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La Forêt Enchantée (The Enchanted Forest)


06th January, 2000

This fragrance suggests the unusual beauty of forests with rocky features such as towers and cliffs.


The fragrance is simply designed to give the impression of forests which are well-known to rock climbers and hikers. The primary ways in which this is evoked are:

  • Typical accords used to evoke the impression of a mixed deciduous/coniferous forest

  • Additional, newer, mineral accords, used to evoke rock or stone

This combination, if kept subtle enough not to wander into the area of room fragrances, should still be attractive to consumers who enjoy both green and woody fragrances, as well as those who enjoy modern mineralic fragrances such as Terre d’Hermès.

In addition, it features an unusual aspect – the tart citrus-like odor of the fruit of the black walnut.


The theme is simple. A green forest, featuring rock towers or cliffs, in late summer or early fall, when ripe green walnuts are beginning to fall.


  • It is classified as a green/woody fragrance with wet, earthy and mineralic notes

  • It is based originally on the mixed deciduous/coniferous forests of Eastern Kentucky (Red River Gorge), but it could just as easily apply to the Gorges du Verdon in France.

  • It features an unusual accord in the topnotes – the tart and astringent citrus/cardamom/aquatic

  • scent of the green fruit of the black walnut (reconstituted synthetically)

  • It contains leaf-litter (earthy) notes in the heart for realism

  • It uses discretionary floral components to allow the perfumer to adjust the scent for best overall

olfactory quality

  • It uses sweet components of any kind, if needed, to moderate the tart aspects of the black walnut accord

  • It uses cypress, pine, and/or hardwood notes in the base, in adjustable amounts, again to optimize quality while attaining a woody character

  • It includes an important wet mineral accord typical of sandstone towers and cliffs found in such forests

  • It uses both tree moss and oakmoss, or their synthetic analogs

  • It can optionally include a subdued chypre effect between the black walnut fruit and the oakmoss, which can be enhanced by labdanum or beeswax as needed

Marketing and Other

There is only one known fragrance with a walnut connection – Banana Republic’s Black Walnut, but this fragrance is a very light, tobacco-centered “mall fragrance” which seems to bear no relationship to actual black walnut, either as a wood or as the fruit.

Authentic black walnut juices should not be used for this fragrance because of their irritant, toxic, and sensitizing properties (due to the phytotoxin juglone). However, the accord should be easy to recreate, since it bears a strong resemblance to both citrus and cardamom. Frozen samples have been retained for use by perfumers, if the accord is not already documented.

A search of the Basenotes Directory reveals that there are no fragrances with the name “[La] Forêt Enchantée” or “[The] Enchanted Forest”. Three fragrances have names containing “Forêt” – Fleurs de la Forêt, Forêt de Bécharré, and La Foret for Women. Two fragrances have names with Enchantée – Nuits Enchantées and Paris Roses Enchantées. Eleven fragrances have names with “Forest”, but none are even close to “Enchanted Forest”. There are no fragrances with the word “Enchanted”. There are numerous hotels, parks, recreation areas, and other places and businesses with the names.

“[The] Enchanted Forest” and “[La] Forêt Enchantée”. These terms are clearly in such common usage that neither one should present a trademark problem.

Both the name of the scent and the suggested accords should allow considerable freedom to the perfumer and marketer. Gender could easily be unisex or feminine based solely on the name. Strongly masculine positioning in the American market might be more difficult with the English word “Enchanted”, but is not impossible, particularly if upscale, or if marketing leans heavily to an outdoor theme (“forest”) as opposed to a magical theme (“enchanted”). In French, the name should not have a problem in the English-speaking market – particularly for niche positioning.

Submitted by Redneck Perfumisto

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    • Leesee | 9th January 2010 06:53

      Another interesting brief, and I am very intrigued by the black walnut accord (I don't think I have ever smelled black walnut). The name you have chosen is superb.

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 9th January 2010 08:43

      The accord is really interesting - it's very citrus-like, but off in a weird way. I couldn't place my finger on it. I knew it was in some food, but that was it. Well, at some point later I smelled pure cardamom seed, and I was blown away. I spent 5 minutes pacing in the kitchen trying to remember what it smelled like. Then - BAM - I remembered where I had smelled it.

      Now I would assume that real black walnut juice can't be used, unless possibly after a lot of treatment to remove the nasty allergen. But perhaps there is already a well-known substitute accord. The cardamom note is easy, and the most distinctive one. It's getting the citrus right that's crucial to finishing the job.

