Black XS by Paco Rabanne Cologne Review

I recently got another order of fragrances which included the very good, 212 VIP. Also in the box, was a bottle of Black XS by Paco Rabanne for men. I have already reviewed other scents by this brand, 1 Million and Invictus, and so I thought that it was time to tackle Black XS. In this post, I want to present my opinions on how it smells, performs, when it should be worn, and if it i worth a buy or not.


Notes include: Kalamanzi, Calabrese lemon, patchouli, praline, cinnamon, black amber

Click here to try: Black Xs By Paco Rabanne For Men, Eau De Toilette Spray, 3.4-Ounce Bottle

black xs paco rabanne review


The opening of Black XS is hardly reminiscent of anything ‘black’ or dark for that matter. I suppose it takes on the name because of the black amber note, which is strange, since it isn’t one of the main noticeable ingredients. You initially get a pretty pungent blast of lemon. sweetness of praline, and a spicy/leathery sort of aroma from the cinnamon and patchouli. The cinnamon note actually reminds me of 1 Million. Much like that other Paco Rabanne fragrance, Black XS’s notes take on a different kind of fruity smell than its ingredients would suggest. In 1 Million, you get the sensation of grape bubblegum while in Black XS it smells a lot like a strawberry flavored candy of some sort blended with praline.

When I wore this cologne the other day, I really didn’t like the opening at all. It was too sweet and harsh for my tastes and I felt like I was getting a headache. However, I decided that I’d chalk that up to being really sleep deprived and not feeling good in general. Today, I consider it to be much more pleasant, though it still doesn’t blow me away with how it starts. In fact, I can detect the separation of the notes much better, and it doesn’t smell like such an intense strawberried mess which bumps it up a few points in my mind.

As it wears on, Black XS does indeed get ‘darker’. It still isn’t a dark scent in my opinion but it definitely isn’t as bright as the opening. It does retain its sweetness and grows into something that is rather warm and more woodsy. I detect more of the cinnamon and patchouli during the dry down period of this fragrance.

Projection wise, Black XS starts out pretty strong, but not nearly anything like 1 Million. It does lose some of its power as time wears on, so don’t expect a beast scent throughout. Longevity is pretty good but again not spectacular. I’m getting 6 hours of solid use so far and maybe a little longer as a purely skin scent.

Black XS is yet another cold weather scent. I think it could be alright in the spring but definitely not during the heat of summer. It is much more of a youthful type of fragrance, think, early 20s and below. It’s kind of playful and not stuffy and serious like some other scents. It also strikes me more of a nightlife kind of cologne but it wouldn’t totally be out of place in a casual situation.

Overall, is Black XS worth a buy? Perhaps. This isn’t a fragrance for everyone and I don’t even know if it’ll be one for me (at least on a regular basis). I picked up a bottle on sale for $20, so, I’m not entirely disappointed with it. It is definitely an interesting scent and is attractive in a lot of ways. You will have to enjoy sweet fragrances, obviously. Plus, lemon and patchouli are ingredients you’ll have to like, otherwise stay away. Black XS is a very solid fragrance but not anything insanely impressive. It might find a home in your collection but I don’t think it’ll become a signature scent.