I like the opening of it, smells like a very old, antique wardrobe almost. Unfortunately in about twenty minutes all it smells like is cinnamon on my skin.
Yes!!! Woods. Quality woods! Like old furniture from the colonial period. Just simply amazing. Lasts long, smells great, adequate sillage. Just great spicy woods.
Ayala’s fragrances are wonderful and different from many scents on the market. She designs as an innovative artist and she makes the scents as a dedicated craftsperson. She uses natural ingredients (making many herself) and prepares small batches to ensure freshness. Her scents are striking, subtle and yet intense. Wearing one is a learning experience, there are always new aspects to discover! My understanding and appreciation grows each time I wear one.
This is certainly true for Bois d’Hiver. When I first tried it, I was unfamiliar with frankincense and frankly was a bit overwhelmed by it. Weeks later, I was in a church service where incense was burned. Then, I “got” what the scent was about, and I’ve loved it ever since. It captures the mood of a high church service: introspective yet celebratory, spiritual and yet sensual. The top notes are an amazing blend of juniper (fresh, perky, a bit minty) with good woody cedar. The middle has rich florals and a bit of citrus which combine seamlessly. The base is luxurious and is centered in frankincense, which is a rich and spicy green scent. Fir notes play against that, and provide invigorating “spikes” of a cooler green note. Bois d’Hiver is well designed and lovely to wear in cooler weather, particularly at the holidays. It is bold and yet gentle.
26th December, 2007 (last edited: 15th June, 2008)
Top: juniper berry, cedarwood, bitter orange
Mid: orange blossom, rose, jasmine, pimento berry
Base: frankincense, myrrh, balsam tolu, fir absolute
This scent is a revised version of an earlier scent by Ayala, Fete D'Hiver pour Homme (not to be confused with Fete D'Hiver). Ayala has upped the ante here, not only adding more elements but in some cases increasing their quality (e.g., using absolutes). Thus we have a memorable, special scent.
Bois d’Hiver is very good. It has a bright, slightly medicinal opening from the juniper. Woods and orange warm up the tonic, and orange provides the transition to a lovely floral heart which is haunting but not sweet. The base is woody with some incense notes and hints of conifer. The scent overall is dark and compelling; it seems masculine to me in its assertive tones and lack of sweetness, but a woman could happily wear it.
Update -- I still find this to be a good scent, but I wish the conifers were more pronounced. Perhaps they have retreated after a few years. Since this is a natural scent the ingredients may not have the longevity of synthetics. Now, my impression of the scent is of a Christmas orange studded with cloves, with a Christmas tree at the far corner of the room. Not sweet or heavy, and it still has nice woody tones. Just needs more conifers!
29th October, 2007 (last edited: 09th September, 2014)