Forest of Smoke – Review: Armani Privé Bois d’Encens

Armani Privé is a line I always admired from afar, I liked what I saw, but did not even attempt to smell what was inside those pretty wooden bottles. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know…

When my interest in incense fragrances was awakened, thanks to this wonderful perfume, Bois d’Encens came up time and again in my research. Of course now, that it seemed out of reach and discontinuation rumours circled, I developed a major craving for Bois d’Encens. Promptly it featured high up on my wishlist, and thanks to the incredible community I find myself in, the lovely Angela offered to send me a sample. She did exactly that, though only not just a sample, she sent more of a decant. Thank you, Angie, for your very generous gift!

I couldn’t resist to inquire into the fate of Bois d’Encens though and according to my information it is not being discontinued but is merely transitioning into new packaging. The wooden flacon is gone, so are the 50ml refills, Armani Privé perfumes are now housed in an opaque black matte glass flacon with a copper plaquette. The new and only available size is 100ml.

I am ashamed to confess that a bottle came home with me that day (at least at 20%off and for the greater good of the community, somebody had to make a picture after all) and look at it – you would have done the same 😉

So how does it smell?

On a rush of peppery top notes the incense approaches rapidly, in its wake trailing a whole forest of pine and cedar wood and a breeze of fresh, cool air. Bois d’Encens is never heavy or oppressive, and although Armani was quoted as to having intended to evoke a church atmosphere, for me this is more of an outdoor smell, the sky is not limited here, even if the trees of this particular forest stand close together and the underbrush is dense, the sky is open, wide and not quite dark yet as I look up to follow the lazy curl of smoke rising upwards.

Bois d’Encens wears for a long time. After a few hours I detect a slight burnt rubber note, that is how vetiver turns out on me sometimes, but not always, and it is no deal breaker.

It was created in 2004 by Michel Almairac. Notes include pepper, vetiver, cedar, incense.

I am glad to have Bois d’Encens in my arsenal, it is calming and oddly refreshing at the same time and I can trust it to stay with me for the day. It is always appropriate, easily my most pedestrian incense fragrance and I mean that in a good way, I lead a pedestrian life after all. 🙂

Picture source: fragrance bottle: my own, Smoke Curl courtesy of ( Some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Armani Privé, Fragrance Reviews, Incense, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Forest of Smoke – Review: Armani Privé Bois d’Encens

  1. Voyagetocythera says:

    This is a really good incense scent. I had a Bois d’Encens candle and it was one of the best candles i’ve ever owned.

  2. angie Cox says:

    Oh that is such good news Birgit . I also have two candles which are the first Bois’ Encens I owned. I am so glad you loved it as much I do .angie

  3. Tara says:

    I can’t do foresty incense but this and Cardinal seem to be among the best. I’ve heard lots of good things about the Armani Prive range but not tried any myself – probably because of the price tag.

    Off topic, I have to tell you B that after flirting with Une Rose Chypree and Portrait of a Lady, I bought a bottle of Une Rose this morning. I read your review of it yesterday and it totally summed up how I feel about it.

    So that’s my first full bottle purchase of 2011, but it was at significantly less than retail price (on ebay) so telling myself it’s OK 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      You found your rose, yay! Of those three I only have a full bottle of Une Rose, it is, for me, the most wearable. Congratulations on your first bottle this year, you are doing very good, unless someone I know. 😉

      This is the only Armani Prive I have, the price tag is too much if the perfume is not exceptional, you are absolutely right.

  4. Victoria says:

    One of my favorite incense fragrances! So bright, sparkling on top, which is a surprise given its dark basenotes. Might wear some, it is calming. :))
    Your comment this morning was superb, so thoughtful and right on the mark. Thank you. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is calming, indeed. I could have used some when commenting on your blog this morning. 😉
      You mentioned a topic that is so infuriating for me, this loss of culture in every respect, it is just sad.

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  6. deeHowe says:

    I’m feeling Reb’l- ious today, so instead of reaching for incense (as stunning as this one sounds B.!), I think I’m going to reach for woods… 😉

  7. Marina says:

    so elegant, so nicely done, and does nothing for me! strange, huh?

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  9. JoanElaine says:

    Now I know what you mean about the Laura Mercier bottle!

    I love the Armani bottle too. A gorgeous vessel for a gorgeous fragrance. I like my incense fragrances to have a sense of the outdoors too. For me, the forest is a sacred place.

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