      A little secret about the name. The first time I heard a man say "enchantée" upon introduction to a lady? I felt like the French language had been created just for that moment! And forest is a comfort word for me, because I love them so much. It pretty much had to happen. :wink:

      Again, thanks for saying that! I'm really glad you like the name! :coolold:

    • 30 Roses | 9th January 2010 16:24

      This sounds like something I would like to smell-- if I saw this in a store, I would reach for it right away to test it. The name makes me think of the forest of Fangorn in the Lord of the Rings, where the trees came alive (the Ents).

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 9th January 2010 21:03

      [quote]The name makes me think of the forest of Fangorn in the Lord of the Rings, where the trees came alive (the Ents). [/quote]

      One of my favorite parts of the story! :engel017: Oh, yeah!

    • Aerandir4 | 11th January 2010 00:26

      This scent actually reminds me of a book I read as a young lad-The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton! With this brief Redneck I can smell green, earthy treesap and light green-hued leaves.Sounds fantastic to be honest.

    • selky | 14th January 2010 02:06

      I like the earthiness and natural wildness of this - especially the inclusion of mineral accords to suggest rock and stone. I missed the deadline on submitting a brief but the concept I had also included stone notes. I'd be really like to smell this one.

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 14th January 2010 04:36

      Thanks, Aerandir and selky! I am on a bit of a green kick lately, and I guess it shows.

      The mineral accord is a bit of admiration for Terre d'Hermès, which is a favorite of mine. When Jean-Claude Ellena said that it was the mineral/flint accord which was the secret of that one, I finally understood why its cedar was so appealing to me. I could smell what seemed like dry desert air behind it, and that was it - I had been interpreting it as a strange dryness of the cedar, but was then able to see it as something which was subconciously appealing to my love of many rocky, sandy, dry places. Here, I am actually thinking of a new challenge - the rock of moister forests. I am not sure how this might work out, not being a perfumer, but I think it's a wonderful challenge. As Ellena's work with Terre d'Hermès shows, or his non-calone aquatic Un Jardin après la Mousson, or each of Céline's fragrances, it is (to my mind) small but important victories in the perfumer's hands that are reflected in greatness of final fragrances. A note here, an accord there, or a new component used in a new way, or new combination, that allows new excitement. Therefore, I think it's very reassuring that many of the submitted briefs offer small but potentially very interesting aspects, which - if successfully achieved by the perfumer, and surrounded with other good things, might set our Basenotes fragrances apart from things already out there. Looking through other people's briefs, I found that even the shortest had excellent "hooks" that a perfumer could grab as points of reference and go to work. All in all, very exciting!

    • Kevin Guyer | 17th January 2010 23:38

      This one's got me thinking of a fine Chablis, with its flinty character. My personal experience with La Forêt Enchantée will have me hiking through France's Massif Central. An evocative and excellent brief!

    • hmedlock | 21st January 2010 02:45

      This reminds me of the better Hermes products. Great job on keeping this one outside of the box as well. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to discern one fragrance from another because many have common notes. Some are just more expensive than others. This sounds like a sweet, woodsy fragrance and also reminds me of some of my favorite smells in the country. I can also very easily see a celebrity wearing and endorsing this fragrance. Someone who has Country roots, but is also very sophisticated and well distinguished. Excellent direction on this one. It sounds like a stand-out fragrance, one that will rise above others.

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 21st January 2010 05:49

      Thanks, Ruggles and hmedlock! Yes, hmedlock, you pegged me as an Hermès fan, and a big one at that! Well, if we don't do it, and somebody at Hermès did, I would be quite giddy with delight. A green flanker to TdH? I swoon at the very thought! Actually, I think Ruggles has the idea. Even though it was inspired by a forest I know, I think that a French setting with a handsome young European couple hiking into the mysterious forest - perchance to find love's apple on the way to adventure? - would be the ideal image. Certainly better than a trio of middle-aged scientists looking for some good climbing in Appalachia, dressed like an Everest basecamp yard sale and calling each other "dude"! :wink: But if done under the English name, then I see your point, hmedlock - totally. Imagine... Keith Urban (are you [wo]men fainting yet?) walks into the forest and encounters a certain lovely lady - this time dressed in white - with a mysterious apple.... Oh, if only our dreams had the budget of Chanel! :happy:

    • Pipsisien | 4th February 2010 16:24

      Oh, I want this one!

      "It can optionally include a subdued chypre effect between the black walnut fruit and the oakmoss, which can be enhanced by labdanum or beeswax as needed" YEEESSS

      Easy on the pine though...

      Can't wait!

    • jayjupes | 7th February 2010 21:35


      do you make perfumes (yet)?