French Lover / Bois d'Orage (2007)
    by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    Average Rating: 4

    Based on 276 ratings
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    French Lover / Bois d'Orage Fragrance notes

    Angelica, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Florentine iris, Pimento, Galbanum, Patchouli, Incense, Musks

    French Lover / Bois d'Orage information

    French Lover / Bois d'Orage is a men's fragrance by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. The scent was launched in 2007

    Reviews of French Lover / Bois d'Orage

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    Showing 1 to 6 of 58 reviews.

    warmlightsunsea's avatar

    United States United States

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    The only word to describe this scent is NUMINOUS.

    On a woman with a heart that is both wild and peaceful, deep currents, light and dark, shaman making things grow, the woods after a storm--this is perfection.

    23 September, 2014 (Last Edited: 30th September, 2014)

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    French Lover is a very dry incense and vetiver composition, softened by a touch of musk in the base. It opens with a whipcrack dose of peppery woods and galbanum, rendered even more piquant by a subtle hint of clove. The incense that emerges over the first hour on the skin is neither sweet nor smoky, but faintly luminous. The opening green notes eventually morph into a bold, earthy vetiver that's joined by a crisp cedar note in a very suave central accord. This isn't the rude vetiver that headlines Vetiver Extraordinaire or Maître Parfumeur et Gantier's Route du Vetiver. Instead, it's a rakish and sophisticated vetiver - still dangerous, but also sharp, articulate, and clever. The strong vetiver and cedar accord persists right through the mossy drydown, warmed by the musk and highlighted by the incense that floats in and out of the background. The scent is incredibly tenacious and will hold for a full day unless it's forcibly removed.

    There is no citrus to brighten the scent and no floral notes, benzoin, vanilla, or coumarin to sweeten it. Nor is there any of the obvious smoke or leather that gave the monster 1980s chypres all their swagger. In its uncompromising dryness and severity, French Lover parallels Caron's Yatagan, though with much greater transparency and without the prominent castoreum and artemisia. Exchange Yatagan's crude furs for an impeccably tailored suit and you might wind up with something like French Lover: Yatagan for the twenty first century. Where a scent like Kouros or Yatagan might open its fly and display its genitalia, French Lover simply adjusts its collar.

    Yet for all of its sophistication, French Lover has something dark and vaguely threatening deep in its heart, a bit like the foetid animal note that creeps around Dominique Ropion's Une Fleur de Cassie. (Also for Frederic Malle.) French Lover may be a stylish beast, but it’s still a beast, and capable of some brutality.

    As for the much-discussed name, I don’t think it’s all that apt – not even if it’s tongue-in-cheek. The American market name, Bois d’Orage (translated poetically as “Thunderwood”), is more accurately descriptive, if a bit less clever and original. This is not a seductive, sensuous fragrance along the lines of Musc Ravageur, and those expecting a boudoir scent are going to be deeply disappointed by French Lover. On the other hand, anyone who's looking for a bone dry chypre, incense, or vetiver but finds Yatagan too uncouth and Vetiver Extraordinaire or Maître Parfuneur et Gantier’s Route du Vetiver too rustic may enjoy the more civilized approach of Malle’s French Lover.

    14 June, 2014

    2nosedtwin's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    F. Malle - French Lover
    Hard to review properly because this one lasted only for 30 minutes on my skin - tested twice. It starts out with a very hot (chili)peppery opening together with a big green galbanum note making it smell like snapped green stems with smoky and moist earthy undertones. It basically puts together a area of green, pungent notes like greenish zesty petitgrain-like orange, angelica, and vetiver against the radiant warm spicy-resinous of incense, the powdery fleshy-rooty note of iris and dry spicy cedarwood. A very interesting combination and made with skill but at the same time reminding too much of Amouage and the Betrand Duchaufour-way of using incense. Longetivity is horrible short - gone in 30 minutes...(it could be just my skin...)

    06 June, 2014

    Longwei's avatar

    Poland Poland

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    Female 1: 3.5/5, Impression: warm woods (evoking a pub)
    Female 2: 3/5, Impression: manly with a hint of spice
    Female 3: 0/5, Impression: too green (reminds her of a grandfather)
    Male 1: 3/5, Impression: smells like Lynx
    Male 2: 2.5/5, "that's good"
    Male 3: 4/5, Impression: clean and woody with a dirty edge

    Projection: politely noticeable
    Longevity: solid - 10h plus

    My opinion: This is a difficult one. There's a strong, vaguely unpleasant (to me), 'dirty' note hanging around for a while after application. It never quite disappears, but it becomes much less offensive fairly quickly. I suppose, it adds character to the concoction, which otherwise might have indeed been a bit too green. For some strange reason, it reminds me of Chanel's Egoiste (although they don't really share much in terms of reported notes). It's the compressed powder citrus candy pastille trace, which is positively there. On the other hand, this is definitely darker and more opulent than Egoiste - an older brother. All in all - a very solid, complex scent; not a crowd pleaser, though. I may come to really like it with time, or not.

    06 June, 2014

    Card Board's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    In the opening, galbanum presents as broken vines and pulled weeds (dirt included), and is accompanied by many aspects of juniper (berry, stalk, and wood). Green, fresh, dense, and earthy. I would have guessed this also contains vetiver. I imagine walking through the topiary gardens of Versaille on a crisp morning, just as the gardeners are leaving. The slow transition from green-spiciness to a warm cedar-and-spice-dominated heart is captivating; one of the best perfume narratives I have experienced. I am grasping for incense, but it just is not there on me, nor do I miss it, really. The long drydown is chiefly a woody, cedar affair, with faint trails of spices persisting. Lasting power and projection are a bit better than average.

    30th April, 2013

    Buysblind's avatar

    United States United States

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    The overall impression this leaves is that of an elegant, if not formal, older gentleman's fragrance. It is a woody scent embellished with clean spices and a comfortably prickly aromatic quality due to the Angelica note.

    I find the name completely unfitting. Hearing the name "French Lover" I was expecting something extravagant, irreverent, daring, and perhaps a little vile...maybe something along the lines of 1740 Marquis de Sod or Absolue Pour Le Soir. But this is anything but vile and irreverent. It's polite (though perhaps a bit detached), sophisticated, and restrained. However, I don't find it an overly simple fragrance--it possesses a well-composed complexity.

    If I were in the market for this kind of scent (mature, restrained, sophisticated, elegant) I would certainly consider French Lover. Although it's not my style, I can't deny its quality.

    Thumbs up

    27 April, 2013

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