Huitieme Art, the simplistic, minimalistic and beautifully presented fragrance line by Parfumerie Generale’s exceptionally talented Pierre Guillaume. I recently tried Fareb, Myrrhiad and briefly sniffed Sucre D’Ebene last time I was in Les Senteurs. I didn’t really like any of them, which was so tedious because I really wanted to! I HAVE to own one of these! The bottles in person, are a work of art, I love them, and one would look outstanding nestled amongst my petit collection.
So, I ordered these too samples. I haven’t got anything fruity in my collection (which I have only just noticed as I type this), so I was intrigued by the pear note listed in Ciel D’Airain, and then of course the mango in Manguier Metisse… here’s what I think of them:
Pear, hey? Fig more like!
Ok maybe if I sniff really hard, I will be able to turn it into a pear soliflore…
No. Ok so a little bit of a disappointment there. I kind of… KIND OF, get the pear vibe going on, it’s just that of a fragrant fruit, delicate and light. But the main fruit I get in the opening of Ciel D’Airain is fig. It is a very good fig at that I will add. No real green leaves, but instead that sweet and creamy fig with the lovely coconut aura that goes along with it.
I’m not a huge fig fan, I much prefer to smell it on others than wear it myself. My partner would love this! – Premier Figuier Extreme being one of his current favourites. But unlike PFE, this doesn’t have the complexity, it is much more straightforward, light and charming.
As time goes on, a soft woody note joins in, stabilizing the creamy figs and providing a subtle, single note base. I used to have a majorly hard time detecting ambergris – but here under the fig it adds a salty, hazy aura that adds an almost savoury dimension to the creamy fig – the creamy fig which turns greener as it dries down.
Ciel D’Airain remains subtle, relatively linear, light but extremely clean and calming. I really enjoy the scent, but I don’t think this is the Huitieme Art fragrance for me.
Mmmmmmmmm. Manguier Metisse has a beautifully refined, delicate and feminine opening. Yet again, I’m really struggling with the fruit notes here, I get nothing that resembles the mango I know. Not even mango juice. Instead I got an almost non descript, but lovely fruitiness, joined with a beautiful tropical floral that again I am not familiar with. I read it is frangipani – absolutely lovely. It is a tropical floral that (in this at least) appears to be warm, exotic and fragrant whilst remaining light and working beautifully with the fruitiness, unlike for example, a tuberose which would tend to dominate these top notes.
Underneath this wonderful floral and fruit, is a rich, buttery base with a clean musk floating throughout. Manguier Metisse remains relatively linear, extremely delicate, as though it could fall apart at any minute, but it remains the scent of delicately scented, edible skin.
I really enjoy this.
But here comes the part I don’t want to admit – after about 15 minutes or so on the skin, I can’t help but think, if I sprayed this out of literally any old designer fragrance bottle in a department store, I would say “Yeh it’s alright, nothing new though ey”. I mean, at the end of the day, it is a fruity floral on a sweet vanilla base… and as much as my need to love this fragrance (and the line) holds me back from saying so, Manguier Metisse could literally be any easily dismissed designer fragrance were it not for a beautiful bottle, niche marketing and a great perfumer’s name attached.
I don’t know what to say to my comments on this – do I let it hold me back? I think I have to, because there are much much better tropical floral fragrances on the market – Manoumalia, Carnal Flower, Fleurs D’Oranger even. So, yes, the opening is lovely, but it’s so safe and “nice”, no one can really not like it. That’s not good enough for me unfortunately, and I’d much rather spend my money on one of the just listed fragrances. This offers nothing new to an overpopulated genre other than a lovely bottle.
So yes, harsh words, but it has to be said. All in all, these fragrances were not the best choices for me. The fig will most likely be of interest to my partner, but it may be too subtle and simplistic compared to the many other wonderful figs out there.
I guess I will have to continue to explore the final few of the line and hope there is one in there for me :)
Manguier Mettise & Ciel D’Airan Huitieme Art 50ml EDP – £88 Les Senteurs