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  1. #1
    david's Avatar
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    Question Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Whenever I wear Ebene I am always reminded of its sheer genius. Perfect blending, an incredible richness and - for an edt, the power and beauty of an extrait.
    I particularly admire the way the sweetness of the spearmint perfectly balances out the heavy dryness of the woods.
    Why is this fragrance hardly mentioned on basenotes ?
    The fragrance itself is not so old. It was released in 1983 and remained around for a long time until it finally got discontinued.
    The reviews here and on fragrantica verify its greatness, but they are few and far.
    For me personally, this fragrance is right up there with the likes of Patou pour Homme.
    I am saddened that it does not get more recognition.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    It is a bit odd that it flies a bit under the radar I am lucky to have a 150ml bottle of this and I personally think it's one of the best men's Balmain out there.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Are you talking about the original Ebene, right? Because an year or two ago i saw that Balmain had the intention of relaunching it. You could even found it on theri website, but then i never saw it to sell anywhere.

    I had a bottle of the vintage one a time ago, but honestly it didn't suit me. I guess it looses the balance that you mentioned and i feel it, like Rochas Macassar, very dry and uncomfortable on my skin.

    I still have a mini of it, but ended never wearing it anymore...

  4. #4
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    I think the reviews both here and on fragrantica and parfumo sum up the fragrance accurately. Anyone interested in this fragrance should check out the reviews. I'm just surprised there aren't more reviews and more discussions about this fragrance.
    @ rick. Thanks for replying. Too bad this one doesn't work for you. I do have the same problem as you regarding Macassar. I also have a problem with Yatagan. I find them both hard to wear, but that is not the case for me with Ebene because I find the sweetnes of the spearmint balances out the dryness of the woods. Over the years I have had several vintage bottles from different sources, but never a problem with the juice turning bad.
    I would suggest anyone testing this fragrance should be very careful on the dosage and spray/ dab the arm rather than the neck/ chest. The edt has the strength of an extrait. It's very powerful stuff !
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    David, i suspect that Balmain is not seem as an appealing house, so it doesn't have the allure of others. Too bad, because they have in their historical catalogue great masterpieces indeed. I need to try it again and see, maybe now i detect the spearmint best?
    I used to not be able to wear Yatagan in the past, but the current formulations are friendlier to my nose.
    You had luck having several Ebenes, is not a fragrance so easy to come by.
    Have you tried Balmain Jolie Madame? The vintage is all about leather and violets, very beautiful too.

  6. #6
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Rick, I might mention, I have had trouble with mini versions of all types of fragrances. I'll try the mini, think it sucks, then later I'll try the real thing and it's totally different, and usually better. I don't know why, but it seems they might be using inferior juice for advertising samples, even though it makes no sense. Either that, or they put the juice in the bottles and then subject them to heat when they are printed on.
    Currently wearing: Neroli by Profumum

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Kumquat, but i had the bigger bottle before the mini, it was the scent on the regular bottle that i didn't enjoyed.

    Well, maybe is this due to you having to dab the fragrance instead of spray it? Some people have this perception

  8. #8
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Ah, ok, well, in that case, I'm off base.
    Currently wearing: Neroli by Profumum

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    I'll have to give Ebene a try. I was very impressed by Miss Balmain recently, with - despite the name and pink packaging - smelt quite masculine to this nose. Balmain is often overlooked as a house, it seems.

  10. #10
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbr View Post
    David, i suspect that Balmain is not seem as an appealing house, so it doesn't have the allure of others. Too bad, because they have in their historical catalogue great masterpieces indeed. I need to try it again and see, maybe now i detect the spearmint best?
    I used to not be able to wear Yatagan in the past, but the current formulations are friendlier to my nose.
    You had luck having several Ebenes, is not a fragrance so easy to come by.
    Have you tried Balmain Jolie Madame? The vintage is all about leather and violets, very beautiful too.
    Rick, I have the vintage Jolie Madam and love it. Also, the vintage Vent Vert is sensational....far superior to the latter versions. I also love the creamy "pure white soap" experience that is Ivoire.
    I am not a fan of BalMan. Too synthetic for me.
    For my nose Ebene is the undisputed king.
    I urge you to give it a few more tries and recommend not wearing it on the neck or chest because of it's sheer strength.
    Last edited by david; 17th March 2014 at 06:26 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    From the descriptions, it sounds like you might like "Ivoire" . Definitely unisex. I will keep a look out for Ebene!

