Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur

I thought I had the measure of this the minute I put it on. Aha, I said to myself, ok, Bois Farine, I understand you completely. You are less a perfume than the collected smells of a health food store: crushed peanut shells, sawdust, wood shavings, bags of whole-wheat flour, quinoa, big jars of tahini, and chunks of halva lined up in the cooler section. Dust, oil, flour. It’s all there.An olfactory joke, sure, but a wry, knowing one.

Clever.

But wait. The journey isn’t over yet. We may have started in the health food store, but the scenery is whizzing past us now, to primary school and the delicious smells of the art supply closet. I can smell the cheap almond glue smell of heliotropin, and it reminds me both of salty playdough, warm vanilla, and the standard-issue, non-toxic glue they let kids use.

There is finally a dry, warm vanilla – dusty, like the smell of realms of paper in the closet. I smell the blue-white milk, tepid and fatty, already put out in cups lined up behind the teacher’s desk, ready for our snack time, collecting dust as the school room clock’s long hand inches inexorably slowly towards 11am and freedom.

I see now why so many people find this a comforting scent. It starts out as an olfactory joke and ends up as a f^&*%g time machine.

It’s like watching Cinema Paradiso and holding out until the last scene where they play all the cut reels and then ending up howling on the floor. Bois Farine, you are such an asshole.
01st July, 2015
Out of the gate, it’s a warm cedar interwoven with spices and a soft, nutty texture. But the pleasing welcome is really just there to introduce the two stars of the show: Iso E and heliotropin (an almond-smelling chemical). The resulting scent conjures the image of a plate of shortbread sitting next to a vase of flowers, but it’s all tad synthesized — in fact, it smells borderline severe to me. Ultimately, it sits somewhere between gourmand and floral that, despite being cozy at first, gets boring real fast. A relatively agreeable but uninspiring foody blend with L’Artisan’s signature piss-poor performance.
10th March, 2015
Lovely comfort scent. BF like somebody made a flour of woods, almonds.peanuts, and iris and produced this redolent powder turned into liquid. Delicious and pleasant to smell.
01st December, 2013
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Delightful confectionery experience. Milky iris.

There is an Iranian sweet by the name of gaz, a white nougat with nuts and dusted with flour. Bois Farine is reminiscent of it, in many aspects: the milk, flour, iris, sweet notes. Not a grand symphony, but not the one-liner many reviews would lead you to expect.

Bright powdery opening, sweet woody-iris heart, clean drydown. Lasts 6-8 hours in moderate/cool weather. Has the iris caveat: smells like delicious make-up.

So far, the only perfume that has made me recline and laugh. Recommended!

26th August, 2013
Lactic incense, iris and pencil shavings.
27th April, 2013
Cookies and nuts and ..... wind. When you think of a gourmand parfume you wouldn't consider wind, would you? Well, Bois Farine is a gourmand with something airy and spacious. It's a box of bisquits, but placed on a table in the garden, under the shadow of a great oak tree. Doesn't make you think of a kitchen but of an open space. Delicious and classy at the same time.
29th January, 2013
BF is an anisic and honey-toned sandalwood that is simultaneously dusty and creamy. The combination of all of these facets is likely the reason that it is reminiscent (at least to some, though not me) of the aroma of peanut butter. Unfortunately, the dusty quality in particular turns the sandalwood rather cloudy, murky, and ultimately unpleasant. Nevertheless, my biggest problem with BF is that it is outright insistent and incessant. I put about a QUARTER of a drop of it on a test strip, and I could EASILY smell it from 10 feet away, and that's not a good thing to me. BF makes for an interesting creative exercise (that should have been limited to the perfume lab) but not for a good and wearable finished perfume. Instead, I would opt for the likes of Guerlain’s Samsara or Chanel’s Bois des Iles when reaching for a feminine-leaning sandalwood.
18th January, 2013 (last edited: 19th January, 2013)
The smell of peanut butter on good white bread, delivered on the consoling breath of a lover in a meadow. Tahini, hemp and fennel seeds, hazelnut butter, honey, oats; it's a health food store who’s who. If I were forced to pick one descriptor? Peanut shell, which gets at both the nuttiness of Jean-Claude Elléna’s composition as well as its woodiness.

