Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Total Reviews: 40
Lunia Czechowska by Amedeo Modigliani 1919 Museu de Arte de São Paulo
30th November, 2017
As the name says, it opens with spicy wood and softens with a beautiful creamy and very sweet vanilla. Caramel, coconut, something powdery... I like it a lot, although it sometimes makes me think of a cheap caramel Demeter scent like Cotton Candy or Sugar Cookie.
18th September, 2017 (last edited: 12th March, 2018)
Pleasant.. but expensive for what it is. A very soft, sweet, and creamy vanilla with a resinous, waxy quality that makes you wish you could sink your teeth into it. Though it's unique and I haven't smelled anything quite like it.. it doesn't particularly call out to me, or coerce me into buying a bottle. Gourmand lovers would probably feel differently, however.
13th June, 2016 (last edited: 14th June, 2016)
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A deep and strong vanilla fragrance layered with a smokey burning incense to keep it on the mature side instead of the teeneybopper side of sweet vanillas.

Not very strong projection or longevity, but you will enjoy sniffing this one in your own space.
24th October, 2015
An acquaintance was complaining the other day that she has got tired of ‘dark’ vanillas – the kinds with Edwardian beards, lolling about in musty libraries full of ancient leather-bound volumes, smoking fat cigars and downing pegs of rum. Too much for her, the poor vanilla gets lost. Un Bois Vanille, on the other hand, is the kind of vanilla she loves.
I can see why - it has the comfort of vanilla sugar (think baked goodies) and yet it is resolutely grown up. For around that rather innocent cookie vanilla are a slick of coconut grease, the sweat and salt of licorice and the feral invitation of beeswax, giving the whole thing a lived-in and experienced feel. To say nothing of the essential warmth of a good vanilla that makes it particularly suited to the chillier months. The coconut morphs so successfully with the vanilla here you’d think this was a particular variety of vanilla in its own right. There is a muted set of notes forming the backdrop, mainly gentle woods and tonka with spicy hints that accent the licorice.
A fantastic comfort scent, if rather less successful as a ‘going out’ kind of perfume.
16th September, 2015
Love this fragrance. I have read many reviews over a few years that this fragrance isn't complex enough. I actually love the simplicity.
02nd August, 2015

A timeless sensation inviting a pure and absolute pursuit of pleasure.this SL product is a Elegant combination that would make young Ladies fall in love with itself.It is not one of those fragrances that announces your arrival before you even enter the room.Not too heavy,Not too light.a coconout aroma with sweet undertones of vanilla. Cute,Feminine, Sweet,Sophisticated,Sensuous,Captivating,Vanillic, Warm,Oriental and Delicious,

UN BOIS VANILLA opens immediately with opulent sweet essences of coconut and coconut that meets a wistful heart of bitter almond that immediate leaving you in a loving embrace of warm oriental undertones for a Sensuous and Feminine fragrance.In fact it is Strong yet Soft and Interesting mixture of vanilla,licorice coconut and a Spicy touch that evoke a feeling of Womanly Richness.the dry down is so Nice.In my opinion it is more of a Everyday scent and one of those fragrances that you can wear either Day or Night.Suitable for a sweet Lady and AUTUMN weather.


Longevity?Very Good on my skin.

09th July, 2015
I used not to appreciate Un Bois Vanille, but several things have happened recently to make me think twice. First of all, my three-year old son made a special request of me – he said he wanted his mama to smell like vanilla and sweets and sugar – and Un Bois Vanille was the closest thing I could think of that would satisfy his brief without making me retch. Second, I have been wearing Aomassi by Parfumerie Generale a lot lately, and have come to appreciate more the juxtaposition of dairy-rich accords such as vanilla, caramel, and cream against darker elements such as licorice, incense, roasted coffee, nuts, and wood. Un Bois Vanille is sort of a sister scent to Aomassi.

And although I think I will be wearing Un Bois Vanille more for my son’s benefit than my own, I have to admit that it has started to grow on me a bit. It is a simple pleasure done well – a doughy vanilla offset by licorice, milky coffee, dark woods, and a dash of caramel syrup. The only trouble with a vanilla this gourmand is that I am constantly tempted to raid the cookie tin when wearing it. I tempt fate even more by slathering myself in Yves Rocher Organic Vanilla Lotion and a good dosing of Couvent Les Minimes’ Eau des Missions cologne water, said to be a close dupe of Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille. Basically, at weekends, I go around smelling like one giant ball of vanilla ice-cream. But I find I can live with that because anything that makes my son cuddle up closer to me is worth it. I guess it’s true what they say about boys and vanilla after all.
30th June, 2014 (last edited: 12th November, 2014)
I recall Turin's review about this fragrance, and being a fan of traditional coffee making, I must disagree with the "coffee roasting" note he smells here. I don't get it. I get coffee, but not that much and surely not "roasty". All I smell is a bold, kind of soothing and powdery scent of tanning cream, just less creamy and more flowery, but definitely a seaside madeleine (not in the "iodine" sense; more "lying on the beach"). The main structure here is fairly complex and interesting, as I get both a flower and aerial accord blended with a more dense, edible accord of liquorice, coffee, and vanilla. Beautiful, delicate, elegant sandy drydown.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
Coconut and vanilla heaven.

