Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

August 20, 2014

Elizabeth and James launched the Nirvana Black and White Eau de Parfum as a Sephora Exclusive earlier this year. When the line launched, Sephora had adorable mini roll-ons available as 100 point perks for Beauty Insiders. They literally flew off out of stores but I was lucky to find them online via Sephora.com and I used up my points to redeem for both (and a couple backups of each). I fell head over heels in love with Nirvana Black and purchased the full size 1.0 fl oz ($55) version during the Summer Surge Event.

Nirvana Black is described as a “blend of alluring violet, sensual sandalwood, and rich vanilla that strike the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.” I’m a fan of fragrances that have a hint of sandalwood which gives scents a sort of smoky, spicy, dark touch. On me it’s more of a date-night kind of fragrance but I love it during both day and night. It has really good lasting power in both the roll-on and spray, I like the mini roll-ons because they fit easily into a compact makeup bag or clutch and don’t take up much space.

I spritzed Nirvana White on me in store at Sephora when these first launched. I tend to prefer lighter scents and thought I would prefer the lighter version. By itself I found it too floral although my husband loves it on me. The Nirvana White is described as having “delicate peony, chic muguet, and tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication.” I’m not a fan of wearing peony scents on the skin, as I find them too floral and powdery, although I love the actual flower scent just as flowers. 

Book: Influence

After posting several snapshots of the mini roll-ons, several readers have suggested I layer them both.  It does create an interesting blend of floral and spice but I still lean more towards preferring the Nirvana Black. I love the simple design with the gold detail. When it comes to fragrance, the packaging design matters a lot to me. There are some fragrances I have not purchased that I love the scents of simply because the bottles are either too gaudy or just plain hideous. I like the textured grooves in the surface because it makes these more interesting without looking like spikes.

Nirvana Black is a bit too spicy for warm hot summer days but I still wear it. I personally think it will be perfect for fall. Bottom line love and I hope they extend the line to include home fragrance or oils.

Nirvana Black is available exclusively at Sephora in different sizes. $22 for the 0.34 oz rollerball, $55 for the 1.0 fl oz bottle, or $75 for the 1.7 fl oz bottle. Both minis are also available in the Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler $58 (you get a scent certificate to any US Sephora store to redeem for a full-size bottle at no extra cost, see website for details on how to redeem).

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  • I've been seeing both fragrances everywhere and it really piked my interest. I'm very interested in the Black version, it sounds like a dream to me. I really hope it will be available in Europe sometime soon, love the bottle as well!

  • The bottle of this is one of its kind and a lot of people are fans of the perfume! I'd love to get a sniff!


  • I purchased both roller balls and figured I would like Nirvana Black. I guess I'm more classic than I would like to admit because I ended up preferring Nirvana White. I found the other one too strong and passed it along to my sister.

  • love the way you took pictures of the bottle. they can you use your pictures for their ad! so beautiful!

  • Wow, lovely pictures! I purchased the rollerball of the white, and the full bottle of the black! I love the two together.

  • They've announced that they're coming out with oils soon…they posted a pic on the Elizabeth and James instagram a while back: http://instagram.com/p/o1dZ9zAE9o/?modal=true

  • The black version is perfect for fall, I agree! πŸ™‚

  • These sound great and I love your photography! xo

  • Nirvana Black is one of my favourite scents right now. I have the large rollerball version that you purchase (10 ml) I think. I need to get a full bottle STAT!

  • I need to try this perfume! Love your blog.
    Lots of love, xx


  • Anonymous

    They are coming out with oils very soon. Stay tuned!

  • Hi Sabrina,

    I was intrigued when Nirvana White and Black launched— as I do find Eliz & James to be a fun line. I do find both scents to be pretty pleasant overall, with a nice choice of notes. I think it depends on what one is looking for — as Sephora creations, they fall a bit into the crowd-pleaser category, however in that same sense, that makes both Nirvanas relaxed and easy to wear.

    Personally, I prefer Nirvana White! Both Muguet and Peony are among my favorite floral notes (the more feminine the better!)