This is a mellow, doughy angle on the iris-and-cedar theme Elléna explored in the earlier Bois d'Iris for The Different Company (2000), whose top notes are peculiarly edible. Or, if the almond note here were amplified, we'd be approaching an oven-warmed version of Elléna’s L'Eau d'Hiver for Frederic Malle, likewise released in 2003. But Bois Farine is original, moreish and uncanny in a way that neither of these two are, excellent as they might be.
16th May, 2012
To me, this scent is the lower-priced older sister of L'Eau D'Hiver, from Frederic Malle. Sweet, minimal, but with different notes, the feeling of a spare elegant oriental remains. The flour note central to Bois Farine, is actually from a wood, not wheat, so to my nose the resemblance is not that strong. Also, Bois Farine, opens with a dry odd notes that is hard to describe, but soon settles down to a sheer comforting woody sweetness. Interestingly, I never thought of Bois Farine as nutty, as other reviews have mentioned. A sample will not fail to intrigue you...must be smelled.
10th August, 2011
cello Show all reviews
United States
I think all the talk about peanut butter had me a little nervous, and this sample kept getting shoved to the bottom of the pile.

Ahhhhhhhh, how wrong I was! This is my version of a comfort scent. Well blended (another JC Ellena), using minimal notes that stand out, but creating a sum that it better than it's parts.
The opening is fennel for sure, with the iris note rising (pun intended) into the smell of a country kitchen during baking. Flour is easily imagined, but this is a doughy iris note that is very prominent. It warms into the most natural and comforting smell - the kind that only can come out of a bakery or kitchen. Soft sandalwood then creeps in. The combination, and the whole experience, is just cozy and warm - not gourmand, but just a comfort-of-home type smell.

Lovely. Almost more of a smell or experience rather than a perfume, but I wasn't bothered by that at all. This one has a similar feel to another Ellena scent, L'Eau d'Hiver, but I like the Farine much better.
15th May, 2011 (last edited: 14th September, 2012)
A bit of a different style from L'Artisan, a change of pace from all the spicy and incensy stuff. Bois Farine opens with an extremely pleasant and different aroma. It's powdery, sweet in a slightly gourmand way. Kind of reminds me of some sort of cracker. It has a nutiness too, and somewhat of a creamy vanilla smell. I wanna say there's citrus there too, but I'm not so sure. After researching the 'fennel seed' note, one that I'm not familiar with, it turns out that this is what I'm smelling.

As it dries, it becomes a little less sweet, a lot more faint. The iris note in this is different. It isn't overplayed, it isn't real powdery or bitter as iris can be. And, the base is very woody, but oh so faint. This scent ends up getting really close to the skin. But, boy is it lovely smell. The longevity, I can't quite distinguish. I had a sample, wore it a few times, and could only really smell it for about 6 hours. Though, I had like this "un-neutral" smell on my skin, that lasted forever, but it wasn't much of anything. Kind of like a faint blueberry and floral smell. It was hard to figure out, harder to smell, but what was left, was pleasant. Projection is average, better on clothing, but ends up as a skin scent for most of the time.

