The Greatest Flour Ever Made – Review: L’Artisan Parfumeur Bois Farine

This review has been originally posted in November 2010. I smelled Bois Farine in the “wild” recently and was reminded of the uniqueness of this interesting, distinctive and unusual fragrance. Therefore allow me to re-publish this today.

I would like to review most of L’Artisans creations on my blog eventually, since it is a house that suits me. L’Artisan Parfumeur is about subtlety and elegance. Qualities I would like to cultivate in myself.

Bois Farine

I already mentioned several times that I am a big Ellena fan (Jean-Claude Ellena) and this perfume he did for L’Artisan was the first I ever purchased from the house – Bois Farine.
Part of the Travel series, it was created in 2003. Notes include fennel seed, iris, white cedar, guaiac wood, sandalwood, benzoin.

Ellena was inspired by flowers found on the island of Reunion, calles Ruizia Cordata, that smell of flour or dough.

It is, I believe, one of the most unique scents ever made, resembling no other, for that alone Ellena gets my respect. It is not easy to describe what it smells like, but once one has smelled it, it remains instantly recognisable, nothing similar is to be found out there (correct me if I am wrong!). For many it smells like peanut butter, but I don’t get that. Flour or starch come closest for me, just as the name implies. It is not warm, not cold, not sweet, not harsh. It is a bit nutty, powdery, definitely dry. It walks the line between comforting and startling in an ingenious way.

flour 2

I can wear Bois Farine throughout the year, it is always appropriate, even though it is so exceptional.

It sure is the greatest flour ever made.

Do you know Bois Farine? Do you think it is wearable or just too strange for a personal fragrance?

Picture source:,, some rights reserved, thank you!

About Olfactoria

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28 Responses to The Greatest Flour Ever Made – Review: L’Artisan Parfumeur Bois Farine

  1. Ines says:

    Funny you should say that, I also think L’Artisan is a house that suits me very well. After SL, they are the line I have most bottles from.
    I admit I am not that familiar with Bois Farine, I know I tried it sometime in my perfume journey, but it was in passing so there is no memory of what it smells like. I need to find a sample (I probably have it somewhere) and re-test it. 🙂

  2. Alexandra says:

    I fell in love with Bois Farine at first sniff and couldn’t resist a bottle, I do still really love it and have nothing else like it in my collection (good grief when did it become a collection?!?), but I almost never wear it. I think it must need a very specific combination of mood and weather!

    I continue to be impressed by LAP generally (apart from their online shop, the shipping is appalling): Safran Troublant is currently at the top of my wish list (although I stupidly tried Roja Dove’s Danger yesterday and am desperately trying to keep it off my wish list).

  3. arasdh says:

    Thanks! I loved it straight away too. I tend to wear heavy orientals, but was in wonderland when discovered it. I was on a mission to find a delicate and discrete fragrance for a friend, but could have bought it for myself instead. It is unique indeed. I am glad to see that I am not the only one who is so touched by this fragrance.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello arasdh,

      good to hear from another fan of Bois Farine. It must have its devoted fan base, since it is still in production, despite being such an unusual scent, and I’m glad for it. Bois Farine is a great example of what niche perfumery can and should be.

  4. Tara says:

    I totally agree that there is nothing close to Bois Farine out there and that is such a great thing. It’s too nutty to be wearable for me but I’m really glad it exists. It expands the limits of what a perfume can be.

  5. Bois Farine has also been my first L’Artisan; it is playful, humorous, elegant, sophisticated and slightly eccentric at the same time- this peanut butter note with pencil shavings from the magic tree, and a hint of expensive iris in the drydown… Also, its gourmandish feel make it a comfort scent, without ever becoming cloying, while the whiffs create a “fresh” accord. A powerful statement in perfumery declaring that we shouldn’t take life too seriously!

  6. Kafkaesque says:

    I’m curiously tempted to try this now. I would never have thought to consider “the greatest flour ever known” (LOL! Utterly brilliant title, btw) but for one thing: Jean-Claude Ellena. I think the man is a genius. I just did an extensive review of his Elixir for Hermes and it reminded me of what an artistic touch he really has. What mastery and originality. And those are with much more mainstream, much less unusual notes than what you’re describing here! Bois Farine may not be a full-bottle temptation for me, but thanks to your review, I’ll definitely see if I can get a sample from Surrender to Chance.

    You know, your blog is not very good for my wallet….. 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Haha, for mine neither. 😉
      JCE is the great constant in my perfumed life, he never disappoints.

      I’ve read your Elixir review today, and I agree, it is an intriguing perfume.
      Let me know what you think of Bois Farine, once you’ve tried it.

  7. Esperanza says:

    Thank you for re introducing us to Bois Farine. I have never seen it or read about it. Would love to scent this perfume and will look for it. Very curious what flour smells like in a perfume.

  8. furriner says:

    I’m with Ines… L’Artisan is a house which suits me very well. It’s the house I have the most bottles of (including Bois Farine).

    Coincidentally, I just got a bottle of Bois Farine to give my mother for Christmas! I figured that, even if she never wears it, she would appreciate it, since, lately, she does a lot of baking. I find it difficult to buy fragrance as gifts, unless it is something specific I know the person wants.

  9. I adore Bois Farine! I do get peanut butter out of it, which is perfect because peanut butter has always been “the forbidden fruit” for me (my poor little brother is severely allergic to it). The only thing is that I do find Bois Farine a bit unpredictable. If I put it on expecting a comfort scent, it will suddenly show its strangest facets, and vice versa!

  10. Vanessa says:

    It’s a good while since I tried this, but I remember it as smelling like a dollop of bread sauce (the stuff we serve with turkey – that’s single not Russian doll / Turducken-style! : – ) – on a cedar breadboard. Which at the time was a bit too weird for a personal fragrance. But my taste is a bit more “out there” now, so who knows?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Bread sauce is so very British, I don’t even know were to start…
      I can understand that this is not the most ideal of associations to have with a perfume, but maybe it has indeed changed over time.

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