“Oh look, just what we need after Christmas, some more sugar!” We hear you cry. But hold on, before you dash back to your diets, this floaty, gentle, sweet little number might be just what you need to see you through the hungry months. And it doesn’t cost a single calorie.
Brown sugar, witch hazel, orange blossom, vanilla, benzoin.
Sucre d’Ebene is one of the Huitieme Art collection perfumes from masterful perfume wizard Pierre Guillaume. We’ve reviewed several of his various lines before, including PG5.1 Suede Osmanthe, PG16 Jardins de Kerylos, Bois Naufrage and Jangala.
Each fragrance in the Huitieme Art collection is available in a choice of either the ‘shadow‘ or (the more expensive) ‘cyclop‘ bottle which to us looks a bit like some cheap knock-off bottle that you got from the pound shop, but to each their own.
Sucre d’Ebene has been around for a while, but at The Sniff we want to bring you quality rather than just novelty alone, so we think it’s worth investigating.
At The Sniff, we are great admirers of Pierre Guillaume and his work, his perfumes are interesting and often very easy to wear with great appeal to a wide range of people. As you can probably imagine, we uncapped this tester with more than a frisson of excitement and expectation (also given that sugar has been banned from Sniff Towers since the old year died, there might have been a bit of salivation in there too).
Anyway, we sprayed it liberally on outstretched wrists and inhaled expectantly and…
…not much happened. Which was a bit of a disappointment. So we recalibrated the noses, sprayed on a bit more, waited, inhaled and tried again.
First point to note: the start of this scent is really rather quiet so if you were expecting something big then you’ll be left waiting. What does rise to meet the nose is instead a delicate, delicious, dainty scent. If you imagine a very expensive, very old French patisserie, art deco lettering above the door, bistro chairs and a little glass counter. Now subtract from that image the heavy, fatty scent of butter and magnify the powdery, vanilla sweetness, then that is what the start of this fragrance smells like. It’s dry, light, icing-sugar delicate and really quite pretty. It does have echoes of the rather beautiful Praline de Santal (PdS) that came from this fragrance house but which is currently discontinued, or out of production, but without the heavier nut-oil notes that PdS had.
You can almost taste Sucre d’Ebene at the back of your palette when you inhale a breath of it. The sugar that is being evoked here is very true smelling, but at the same time it’s the sort of mirage of a scent that one identifies as sugar without really realising that sugar smelled like that. Very clever once you stop to appreciate the art that goes into creating such a smell-illusion. At times you can catch glimpses of the orange blossom too as it skips away fleetingly.
You could be forgiven for thinking that a sugar-type-scent would potentially be sickly, but Sucre d’Ebene isn’t at all. It’s too try, delicate and light to ever be called sickly. It’s a butterfly of a fragrance dancing delicately across the skin and never weighing down the air.
Sucre d’Ebene is one of those curious fragrances that seems to build as it wears. The heart notes warm and lift beautifully and the fragrance amplifies to a more noticeable volume. What we mean by that is that it appears to become easier to smell it as it develops, both by yourself and by others around you.
In the heart, it’s possible to discern fleeting hints of the benzoin and witch hazel, although in all honesty they don’t come through as notes in their own right so much as just colour the overall impression of the scent.
The benzoin lends a slightly engine-oil characteristic now and again. Although that sounds discordant its really not, instead it lends a sense of light and shade to the powdery sweetness and gives it a bit more substance.
The witch hazel too gives a sense of greater weight to the scent. This isn’t the astringent, overpowering witch hazel that you douse on cuts and wait for the stinging to start. Instead, what it lends here is a dryness and a warmth which just colours the perfume, giving it some warm, woody undertones.
The heart of Sucre d’Ebene has a gorgeous, comforting quality about it. It has a warm, cosseting type of character which really makes you feel as if you are being rolled in candy floss. It’s completely scrumptious.
There isn’t a whole lot of journey in the lifespan of this scent, so what you experience in the base is very similar to what you experience in the start of the perfume once it has properly settled and warmed on your skin. What we noticed in the base was warm, sweet woods, very dry and with a beautiful delicacy still. And now that we have mentioned it there is something of a dreamy quality to this scent. When we tested it it evoked in us a sort of mystical forest feeling, where the trees were all made of spun sugar and the soil is crumbled cookies. Dry, baked, transient and fleeting, like many of the best delicacies in life.
The other stuff
Although the evidence seems limited from what we could find at the moment, some scientists have suggested that sniffing vanilla can help reduce cravings. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if that works for you or not, but at this time of year, with Christmas behind us and chocolate on the banned list until Easter, anything that helps us get through the hungry months is definitely going to win our hearts.
Cravings aside, this comforting and gentle fragrance is a great wear for this time of year when you just want to feel all snuggly and cosy. At least you do if you live in Northern England where it rains sideways from January to March.
The sillage, or projection, of the scent was very limited, with people having to come quite close before they could tell we were wearing it.
The longevity of the scent is better than expected given its delicacy. We could definitely still make it out towards the end of the afternoon which was really nice.
In terms of the gender market that this is aimed at, its a funny one to place, it would appear to be perhaps more geared towards the feminine side of the market but at the same time we could also see it working very well for those gents who aren’t afraid to rock a little gourmand.
Sucre d’Ebene is available from Bloom Perfumery London, who kindly supplied us with a sample of this fragrance. At Bloom this scent costs £131 for 100ml in the shadow bottle.
You can also get this direct from Pierre Guillaume in both the cyclop or shadow bottle. The cyclop bottle is priced at €110 for 50ml.