Overall, I think this is one of the better L'Artisan fragrances for sure. It's very unisex, so either sex could pull it off. It's versatile and unique. Think peanut butter, grape or blueberry jelly, and some soft florals.
14th April, 2011
Okay, when I dabbed on Bois Farine and let it dry, I couldn't stop laughing. It seriously smells just like peanuts. Or, almond cookies of some sort. Not sweet like Marzipan, just straight up Planter's peanuts with some woods thrown in the mix. As it dries down I get more iris and woods towards the end but that peanut smell never leaves. It's not the kind of fragrance I'd wear, but Bois Farine is a reminder of how amazing fragrances are when it comes to conjuring up different smells or images. Good longevity and sillage; very unique and enjoyable.
25th March, 2011 (last edited: 28th March, 2011)
Le rêve de l’écureuil.
Wearing Bois farine reminds me of the poetic name of a dessert I once tasted in France. What can a squirrel dream of, when winter days are getting shorter, trees are getting bare and cold creeps into his hole? I suppose he’d dream of nuts, nuts, nuts…
Grounded hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds (maybe not peanuts, as everybody here seems to point out, but I guess it is something to do with different food culture: I’m not accustomed to peanut butter’s taste and couldn’t say what it smells like): these notes gently hit my nostrils in the opening of the fragrance, along with bittersweetly piquant, liquorice-y Umbelliferae seeds- aniseed, fennel and cumin that spice it up just a bit. Then some flowers emerge, powdery iris, to give light and softness to the woods surrounding.
Everything is fine until some synthetic woody amber that I'm hypersensitive to stands out and soon the fragrance becomes quite a scrubber for me.
Too bad, as the opening is lovely in its exceptionally gentle, subtle and comforting nuttiness.
29th November, 2010 (last edited: 11th March, 2015)
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If you like this, but dislike the pricetag, you must try "Max Mara" by Max Mara, which is a über-sweetened version of "Bois Farine". Both perfumes are "Floral Woody Musk's". But the sugared "Max Mara" has a nicer price-tag to it. You simply must try this! You will get a lot of perfume for the money if you buy "Max Mara" (which is also one my signature-fragrances - love love love !!!).
11th October, 2010
The Opening reminds of a white chocolate with almonds. very refined
and stately like a elegant white gown
going to a cotillion during the 1900's in the deep south this perfume is ideal for southren belles it's subtile ladylike and sweet like the legendary georgia trees this might be the perfume that blanche du bois wore.
it's a little to tame for Scarlet o' Hara And way to tame for blanche devereaux. this has a southren elegance to it.
09th October, 2010
Another interesting creation from a maison that likes to go beyond and make fragrances that seems inspired in the real world but through an abstract way. Bois Farine is all about the wood and the peanut to me, and this combination, sugary, soft, doughy, makes me think of children`s parties here in Brazil. There`s a candy here, called Cajuzinho, that is made of peanut and decorated by a little cashew slice at top. The peanut dough of Cajuzinho is covered with icing sugar, and the smell that linger on your fingers after you eat one of these sweets is the same that Bois Farine has - a light, sugarish, peanut smell. Bois Farine goes on me after the peanut doughy smell on a light woody and resinous side, but what a fun opening this one has! It has a relaxed, innocent, happy smell to me, easy to wear and to enjoy.
25th May, 2010
An unpleasantly musty, sweet doughy fragrance with undertones of booze and Play-doh. I can't fathom why I tried this. It smells fake, like a gourmand scented candle of the worst quality. It might smell exactly like the tree in question, I don't care.
04th May, 2010
I love Bois Farine. I think the wood and dough interpretation is presented excellently accurately, which make this Ellena composition truly unique. I tried layering this with the non-gourmand L'Artisan Vanilia as suggested by another member, and I was extremely pleased at how it turned out - A foody vanilla scent. On it's own, it is quite an odd-ball and I echo what Trebor said: "I’m still not too sure when’s the best situation to wear this...", but I see much potential for layering options (to add a gourmand dimension to other scents). Indeed, this is also a nice scent to coze up to.
07th January, 2010
An amazing and unique comfort scent - flour, sweet white flowers, sandalwood, and...flour??!?

Not necessarily gourmand - for who would eat raw flour? This isn't even the floury smell of fresh baked bread - no, no yeast here at all. Nothing toasted - this is fresh milled raw flour. Sugar? look somewhere else. This is a bakery, not a candy shop.

Ah, but certainly a comfort scent - the fresh start of a recipe, the beginning of a quiet afternoon busily baking. The fragrance of being productive and creative. When other scents give you the final product of cookies or cakes, this gives you the prelude, the launch, the mis en plas.