The licorice plays a brilliant role in toning down the sweetness and adding a slightly bitter aura around the scent. Sandalwood joins forces to balance things even more.

2-3 sprays on the chest is all you need and it will last all day. Spray too much and it will suffocate you.

One of my favorite gourmands and arguably my favorite Serge Lutens.
06th January, 2014
Reminds me of a cup coffee with a touch of milk. True gourmand fragrance. I get about 7 hours from this one. 8/10
06th December, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A Benchmark Vanilla - one of the best!

Often the pleasure and excitement produced is due to the original blending of a number of complex components. At other times, the mastering of one or two component and pure intensity can give similar pleasure. This is of the latter type.

The vanilla is beautiful, absooooolutely beautiful. Rich, creamy, but more on the brighter side. The sandalwood is light, maybe overwhelmed by its partner at times, but it gives the vanilla a good counterpoint. A touch of coconut in the dry-down can be traced. In essence, this is vanilla delight. After the first couple of hours, the sweetness is much reduced on my skin, and is is never cloying on me. Excellent projection and silage, and a tremendous longevity of around nine hours.
04th August, 2013
Vanilla on a forest night

This really is a divine, deep, intoxicating, woodsy, spicy vanilla. I smell danger here. Very seductive, but not for every day. I feel that this creature belongs to the night.

05th June, 2013
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Un Bois Vanille is a warm, woody, buttery vanilla fragrance. You should know what you're getting into when you try it. So, what's the fuss? Either you love these fragrance elements, or you don't. If you love them, you won't find any finer presentations of them. Un Bois Vanille is superb. Vanilla fans shouldn't think twice about buying. All other fragrance affcionados should jump on it, too. Buy it now, before horribly misguided reformulation wrecks it. Soon to be a legendary woody vanilla. You will find no finer.
26th February, 2013
Vanilla is a key component to both the contemporary dessert/gourmand and the classic amber oriental. Vanilla is almost inescapable in perfumery, but it’s usually found in the familiar company of labdanum, balsams, resins, spices or ethylmaltol in the above genres. It takes effort to dissociate it from the foody, cuddly feel. Despite its brief plastic/cotton-candy camouflage topnote (wonderful!), un Bois Vanille does just this. After the foody misdirection, BV avoids the expected. The tease of edibility shows itself as a licorice note, not cotton candy. The licorice also keeps BV from going the amber/oriental route since the genre is almost by definition warm, round, thick. Licorice here comes off as anise-like not candy-like. It’s cool and focussed and it brings out vanilla’s sharp, bitter side, making it more potent than plush.

After the expansive opening the heartnotes are fairly quiet, with a dry, airy feel that I would think to associate with frankincense, not vanilla. By drydown BV is dusty but still taut, reinforcing the point that vanilla can be strong and direct without being lush. BV stays cool as it winds down and resists becoming a skin-scent, further bucking a vanilla stereotype.

BV solves a problem for me. One of very few in perfume fan-dom, I don’t like Caron’s Pour un Homme. The lavender/vanilla combo has no synergy and reminds me of the feel of a stuffy head. In BV, the cool side of the licorice fuses with the vanilla in a way that I imagine Pour un Homme’s minty lavender and vanilla combo works for the rest of the world.
30th November, 2012
My 2nd niche bottle purchase. This smells rich, creamy, it's the best vanilla frag I have ever smelt period! I wear this and my girl literally melts into my arms! I love vanilla gourmands but this has to top the lot.

Projects very well on me and lasts 10+! You can't get any better I feel.
17th April, 2012
this is wonderful as far as vanilla goes...but it's just that...a sweet vanilla. it's's's not run of the mill vanilla, but it is vanilla. you will smell like walking syrupy sweetness with no bad side effects, no unpleasant flavors.
22nd March, 2012
One of my all time favorites! Dark vanilla, not sweet but definitely rich and warm. This is similar to Prada Candy without the very sweet top notes. If you love vanilla, this is a must try.

15th March, 2012
I thought this could be a unisex smell. It does smell a lot like a cake shop with some kind of hot blueberry note, which I love. I can definietly imagine myself wearing this on a cold winter's night.

I once made the mistake of buying a Marc Jacobs fragrance prematurely, the fig notes were too sweet for my liking but this is definitely a more balanced scent. The vanilla note is not over powering and it just gets me salivating.

I have no idea if I would actually like to smell this on a woman or wear it myself. Let me know you guys thinks.

20th February, 2012
Un Bois Vanille Notes

Black vanilla absolute, licorice, sandalwood, coconut milk, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, Gaiac wood, tonka bean

A delicate, smoky vanilla, with a woody base note, sophisticated and enchanting. If you like vanilla, this is one for the collection. Feminine, but a guy can easily wear this. Four words I see over and over again, referring to this fragrance are "grown up Pink Sugar", and that is absolutely true. It is a grown up vanilla, with a few other whispery smoky notes. Magical.
08th July, 2011 (last edited: 31st January, 2012)
Missy Show all reviews
United States
Love this. It is a warm gourmand scent that envelops you and hugs you tight. It makes me happy to smell this. Not too sweet with the perfect mix of vanilla and smoke. With some coconut thrown in for good measure. In a word it is delicious.
06th December, 2010
Smells like sugar cookies smeared with vanilla frosting at Christmastime. Very edible. Definitely unisex.
30th August, 2010
My initial feeling upon sampling this in a store while looking for a go-to vanilla scent was "this could be in the running". On my skin it dried down to more of a cotton candy although I do get waifs of the vanilla from time to time. I also get some smokiness and every now and then a rubbery smell, which isn't as bad as it sounds.

A little suprised it is marketed as a woman's frag when I could definitely see it being unisex. That being said, I think ultimately I will go with one that falls more on the masculine-to-unisex side (if one exists) especially at the Serge Luten prices.
22nd June, 2010
To be fair, I'm wearing a dupe of UBV. I've never even smelled the real thing. So, that's my disclaimer. But I've bought dupes from several sites online and they are all DIVINE in this scent! I had to laugh when people talked about drooling on their arms because I'm the same way! This is a sweet vanilla, not cloying, doesn't smell like vanilla play doh, not heavy or smoky. But I don't smell any of the notes that are supposedly in it! Licorice? Nah! I don't remember all the supposed notes because they aren't apparent to me. I just know it's a sweet vanilla mixed with something else that's also sweet but not TOO sweet. It's a pretty scent, definitely NOT unisex (remember, mine's a dupe!) and I get tons of compliments on it.
15th June, 2010
I like the spareness of this take on vanilla. In comparison many other vanilla scents are overwhelmingly cloying, syrupy, or gooey smelling (all of which I do actually appreciate, sometimes). The slight woodiness in this is nice, too. Pleasant for what it is. I would like to smell it on a man.
06th March, 2010
A caramelized vanilla scent that does seem to be a semi-gourmand to my nose. Done in typical syrupy fashion, with a little smoke and woods thrown in. For the most part, it appears a rather linear vanilla scent, a quality one.
01st March, 2010
After a smoky yet syrupy start the vanilla loses some of its viscosity and acquires a more gourmand aspect, at which point any comparison to the scent of sweet pastries or bakery is perfectly reasonable. Though UN BOIS VANILLE appears linear for the most part, a closer examination reveals subtle gear-shifts throughout the scent's journey and underscores Sheldrake's artistry in his multi-faceted interpretation of vanilla and sandalwood. I can't help but smile as Un Bois Vanille enters its various phases: smoky, syrupy, gourmandy, creamy, milky, vanillic, effervescent, smoky again...
03rd December, 2009
This is IT, folks... true vanilla. Un Bois Vanille is deceptively simple smelling. It verges on smelling too much like baked goods, but it is saved by "that Lutens transparency" on the drydown. This is comfort food at its best...nutty, sweet and warm. I have been looking for a wonderful, straight up vanilla and this is IT. Unlike "The Guide", I find this to be very wearable and definately unisex. I love it and plan to save my pennies so that it can become part of my permanent rotation.
10th October, 2009
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening has that woody, smoky note that is almost a Lutens/Sheldrake staple now, but it disappears too quickly and we are left with a straight up vanilla, albeit a superior one. It reminds me a lot of L'Artisan's Vanilia, once the fire has damped down. Definitely unisex.
21st July, 2009
More vanille than bois for me. It is the most beautiful vanille i've ever seen.
26th October, 2008