scent . music . culture

  • 3rd April
  • 03
  • 15th February
  • 15

Perfume of the Week

Feminité du Bois. A Queen of the Classics.

Created in 1992 by Pierre Bourdon and the amazing Christopher Sheldrake of Serge Lutens.

This perfume has been reviewed many times over, it’s been tremendously popular because of it’s first-time use of a high level of cedarwood. It is also a total masterpiece.

It has had quite the journey, since it was first created as a Shiseido product then moved over to become a part of the very special ‘Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido' collection. Unfortunately, it's scent has changed since it's inception, probably because of the IFRA standards. It’s intensity, especially in terms of the level of woods, has changed, it’s slightly softer and has a hint more of musk (It’s still damn good though)

FdB is a very ‘in the moment’ type of fragrance for me. It’s linear, which in the industry, means that it has many facets that you can smell at once, that it doesn’t change from top note to base note in that usual order. It’s a good, strong block of scent in a way. I find it very existential actually, as soon as you put it on, things sort of stop.

Why? Well, it’s such a complex fragrance, yet it’s easily understood, for me anyway. I have so many memories of the Middle East and this perfume brings those back. It’s got its deep woods, it’s fruity plum note, the hint of violet that blends with your skin so perfectly, sometimes you forget it’s there. I get so enamored because I feel instantly more feminine, more confident, that I somehow have more substance. It’s ironic considering that this was one the first perfumes to carry a strong wood note which was mostly used in masculine fragrances.

I find it commands a certain amount of attention but not to the point that it overwhelms the wearer or anyone else. The woody facet is brought out by an aroma chemical called Iso E Super (is that the coolest name for an ingredient, or what?) It doesn’t necessarily smell like much, like a mix of woods really, nothing specific, but when used with natural woods for example, it brings out its best qualities.

So go check it out, if only to know what it smells like, I promise it’s worth it. This is one I’m going to keep going back to, no matter what. Feels good to have it be part of my collection.