So rare for L'artisan to put out a fragrance that is so casual and comforting - this is a delightful piece. So sad that the cost takes it out out of reach, else it would be a staple of my scent wardrobe.
11th November, 2009
Warm, but not too heavy, I love the nutty, woody and even doughy scent is delicious on me. Generally, I never layer fragrances, but if I want to wear one of my "sharper" fragrances that need a little something to round them out, Bois lovingly caresses them down. Maybe not lasting on it's own, but definitely more staying power in warm weather, or when combined... MMMMM!!
26th August, 2009
peanut butter and hemp seed oil. not bad, but not that good.
14th July, 2009
Whoa. Now woodsy fragrances I like but this just not sit well with me. Nice woods but the iris heart smells like flour.
22nd May, 2009
nthny Show all reviews
United States
L'Artisan isn't playing around with the name here. There's a "flour in a barrel at the health food store" impression from first whiff that has put a smile on the face of everyone I've shoved this in front of. This is followed by what I originally deemed a peanut butter note but with further applications realized reminded me much more specifically of Halvah bars which are made of extremely finely ground sesame seeds and sugar. I don't know why but I have a feeling if I owned this I'd wear it all the time. It's just good mood inducing fragrance ingenuity and I love it. I think the inclusion of iris gives it an alluring and somewhat luxurious edge as well. The most amazing part is that the weight of the fragrance seems to be that of flour. It's weightless but present. Yum!
11th January, 2009
I can pull this one off easily since I really love and appreciate foody scents. Wearable and fun to wear.

Nutty and starchy bread-like notes underlined by iris, fennel, and woods, it does everything I want it to.

JCE scores another hit in my book!
19th December, 2008 (last edited: 06th December, 2011)
Very interesting. I`m not a fan of iris, but I really like the way it is done here.

Buttery, very very powdery with tasty fennel note at the top. I don`t find it especially sweet or woody at all, and I also can`t quite follow the peanut butter comments...

To me Bois Farine is a bit white bread-like scent, but much more than that, I get the clear vision of plastic bowl where pile of barley flour has been mixed with crushed, fatty almonds.
15th November, 2008
Cloying sweetness, uncooked honey noodle wetness. Unwearable. Made me and my boyfriend think of raw honey, straight from a beehive for some reason. He was repulsed by it, and it is pretty strong especially the first few minutes. Lucky for us it started to rain so he could wash it off his wrist.
13th September, 2008
Celia.D Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I tried a sample of this last year and really really liked it - I got the peanut butter and baking bread notes from it and found it a comforting yet unusual fragrance. I am now the owner of a whole bottle and it smells different to how I remember it. The sandalwood is now the predominant smell and it smells more like a masculine fragrance than it did before. I don't know what has happened. Has my chemistry changed, has my nose changed or has the perfume changed? Whatever has happened it is still a lovely fragrance and I'm sure I will finish the bottle but I can't help but be a little disappointed that it is not quite the fab fragrance I thought it to be.
04th September, 2008
I actually really like it! I guess it has to do with childhood memories, Nutella, comfort food, baking etc. However, on the downside, I do not think is wearable, only, maybe, as Trebor wrote, in an intimate situation (although I would rather go for my Must de Cartier) - you cannot really show up at a party, or a job interview smelling like you have just cooked a batch of cookies - and the other thing - it does not last long - maybe is just me, however after 1 hour I could not smell anything anymore.
27th July, 2008
A very fun scent to wear. It's not sexy, sensual or something to attract others, but it sure is pleasant to wear. It smells like flour far more than wood and is pretty linear, in a good way. It's too expensive for its own good though, but it's very interesting to try.
17th July, 2008
Jean Claude Ellena’s creation of Bois Farine for l’Artisan Parfumeur is said to be inspired by the flower of the “Flour Tree” that is genuine to the Réunion islands. The tree bears red flowers with a distinct floury, starchy aroma. The perfume almost lives up to this premise, commencing with an accord of fennel and white starchy wheat flour going up your nostrils and you knead that dough or visit the local miller to pick up freshly ground flour. It also has an aftertaste of crushed raw peanuts at first – oily and subtly earthy, barely detectable aroma. However, it quickly turns into an iris perfume, slightly floral and sweet with notes of cedar and musk and slightly vanillic underpinnings, not unlike Hiris, which reminded me of certain semolina patties, and not unlike Bvlgari au The Blanc with its underlining heliotrope and white musk sweetness (also by Jean Claude Ellena).

17th May, 2008