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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bois, bois, bois: Serge Lutens Un Bois Sepia, Bois de Violette and Bois et Fruits

By Tom

These three have been exclusives at Bergdorf Goodman for about a year now; they have debuted at ScentBar (available only by phone, no internet orders)

Lutens Bois series seem to be the four faces (including Bois et Musc) of Feminite de Bois, his scent for Shiseido. Bois de Violette has a slightly candied sweetness to it's woody amber on my skin that smell to me exactly like candied violets before settling into a delicious grassy violet over resinous woods.

Bois et Fruits starts with a lusciously vivid blend of fruits: pears, plums and peaches overlaid with spices and underpinned by the cedar. Those of you who were frightened by Arabie's rather raucous take on the same thing should try this. It's gorgeously smooth and wonderfully full-bodied without having that just-too-much quality that's part of Arabie's charm.

Un Bois Sepia is perhaps the least challenging of the series, with its vetiver and sandalwood/patch drydown. It's also arguably the most wearable and certainly a beautiful fragrance with its dance of cool cypress and warm woods.

All of these are really good, and a reminder of how great the House of Lutens can be. I do wish however that they weren't $200 for 50ML but I suppose that's churlish of me.

Image source,



Blogger ScentScelf said...

How much candy in that Bois de Violette? I want it to be not so much...would really like to love this scent; it sounds right on paper and in reviews. (But at its price point, would be dangerous to love to love it...)

I am very happy with Fem du Bois, must say. Maybe I shouldn't try to bust it up??

12:34 AM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Wow, I did not know how much spendier these were than some of the other Serge perfumes! Still, they sound wonderful, and as much as I adore the SL woody/oriental style scents I am sure they are worth it. They all sound delicious!

12:39 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom! I love the whole bois series (especially "bois oriental", to my nose it is smooth, spicy creaminess), but surprisingly I don't manage to fully appreciate their "mother", femininité du bois. I’m so curious of sampling El attarine – which sounds like another great variation on the theme. The wax sample was simply gorgeous.

4:21 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


There isn't a whole lot of candy to BdeV, but it is more candied than, say Dans tes Bras at least in the opening. I like it a lot.

12:06 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Don't know- $200 is a bell jar and shipping (if you know someone in the EU)

12:07 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


FdeB is a great scent, but it seems to me to be more Shiseido than Serge Lutens; it has a reigned in feeling to it that while wonderful can be a bit of a disappointment to people expecting a surge of Serge.

12:09 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

The Bois series started my Serge addiction. Brilliant stuff. But now I can't help but feel somewhat sad that for a few years now he appears to just be constantly reworking his previous themes and usually with less than stunning results. I adore the man. I want to once again be as excited and impatient about new releases from him as I used to be.

4:26 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I know exactly what you mean..

4:41 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

The Bois series is something else; today, it feels less 'groundbreaking' than it did in 1990.
THEN< it was revolutionary.

Shame that they've become outrageos in price, for the average person.

7:15 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I tried all of these together at some point as well, which was fun. But I ended up thinking I didn't love any of them quite as much as Fem du Bois. And I had no idea they were so expensive!

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


they might be less than groundbreaking today, but thay still are heartbreakingly gorgeous.

Yes, I do think it's a bit of a shame (the family-friendly way to say it) that they are so pricey

11:35 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I do love at least two of them, but I won't buy at that price..

11:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go ahead, be churlish - I've decided that $200 is not the new $100. It's two hundred dollars. All 200 of them.

I do love the Bois, though. Esp Bois et Musc. But I notice THAT one hasn't turned up on these shores ....

12:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to try these but they aren't in Asia as far as I know. Another poster mentioned they had a wax sample of El attarine--I am dying to try that one. How do you get the sample? Thanks---Jen

9:26 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think with the economy what it is today, $200 is the new $500

12:48 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Jen- I think if your write the Palais they will send you the wax samples.

12:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom--I'll try that. --Jen

3:54 AM EST  
Blogger erin o. said...

I looooooove feminite du bois. I worked for Shiseido when we launched it in 1992...I know everything about it what it means "the feminine expression of wood"...that the cedar note is from the Atlas Cedar tree, and It was supposed to be reminicent of the scent of Spain. It is the one fragrance that I am known by and have to get my hands on more. It was discontinued and I was terribly dissappointed and have 1/3of a bottle left. Not all women can wear this...but the ones that can smell amazing. I served singer Diana Krall in 1998, and she told me that she thought feminite du bois seemed to be one the worlds best kept secrets, and that it was also her favorite perfume. Where can I find it. I live in Canada.

3:36 AM EDT  

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