Nasomatto Black Afgano – As Good As The Hype?

Cannabinoid perfumes are always going to evoke a little bit of suspicion to me.

It’s one of those things in fragrance I often approach with a healthy degree of scepticism, not being a fan of deliberate edginess in marketing and describing fragrance.
Drugs and sex are the two main weapons utilised in this manner.
I’ve seen a few fragrances with provocative names explicitly naming notes like ‘cocaine’ or ‘sex’ and often it’s a bit of a letdown on the skin.

So, given that Black Afgano’s description is a simple sentence saying ‘the purpose is to emulate good hashish’, I approached with caution.

Initial Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by Black Afgano.
Firstly, because it actually does smell reminiscent of what it purports to be.
Secondly, because it isn’t obnoxious about it.

It doesn’t try to make you smell like you’ve been using it, and couple that with projecting like a monster.
Though this does project strongly, it doesn’t reek of narcotics.
There’s a blast of it at the start, but then it becomes its own beast.

Black Afgano is presented in Nasomatto’s signature small 30mL bottle with a somewhat hilariously oversized cork-textured cap.
The design is an acquired taste, and I don’t think I’ve quite acquired it, though I don’t hate it.
It’s parfum strength, hence the small portion.
The perfume is created by Alessandro Gualtieri.

The Olfactory Notes

Black Afgano is comprised of mostly heavy, resinous notes that sit close to the skin on me.
A look at reviews on sites like Fragrantica shows many people experiencing it leaping off of their skin, though my experience is one of it sitting close to the skin while having a terrifically long scent trail.

Spritzing the scent onto the skin leads with a large dose of the cannabinoid hashish accord. It’s quite green in its sharpness, buffed up by a touch of incense, though the heavy resinous body also shows itself immediately.
As the drydown process evolves, so too does the fragrance.
The sharp green notes taper off, without completely losing their presence.
The fragrance becomes heavier, with an earthy blend of resins, woods, a hint of coffee and a dose of dark tobacco.
This remains the overarching character of Black Afgano right through to the base, where the coffee disappears and the earthiness evolves yet again into showcasing the character of a pleasantly wearable synthetic oud.

The note list cites incense as another base note, but my nose doesn’t detect it in the base. It probably blends into the resins and my olfactory nerves lose the perception of it.


Longevity: .8/1

Black Afgano has good longevity, remaining on my skin for around eight hours before becoming a trace on the skin.

Projection/Sillage: .8/1

Likewise, the scent makes itself noticed. Moreso on me through sillage than overt projection, although this will vary depending on your own skin chemistry.

Blend Quality: 1/1

The blend is exceptional, with excellent evolution and good ingredients.

Presentation: .5/1

The degree of appreciation when it comes to the bottle design is going to vary wildly, but for me, I could take it or leave it.

Personal Smell Score: .75/1

Black Afgano is a solid piece of perfumery and it’s quite hard to fault it. However, I don’t find myself wanting to smell like it too often nor am I really blown away by it.
Nevertheless, it’s a polished work and it scores accordingly.

Total score: 3.85/5

What Would I Wear This With?

I see Black Afgano as a casual fragrance best suited to spring/autumn casual wear.
My kind of casual wear goes well with it, I think. Relaxed tailoring with Western influences and a bit of workwear suit the earthy character of the scent.
You could wear it on a date if you feel inclined.
I wouldn’t wear it with a necktie.

Concluding Thoughts

I’m glad that Black Afgano bucked the trend of edgy drug-referencing perfumes that don’t deliver on their promises.
It’s a decent scent, and I think it’s quite approachable.
Wearable as a unisex scent.

Avoid the blind buy. Sample first, or buy a decant.
I think I may be sounding like a broken record with that sentence by now…

It’s true for every single fragrance.


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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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