Bois Blond by Parfumerie Générale first came to me from the well-edited collection of the admirable Mrs Howe.
Bois Blond is part of Pierre Guillaume’s Private Collection and was created in 2007, it was a limited Edition once, but PG took pity on devastated Perfumistas all over the world and made Bois Blond part of the permanent Private Collection. Such a thing gives hope! Notes include cereals, grass, galbanum, cedar, hay, blond tobacco, amber and musk.
A summer’s day in a bottle, Bois Blond is reminiscent of Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse and Serge Lutens Chergui, but it is less. Sometimes less is more and in this case that is definitely true. Bois Blond is less cluttered, less notes, less development, less volume.
Bois Blond starts green and grassy. Galbanum reigns supreme for a few minutes, then the drier, woodier notes kick in. The relentless sun has bleached the green grass over an entire summer, dried it, yellowed it, Bois Blond goes through that summer in a few minutes. Hay, glorious hay and tobacco make up the heart together with a beautiful cedar note. The drydown is like sun-warmed wood, dry, amber-y and musky and comfortable.
If I saw an entire farm scene including the pipe-smoking Grandpa Walton in Chergui, or a horse ride over the fields on a summers day in L’Heure Fougueuse, Bois Blond is the free vista over the prairie. Nebraska on a clear day, acres and acres of sun-bleached grass and crops. Not even a cow in sight, clear blue skies and the feeling of utter freedom in the face of the vastness of the land.
The Frenchman Pierre Guillaume recreated my ideal America in a bottle.
When I was young(er) I spent all my free time and my money on traveling the US. I saw a lot and I am so glad I did, it opened my horizons coming from provincial Austria, and I learned, among other things, how to properly curse in English (not that I would ever need that. 😉 ) What I loved most was the driving. Here in Austria I feel exhausted if I have to go visit my parents, a two hour drive from Vienna, but in America, I would drive for hours every day. Racking up 10 000 miles in four to five weeks was a typical trip.
Sitting in a car, nothing there but the road, visible for miles and miles ahead, left and right only the land. Nothing man made. The vastness of rural America always fascinated me, the wide open spaces, the sheer amount of air to breathe, the sky taking up most of the view. Those drives across the Great Plains, across the desert, they showed me the world was big, the world was beautiful and I was happily still looking for my place in it. Now, years later I have my place, but inside me I also hold on to those wide open spaces of freedom, even when in reality I cannot even cross the room without being asked why.
These days I open my bottle of Bois Blond and breathe just as deeply as I did then.
You’ve captured what I love so much about this scent— it truly is “my ideal America in a bottle,” to steal a quote directly from you!
Since my parents weren’t married (hippies! patchouli! garcia!), I spent a lot of time during my early years going back in forth between them: school in Massachusetts, summer in Oregon (or Alaska, or West Virginian, or Maine, or New Hampshire), and some of my favorite memories were of driving across the country. Of plains as far as the eye can see, of asking my day, “are we almost there?” and him responding, “it’s just over the next hill.” (that’s humor for you.)
Bois Blond brings back the carefree sunny days that brought so much delight; it’s truly a magical fragrance!
Also, thank you for the compliment! “Well-edited” makes me think of Tim Gunn, and he’s topps!
Ha-HA! Top Gunn.
I am glad a real American thinks the same way! 😉 Maybe that is the place we both share in our respective caves! 🙂
Top Gunn – LOL! 😀
Dear B my addiction for PG is quiet obvious and well known even here in this forum, nevertheless I do miss some pics of PG himself to emphasise the beauty of his work:-)
May be this is your chance to appreciate the olfactory excellence of PG over the distracting presence of his physique. 😉
In case of the need of an optical reminder I suggest revisitng my other PG posts. 🙂
Sadly, I’ve only been to the States once in my life and that only for 10 days, but that’s something I hope can be rectified in the second half of my life 🙂 The music I’ve listened to has always been mostly American, from Creedence Clearwater Revival (my favorite song as a 4 yr. old was “Lookin’ out my backdoor”) to Billy Joel, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young /Canadian to begin with) and many others, so I have many images of the US in my mind from music. Your review reminded me of a line from the song Katie Did from a David Crosby CD – “the sky like a big blue bowl” – the vastness of the landscape. That’s something we don’t real have in Denmark – if we keep driving we soon end up in the sea on our way to either England, Sweden – or ultimately Greenland – LOL!
The fragrance – to get back to that – sounds really good to me, a far cry from the sugary summeriness that we are often presented with in socalled summer fragrances. But there are other ways to celebrate the heat and seeming endlessness of summer – and to preserve that feeling for the winter months.
I know what you mean, I barely drive for a few hours and I am out of Austria in every direction. The horizon is smaller, there is no sense of unlimited expansion.
What you say about conveying summer in a different way, that captures it exactly, that is what makes Bois Blonds a treasure no matter the actual season.
Wonderful, evocative review, B. Love the way you have described the evolutionof the fragrance as green grass turned to hay by the heat of the Sun with pipe-smoking Grandpa Walton lookin on! I can almost smell it! I think you’ve said it yourself before, but no other house than PG has me salivating so often at the list of notes alone. Anything referencing L’HF is good news and a less overpowering take on Chergui would suit me down to the ground. Sounds like great stuff. Also really loved your and dee’s reminiscences of travelling in the States, I’ve only ever done the well-trodden tourist destinations.
I believe you would love this one, Tara! When is your Les Senteurs trip scheduled? I can’t wait to hear which ones on your list you liked!
I believe I would too! I was going to drag my Mum along to Les Senteurs tomorrow but she’s hurt her foot so we’re not going for a couple of weeks now. However, the anticipation is half the fun!
Off topic, I found a sample of Trefle Pur this morning I didn’t know I had, and it’s AMAZING! Like walking through a park first thing in the morning. Just wonderful. Another joy I would never have found without you. 🙂
Oh, I am sorry your mom is hurt and that you’ll have to wait! Your list is going to be loooooong! 😉
Glad you found and liked Trefle Pur, I could say nothing bad about Atelier Cologne, even if I tried. 🙂
Tara, an itty-bitty bottle of Bois Blond is on it’s way to you as we “speak”! 🙂
I think you are going to love it…
Although I don’t love this scent, I love your review. The open spaces and massive horizons of our America are so incredible. I literally crave that feeling of openness when I’m away or when I spend too much time in the city. I feel I have to get out! Thanks for the post, which will help get me through a few days of homesickness before I (finally!) get to go home. 🙂
I don’t know why I typed “our America” — too many thoughts at once. 🙂 I wasn’t trying to get all “This land is your land, this land is my land” on you, although that would fit with the theme!
I am glad this post connected you with home a little. Our America is just fine, as long as ‘our’ includes me! 😉
Oh B, you sold me on Bois Blond! Your review has painted beautiful pictures and a delectable scent in my imagination.
Thank you! It is really a beautiful scent.
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