“Black” for Markham

The signature fragrance of men’s fashion and clothing retailer Markham was about twelve months in development and was launched in December 2017. Everything, from the perfume formula, to the bottle and cap, to the box, is made in South Africa by perfumer Max Millies. Characterized by a fresh, woody background vitalized with summer citrus tones, amber and marine notes, Markham “Black” is distinctly masculine, warm and provocative.

The overall impression of the perfume is that it is rather delicious and quite sexy – clean, citrusy but not overwhelmingly so, with a sea breeze freshness, and a lingering, cinnamon warmth and woody base note. Kind of makes you want to sniff someone who wears it up close. It is being sold by a men’s fashion retailer but anyone could wear this fragrance, it is so appealing.

Top note:

Fruity, warm cinnamon, grassy.

Middle note:

Lemony, sweetish, with fresh sea scent.

Base note:

Mossy, woody, with a grassy element like newly cut lawn or hay.


  • Alcohol denat,
  • Aqua (aquatic with marine note),
  • Parfum,
  • Limonene (like the name indicates, citrusy-fruity-orange-tarty-fresh),
  • Linalool (a light floral),
  • Butylphenyl methyl propional,
  • Hexyl cinnamal (Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde  – HCA – aromatic white floral like jasmine, gardenia, and a little of raspberry-honey),
  • Alpha-iso-methyl ionene,
  • Coumarin,
  • Hydroxycitronellal,
  • Citronellol (fresh floral with tones of citrus and geranium),
  • Cinnamal (like cinnamon – spicy- warm) aromatic,
  • Citral (strong lemon),
  • Evernia prunastri extract,
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene

Formula highlights

Aqua (aquatic or marine note)

“The fragrance category of “aquatic” scents is relatively new in the perfume world. This classification generally refers to a traditional fresh or floral composition that is enhanced by marine notes during the evaporation process. This particular group of scents offers a lot of excellent options for the warmer months as these marine notes tend to be quite complementary with the hot summer sun and long days at the beach.

Marine notes add a bright, fresh and natural touch to fragrances. Examples of marine notes would be sea water, ocean breeze, algae, sea weed, drift wood and sand. These elements are obviously reminiscent of the beach and sea, hence the “marine” classification. The explanation of this particular category of notes is difficult to translate to words so it may seem vague but the impact on your olfactory system is undeniable. These scents will instantly transport you to a world of fresh breeze and salty air.”

(This informative description by “ron” of perfume.com blog.)

Amber perfume oil

Labdanum resin, which is one of the ingredients referred to in the overall description, is synthesized and is most popular and most recognizably “amber” today. It is not the historical, rare and restricted ingredient called ambergris which comes from endangered sperm whales. This amber note is sweet, woody and earthy – a little like rich, damp wood.


Coumarin, as a popular perfume ingredient, is naturally found in the Tonka bean (Dipteryx odorate) – the name comes from the Amazonian word “cumaru” which means Tonka bean tree; Vanilla grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum); Sweet clover (Meliotus L.); Sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata); and cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum aromaticum), and also lavender, cherries, strawberries and apricots. It can also be synthesized chemically and has a sweet, vanilla-like, fruity odour with a grassy element like newly cut lawn or hay. At high concentrations, it can smell of tobacco which can be used in fragrances for men, while at lower concentrations, it is used as a base note in fragrances for women. The inclusion of this component makes Black suitable for both men and women.

Evernia prunastri

Evernia prunastri, also known as oakmoss, is used extensively in modern perfumery and fragrant compounds are extracted from the organic material as oakmoss absolutes and extracts. It is commonly used as a fixative or base note, and smells woody, sharp and slightly sweet. 


The flawlessly smooth, glossy black box and bottle are black and gold and embossed with the Markham “crown” icon (above) in gold.

Attribution for graphics:
Source: Pexels.com – CC0 License; ✓ Free for personal and commercial use; ✓ No attribution required

2 Replies to ““Black” for Markham”

  1. Hi Max, I’m so much in love with this perfume (Markham Black ) but they have recently discontinued selling it. What is the closest perfume you can recommend as a replacement? I find it difficult to use any perfume because I don’t like strong ones. Markham Black was the best for me anytime

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