    http://www.basenotes.net/entries/104...e-16th-of-June

    My blog entry for "Ivoire".
    Last edited by kumquat; 18th March 2014 at 09:15 PM.
    Currently wearing: Neroli by Profumum

  12. #12
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    From the descriptions, it sounds like you might like "Ivoire" . Definitely unisex. I will keep a look out for Ebene!

    http://www.basenotes.net/entries/104...e-16th-of-June

    My blog entry for "Ivoire".
    Thanks for this kumquat. I am also a fan of Ivoire, though I don't get the connection that some people make, saying that Ebene and Ivoire are twin fragrances. I do not find that Ivoire is the femminine variant of Ebene, or vice versa. To me they are two completely different fragrances that share nothing in common.
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  13. #13
    Basenotes Junkie mossyoakpenn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Because of this thread, I was thinking of testing this one out. Unfortunately, tracking down a sample seems a bit pricey. I hate finding an old gem and giving up on it because of unavailability.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Does anyone know the difference betweeen these different boxes/bottles? I presume one is the reissue from around 2010.



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  15. #15
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    Does anyone know the difference betweeen these different boxes/bottles? I presume one is the reissue from around 2010.



    Yes Marais,
    the top photo of the white box with copper and black is the original vintage stuff. The photo underneath is a newer version. I am not sure if it was reformulated at this stage, in fact I would say probably not. I have had both editions and I find no/ hardly any difference between them. There was a recent revival which was drastically reformulated. I believe only a small batch was issued as a test and the new version failed miserably. I am wondering if the company is in financial difficulty because they have now stopped production of several of their classics, including Jolie Madame.
    The bottom photo is definitely not the 2010/ 2011 reformulated issue. It's possibly a late eighties re-design of the packaging.
    Last edited by david; 20th March 2014 at 06:48 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    I missed out on a miniature of Ebene a couple of weeks ago. I so wanted to try it as the reviews sound like it's just my sort of fragrance, but I was outbid and the only one I can find now is over 100 and that's way out of my price bracket.

    Oh well. If you're lucky enough to own a bottle, please wear it and enjoy it for me too- thank you
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Yes Marais,
    the top photo of the white box with copper and black is the original vintage stuff. The photo underneath is a newer version. I am not sure if it was reformulated at this stage, in fact I would say probably not. I have had both editions and I find no/ hardly any difference between them. There was a recent revival which was drastically reformulated. I believe only a small batch was issued as a test and the new version failed miserably. I am wondering if the company is in financial difficulty because they have now stopped production of several of their classics, including Jolie Madame.
    The bottom photo is definitely not the 2010/ 2011 reformulated issue. It's possibly a late eighties re-design of the packaging.
    Thanks, David, I thought you would come up trumps! That lower box does have an 80s look about it. Off to Ebay again....
    He boiled for our sins.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    David, i have tried it again during this week, but since i was with a cold i ended not being able to completely register it. But it was interesting because i noticed a few things that on my first time went completely unnoticed:
    - There is something definitely fruity on the first moments on my skin. I don't know exactly what it is, but it says to my nose pineapple. I suspect it might be an aldehyde maybe?
    - There is indeed a very green and minty note. And it's inside this mint/green accord that relies the part that i dislike on Ebene and on many masculine fragrances of the 80's. I don't know exactly what, but it's something that smells to me like geranium on steroids. It's a very green, shiny, diffusive aroma which makes me think of radioactive green. It's something that many 80's fougeres have and currents ones doesn't.
    -After it starts to develop, it sounds modern to me, but complex. It's sweet, woody, spice, something that you could shape it and put into a cologne today. At this phase, from what i noticed i got lots of patchouli, amber and juniper.
    -It seems to be a fragrance with more details, so i need to try it again and pay attention to see if i can understand it better.

