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Notes: galbanum, green grass, lemon, tangerine, rose, rosemary, jasmine, iris, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver and birch (from Basenotes articles)
Fleurs de Bois starts very green (as the package suggests) with a burst of bitter galbanum and a stemmy, sappy green plant accord. On skin, the fragrance quickly begins to transition, and the stemmy accord fades to reveal fresh, woody herbs. The galbanum persists, although it is not nearly as strong as in another very green fragrance I love, Chanel No.19. The herbal component is fougere-like with rosemary and perhaps some lavender. I don't really smell much in the way of florals or citrus, although there is a very light powder note which could be iris or oakmoss. I was expecting the herbal accord to last well into the base, but FdB is developing quickly on my skin. The fragrance takes on a vague resinous-balsamic sweetness which I smelled in the base when I tested on paper once before. It is a very welcoming and smooth amber musk, a tad sweet, but not cloying. The bitter green has mostly disappeared at this point, and traces of the rosemary and other woody, herbal mid notes linger. A whisper of vetiver shows itself now--it is faint but lends a slight smokiness. The base is lovely and warm on skin, and for a while during the transition from middle to base, the herbal echoes give a pleasant, cooling contrast.
Overall, this fragrance tends toward the masculine, although the herbal accord is mild in comparison to some men's fougeres I have smelled. The opening and mid development are the real attention-grabbers for me. I have never smelled a galbanum-prominent fragrance in a fougere context, and I quite like the combination. From mid to late development, FdB seems much more like a textbook fougere to me--well done but nothing remarkable. The base is quite fetching, though, and it is commendable that even though this fragrance bears the hallmarks of a traditional fragrance form, it doesn't fall apart at the end with some kind of cheap musk base. What I am really missing in this fragrance is more oakmoss to carry the green impressions from the galbanum and vetiver to the end.
26 June, 2009