Tara and I have been invited to take part in this year’s Holiday Blogging Project called Oh Tannenbaum! The idea is to investigate perfumes inspired by trees and wood. This is a genre I like a lot, but it has still been a challenge to find something suitable in my collection (that I haven’t reviewed yet). But I found something amazing (one old, one new) and so did Tara. So without further ado – join us in celebrating the Tannenbaum!
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – Serge Lutens Chêne
“Gentleman’s comfort” are the two words the Serge Lutens website has to say about Chêne. Well, I’m no gentleman, but I like to be comforted, so let’s see whether Chêne is capable of what it promises.
Notes include cedar crystals, wood sap, black thyme, oak, immortelle, beeswax, silver birch, rum absolute and tonka bean. It was created by Christopher Sheldrake.
Chêne is a dry woody scent, that still bears traces of the Lutens trademark oriental fruit stew with the idea of leather swirling around the edges. Very linear and to the point, Chêne reminds me of traditional leather chypre scents, but in a very wearable, and – yes – comfortable way.
I get the feeling of standing in an old empty closet, maybe one old fur coat with leather trimming is still in there, way in the back. I feel a bit like I’m looking for the door into Narnia and I have to say, I love that feeling of anticipation and excitement of hoping or secretly knowing that there is more to this old wardrobe, than what might meet the nose. The closet gives way to the forest eventually, the dank mossy earth, and the tall oak trees surround me and I know I finally found that door.
A Woman Of Mystery – Guerlain Bois d’Armenie (By Tara)
Every time I think of Bois d’Armenie, in my mind’s eye I see a striking looking woman swathed in a luxurious dark wrap, emanating an air of mystery. The fragrance is uncommonly beautiful, soft and ethereal. It is inspired by Papier d’Armenie; paper infused with benzoin which is burnt to release the scent. Most recently brought to the fore in Prada’s Candy, benzoin is a tree resin with a pleasant balsamic, vanilla-tinged aroma. While Bois d’Armenie is not what you’d call a multi-dimensional perfume, it does create a beguiling personal aura, encircling you closely with its slightly powdery, resinous warmth. Beyond the benzoin, it reveals gentle woods, delicate wisps of smoke, and a creamy vanilla base. It is more in its creator’s style – Annick Menardo – than Guerlain’s, but it is none the worse for that. A comforting yet sophisticated woody oriental perfume, Bois d’Armenie is more than worthy of a place in “L’Art et la Matière” and is my favourite so far in this exclusive collection.
Notes include pink pepper, iris, rose, coriander, benzoin, Indonesian patchouli, incense, precious woods, musk and balsams. Bois d’Armenie is available as a 75ml EDP.
Forest Of Smoke – Armani Privé Bois d’Encens
Armani Privé is an expensive line, but the ones I have tried so far are exceptionally good. Sometimes high price and high quality really go hand in hand. Bois d’Encens is my favorite incense/deep in the woods smell and I love to bring it out every fall.
Bois d’Encens was created in 2004 by Michel Almairac. Notes include pepper, vetiver, cedar and incense.
I wrote a long review of this perfume last year, but I wanted to bring this to your attention again, because it is one of the best “scents of place” I know. Bois d’Encens has the power to transport you into the middle of a dark and still forest in the speed of a breath. Inhale and let Bois d’Encens lift you away from whatever drudgery your are entangled in at the moment. Let Bois d’Encens fill your lungs, your heart and your head with fresh air and a sense of freedom, of wide spaces and a weightless stillness that slows your life to a crawl for a few precious moments. Recharge your batteries in Armani’s Forest of Smoke.
Take a look at the lovely reviews of all the participants in the project: