Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 6
At first I thought, yet another Angel rip-off. Yes, it is, but without the complexity and multi-note development of that classic gourmand. This is a flavored coffee scent - caramel, vanilla to be exact. It's also the scent of candles one finds at Christmas in department stores.

Turin finds amber and rose here, which are not in the note tree. He is most reminded of a coffee shop, while Lucky Scent's blurb likens it to roasted marshmallows at a camp fire.

I am not impressed. It smells like those nasty candles, quite plainly, cheap. There is a vast audience for this type of vanilla scent, so it obviously sells well. I don't get the woods, coconut or licorice.

Strength and longetivity are gargantuan, as are most Lutens, so be prepared to smell like a candle until your wicks are burnt low.
10th April, 2016
An exotic semi-gourmand (honestly not a typical "Lutensesque oriental" in style), an honest almondy-buttery vanilla with faint bitter (burnt-sugary, woody, lightly spicy and earthy) undertones. I'm not usually fond of this kind of creamy creations which I tend to find good (in a sort of "edible" yummy comforting way) but kind of "flat" and somewhat unemotional. Un Bois Vanille is anyway reasonably temperamental and "special" with its typical bitter twist (bitter almond and black licorice). Bitterness is something special that cuts the (otherwise boring and flat) coconutty-soapy balminess. I don't see the "bois" side while woodiness is here, side by side with benzoinic/vanillic/fruity balminess. Evolution and structure are mediocre but I catch a nice dose of tropical exoticism, reminding several Comptoir Sud Pacifique's coconuty-almondy vanillas (Coco Extreme or Vanille Amande), a whiff of musky-lipstick "cosmetical in vibe" sensualism a la Narciso Rodriguez and light/earthy/fresh breeziness (this juice could be surely a pleasant solution for an exotic dreamy vacation in far equatorial lands with your beloved one). Dry down (still vaguely bitter/woody) is surely waxy and tonkinian.
27th March, 2016
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.
06th July, 2014
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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.
27th July, 2007
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.
15th January, 2006
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