Indian Summer – Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois

The lovely Dee of Beauty on the Outside sent me a sample of Champagne de Bois a very long time ago, shame on me that I never got around to properly wearing it until recently, when To Dream by the same perfumer, captured my affections. But I love the fact that as soon as I develop an interest in something, my dilapidated sample box delivers. 🙂

Champagne de Bois includes notes of aldehydes, jasmine, clove, sandalwood, labdanum absolute, vetiver and amber and was created by Laurie Erickson in June 2008.

Sonoma Scent Studio perfumes are all highly concentrated, clocking in at 20-24% and therefore being extraits de parfum. That not only makes them incredibly rich and potent and lasting for hours, but also makes them a great deal. Sometimes it is possible to get great quality at a good and reasonable price. Once you don’t have to pay for fancy packaging (although, don’t misunderstand me, the SSS bottles are beautiful, not cheap at all!!!) and over the top marketing, it is possible to indulge in excellent perfumes without breaking the bank.

Champagne de Bois is a sparkly floral turned spicy woods scent. Opening with an aldehydic lift to a beautiful, somehow golden jasmine, the spiciness provided by cloves – and maybe cinnamon, a bit of cardamom? – that dominates the perfume’s heart, begins to shine through soon. The base is solidly wooden. A beautiful sandalwood on an ambery bed, is reminiscent of Feminitè de Bois minus the fruitiness of the Lutens creation or a pared down version of Chanel Bois de Iles. But really, Champage de Bois is no knock-off of anything, it stands alone.

What impresses me most is the wear time: I get over six hours, with a beautiful sillage for at least four of those hours.

Champagne de Bois is a scent that makes me happy. It radiates good cheer and a positive outlook, without a “fake smile” effect.

Champagne de Bois is a walk through a sun-light dappled forest in fall. You hear the leaves crunching underfoot and the air is fresh and cool. The sun is still powerful, but it doesn’t hit you over the head like in summer, it caresses your cheek.

Champagne de Bois is bottled sunlight for the last days of Indian summer.

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This entry was posted in Aldehydic, Fragrance Reviews, Sonoma Scent Studio, Spicy, Woods and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Indian Summer – Review: Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois

  1. I must have this! I can’t wait until I get some extra fun money to order some samples =)

  2. Undina says:

    I read so many praises to this perfume long before I even knew what SSS all these commenters on NST were thowing left and right stood for, that it was almost impossible for any perfume to live up to them. It would have been nice to continue now saying that Champagne de Bois did it but I cannot. It was one of Laurie’s perfumes that I liked as a smell but not as a perfume.
    Now, when I know not only what SSS means but tried almost the complete line and found my favorites, I plan to re-visit a couple of scents that didn’t work for me on the first round. Champagne de Bois is probably a good starting point. Thank you for the nudge.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is always hard to approach something that has been built up in your own mind to impossible heights. In those cases I remind myself – it is just a perfume not salvation! 🙂
      So I know exactly what you mean. As I said, I had Champagne de Bois for a long time and couldn’t appreciate it, and then it made click when the time was right.

  3. Ines says:

    I want a bottle of Indian summer! 🙂

    As I’ve already said, I’m a huge Laurie fan.
    Btw, I noticed she no longer carries Femme Jolie. Did you try that?

  4. lady jane grey says:

    A poetic review. And since Bois des Iles is one of my alltime favorites, I’d fancy to try its pared down version too.

  5. Tara says:

    If only there were more niche/indie lines producing such high qualities perfumes at reasonable prices. The perfumes may not work for me personally but I admire the brand immensely.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Too bad that you didn’t find a match yet. 😦
      But if it is really a certain ingredient in the base that Laurie uses in every formula, as Marla suggested, there is not much you can do…

      • Tara says:

        Yes, I’m certain Marla’s right because it’s not as if I just don’t like the perfumes. It’s something that was in the background of all 7 or 8 of the ones I tried, so it must be a molecule in the house base that I just can’t tolerate. Real shame because I can still appreciate how good the compositions are 😦

  6. Stef says:

    Great review, I adore Laurie’s range! I really must dig out my sample of Champagne du Bois.

    Opal is one of my favourite from her line, but I recently tried To Dream and that was lovely as well. She’s very talented!

  7. andrea says:

    I ordered some samples from SSS and I have to say that it was a wonderful buying experience, not only does she not try to charge ridiculous shipping fees but she kindly put an extra sample in which is proving to be one of my favourites. I loved ‘To Dream’, now I must find my Champagne de Bois sample to try as well, I thought the quality was brilliant for the prices charged, I will be making a full bottle purchase very soon.

