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Black Heart v. 2 – woody and spicy and smoky - February 11, 2017


Black Heart v. 2 by Map Of The Heart bottle -

My first find of Black Heart v. 2 by Map Of The Heart was on Mark Behnke’s blog Colognoisseur.

On November 5, 2014 he wrote: “It has been seven weeks since I was in Florence for Pitti Fragranze and there is one perfume which has consumed my thoughts since trying it there. One of my favorite new lines I discovered at Pitti was Map of the Heart. Map of the Heart is a debut line from co-founders Sarah Blair and Jeffrey Darling. They have collaborated with perfumer Jacques Huclier on three perfumes. They also have brought in bottle designer Pierre Dinand to fashion heart shaped flacons. Map of the Heart Clear Heart v. 1 and Red Heart v. 3 are nicely executed aquatic and tuberose perfumes, respectively. They are good but the middle volume Black Heart v. 2 is something wholly unique, a perfumed journey into darkness that never compromises by letting in even a tiny sliver of light.”

There it was: “Black Heart v. 2 is something wholly unique, a perfumed journey into darkness that never compromises by letting in even a tiny sliver of light.” I had barely finished the reading the sentence, when I knew I wanted that fragrance.

So what happened between November 2014 and now? The search, dear readers, the search. Before I could buy it, I had to try it and before I could try it, I had to find it. I searched, I Googled, I emailed, I phoned, I asked, I visited – but I never gave up.

Truth is, Black Heart v. 2 eluded me until the day I walked into L'Eclaireur Sévigné, the iconic Parisian concept store. The irony of finding the fragrance I had been hunting for so long, in a store the name of which translates as ‘scout’, was not lost on me.

And, of course, I was looking for something else entirely when I walked into the store, but there it was, Black Heart v. 2 sitting on a shelf. I sprayed it, went for a drink, went back to the store and bought it. A case of find, smell, love.

Regular readers know that it doesn’t take long for me to know if I want a fragrance once experience it.  And that I rarely regret a quick decision (actually, I can’t think of one case of buyer’s remorse at this moment). The only regret I have with Black Heart v. 2 is that I didn’t buy an extra bottle.

Black Heart v. 2 opens with nose-tingling bergamot sweetened with a note of juicy Brazilian orange. Right up behind the citrus comes a camphourous note of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is potent stuff and its moth ball smell can really take over a fragrance, but here it is softly heady and green. It balances the citrus fruits beautifully. The top notes linger as Black Heart v. 2  moves to a heart of darkness – sweet, spicy resinous cardamom, warmed by hot, earthy black pepper and sweet, spicy cinnamon. This is a heart full of warm beauty that rests on a base of smoky wood accords and Australian sandalwood - rich, deep, woody and balsamic.

The Map Of The Heart website says that Black Heart v. 2 was Inspired by the beauty and terror of Australian bush fires that are both destructive and regenerative. It is the moment the flames subside and the blackened tree trunks remain smouldering in a snow of white ash - the piercing sunlight slicing through.

This description is too harsh and violent for such a beautiful fragrance.  The drydown is balsamy, warm and smoky, with a delicate thread of green brightness running through it. The smokiness is not heavy-handed, just very sensual so that Black Heart v. 2 smoulders on my skin for hours and hours. Every time I catch a whiff of it, I am moved by its deep beauty.  It was worth all the effort I made to track it down.

Black Heart v. 2 is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.