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  1. #1

    Default Bois D'armenie de Guerlain

    Hey!

    Had the pleasure of visiting the Guerlain HQ in Paris a few weeks ago. Boy was it hot in Pais or what? Anyway, I came away with a bottle of Bois D'armenie and L'heure Bleue.
    The main boutique is now located on the 1st floor of the old building with an attached day spa. How they managed to utilize the minimal groud floor as their boutique all these years is even more mysterious than a bottle of vintage Mitsouko.
    Turn back the clock to those good old days when Guerlain was Guerlain I'd say. Bois D'armenie has definately stepped back in time to the golden age of vintage Guerlain.
    Let's start by calling it an oriental, bordering on the woody side . Right off the bat, the top notes simply cry 'SHALIMAR', with iris and frankincense. I have to say, that is one of the reasons I purchased BD. I love its very bold opening that is unbashfully sexy, one that practically screams 'TAKE ME' with open arms. The middle notes of woods and coriander strike a balance by adding a little Macho man to what I consider a unisex fragrance.
    Now the real draw card of this masterpiece lies deep within the basenotes. Think of the smoky sweetness of tonka bean of Vetiver, the balsamic sensuality of Samsara(sweet benzoin) and you get an impression of the drydown. I was at work and thought somebody had Vetiver on, which I then realised was actually my Bois D'amenie. On another occasion, I could have sworn I smelled Samsara, only to realise it was me also.
    I think Bois D'armenie is the best male frag to come out of Guerlain since Habit Rouge, nearly 40 years ago. Indeed THE most sexy male frag in a long time. It has more than mere traces of 'old-world' Guerlain. When I was at the Paris boutique, I also sampled many vintage creations, in particular, one by the name of Guerlinade. To my nose, the creator of the brilliant Bois D'armenie has definately taken more than a few notes off its list of secret ingredients. To top it off, I thought BD was remarkably similar to Azzaro's Visit the first time I tried it, only alot sweeter. I found out recently that the same perfumer is responsible for both. Guerlain has also released 3 new fragrances for men since - 68, Cuir Beluga and Oud Sensual. All three are only available through their flagship store in Paris.
    Stinks to be back at work in Oz. Oh well, at least I still love my Guerlains!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bois D'armenie de Guerlain

    Thanks,it was interesting to read. I am planning a trip to Paris myself some day
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bois D'armenie de Guerlain

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarais View Post
    Hey!

    Had the pleasure of visiting the Guerlain HQ in Paris a few weeks ago. Boy was it hot in Pais or what? Anyway, I came away with a bottle of Bois D'armenie and L'heure Bleue.
    The main boutique is now located on the 1st floor of the old building with an attached day spa. How they managed to utilize the minimal groud floor as their boutique all these years is even more mysterious than a bottle of vintage Mitsouko.
    Turn back the clock to those good old days when Guerlain was Guerlain I'd say. Bois D'armenie has definately stepped back in time to the golden age of vintage Guerlain.
    Let's start by calling it an oriental, bordering on the woody side . Right off the bat, the top notes simply cry 'SHALIMAR', with iris and frankincense. I have to say, that is one of the reasons I purchased BD. I love its very bold opening that is unbashfully sexy, one that practically screams 'TAKE ME' with open arms. The middle notes of woods and coriander strike a balance by adding a little Macho man to what I consider a unisex fragrance.
    Now the real draw card of this masterpiece lies deep within the basenotes. Think of the smoky sweetness of tonka bean of Vetiver, the balsamic sensuality of Samsara(sweet benzoin) and you get an impression of the drydown. I was at work and thought somebody had Vetiver on, which I then realised was actually my Bois D'amenie. On another occasion, I could have sworn I smelled Samsara, only to realise it was me also.
    I think Bois D'armenie is the best male frag to come out of Guerlain since Habit Rouge, nearly 40 years ago. Indeed THE most sexy male frag in a long time. It has more than mere traces of 'old-world' Guerlain. When I was at the Paris boutique, I also sampled many vintage creations, in particular, one by the name of Guerlinade. To my nose, the creator of the brilliant Bois D'armenie has definately taken more than a few notes off its list of secret ingredients. To top it off, I thought BD was remarkably similar to Azzaro's Visit the first time I tried it, only alot sweeter. I found out recently that the same perfumer is responsible for both. Guerlain has also released 3 new fragrances for men since - 68, Cuir Beluga and Oud Sensual. All three are only available through their flagship store in Paris.
    Stinks to be back at work in Oz. Oh well, at least I still love my Guerlains!
    An excellent and nicely nuanced account and analysis LeMarais. I tend to agree with you in the main.

