CPB I Love Perfume – CB I Hate Perfume 7 Billion Hearts & M5 Where We Are There Is No Here Perfume Reviews

CB I Hate Perfume

With so many perfume launches per year and the overwhelming number of niche houses that seem to be popping up all over the place, it stands to reason that one has to give in to the fact that not everything can be tried, and in some cases entire lines must be ignored for the sake of one’s sanity. For me, CB I Hate Perfume was one of these lines that unfortunately fell by the wayside.

I’m not entirely sure why I have ignored CB I Hate Perfume for so long, Christopher Brosius  is regarded as somewhat of an industry maverick and his appearance in BBC4’s Perfume documentary last year should have piqued my interest, but instead it had the opposite affect. Instead I couldn’t help but feel that line was just a gimmick hiding behind an eccentric personality – watch me eat my words.

I recently had the opportunity to try the two latest CB I Hate Perfume fragrances (in water perfume concentration); 7 Billion Hearts and M5 Where We Are There Is No Here. The names didn’t fill me with a huge amount of confidence, they again sounded quite gimmicky, but I’m always happy to be proved wrong and despite the names both of these new offerings from CB I Hate Perfume are beautifully unusual.

7 Billion Hearts

7 Billion Hearts

“There are now or shortly will be seven billion people on the planet. Seven billion souls hoping and dreaming. Seven billion hearts beating. One of them inevitably beats for you.” [1]

The Notes

Vanilla and Smoky Notes [2]

How Does it Smell?

Like the best vanilla extract in the world.

7 Billion Hearts is part of CB I Hate Perfume’s Reinvention Series and was inspired by the “gorgeous rich sensual vanilla/amber perfumes of the early 20th century” [3]. The idea behind it stems from the fact that vanilla is one of the best loved smells on the planet, yet the amount of vanilla grown simply cannot satiate the human hunger for it, therefore the majority used in perfumery is synthetic. With 7 Billion Hearts Brosius wanted to present a ‘true vanilla’ to really show the value of one of the world’s most beautiful materials.

The vanilla in 7 Billion Hearts is a blend of absolutes from Tahiti and Madagascar and the difference between this vanilla and the vanilla in almost every other perfume is startling, even shocking. 7 Billion Hearts opens with beautifully smoky, warm vanilla that is a tiny bit sour and smells just like the seeds scraped from the pods. The vanilla is a strange vanilla, it feels rich and pure as you would expect from ‘the real thing’ but at times it can feel like a vanilla seen through a kaleidoscopic lens, casting new shapes and colours of onto the skin.

This kaleidoscopic vanilla is also something of a shape-shifter, it seems to be constantly evolving and changing. It starts out slightly sour, then becomes velvety sweet before progressing into toasted sugar and caramel territory. It eventually ends up as a blend of salty caramel and lightly smoky amber. Perhaps the most surprising thing about 7 Billion Hearts is despite the melange of wonderful gourmand notes it never feels cloying or sticky, it is in fact quite light.

Vanilla lovers are guaranteed to love 7 Billion Hearts but I think it is charming enough to transcend genres, it is after all a rather beautiful perfume, and I can see that it would perhaps win over those who don’t think they like vanilla due to its dry, smoky and very natural take on the most classic of notes. 7 Billion Hearts may be pricey (£200 for the water perfume) but it is totally worth it.

Where We Are There Is No Here

M5 Where We Are There Is No Here

“405 is a paradox – the antithesis of perfume. It is completely intangible and almost undetectable. Yet it has great presence and allure. Like the ghost of a flower, it touches the subconscious of those who wear it and those who encounter it.” [4]

The Notes

ISO E Super, Hedione, Moroccan Jasmine, Indian Jasmine, Egyptian Jasmine, Amber, Australian Sandalwood, Mysore Sandalwood and Musk [5]

How Does It Smell?

I have to admit that I wasn’t too excited about trying M5 Where We Are There Is No Here, hereafter simply referred to as M5, because the idea of these ‘anti-perfumes’ frankly nark me. Perfumes such as the Escentric Molecules and Juliette Has a Gun’s Not a Perfume are annoying as they are dull. But whatever cynicism I approached M5 with was quickly dissolved, it is a perfume, one that is utterly compelling and beautiful but in a remarkable and unexpected way.

