This “woody” flanker of Kenzo Homme is one of those fragrances you can’t really go wrong with. It has for me a remarkable balance of generic safeness and decent quality, and above all, it is really pleasant to wear. You won’t keep sniffing your wrists and you won’t hear underwear garments fall at your side, but you’ll smell nice, fresh and effortlessly, discreetly classy. Plus this fragrance is also extremely simple and clean, which is another “added value” in terms of versatility and wearabilty. Basically on my skin it smells literally of three or four bold and clear notes: some citrus, an initial ton of sharp minty-aromatic leafy green (the fairly realistic basil-mint accord) which will then slowly fade away, a really tiny hint of some soapy musk and a really enjoyable vetiver base which will emerge more clearly on the drydown – which is basically nearly only vetiver and some musk again. The vetiver here is grassy, fresh and woody, nothing forcedly “dark” or inky/smoky. I’d dare to compare it with the marvelous grassy vetiver note in Guerlain Homme Intense, just with a lower quality (surprisingly not that lower though, it smells actually really compelling). That’s it: nothing groundbreaking or memorable, rather the epitome of clean versatile safeness – something solid (and it really is for me, quality-wise) you can generously overspray on the rush in every situation with every weather, when you’re not in the mood of wearing something more fulfilling or complex.
Is this a woody scent? Well, yes and no. If you associate 'woody' with a more stereotypical image of tree trunks of the heavier robust kind, then no. Although the trunk is here too, albeit fresher and earthier, which might become more apparent when the base notes rise to the fore. But if you're thinking of twigs and leaves, or bamboo perhaps, then you will have a more accurate image.
Actually, I think this fragrance is a fine new addition to what woody might mean to be. And what do i mean with fine? Well, i must be thanking the holy noses out there when i spray this 'on', because this is another masterpiece in my experience. Many talk about Dior Homme as Olivier Polge's (single)masterpiece, but this, although entirely different, is just as much one.
You might go with the classical notion of top, heart and base to examen its composition, but you might miss its ingenuity if you do not consider the vertical aspect. The backbone of this vertical aspect is basil ( although listed as basil, i suspect it's actually tulsi). Everything in this composition is centered around basil. In the top the basil opens in an extraordinary accord with mint (and something else?). Probably not something everyone will like. I can only describe it as a fresh rubbery mixture. In the heart it transforms to an accord with rosemary (and some rests of mint?). And then the woody aspects of basil lingers in the base, not very prominent, but it gives a very interesting touch to the vetiver.
While this composition is very skeleton-like, the sheer brilliance of it is that it is not fleshed out, but left to linger or dance in a cloud /haze /mist. There's quiet a saltiness to that mist. Is it calone? It might be but it it cannot only be that. In the top that mist has notes of citrus, limonene and linalool (lavender). In the heart the pepper and the saltiness comes more pronounced, and in the base the cedar catches the mist. There's also a dash of coumarine and ionones present witch gives that mist a slight sweet woody tone.
A skeleton made of branches and twigs with the leaves left on, held together with stems of herbs, dancing in the mist along the seaside. That's the image i convey. Or smelling someone who just came back from a long walk along the seaside and the woods. Love it.
Of course there's preferences, perhaps this is not your thing, but at least even a slightly trained nose must realise this is a very finely crafted fragrance. Not for the masses, but top notch! It 'll become an overlooked classic, you'll see...
I've tried this one twice, and it smells fine, almost likeable upon opening. BUT, about a minute after it hits my skin, all hell breaks loose. It becomes this acrid, metallic, nose-melting beast. It's a very specific smell, one I feel like I've known, and it's absolutely horrendous. It could be my chemistry, but I cannot recommend this one by any means. This is the first time a scent nearly made me narf. And, I typically like woody and smoky scents.
Nothing ground-breaking here, but a nice spicy woody smell that stays close to the wearer so it's a safe scent for the office.
Got it blindy in a swap, and I'm happy I did.
The original Kenzo was more original, but also kind of harder to wear in real life.
The more I wear it, the more I like it!
I get a very nice leather feel under the spices that's great!
28th November, 2013 (last edited: 07th August, 2014)
Polite and pleasant
I agree with the reviewers that classify Boisée more as a green than woody fragrance. There is an earthy citrus here, a tad of smokiness and a hint of herbs. Otherwise, almost a mild, sweet aquatic.
This is going to be my replacement for Lagerfeld Man, which is no more.
Edit: Have to dock it a star and a half for having serious longevity issues and being more synthetic than it seemed at first (EdT).