  19. #19
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by rickbr View Post
    David, i have tried it again during this week, but since i was with a cold i ended not being able to completely register it. But it was interesting because i noticed a few things that on my first time went completely unnoticed:
    - There is something definitely fruity on the first moments on my skin. I don't know exactly what it is, but it says to my nose pineapple. I suspect it might be an aldehyde maybe?
    - There is indeed a very green and minty note. And it's inside this mint/green accord that relies the part that i dislike on Ebene and on many masculine fragrances of the 80's. I don't know exactly what, but it's something that smells to me like geranium on steroids. It's a very green, shiny, diffusive aroma which makes me think of radioactive green. It's something that many 80's fougeres have and currents ones doesn't.
    -After it starts to develop, it sounds modern to me, but complex. It's sweet, woody, spice, something that you could shape it and put into a cologne today. At this phase, from what i noticed i got lots of patchouli, amber and juniper.
    -It seems to be a fragrance with more details, so i need to try it again and pay attention to see if i can understand it better.
    Thanks for your detailed description Rick. I hope you will try it again when your cold is gone. It's a good fragrance to wear on clothes. A dab on a sweater lasts for ages !
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    David, do you also get this fruity note at the opening too? It's very pleasant, it reminded me of one Jean Patou fragrance that i really like, Colony.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Love love love this vintage Balmain for men. The photos of those vintage bottles are almost making me tear up - they remind me of all that has been lost in the world of perfume. This was a scent that you could smell on a man and it would linger in your memory forever - real presence and force and personality.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rubirosa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Balmain Ebene is a special one, although not something I like unfortunately. To me it has a unisex feel to it along with some "urine" notes, imagine a thin Azzaro pour Homme with some spearmint and caraway added. This is not a safe blind buy in any way. In some ways it also remind me of Yatagan.
    Last edited by Rubirosa; 27th June 2014 at 04:34 PM.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Thanks for sharing. But I guess this goes for most Balmain fragrances- highly regarded among fragrance connoisseurs, collectors and/or aficionados, yet still widely underrated in comparison to their actual performance level.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Bumping this up.

    Thanks to 2 wonderful BN'ers - obviously David for having mentioned abt Ebene more than a few times & singing praises abt this & the other person who I know only by his real name - Brian, who helped in getting this beauty from UK to USA & shipped it from there to Canada - I'm now holding a vtg 250ml bottle of Ebene - with the juice still in a wonderful condition...

    This is an incredible composition & it`s such a shame that it`'s discontinued - or was it better to have discontinued it rather than bow to IFRA`s regulations & spoil it? Either way, I'm happy to have this in my possession & can't thank enough the 2 BN'ers who helped me in acquiring this (Thanks to deadidol too - w/o whom, I might not have heard abt Brian to help transport this across continents!!!).

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Glad to be of help badarun. I'm glad you made the effort of checking this one out and consequently acquiring a huge bottle which will last you forever !!! ( the edt is as strong as a pure perfume). Just one or two dabs will last 24 hours.
    I think it is a masterpiece.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Just snatched one, I'm curious about this scent!
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  27. #27
    david's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Maillard View Post
    Just snatched one, I'm curious about this scent!
    I know that you will love this one Colin. However, it is easy to over apply. Ebene edt has the strength of an extrait. One tiny dab/ spray will last 24+ hours. The balance of wood and sweet spearminit is incredible. There is a lot of similarity between this and Monsieur Gres which also a spearmint note. I find both equally good, but Ebene is more concentrated and has better longevity and silliage. Please let us know your thoughts when you try it Colin !!
    ... I have just sold 2 vintage 50ml bottles of Ebene to basenotes member ustad. I hope he will also give his thoughts after trying.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Ebene is more concentrated and has better longevity and silliage.
    Couldn't agree more - i had a dab y'day night & it was still strong today afternoon when i took a shower - it's not a monster like Tribute attar, but very impressive for an edt packaged fragrance. I seem to like it more with each wear & at this rate might soon need to look for a backup!!!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    I know that you will love this one Colin.
    Ha! This is terrific. I was expecting kind of another very good fougre but still a "normal" fougre, while now I get why you all say this is something else. I agree with the abovementioned definition of Azzaro pour Homme topped with spearmint and caraway. It feels so radiant and sophisticated. I will wear it in the next days to get a better idea but what I can say for sure already is that this is gold!
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    I would REALLLY like to give this one a try! Does anyone happen to know where to find a sample?? Most FB are going for a good amount these days. Thanks!

  31. #31

    Default Re: Ebene - Pierre Balmain. A Masterpiece That Deserves More...

    I just wanted to come back and update. Thanks to some generous BNers I had the opportunity to sample Ebene. In short, it is worthy of the praise it receives!

    I also agree with the Azzaro + spearmint + caraway comments - that really nails it on the head. But this is blended so well, I would choose this over Azzaro any day. The projection and longevity are great with this one too. I put on the smallest dab from the vial on the back of my hand and could easily smell it wafting around me for the remainder of the day(and it was still there in the morning when I woke)- excellent performance. So basically I want to echo what others are saying about this. Its too bad the prices are so high for this one, because its a great true masculine scent.

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