Perfume Review: Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits
“Le bois, vivants et organique, fixe le caractère de mes parfums” (wood, alive and organic, fixes the character of my perfumes), said Serge Lutens. Shiseido’s Féminité du Bois, the grand woody oriental scent of 1990s, was Lutens’s ode to cedarwood and the inspiration for his Les Eaux Boisées, Bois Oriental, Bois et Musc, Bois de Violette, and Bois et Fruits. These four variations of Féminité du Bois each juxtapose cedar with a different accord: vanilla, musk, violet, and fruits. Les Eaux Boisées are my favorite part of Les Salons du Palais Royal collection, and of them, Bois et Fruits is the most beloved.
Bois et Fruits combines cedar with notes of peach, apricot, figs, and plums, and thus emphasizes the fruity side of its “Great Mother”, Féminité du Bois. Having said that, Bois et Fruits is actually much drier and less sweet than Féminité. It starts with a dry cedar note, within seconds the ripe fruitiness of figs and plums becomes apparent, the fruits balance the dryness of the woods and cedar keeps the potentially excessive sweetness of fruits in check. The overall effect to my nose is that of dried fruits mixed with a slightly incensy, sometimes even almost leathery accord. Bois et Fruits is a subtler scent, it is much less forceful than Féminité du Bois, and even though it has fruits in its title, it actually translates much less fruity on my skin that its predecessor. I always imagine that Bois et Fruits is the scent of Paradise, or at least of the woodier, wilder part of the Garden of Eden.
Bois et Fruits is available exclusively at Les Salons du Palais Royal in Paris, where it retails for EUR 100 for 75ml.
*The painting is The Golden Serpent by Michael Parkes.