Passion Boisée is a tribute to a material which may not be glamorous but is an essential part of Frapin’s cognac making process – wood.
After distillation, the brandy is aged in oak casks for several years. During this time the wood from the barrels lends its properties of tannin and vanillin to the liquor, creating its distinctive flavour.
Released in 2007, Passion Boisée is described as a citrus chypre aimed at men. The perfumer is Jeanne-Marie Faugier who has done a number of fragrances for Frapin including Caravelle Epicée.
Top notes are tangerine, nutmeg, rum and clove; middle notes are oakmoss and oak; base notes are patchouli, leather and cedar.
The opening accord of tangerine and rum is very striking – a combination of tart citrus and astringent white spirit. Then it quickly settles down to gently boozy cedar with a little spice and fruit, on a mellow leather base.
The effect is masculine in a self-assured and urbane way. I see a sophisticated young gent in a wood panelled room. He is sitting in a leather wing-backed chair, sipping his expensive drink while reading The Times.
Passion Boisée has a slightly powdery texture and the feeling is classy and classical.
The underlying leather accord is not strong, tarry hide but very refined and subdued. The citrus seems to linger in the background along with the soft spice, which I only really register when I get up close.
It has very little projection but longevity is good. For such a seemingly rich fragrance it’s kept surprisingly transparent and lightweight.
It’s not earth-shattering and it’s a little too reticent, but Passion Boisée is a solid piece of work. It could be particularly nice to wear around the festive season with its splash of alcohol, mulling spices and hint of tangerine.
While it isn’t a fragrance I think suits me – my style is decidedly more feminine – I do feel comfortable wearing it because it’s not at all overbearingly macho.
I can imagine Passion Boisée being attractive on a guy in a rather reserved way. A man who doesn’t have to try too hard to get your attention. Well mannered and cultured but with definite sex appeal.
He’s a thoughtful individual who likes to concern himself with weighty issues; however you know there’s a lot more to him. An aesthete and a sensualist as well as an intellectual, he enjoys the finer things in life. He is particular about the books he reads, the spirits he drinks and of course, the fragrances he wears.
Do you tend to stick to fragrances aimed at your gender or do you swing both ways?