Mainstream Monday: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

Nirvana BlackI’m quite late to the party on this, but stumbled across Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black in Sephora the other day. I’m a bit too old to appreciate its creators, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, or their series “Full House,” but I recalled reading some favorable reviews of this, so decided to give it a whirl.

Nirvana Black’s violet, vanilla and sandalwood (plus a few other notes, I’m thinking) roll out as a warm sandalwood musk, very likeable and cozy, with some spices peeking through later to help dial up the heat. It evoked several layers of enjoyable scent and definitely smells like more than the sum of its parts.

Alas, I tried the rollerball version of it only, and was hoping to get a spray sample but all the SAs were slammed, and I was tight on time. So I left less than fully scented, and can’t speak to its lasting power or sillage (although the rollerball swipe lasted decently). But it’s a testament to Nirvana Black’s allure that I’m planning to try this sprayed, just for comparison’s sake, and will do so as soon as I next set foot into Sephora.

Now this isn’t going to set the world on fire, as there are a number of other scents that feather this style nest, but all in all, I thought it quite appealing, and would be perfect on a chilly day or evening. Also, I could see this working equally well on the guys.

And it didn’t hurt that I was rather taken with the retro-leaning, sleek, black square bottle, which reminded me of both a vintage evening clutch and a cigarette lighter.

On my way out of Sephora, one corner of my inside arm got a little swipe of the Nirvana White, and to my nose it fell somewhere between one of the Stella scents and one of the newer Chloes. Nice enough, but not memorable, at least for me. But in the spirit of fairness, perhaps this, too, should warrant a full-blown spraying next time around. Any excuse to go back, because, really, do we need a reason to do more sniffing/shopping?

  • Dina C. says:

    Yeah, I’m way too old for Mary Kate and Ashley, but my DD watched “Full House” reruns a few years ago. Today (10/29) I decided to try Nirvana Black since I have a sample and hadn’t tried it yet. So far, it’s totally not my thing, but I’m still keeping an open mind. I’m glad to read other people’s impressions of it.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Dina! I’m glad you gave it a go, even if it’s not for you. And compared to some of the dreck out there, it’s not half bad, is it?

  • jaime says:

    This was one of my first full bottle purchases once I started getting into perfumes. It has several hours’ of longevity on me, and silage is work- appropriate. Love it! Nirvana White eventually grew on me, but hasn’t been fbw, compared to NB.

  • maggiecat says:

    We do not need a reason – it’s nice to have one though!

  • wefadetogray says:

    I sadly didn’t like either. I got both in a small size little roller thingy and nope. I actually, if forced to choose may prefer White than Black, but the latter on me smelled a bit bad. My skin can turn even really expensive perfumes into very cheap things so Black went the sour route pretty fast on my troublesome skin.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, no! Sorry to hear this. But I could see how it might go that way on some people’s skins, so don’t feel bad. Plenty of other fragrant fish in the sea, right?

  • Portia says:

    Can’t wait to get to the states and try this.
    Portia xx

  • Love that bottle!

  • Lisa D says:

    Heck, I’d blind buy it just because it comes in a 7ml size for less than $14, with free shipping, on Amazon. 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Excellent! Thanks so much, Lisa, for sharing that. I think there might be several of us who might be going there with you.

  • Rina says:

    I have rollerballs of both and like White but LOVE Black! It is very Black Orchid-ee without the hammer BC can be. I find it a great bed-time scent too. I was excited for the dry oil that just came out till I saw it was a dropper-type and not spray. I’m glad I have it, I think it’s very well done, as is all Elizabeth and James..

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Rina — what a great way to describe it, using Black Orchid. Now I want to try the oil as well as a full-on spritz 🙂

  • Nemo says:

    I am really itching to try this one (the Black more than the White)! I have held myself back from the blind-buy several times, since I don’t have a Sephora nearby…this only nudged me more in that direction though 🙂

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nemo! I’m always scared of blind buys, but maybe you could sample it first? See Lisa D’s comment below about the small size on Amazon; that might not be too bad.

  • Well since I’m going to the mall tomorrow… I might as well pop into Sephora. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll give Nirvana Black a whirl!