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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Perfume Review: Miller et Bertaux Ref. 015 813 / Bois de Gaiac et Poire...Close Your Eyes And…


I am a big fan of Miller et Bertaux’s excellent, very Feminite-du-Bois-esque Parfum Trouve Eau de Parfum #1. I like Spiritus/Land Eau de Parfum #2 and Green, Green, Green...Eau de Parfum #3. The three scents are interesting, well composed and very wearable. Thus I had high hopes for the new Miller et Bertaux fragrance, the one with the longest name yet, Ref. 015 813 / Bois de Gaiac et Poire...Close Your Eyes And…I must admit that I had my doubts as to whether it will be to my taste; the “crisp pear” note worried me. As it turns out, pear was not a problem. The problem was…To put it bluntly, I thought the scent was boring and “indistinct”. It had a hazy, “shapeless”, strangely unfinished quality. It also reminded me of a dozen similar compositions.

You don’t have to like pear to appreciate Bois de Gaiac, but you do have to love heliotrope. The scent is overflowing with it; the heliotrope is there from start to finish, changing from being sweet, fruity and candied (that’s the pear, right there) in the beginning to the dry, vaguely woody (that’s gaiac wood; blink, and it is gone) in the middle, to the fluffy and vanillic in the drydown. The latter bears a striking resemblance to another hazy disappointment, Kenzo Amour. I am not quite sure what the makers were trying to achieve with Bois de Gaiac; it is not quite fruity and not quite floral, it is certainly not too woody. It is understated, quite elegant, soft, very pleasant…and I realize that only yesterday I was raving about a somewhat similar fragrance (similar in feel, not necessarily in the notes), Blue Agava & Cacao. I don’t doubt that for many people the new Malone scent would be just as boring as Bois de Gaiac was for me. It’s all about the lottery of skin chemistry and it’s all about likes and dislikes. I don’t like copious amounts of heliotrope and I dislike sparkling sweetness of pear. If I could tweak the composition to fit my tastes, the one thing I would do is to strengthen the (gaiac) wood note, which is supposed to be the star of the show but is in fact only a humble guest at this heliotrope gala. As it is, if I close my eyes while wearing Bois de Gaiac, I might very easily drift into sleep.

Ref. 015813/Bois de Gaiac et Poire is available at Lusciouscargo, $100.00 for 50ml.

22 Comments:

Blogger lilyofbp said...

Oh dear! Heliotrope is one of my no-nos. Well, I can take it in small doses, artfully mixed with other notes, but in a more prominent role---uh-uh. It's that cherry thing! And it's too bad, b/c I'm a fan of all the other scents. On the other hand, with all the new scents that are out, I need to have some that I don't want to buy:). I have a sample coming, so we will see how the chemistry lottery works, but I think I will be crossing this off the list.

7:20 AM EDT  
Blogger chaya ruchama said...

Oh, M-
You write so beautifully, I feel like a heel [yet again, dammit !]-
I was underwhelmed here-
Wouldn't shell out for this, I'm afraid ...

Instead, spent the money on a 1/4 oz. Poivre parfum, so that I can luxuriate in smoky spicy moody darkness, to contrast with my overtly sunny disposition !

Are we still friends?

7:42 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This is *so* not going to work for me and that is particularly surprising since, like Judith, I really did love the other three in this line. What struck me about your review was that it was chock full of words that just jumped out of the page (OK, screen) at me: boring, hazy, fruity, candied, fluffy and vanillic. Each one of those words acts like a fatal blow to any chance of my liking a scent, with "boring" being the worst of all. And this from a scent w/ Bois de Gaiac in the name. Just no respect for truth in advertising. Sigh.

8:01 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I misread your heliotrope comment as "the scent was overflowering with it", which seems apt. A little bit of heliotrope goes a loooooong way, doesn't it? Well, I'm sure I'll get around to trying it, but I was hoping for an Ode to Gaiac, and it sounds like I'm not going to get it.

8:02 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
The heliotrope here is not a "cherry pie" heliotrope (which I came to hate with passion too, it must be your influence :-)). Neveretheless, I just don't see you loving this, heliotrope or no heliotrope...Unless of course the gaiac opens up on your skin in some unexpected, wonderful way.

9:18 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Chaya,
Of course we are friends, why wouldn't we be!!
I adore Poivre. It is breathtakingly beautiful and so wonderful in autumn and winter!

9:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous sybil said...

I am so in agreement w/ you! This was very "meh" on me, and the lasting power was so not there. (Not that I want a meh scent to hang around all day, but it's another nail in the coffin!) The most interesting to me was the Spiritus/Land. Bois de Gaiac does not compare (or should I say compear?)

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
And don't forget..."pleasant", definitely a red flag of a word :-)

9:26 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it will be all-Gaiac on you. I just hope it won't be all-pear! :-)

9:27 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sybil,
Compear!! Ah, you are good!

Meh scents usually have weak lasting power, in my experience. It's the AWFUL ones that last, and last...and last :-)

9:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Ah, you have mended your ways I see: no lemming creating today. ;-)
Just in time too, since this is much more expensive, is it not, than the Jo Malone?

I like heliotrope, but not if it is paired with fruit. I like a little something interesting with it. Is it at least powdery? You know how I love powdery.

10:58 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

M,
It is very slightly powdery, the way Kenzo Amour for was powdery, for example. I don't think it is nearly powdery enough to satisfy your powder-lovin' soul :-)

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger greeneyes said...

I like heliotrope--I find it very soothing--but the pear thing turns me off. I think I'll stick with my Etro!

11:36 AM EDT  
Blogger IrisLA said...

Oh, how disappointing. I adore #1 (would love to read a review by you) and like Green, Green.

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

P,
I was once mad about heliotrope. Of course now I cannot stand it in "soliflores" and heavy doses. :-) But I still think that Etro's is absolutely the best heliotrope ever. Heliotrope Blanc by Piver is nice too.

12:01 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Iris,
I need to get me some more #1. It smells like much drier Feminite du Bois to me.

12:02 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Oh dear, was going to try this today and now I'm afraid. It sounded so perfect -- although I don't like pear either. Drat.

1:32 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Well, it might be perfect on you! Can't wait to know what you think.

1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'm afraid Heliotrope is not a favorite, and adding in pear and powder does not make it sound any better to me. But I don't think I'm exactly the target audience, either.

2:10 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
I don't really know who IS the target audience here...the scent is neither here nor there, very politically correct. Oh, maybe that is the answer...

2:22 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Sooo late to this, but finally trying the M&B and must protest against the reference to Kenzo Amour, which kicks Close Your Eyes right out of the water. *runs away*

8:30 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

So, let me get this straight...you like Amour better, R?

8:33 PM EST  

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