Perfume Pen Pals: Huitieme Art Sucre d'Ebene


I just bought samples of all of the Huitième Art line.

And before you scoff, they're art. How do I know? It's right in the name!



If they're art, why do they look like roll-on deodorants? Next you'll be telling me that Ban is a perfume.


Katie, The bottles are "ceramica cyclope" and they, too, are art. From Huitième Art: A futuristic, white, ceramic-looking Cyclops like a talisman or charm. A symbol signing its silhouette. An eye looking towards the future, a star as a sign of good luck, a compass pointing to a path? And I remember liking the smell of Ban roll-on! Plus, it had a really big ball. One roll and you were covered. Dan
Dan, That was no “big ball” on your Ban. It was an eye looking towards the future. Or towards your armpit. Katie
Katie, My Huitième Art samples arrived today from France, just a few days after I'd ordered them. To review: when I buy something from a Basenotes fellow, it takes him two weeks to walk it down to the post office before he mails it the slowest, cheapest way possible (I think they have babies crawl it across the country), whereas when I buy something from Paris, it practically arrives before I put my credit card back in my wallet. The next time someone mouths off about France, I'm gonna sock him in the mouth. Or at least share this story. But I digress.
So the concept, or manifesto as it's referred to on the Huitième Art website (another reason why we know it's art), is each perfume contains only two or three notes, no pyramids, no complex layers, only the good stuff. Like that Trader Joe's cereal, Just The Clusters, that eliminates all the flakes and healthy nonsense and gives you only the sweet hunks of fatty granola. (And boy it's difficult to go back to regular cereal once you've had a box of those Maple Pecan clusters.) There's more to the manifesto (there always seems to be more when you're reading a manifesto), but I got bored and just sprayed on Sucre d'Ébène (Sugar Ebony), which smells exactly like By Kilian Love. Except quieter. If Love makes you sick, Sucre d'Ébène will make you less sick. So in this scenario, ironically, Love is Just The Clusters and not Sucre d'Ébène. Though I should go back on the website because I'm not sure I'm completely clear on the manifesto. Can you believe I still have seven perfumes to go? Does this ever feel like homework to you? Dan


  1. I can't help but wonder, after reading Dan's proposed violence to France haters, if fumeheads are just passionate, violent people.

  2. Maggie, I'd say that while fumeheads are certainly passionate, we're bigger on proposed violence than actual.

  3. Interesting...I remember reading about this range coming along, and am a big fan of PG, if not of phytoperfumery and new extraction and olfactory photography methods specifically. And Dan, I don't wish to give you more homework, but can you tell the diffference between this and the regular, amalgam filling school of perfume creation?

    PS Are the cyclops bottles distant cousins of those Azzaro Twin personal massager scent bottles?

  4. Vanessa, It's difficult to re-set my brain to the point at which it knew nothing (though less difficult than for some, I'm sure), but I've worn two perfumes in the line so far, the aforementioned Sucre d'Ebene and Vohina, a sweet and sunny peach blossom, and both do possess a kind of uncomplicated clarity. They smell good, they persist well, but there are no surprises, no stray notes. I suppose it's similar to listening to a great record in mono versus stereo: both fill the room but they fill it slightly differently.

    Having said that, if I knew nothing of phytoperfumery prior to sampling these, would I have recognized any differences worth mentioning? It's unlikely.

  5. Hey Dan - just curious. In this manifesto, is there any mention of Wall-E as a proper fragrance dispenser?

    And Sugar Ebony? I'm sorry, but the only nice-smelling item on offer I know that goes by that name will cost me 100 bucks, same as in town.

    Sincerely yours,

  6. And this is why we Americans should never try translating French words: we can only diminish them. Sucre d'Ébène is art, that much is established. Sugar Ebony? Not so much. The manifesto might need a French-only mandate.

  7. Dan,
    Yes it does feel like homework, and I missed my last assignment. Sorry Katie, I lost my digital camera in NYC. Left it in a taxi. Just before I was headed to the Ace hotel to try Lisa Kirk Revolution. So mad at myself, chance at stardom and missed it!;) LOL Dan, Ambre Ceruleen can't wait to hear what you think of this one.

  8. Just for you, Gojira, I put on Ambre Céruléen today. It's a powdery amber of considerable presence (are there any quiet ambers?) and the slightest rasp, completely ill-suited for a man watching baseball on a Sunday afternoon. It's nice but of the two ambers I've tried recently, I prefer Dior's Mitzah, which is more spry than Ambre Céruléen. Wearing Ambre Céruléen, I felt like there was another person with me all day. A person who definitely doesn't like baseball.

    Though I should say nothing and wait for Katie, who's the amber authority. I'll send samples to her this week, and she'll give us the real lowdown.

  9. Dan, I have this current love/hate relationship with it. Powdery aspect of it bothers me just a bit at times. Then some days is brilliant. I almost feel like you about being in different clothing wearing it. I could never wear it playing poker, all wrong! Nice night out with the spouse and a quiet evening listening to Jazz!PERFECT!


  10. Hello Katie, hello Dan!

    I am wondering Katie would be willing to review Le parfum de Thérèse sometime.....

    I hope it isn't inappropriate to post requests in this section.


  11. I was most surprised to have had the chance to try all of these in Dusseldorf at the weekend! I did not care for Sucre d'Ebene, but several of them were light, cool and airy and rather nice - I am that minimalist soldier, of course.

    : - )

  12. Which were your faves, Vanessa?