of sweet and sensual.

Jan
16
2014
larali
larali

Damn, I love this. It is definitely unisex. But it's sexy, dark and fun. You could wear it for everyday or for parties at night. I would buy this just to feel edgy going about my daily activities.

Jan
15
2014
AmoreProfumi
AmoreProfumi

Sephora sent along this as well as other fragrance cards of new/top selling scents they carry with my package, this was in there, I must say I prefer this moreover the white && actually quite like this...I rubbed the sample on my hand && it's really nice on me I get a lot of the sandalwood && vanilla && the added violet is nice to I do like violet in scents && the powderyness I also like...I don't think a rub test is enough though I'd actually like to get a spray of this to see if I really like it, but from what I can smell so far it's not bad...kinda sexy && alluring, I don't really care for what I purchased so I may exchange it for this or something else, I do like that sleek bottle too! :)

Jan
15
2014
em.caroline.9
em.caroline.9

At first I was divided on this (having just done a tester strip spray) but after taking home the sample duo and trying it on my skin I can safely say that I love it. The initial spray is earthy and lacks the sweetness I'd expect from the vanilla.

It definitely has masculine overtones to it, and is a little bit on the dirty side and I love it.

It's not out-there enough to be offputting and I can understand if people who bias towards niche perfumes would find this to be more generic, but i think it makes the perfect bridge between wearable and interesting.

The drydown is velvety and cozy. I'd love to smell this on a man.

Jan
09
2014
charlottesmom
charlottesmom

Blech! Got samples of both White and Black from Sephora, tried them on paper tester strips in the bathroom, walked out to let them sit for a few. I came back in the bathroom to a horrible smell my bathroom reeked of cheapo mens aftershave. I picked up the White tester strip, it was just too floral and something else...off...didn't like, picked up the Black tester strip, and found the cheap aftershave scent. Wowsa, I had to come here and look and sure enough Black is under both men and women as it certainly smells manly IMO. Neither of these perfumes will get a skin test as they are both not my taste. One of the other reviewers mentioned it smelled similar to Dior Addict, I can see that as that one smells like aftershave to me also.

Jan
08
2014
almarie
almarie

This is a beautiful scent! I actually really love how this smells. It almost smells like Tom Ford's Black Orchid for Women. I think it's an acquired taste, however it's really beautiful in the dry down.

Dec
28
2013
StopHammertime
StopHammertime

LOVE. I got a 2ml sample to make sure I wanted it, the magazine sample pretty much convinced me but I wanted to make sure it translated well when sprayed. It reminds me of Black Orchid but takes out everything I dislike about that frag, leaving only the good parts! It also costs quite a bit less, win win. The only part I can see disliking about this is that it doesn't seem like it lasts very long. However this is still on my must buy list for sure. It really feels like a niche frag, although I think that may be because it reminds me so much of the Tom Ford.

Dec
26
2013
Jomoves
Jomoves

Continues the weird perfume trend of exceptionally beautiful bottles containing unexceptional perfume. Next!

Dec
21
2013
rockegg
rockegg

Sandalwood and vanilla tend to hang around a long time, and so this does. The violet works. On the whole I have to agree that it's just not that unique. I suppose that's what happens when you combine only three notes. I like the bottle, and I like the fact that the Olsens are doing well as businesswomen. I'm not the demographic who cared about them one way or the other when they were teen idols. But I am happy to see child stars survive the weirdness and do something else with their lives. So I wish them the best. I would have preferred this scent to be more interesting.

Dec
13
2013
YanaYanaYana
YanaYanaYana

Just like the White one, it's nothing new. Reminds me of some other perfume, Boyfriend maybe. Staying power is good.

Dec
06
2013
perfumeglam87
perfumeglam87

Smelled both samples in allure magazine december issue 2013!! They smell amazinggg omg! one is lighter than the other! Very elegant and classy!

Nov
16
2013
atiet97
atiet97

The bottle design for both colors are devine! Sleek, modern, sophisticated with a little touch of artistic detail. Lean towards niche design.

Can't wait to test them both...although in terms of notes I think I might've hooked by the Black one, especially after reading some review saying it smells like Corso Como but without the Oud! So perfect for me! (I'm no fan of Oud)

Nov
03
2013

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Nirvana Black by Elizabeth and James 3.96 out of 5 based on 230 ratings and 73 user reviews

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