  8. I love the sound of this. Maybe time to explore this line! Thanks for the beautiful review.

  9. deeHowe says:

    It’s no secret that I’m in the Laurie-loving bandwagon: she’s doing such beautiful work, for more than fair prices. Those bases just sing on my skin!

    What I loved so much about Champagne de Bois was that it reminded me of the best part of Bois des Iles (the dry-down), and taking that part and stretching it out and amplifying the “golden” aspects. It’s so plush, so warm, so elegant! Paired down, I agree, but definitely not stripped down.

    I couldn’t wear it over the summer, due to a buttery note popping up and driving me mad, but in cooler weather, there’s almost nothing better 🙂

    Also, I finally ordered samples of Fig Tree & To Dream, and I am tremendously looking forward to wearing them!

  10. Suzanne says:

    I have a 5-ml bottle of Champagne de Bois and love it for this odd reason alone: I get a distinct bayberry note from it — so much so, that I spent quite a bit of time doing an internet search on this scent to see if anyone else got it. I felt like I wasn’t going crazy when I came upon SakeCat’s Scent Project (I don’t think she’s blogging anymore) and found that she smelled it too. I love the scent of true bayberry candles (the true ones are quite expensive as few places make them anymore), so this is a winter favorite of mine. Loved reading your take on it, Birgit.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Suzanne! Your bayberry – I can smell that too, it has been on my mind since I first tried the perfume, but I didn’t know the word bayberry in English, and translated it now, because of your comment and it is the very same plant, I had in mind (Lorbeer), it is like a puzzle piece falling into place! Thank you. 🙂

      • Suzanne says:

        You’re welcome — and thank you, because now I know it’s not a trick of my mind if you can smell it too. 🙂 This is one of the nicest things about perfume blogging and the shared conversations: it’s sort of like an olfactory excavation — a group dig, with the excavation site being a fascinating perfume. 🙂

  11. malsnano86 says:

    Love Champagne de Bois. Must go and see if I can find the bayberry in it – yes, I remember the real thing. My grandmother always had bayberry candles at Thanksgiving and Christmas…

    (Bois des Iles is so beautiful – and the current stuff seems so THIN to me! Sigh.)

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  13. JoanElaine says:

    “It radiates good cheer and a positive outlook, without a “fake smile” effect” – that’s a great line, B!
    I love Champagne de Bois too! It’s fizzy, fuzzy, spicy…a perfume for sitting by the fire, wrapped in a soft blanket and drinking a glass of champagne. Excuse me, I need to go spray some on right now…

  14. I had seen this review earlier and am reading it now…I was curious as CDB was not the “release of the moment” bt SSS and I see now it is a 2008. I like the way it sounds, definitely worth a try! I would love to know what you think of the new Fig by SSS?

    • Olfactoria says:

      I only recently got to sniff my way through the line and I love what I’m finding. Unfortunately I had not yet the chance to smell Fig Tree, but I certainly will do that soon.

  15. anotherperfumeblog says:

    I am behind in my commenting this week (although not my reading), but I wanted to come back and say thank you for reviewing this. It is a recent love of mine (and my first SSS purchase), but I have not felt at all able to review it. As usual, your words have illuminated some aspects of it for me, and I’ll certainly be revisiting your post next time I wear it, to see if I can follow what you have found in it. (And you and Suzanne have good noses! 🙂 )

    • Olfactoria says:

      Nat, somehow I think this perfume suits you very well, I don’t really know you of course, but somehow CdB always makes me think of you! 🙂 Glad to hear you really like it!

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  21. arline says:

    I want to love these perfumes, I really do!!! (If the beautiful women who create these perfumes see this, I really mean no harm) I actually ordered some samples before christmas and found Champagne de Bois to be my favorite sample, so I ordered a small bottle. Excited I ordered Vintage Rose, based on some reviews that I found.

    The dry down of the CdB is beautiful and lasts a really long time, but I cant take the initial spray. I have taken to spraying it in my closet, because I love the way it smells on clothes, but on me for some reason I have to endure a lot to get to the beauty.

    Vintage rose smells like strong, and I mean STRONG laundry detergent, and it is unwearable to me, so I often spray a bit in the dryer, towards the end of the cycle, and I feel like I am putting my investment.

    I don’t think my nose is unsophisticated. I don’t know what the deal is. I am learning that white musk has a CLEAN scent, and perhaps that is what my nose picks up on (for HOURS)

    I wish they would make an oil version of their perfumes as well.

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