Big And Bold – Review: Boucheron Pour Femme

Hi Hi Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse and today we are looking at one of my all time favourites. Recently I had spritzed myself lavishly not even half an hour ago when Jin came home early from work and wanted to go to the grocery store together. I felt like I was a blazing trail of scent and that everyone in a three kilometer radius was wondering where that enormous stench was coming from.

Boucheron (pour Femme) by Francis Deleamont + Jean-Pierre Bethouart for Boucheron 1988

Boucheron pour Femme Boucheron Fragrantica

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Galbanum, Mandarin, Apricot, Basil, Tagetes, Orange blossom
Heart: Tuberose, Narcissus, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Iris, Broom
Base: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Tonka bean, Amber, Benzoin, Civet, Frankincense, Musk

Sold as a symbol of ultra luxury back in 1989 Boucheron had us all at hello with this incredible fragrance. Big and bold and effortless, Boucheron will walk a few steps ahead of you and fill the room once you get there. Totally inspired by the jewellery of Parisian goldsmiths from Place Vendome, it sparkles and thrums while you wear it and it’s a compliment getter almost every time. Even the current reformulation is quite nice though thinner than the original and more modern: a little more hairspray at the top and a lot less animal in the dry down.

Spicy, metallic, sweet, weird and large are the first words that come into my head when I smell modern Boucheron. It’s like a huge Vincent Van Gogh painting of flowers and fruit has come alive with scent. Everything is slightly large, skewed and pulsing and all painted with what in modern terms would be neon bright coloured paintspray. Though the notes say it should smell like a fairly average retro fragrance there is nothing retro about Boucheron pour Femme except its size. If a niche perfumery brought out something as fabulously outlandish as this today people would be astounded.

Boucheron pour Femme cea Richard Baxter - Narcissus and Echo Flickr)Photo Stolen Flickr

The heart is built around narcissus, the slightly feral and ferocious fragrant sister of ylang. Ylangs creamy richness and tuberoses green bubble gum are completely overwhelmed by the narcissus bite. Closely resembling Christopher Brosius’ Narcissus, this narcissus note is indolic and fecal until the other flowers all rush in to subdue it, or maybe it’s the vanilla from trhe base that has reached up and calmed out ravening monster.

The flowers stay right through to the end like a bouquet from outer space that gets slowly warmer and less intimidating until many hours later you are left with a resinous woodsy wash. Finally, you can leave the house and go back among people.

Boucheron pour Femme Guillaume_Seignac Fragrant_Iris WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Further reading: Scentualist and Yesterday’s Perfume
FragranceNet has old bottle EdT $34/50ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $3/ml

Which oldie in your wardrobe is so outrageous that you have to be careful how much you spritz and where you wear it?
Portia xx


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14 Responses to Big And Bold – Review: Boucheron Pour Femme

  1. Tara says:

    Portia, big, outrageous perfumes are not very me but I perked right up with the mention of a strong narcissus heart. I’ve been looking for the right narcissus scent for ages. I can’t cope with the base of the Nicolai and the Hermes was too green but I will try that one again as B loves it.

    • Tara,
      Have you ever spent time with CB I Hate Perfume Rare flowers Narcissus? It will blow the back of your head off but it’s well worth a sniff if you like narcissus. Ferocious.
      Funny thing tonight, someone found out I love fragrance and pulled a 100ml bottle of this very Boucheron Femme from her bag and told me that though she loves many fragrances THIS is her go to. I forgot to tell her I’d written this piece tonight. Twilight Zone moment.
      Portia xx

  2. annemariec says:

    Balenciaga/Lapidus Rumba falls into my ‘spray an hour before leaving home’. category. I’ve not tried the Boucheron though.

    Mainstream perfumes that smell niche: Molinard Habanita, Jacomo Silences, and Dior Dioressence. Bvlgari Black too.

  3. rosarita313 says:

    Thanks for the review, Portia, Boucheron has been on my wishlist for ages now. I smelled it early on in my tumble down the rabbit hole and have wanted it ever since. The 80s was my decade of youth and hotness and I liked many of the big fragrances. One that I didn’t wear then (because my best friend did) but love now is vintage Obsession. With it’s spicy brew of incense it could be a niche scent today. Love it in the winter, it holds up well under wooly scarves and sweaters.

  4. anitathepianist says:

    Portia, that was such a witty review…can’t stop laughing. I understand about having to wait before being able to go
    out among people after applying certain fragrances. My own brother told me that he never wanted to be around me if I wore YSL’s Nu. Samsara can be just as much a blast as Boucheron, During a trip on Air France, all the attendants were wearing Samsara…Several passengers were having problems breathing – just too much of a good thing. I can tell if someone is wearing Angel from at least two houses away, extreme sensitivity to aroma is not always a good thing..

    • Thank you Anitathepianist,
      Ifd you’re laughing then my work is done.
      I think we get so used to wearing the big frags that sometimes we unwittingly overwhelm people around us. Oh yes, Angel! A perfect example of the enormous punch in the nose. I love walking down the street and being bombarded with it by someone who has been marinating in it for decades. MMMMM
      Portia xx

  5. Fazal Cheema says:

    Omar Shareef Pour Femme…just one sprays overwhelms most other is apparent the smell is dated even by 80s standard but the ingredients are top notch..the juice color is one of the most glorious i have ever seen

  6. Tomate Farcie says:

    I love Boucheron, I probably knock people out when I wear it, oh well

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