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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Perfume Review: Ginestet Le Boise

Le Boise is part of the fragrance line developed by Bordeaux winemaker Ginestet. The collection consists of three scents, each evocative of the flavors of wine: Botrytis, sweet, honeyed scent reminiscent of Sauternes, Sauvignon, fresh, dry, effervescent, inspired by Sauvignon Blanc, and Le Boise, intended to bring to mind the oak barrels used to age Bordeaux wines. I am not the biggest fan of Sauvignon Blanc, so it came as no surprise to me that I was not impressed by Sauvignon the perfume. Botrytis smells predominantly and rather boringly of vanilla on my skin. The woody-spicy-boozy Le Boise is my favorite of the three.

The official list of notes is very short and very vague: woods, vanilla and spices. My imagination may be at work, but I believe there are oak, cedar and birch here. The woody accord is multifaceted and keeps developing from dry (cedar) to darker, “juicier” and more robust (oak), to spicy (birch), to the dry and elegant (cedar again). I also sense a little patchouli and amber in the mix, amber in the earlier drydown, patchouli at the very end. Vanilla is very light on my skin and only appears in the middle stage of the scent’s development to add that juicy-boozy robustness to the oak note. Luckyscent describes Le Boise as “resolutely masculine”, but I will have to respectfully disagree. It is decisidedly unisex and does not lean either towards masculine or feminine side of the unisex specter. This is a complex, unusual woody scent, it is imaginative and very well blended, and to me feels like something Lutens and Sheldrake could have dreamed up and executed. In fact Le Boise is more interesting than pale Un Bois Sépia and much more wearable than alarmingly smoky, uncompromising Chêne (though I must say I still consider Lutens's Les Eaux Boisées, especially Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc and Bois Oriental among my most favorite woody scents).

I must add that I love the wooden case of Le Boise but the bottle itself is so realistic, it almost enters the novelty object territory.

Le Boise can be found on, $95.00 for 100ml.

*The photo of wine barrels is from


Blogger katiedid said...

Oh every so often I contemplate snagging a decant of one or another of the Ginestets off of eBay, but for some reason I keep putting it off. Perhaps I simply need to see a Sive/Seve scent and then I will find inspiration, heh. Le Boise is the one that always catches my imagination, despite the fact that I am not the world's biggest fan of Sauternes.

12:03 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

K, I was so sure that I will love Botrytis, but I wasn't impressed at all. Le Boise is very interesting though, if you like dry-ish woody scents that is.

9:44 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said... this one, M. So beautifully done. Would love to know who the nose was.

9:45 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

R, yay, we have a scent liking in common! I tried searching for the nose, but there isn't that much info about Ginestet scents to begin with. I wonder if it would do any good to actually ask them? I once wrote to Etro asking who was the nose behind Messe de Minuit and they didn't bother to reply. Top secret info? and why?

10:27 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

V, I agree that cedar in Le Boise in on the dry side, however, for me, the "boozyness" of the scent saves the day. It is as if somehow, the scent manages to be dry and juicy, weird as it sounds.

12:30 PM EST  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

More interesting than un bois sepia? That catches my interest. Ever since Victoria likened UBS to a walk over a ground covered in autumn leaves and I tried it, I have loved it. Dear M, what makes this one better? Oh, by the way, thanks so much for my adorable little package!!!

12:51 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad you received it!!

I think Un Bois Sepia is a beautiful scent, very neutral, great for work environment, etc. But it is also pale and "cold". Le Boise...even thought it is a dry scent, there is some warmth there, to my nose, some richness that is lacking in Un Bois Sepia. Butu tastes and skin chemistries are so different, right?

1:19 PM EST  

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