Neutral Reviews of Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Find out more about Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woody Oriental

    More bois than vanille to my nose, and unlike some other reviewers, I find this a tad less syrupy sweet than some of the other Sheldrake/Lutens concoctions. Vanilla dominates in the top notes but soon integrates into a mélange of very rich, heavy woods, spiced with a bit of anise. I’m reminded of Feminite du Bois, but Un Bois Vanille is chunkier and less lithe than its older sister, even though it’s also less complex. Not entirely unpalatable, but not all that exciting either.

    06 July, 2014

    ClaireV's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    This sounds right up my alley, but as it turns out, it doesn't quite float my boat. There is something quite synthetic about it, especially in the burned wood notes at the top. The vanilla is thick, doughy, and quite flat in the style of melted ice cream, which is perfectly nice if that's your type of thing. But I had hoped that the licorice notes would provide some kind of salty, bitter counterpart to the vanilla cream, and I was disappointed - the licorice here is of the popular candy in the UK called Licorice Allsorts, which is in and of itself too sweet to provide much bas relief. The dry down is more comfortable and less sweet than the start, but I didn't enjoy the ride on the way there. I guess I like my vanillas smoky and complicated like as in Shalimar. Here, in a straight up gourmand, I find it too much of a good thing. I give it a neutral rating, though, because it is a high quality composition.

    30th June, 2014

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    Perfect example of why I don't wear gourmands. I become Pavlov's Dog and drool on my own arm. Vanilla, licorice, beeswax, almond, and an unlisted coconut note--all favorite flavors of mine--plus the deep sweetness of a Serge Lutens fragrance. Stop, you're killing me. I have to go raid the candy jar now.

    27 July, 2007

    scenteur7's avatar

    United States United States

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    A wonderful vanilla bean scent, not as foody as many vanillas, yet aptly sweet. Notes of coconut milk, black vanilla absolute, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, licorice, bitter almond paste, Gaïac wood, Tonka bean, sandalwood.

    15 January, 2006

    calchic's avatar



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    Meh - this vanilla freak is underwhelmed. Serge Lutens' legions would probably draw me, quarter me and roast my remains at the stake for this, but if you think you might want to try this particualr vanilla type on for size, save yourself a jillion dollars and start with a $5 bottle of Body Fantasies Vanilla Sugar Fantasy, available at drugstores everywhere. No, of course it's not as good as the Lutens - but profile-wise, it's not all that hugely different a scent. Both are cool, woody vanillas dashed with coconut and sandalwood; the only major compositional difference is Lutens' addition of a black licorice note, which makes his vanilla a little darker than the Body Fantasies. And if you just can't stomach the idea of comparing caviar to tuna, then at least look into Calypso Vanille - which again, brings together low-warmth vanilla with coconut and a bit of wood, though the orange blossom and greens throw a slightly more tropical feeling to the Calypso. And if you still can't deal with anything other than high-end, at least check out Annick Goutal's Vanille Exquise first and possibly save yourself a few dollars - though the Goutal is thinner and more plasticky and in fact thoroughly unpleasant in many ways. Or else just go ahead and take the plunge on Bois Vanille, but don't go into it expecting anything very rich, warm, fragrant or gourmand. This is as much wood as it is vanilla and it's just not all that enticing.

    30th September, 2005

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