M5 was inspired by Jean Cocteau’s last film (Le Testament d’Orphée) and is described by Brosius as being “…made to create a special place in the inner world. The world of poetry. The world of the imagination. The world of the surreal.” [6] Surreal is perhaps the perfect word for M5 because I struggle to find another perfume that smells in any way like it, it does stand alone, and although I don’t think it is a perfume that I would wear regularly I do find myself somewhat bewitched whenever I put it on.

CB I Hate Perfume’s foray into the anti-perfume spectrum opens with pepper, woods and leather, all of which fizzle out rapidly before making way for the jasmine. The jasmine is the main player in M5, but it’s not like any jasmine I have smelled. This jasmine is an alien jasmine (much more alien than the jasmine used in Mugler’s Alien), it has a spine-tingling presence that feels like a ghostly breath lurking in the shadows. Just like hot breath it has a sour indolic quality that at once feels both pleasant and disturbing.

Despite its pungency, M5 is an impossibly quiet fragrance and it wears closer to the skin than any other skin scent I have experienced before – you really have to plant your nose firmly against your wrists to smell it. It is utterly captivating but it’s not something I would wear, I like to be able to SMELL my perfumes and although I think its a great essay in how to make a beautiful skin scent I won’t be purchasing a bottle.

For another interesting take on these perfumes please head over to The Non Blonde where you will find Gaia’s reviews of 7 Billion Hearts and Where We Are There is No Here.


Both 7 Billion Hearts and M5 Where We Are There Is No Here are available in 2ml & 15ml perfume absolute and 100ml water perfume. All concentrations are available via CB I Hate Perfume and the water perfumes are also available from Escentual. Prices range £20-£215.

The water perfumes are definitely an interesting idea, Brosius chooses to use distilled water and oil over alcohol because “oil and water are what the skin needs to hold fragrance the longest” [7], but the water does take longer to dry and can become frothy if the bottle is shaken. I’m still on the fence as to whether I prefer water over alcohol.


This review is based on samples of 7 Billion Hearts and Where We Are There Is No Here Water Perfumes supplied by Escentual.com.

Image 1 trendland.net
Image 2 tsvetnoy.com
Image 3 needsupply.com

All quotes via cbihateperfume.com 


35 thoughts on “CPB I Love Perfume – CB I Hate Perfume 7 Billion Hearts & M5 Where We Are There Is No Here Perfume Reviews

  1. £200 for 100 ml of even the best in the world vanilla diluted in water “is totally worth it”? Well, I guess – as long as there are people willing to pay. I’m not. Since I do not hate perfume but rather like it, I’ll probably refrain from buying “not a perfume”s.

      • Not at all. It should only be the first comment so I’m not entirely sure why your comments today have needed to be approved. Sometimes if you change details (e-mail etc) it can reset your account to being approved for your first comment again.

      • Probably it’s a development of WP’s recent quirks with asking people to re-sign in, telling them that their e-mails belong to another account, etc. I was surprised because I didn’t change a thing: I was (and still am) signed in under my WP account. Well, no harm 🙂

    • It does seem very expensive and I probably would prefer to pay for a smaller bottle but it is a really awesome vanilla.

      The anti-perfume is intriguing and worth sampling but I don’t see it as something particularly wearable.

  2. I love the names of the perfumes, and that vanilla sure sounds intriguing.
    Do you know anything about the shelf life of those water perfumes? They must have loads of preservatives to keep them stable…

    • I couldn’t find anything about the shelf life on the website but I did find this:

      “The Ingredients in all CB Water Perfumes & CB HOME Sprays are: Distilled Water, Fragrance, PPG-26 Buteth-26, PEG-40 and Hydrogenated Castor Oil.”

      Like you, I assume that there are preservatives in there to keep it all together.

