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Monday, December 04, 2006

Perfume Review: Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

A profound magic spell, with which the past, restored in the present, intoxicates us.
(Baudelaire, The Perfume)

Bois de Copaiba does not come in a bottle pictured on the right (the bottle is actually Le Balcon, a long-gone, 1925, perfume by Parfums de Rosine). But it smells like it could only belong in an ancient, dark vessel…in a bottle accidentally discovered in some small antique shop, on a shelf where nobody ever looks, covered with dust…You open it and somehow, miraculously, it smells undamaged by time…It smells extraordinarily rich, dense, it smells of glamorous, politically incorrect bygone era of perfumes with an enveloping, impossibly sophisticated sillage. It smells like it has the kinds of ingredients that would make The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products faint in horror. I don’t know whether the retro quality of Bois de Copaiba was intended by the maker, but to me this is the most successful modern homage to the opulent scents of the past.

Bois de Copaiba has notes of crystallized orange pulp, red ginger, amaretto, copahu balm, mahogany wood, myrrh and sandalwood. It is decadent, creamy, subtly spicy and pleasantly inebriated. The effect of the first accord of candied citrus, piquant ginger and almondy liqueur, while not even remotely foody, is exquisitely delicious. The resinous warmth of copaiba (the balm or oleoresin obtained from the bark of Copaifera Officinalis) in the heart of Bois de Copaiba provides a smooth and luxurious transition to the plush base of sweet myrrh and creamy sandalwood. This slightly powdery, darkly-luscious drydown makes Bois de Copaiba smell almost Guerlain-like…as if that bottle discovered in a curio store contained some obscure, long-forgotten, older sibling of Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue. I also believe that those who, like me, love the comforting and elegant feel of opoponax-sandalwood blend in Or des Indes, would most probably adore Bois de Copaiba.

Bois de Copaiba is available at, CAD $ 100.00 for 50ml or CAD $150.00 for 100ml. It can also be purchased at, as part of a Discovery Set Collection Privee No 47, which also includes Cedar Sandaraque, Corps et Ames, Querelle and Tubereuse Couture, €52.00 for five 7ml spray bottles.

The image is from



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds great but since it is sold by online stores there is no way to sniff it at the stores??? I don't have a bottle of "Or des Indes" , but personally I like the smell.Do you think Bois de Copaiba is good enough to have a bottle?

11:21 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I personally would love to have a bottle of Bois de Copaiba :-)

11:33 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitsouko was my first thought! Lovely review. :)

12:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Great review, and love the new look: I always loved the Dior houndstooth. Wish they'd bring it back.

12:53 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Are we combining Dior houndstooth w/ Gres' bottle- and- bow?
Very chic !

So tell me, blossom- is this as sweet as Musc Maori, or subtle ?
Is it an EDP?
And, would I like Querelle better?
And, may I please have a hug ?

6:32 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

love the look--very Dior--and love the bottle! Now it sounds as if I'll love the perfume, too! I do love Or des Indes--and I adore Mitsouko. So I guess this might be the one you thought I'd like for sure (although it sounds as if I might like them all:). Anyway, I ordered the discovery set (they finally took my money:) so we shall see.

6:39 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Check, check, check, check...yep, it perfectly matches the list of things I'm currently looking for in a scent. So many perfect words - rich, dense, glamorous, retro, decadent. The list actually goes on and on - it's as if w/ every sentence you're describing a dream scent for me. Happy sigh. Brilliant review! This has just jumped to the top of my lemming list.

6:40 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hmmmm, you had me with your reference to Guerlain.

I WISH it came in that bottle!

PS Your new outfit is very chic.

7:44 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my, you had me at myrrh, but with the references to Guerlain (and my beloved L'Heure Bleue!) and Or des Indes, which BTW reminds me of Bois des Iles, I am swooning in anticipation. Plus slightly powdery to boot!

8:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ura! I thought everyone will say, what, Mitsouko, you are nuts! well, they still might, but at least we two agree. :-)

9:04 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you. The new look is , well, New Look-ish :-)

9:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Firstly, Hug!!
Secondly, do you like vetiver? if you do, you most probably will like Querelle. It is a very interesting scent. I mean interesting as in "strange". I loved it. But really I liked all of them.
Oh, and Bois de Copaiba is not nearly is sweet as Maori. I believe it is EDP.

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Unless somethign goes wrong, unless some ingredient you don't like sticks out...I think you'd like this one for sure. Querelle too, I am alsmost positive.

9:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Again, like I said to Judith, unless there is something there that you might not like, wich did not manifest itself on my skin, you will most probably love this one. The only danger I can think of is that it might go a little too sweet, but, fingers crossed, it won't. It is not edible-sweet anyway.

9:12 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I like PG's bottles, very simple, do not distract from the juices inside..but this one is asking to be put in something darkly-ornamented.

9:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

When I test something, I always make a list in my head of people I think might like the scent in question. Well, with Bois de Copaiba, you were on the very top of that list. I really think you will like it.

9:15 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your new look is adorable. Love it. I wish I could say the same about Copaiba. I have that pesky chemistry that amplifies sweetness. On me, Copaiba is achingly sugary. I'm an optimist (or delusional, take your pick). I keep trying Copaiba, hoping for a different result. Sigh.

10:07 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
And sorry about Copaiba. That's what I thought. if one's skin tends to bring out sweetness in scents, this one might become quite sweet indeed.
Which one of the "private" scents did you like most?

10:12 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Had to go out early this morning and was in a rush when I commented. Forgot to post that I *love* the new look! Dior. Perfection.

11:37 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Love the houndstooth! But didn't love the Copaiba. So far, the Cedre Sandaraque is the only one I love from this last set.

11:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snazzy stuff, honey pie!

I've been assiduously avoiding ordering these samples, determined not even to look at the PG website. And here you are, with all these other enabling gits leaving messages too, encouraging the screaming voice in my head to holler at me louder and LOUDER. DAGNABIT!

I've got big life changes in the offing; I can't go splashing out willynilly on scent this and scent that. Or maybe I can. Just this once. And no more. Unless something else comes along. Which it's bound to. Oh well.*sigh*

11:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

L, Thank you so much!

11:44 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! So, Cedre? This is the one I haven't seriously tried yet, although I loved it at the first sniff from the bottle. You didn't like Querelle?

11:45 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Just this one last time. And never again. Just this once :-)
How many times I've heard that mantra in my head!

11:46 AM EST  
Blogger priscilla said...

The new look is so cute! I think I'm going to have to check out that discovery you think it's worth it?

12:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
I think it is absolutely worth it. But you could also look for samples. For example, the Perfume Shoppe might have a sample programme, I think they do.

12:11 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

I broke down. Your review made this seem irresistible. Naz got a call. It should be on its way to me soon. Now if I could only get that beyond words stunning Rosine bottle. I SOOOOO want one of the vintage Rosines both for the bottles and the scents.

12:49 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

*washes off her hands*
My work here is done. :-)

1:09 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Have only given Querelle one try so far, but liked it, didn't adore it. Same with the Tuberose. Will certainly try both again!

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Tubereuse and Bois are my favorites so far, but I really like all of them.

1:32 PM EST  

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