    The real problem I have with Bois d'Armenie is its price and its availability. You can get pretty much the same Bois d'Armenie effects from a number of other Annick Menardo creations, with a lot less money and with much better longevity, and, I might add, with a whole lot more overall satisfaction. I am thinking particularly of such excellent fragrances as:

    Boucheron Jaipur Pour Homme (1997)
    Bvlgari Black (1998)
    Lolita Lempicka au Masculin (2000)
    Yves Saint Laurent Body Kouros (2000)
    Celine Pour Homme (2002)
    Christian Dior Bois d’Argent (2004)
    Armani Attitude (2007)

    While it might indeed be the best masculine fragrance to come out of Guerlain since Habit Rouge, it will not have the broad appeal of Habit Rouge because of the two abovementioned qualms. That's all well and fine because aesthetically speaking, as a creation, it's perfect, but it will not enjoy the wide appeal and commercial success and longevity of Habit Rouge. In short, it will not be available for all to enjoy.

    The real problem, as I see it is that in the chase for profits and for status, we have houses now who are only really putting out exceptionally good original products through their "exclusive boutique lines". I have posted about this before. I don't think this trend is driven by cost. I think it's a calculated move to drive a larger wedge between mass market products and boutique products. The sad fact of the matter is that we aficionados, who were once used to such easily and readily available quality and very well-priced mass market products as the Guerlain fragrances you mention above, all of sudden find ourselves having to shell out five to six times as much for comparable quality original fragrances with little choice if we don't have the incomes to sustain such buys and little choice if we don't have the mobility to travel to or luck to live in cities like Paris or New York.

    If this move to more costly but better quality and more original fragrances was driven by cost alone, there would be little to bemoan, but I don't think it is, and this is why I turned your excellent account of the virtues of Bois d'Armenie into a lament about it and the current state of perfumery.

    Welcome to the board. I look forward your future posts.

    Best regards,

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 11th August 2007 at 04:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bois D'armenie de Guerlain

    Bois D'Armenie ROCKED MY WORLD when a very generous Basenoter gave me a 2.5 ml sample of it many months ago.

    I have this distinct memory of applying BdA right before me and the BF went to see Wicked the musical. I sat down and kept smelling this wonderful smell all around me...the honey note in Bois D'Armenie is smoky honey and honestly its the nicest honey note I've ever smelled. I immediately went out and bought the Papier d'Armenie (the burning incense paper that the scent is patterned after) to smell the similarities/differences.

    Subtle. Classy. Very French. Drydown that doesn't play around, this is serious perfumery at work.

    Having said that, I must agree with the 'financial' part of scentemental's post - I will never be able to afford (or fly to Paris to buy) a full bottle of this juice. Sad.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bois D'armenie de Guerlain

    Although marketed as a men's fragrance, I find this to be very unisex. I wear it well, and it works for me as a fragrance to wear for work. I reach for it often. It's a serious scent... papery, incensey, woods and of course, the sweetness. It wears close to the skin without too much sillage, which is how I like to wear my fragrances. And, it last all day on my skin.

    Definitely a winner.

    I agree with most of scentemental's comments. It is very pricey, but I'm finding that in general, the newer Guerlains are very pricey, comparatively. I heard somewhere that in general, women's fragrances are more expensive than men's, primarily because of the ingredients used to to make them. But I don't buy that. Women's fashions, accessories, (even haircuts and drycleaning) are more expensive than the mens. Why would perfume be any different? This one is priced the same as the other women's exclusives line.

    This one (unlike some others) is readily available outside of Paris, at any Guerlain boutique. I bought mine at my local boutique. Actually, if you speak with the manager of the Guerlain boutiques, they will be able to get almost anything that's available at the Paris store. They can get them sent in -- it may take weeks though. I'm still awaiting my bottle of Derby
    I'm simplifying my life. For Sale Thread (some niche, some designer):
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=222407

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