Huitième Art, 2010
Nose: Pierre Guillaume
Notes: Immortelle wood, Leather, Cumin, Ginseng
Grand opening: a wood-bitter flower, which instantly turns into cumin on aldehydes, kind of thing…
Fareb is heavy on cumin, which of course brings to mind some Indian cuisine (from those regions, where it features intensively). But would I go as far as to say it is a ‘curry smell’, as some other reviews describe Fareb? Uhmmmm… no, not necessarily.
(By the way: interestingly, no reviews I came across use popular ‘gourmand’ label for this offering form Huitième Art, although that is one that predominates the reviews of perfumes which rely on the ‘food’-like component. Instead of ‘gourmand’, it is ‘curry’ label used in a little pejorative way, dare I say…? While ‘European’ food scents are praised as ‘gourmand’, the cumin-heavy one is ‘just’ curry… Orientalism and the western cultural (food) imperialism & hegemony?)
Back to the scent itself: the dry wood-bitter flower is the listed immortelle. After an hours or so, I cannot sense anything of leather to it, for the cumin and ‘flower cuminesque’ are the top dominating forces, quite disempowering in a way…
After two hours – the perfume becomes more delicate, better rounded and nicely framed fragrance: it has developed some liquorish, faintly sweet, plummy & fruity touch.
At this point, Huitième Art’s Fareb comes out as a relative of Liqueur Charnelle by the same brad house, very much due to the similarity of fragrances’ notes in both compositions. The former manages, however, to keep its distinctiveness (for now, at least) through volatile refinement of the immortelle’s wood and Fareb’s ability to twist the flower into some kind of ‘animalistic’ side. It is actually rather curious, how this pungent cumin now trans-codes into some sort of fleshy undertones…
Further hour passes by, and the carnal twist is gone. What develops at this point is a perfume, which constantly reminds me of liqueur and the heart notes of Frapin’s Passion Boisée. Both have that gourmand’ish, candid fruit liqueur sensation, with a touch on vanilla in Fareb, although it is not listed as an ingredient. Cumin is long gone by now, which is a relief, but on the other hand, also a loss. It suppose that by now I became more relaxed in that ‘uncomfortable’ cuminesque soul of Fareb, and came to appreciate that quite ‘intense’ note on its own, and one that is not straightforwardly likeable, yet still, rather surprisingly appealing. I sort of like that challenge in the perfume – it makes me want to engage more with the creation, to grapple a little longer, to postpone the decision, wait and see; is it something I like, or at least be happy to deem the perfume as ‘pleasant’, or conversely, to be after all unsettled by such olfactory sensation into what could be termed as ‘dislike’.
Now, this sweetly soft, liquidized candid fruits are quite pleasant, but I just cannot shake off the reminiscent feeling of the two other perfumes. Fareb has good longevity on my skin, and in summary, I decided I liked that strong cumin and immortelle’s opening, effectively displacing the expectations… But just like the other two perfumes mentioned, Fareb feels more lie… well, product in progress rather than like a finished olfactory composition.
Other perfume reviews of Huitième Art’s Fareb: