Pierre Guillaume – Not just a pretty face!
What a busy boy Pierre Guillame is. Not only is he the man and the exceptionally talented nose behind the über exciting brand Parfumerie Générale, he is also responsible for brands such as Phaedon and Hutième Art. He creates for all three brands whilst managing to look effortlessly handsome. It makes you hate him just a little bit, doesn’t it?
Ok, I’m just being silly, I don’t really hate Pierre Guillaume, in fact it’s quite the opposite, I have great respect for him and his fragrant vision. He has managed to craft himself a distinct style and has very much found his own little niche in the market. With Parfumerie Générale and Huitième Art, Guillaume tinkers with the most ancient and noble of ingredients, interpreting each one in new and surprising ways.
Huitième Art is one Pierre Guillaume’s many projects and is a collection of 9 perfumes “showcasing an all-new ‘plant capture’, an original plant-inspired accord or natural organic ingredient” and with “an emphasis on originality and sophistication”. Each perfume is housed in one of the most fascinating flacons I have ever come across, a part-modern, part-natural ceramic cyclops intended to represent the eye looking to the future, which just so happens to be the exact same direction that M. Guillaume’s nose is pointed.
“A powdery balm for an airy amber”
Opoponax, Fève Tonka and Sandalwood
How Does it Smell?
I’m not usually a massive fan of amber. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good cosy dose of amber, but it’s just not my favourite style of perfume, perhaps because I haven’t found my amber yet. Or should I say ‘hadn’t found my amber yet’, that was until Ambre Céruléen came into my world.
Ambre Céruléen is a euphorically beautiful amber that has everything a good amber should, and in perfect proportion. Velvety sandalwood, creamy vanilla and a light dusting of spices, namely cinnamon, clove and god-knows-what-else that makes it so utterly fabulous.
A good amber should envelop you and wrap you in it’s warmth. The amber is the olfactory comfort blanket, it defends you from the cold, harsh realities of life and wraps you in a cloud of luxury, safety and love. Ambre Céruléen does all this in such a smooth and effortless way that I can’t help but fall in love with it.
I wonder what the Amber Queen over at Olfactoria’s Travels thinks of this one?
“The gentle caress of sweet trade winds”
Brown Sugar, Witch Hazel and Benzoin
How Does it Smell?
My first thought upon smelling Sucre D’Ebène was “Wow, this actually smells like burned sugar!” Sucre D’Ebène instantly makes me think for those glorious wisps of caramel, fastidiously constructed into a birds nest and wrapped around the finest of desserts. It is definitely an odd bird, that at times can be very difficult to wrap your head/nose around.
Pierre Guillaume has a real talent for creating surprising gourmand confections that are rooted within deep woods and rich, exotic ingredients. Sucre D’Ebène is no exception, the dark brown sugar sits upon a bed of cosy, fluffy benzoin that makes it feel like a more adult version of candy floss, one that isn’t coloured in pink hues but tones of rather wonderful golden brown.
Like a few fragrances within the Parfumerie Générale line, namely Musc Maori, I’m not entirely sure just how wearable Sucre D’Ebène is. Don’t get me wrong, it does smell wonderful on the skin, and I love to to smell it, I’m just still deliberating as to whether I would want to smell of it. That said, there is definitely something addictive about it that really appeals to my sweet tooth and whilst I’m still making my mind up I am more than happy to keep smelling this confection for grown-ups.
“The story of myrrh is as old as that of perfume”
Myrrh, Black Tea Absolute, Vanilla and Liqourice
How Does it Smell?
Myrrhiad is the latest addition to the Huitième Art line and is so far the only perfume to be added to the line since its launch. I find it to be quite an unusual take on myrrh, a note that is usually paired with relatively dry, woody materials to amp up its masculine facets. With Myrrhiad, Guillaume takes a different approach and opts to use vanilla to soften and tame this most ancient of notes.
The vanilla itself is very soft, it is quite understated and dry with a wonderfully sweet smoky aura that pairs pretty damn nicely with the myrrh. I especially like how the vanilla isn’t allowed to take over, something that it can so often do, it’s very easy to ‘over-egg the vanilla pudding’ as it were, but thankfully a good deal of vanilla restraint has been exercised here.
To contrast the sweetness of the vanilla, black tea and liquorice have been added. Both of these ingredients add a myriad (no pun intended) of facets – earthy, rooty, herbal and menthol – that keep the vanilla in check and add a good deal of ‘darkness’ that is more than welcome.
Myrrhiad is a very interesting perfume, but like Sucre D’Ebène, it has an unusual toasted-sugar note that I’m not entirely comfortable with in a perfume. That said it is inherently more wearable than the latter and It does smell great. If you’re looking for an unusual take on myrrh then I would highly recommend it.
Ambre Céruléen, Sucre D’Ebène and Myrrhiad are available in 50ml Eau de Parfum for £88.
This review is based on samples of Ambre Céruléen and Sucre D’Ebène supplied by Les Senteurs and a sample of Myrrhiad sourced myself.
All quotes and notes via huitiemeart.com
Image 1 cafleurebon.com
Images 2, 3 & 4 luckyscent.com