This version of XS by Paco Rabanne was launched in 2006, two years before its feminine counterpart. Although not so popular as Paco Rabanne One Million, Black XS gained a respectable fan base, and what had been created as a limited edition, remained on the market steadily. Some notes remind of the original XS, but all in all it is a very different fragrance.
At the start there are slightly citrus notes of aromatic lemon, mixed with brief metallic notes of sage and other layers of florals, woods and spices. This mix doesn’t have a definite character in this initial stage: it doesn’t feel particularly fresh, nor completely oriental, it is rather in the middle of these two extremes. Just like in the feminine version, the first notes of this Black XS for men are quite lazy and don’t want to leave the skin, even when the middle phase has already clearly begun. After a while, when all the citrus notes finally cease to interfere, they can mix with other ingredients like cinnamon, which is now dominant. This spice has sugar sweet tones (a mix of praline with tolù balm), mixed with some traces of the usual citrus notes. The final base notes pass very quickly, with ebony wood and patchouli mixing with the sweet notes. On the test paper the following day, woods are the most intense note, with a sweet lemon in the background.
This Black XS by Paco Rabanne is good for any time of the year. The wood notes of are aromatic, neither fresh nor particularly dense, and the rest of the notes are not attached to a season in particular. This is a fragrance for the office, rather than for the night, when I would choose something more aggressive (but still gentle) like Cool Water by Zino Daividoff. Don’t wear it if you are not at least 25.