    • I have a bottle of CBIHP Mr. Hulot’s Holiday that I’ve had for a couple of years. It’s still exactly as it was. I have others, but have gone through those–I spritz them like crazy when I wear them. They are light and subtle, even when I go nuts with the spritzing. I was hesitant on the oils, and hesitant on selling them. People prefer spritzing for the most part. However, I have become partial to the oils after testing several, and Burning Leaves concentrated oil is selling like crazy (the water perfume was already a best seller). I plan to add more extraits because of this. What I’m wondering is how 7 Billion Hearts smells compared to my layering Burning Leaves with iPdF Vaniglia del Madagascar. I was supposed to receive a sample of 7BH but it was the only sample left out of my request. With all the great reviews, I am even more intrigued!

  3. I’m actually a little shocked that you, a great lover of Eld’O, whose motto is Le Parfum Est Mort, Vive le Parfum, have kept away from CB! Unable to afford his perfumes, I have opted to buy his perfume extraits that last forever because it’s basically oil, and the scents are out of this world. He suggests putting the water scents in your hair or on your clothes so they last a bit longer than on your skin. I like to layer the extraits, which means I never really ever wear the same CB combo at once. It’s genius!

    • I know it’s disgusting isn’t it? I am ashamed 😛

      Do you buy the 2ml extraits? I was tempted by a small bottle of 7 Billion Hearts in the oil and wondered how long 2ml would last me. I imagine the oil is mind-blowing.

      I love the idea of layering the extraits, although I’m not a fan of layering generally, it’s like you have your own custom blend every day. I would love to go to his ‘gallery’ in NYC and sample all of the accords.

  4. I am practically hopping from one foot to the other to try this when I get home later tonight. Thanks so, so much for the sample. I’ve been waiting for your review to try it (plus I have been tied up with Fils de Dieu and Opus VI which is my SOTD). 7 Billion Hearts willl be my scent of the weekend.

    Thanks for the link to Gaia’s wonderful review too, which I had missed – she says it could be The One?!. She mentions the perfume absolute which is $30 for 2ml lasts for a long time so if it is my perfect Oddball Vanilla (© dee Howe) I’d consider going for that.

  5. I’m with Julia, I nearly choked on my coffee when I read the price for the water perfume! LOL, I’m sure it’s probably one of those things I’d have to smell to understand 😉

    I’ve tested a few fragrances from the line, but nothing that has particularly moved me, and I tend to move on after a couple shots. As you say, there are so many out there to try! Unlike ELDO’s silly marketing, which actually pleases my perverse side, the Hating Perfume angle is harder to appreciate (I’m working so hard to get people around me to love perfume!).

    However (this is a big fat capitol H), I think I will give the oil perfume extrait of 7B a try (adding to my list right now), because when it comes to delicious perfumes, I completely trust you 🙂

    • I get what you mean re the hating perfume angle and I think that’s what put me off slightly. It seemed like a real gimmick, whereas the silly marketing of ELD’O is just endearing to me. I love those guys!

      Let me know how you get on with the extrait, I’m very tempted myself!

      I’m glad that you trust me with delicious perfumes 😛

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  7. I have freshly sprayed on the CB vanilla one (another grateful recipient of a sample!) and it is the very first perfume – even more so than Mona di Orio Vanille, which is also a very natural vanilla – that smells like my pendant bottle of Ajne Vanille (a blind buy, egged on by someone who had a spare to sell.) That is if anything even more toasted and treacly but without doubt the real deal, and you might well appreciate it. It is a bit too realistic for my taste, plus it might work better on male skin. Next time I see or send you stuff you have to try the Ajne – I sense you can square up to the most intense vanillas in a way I am not sure I can! : – )

  8. I read the Manifesto first, and the “hate perfume” angle doesn’t annoy me – I don’t agree with it, but I’m perfectly fine with the guy making fragrances that have real-life analogs rather than stuff that smells like Capital-P Perfume.

    But I’ve had poor luck with CBIHP – the scents smell nice, but they sort of… SIT THERE on my skin like lumpen malevolent birds. not sayin’ nuffink. And they… GLARE. Like, “Yeah, you over there sucking up my gorgeous essence – you get your beak outta my feathers. Now. Like, yesterday. Now go away, little girl.”

    However. That is one gorgeous review for 7Billion Hearts, man. Loved it.

  9. Pingback: “People Who Smell Like Everyone Else Disgust Me” – Christopher Brosius | The Candy Perfume Boy

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  11. Pingback: The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Vanilla | The Candy Perfume Boy

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