Where did you find it at that price?
Sheldrake and Lutens created this beauty for Shiseido in 1992. I just got a bottle of it today and it really takes my breathe away. Cedar, orange blossom, honey, plum, beeswax, clove, cardamom and cinnamon - yes, all the signature Lutens notes are here, although handled in a much lighter way than one finds in his later creations like Arabie, Daim Blond and Chypre Rouge. It's fruity, woody and somewhat dusty notes are seamlessly blended. It smells like the most perfect antique shop. At $65 for a 1.7 oz., this is the best Serge Lutens deal out there.
Where did you find it at that price?
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost
Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 27th November 2007 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
I agree with your general assessment of Féminité du Bois' success in relation to the other Lutens "sweet woody" fragrances, which IMO never reach the level of aesthetic completeness of Féminité du Bois. I am thinking here particularly of Bois et Fruits and Santal de Mysore, but I would say you're generally correct in applying it to most of the Lutens fragrances that try to do something similar to Féminité du Bois. I think Arabie is in a different category altogether, however, and, along with Douce Amère, is a real aesthetic success. Interestingly, for all the talk of raw materials in Lutens' fragrances, 43% of Féminité du Bois' formula is made up of Iso E Super®, a synthetic "super" aroma chemical not found in nature. Perhaps the fact that Féminité du Bois is a joint creation of the great perfumer Pierre Bourdon and Sheldrake has something to do with its aesthetic success. Oh, under the direction of Lutens, of course. Wouldn't it be a great irony if the fragrances you and I prefer Féminité du Bois over were made with a greater level of raw materials?
Addendum after posting: I see that pluran already pointed out that Pierre Bourdon was part creator of Féminité du Bois. That's a confirmed fact.
Last edited by scentemental; 27th November 2007 at 05:58 AM.
It's been awhile since I owned it. My gf wore it more than I did but she began to wear other things and I sold the bottle. I remember liking it well enough but preferring many of the other Lutens x Sheldrake fragrances.
I should buy another bottle for reference.
Last edited by pluran; 27th November 2007 at 12:37 PM.
I wear this all the time in the colder months and love it's plummy, spicy
voluptuousness. I was quite surprised to see many of you men enjoy it too!
The only place I can find it these days is in France (Marrionaud). Does anyone know of a cheaper/nearer source? I live in the U.K.
Last edited by kewart; 27th November 2007 at 10:36 AM.
I had the chance of buying this, when I was last in Paris, and was beguiled by the delicious plum opening. Unfortunately the faint cedar drydown ruined the whole experience for me. It wasn't unpleasant, just underwhelming when compared to the opening.
A good deal to be sure (if you can find it), but his best? I don't think so myself. Not with Ambre Sultan, Chene, Tubereuse Criminelle, and MKK out there. All of these strike me as more daring and individual than Feminite du Bois.
Oddly enough, the three other Sheldrake-Lutens scents mentioned in the initial posting (Chypre Rouge, Daim Blond, and Arabie) are among those that have impressed me the least.
Last edited by Off-Scenter; 27th November 2007 at 06:08 PM.
Feminite du Bois is a definitive achievement (and qualifies for "masterpiece" consideration) but Nombre Noir is his real masterpiece.
How did you find out that 43% of FdB is that particular chemical? How do we find out similar figures for the newer Lutens'?
I thought FdB and Nombre Noir were out of production.
CREED: Chevrefeuille, SMW, BdP, Aventus
Parfums d'Empire: Fougére Bengale
YSL: Vintage M7
Gentlemen, may I mention Bois de Violette? I just got a large decant of this from The Perfumed Court and was pleased to realize how similar it is to Feminite du Bois. In fact it is just like Feminite du Bois but with the quiet sweet violet notes wafting up through the woods.
I find it a bit more understated than Feminite du Bois. Is it true that Bois de Violette is one of a series that is based on Feminite du Bois? Doea anyone know which other scents belong to this series?
As far as being Serge Luten's masterpiece, I am partial to Sa Majeste la Rose. I have said it before and I will say it again: That scent is ALIVE.
"Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189
What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache
Nombre Noir was created by nose Jean-Yves Leroy for Serge Lutens and Shiseido in 1981 and discontinued shortly thereafter. NN was Luten's first scent for Shiseido. (Leroy took his own life in 2006).
I own several examples of Nombre Noir in various sizes. Most are still intact. One has gone off noticeably in the top notes. All dry down to one of the most beautiful olfactory pleasures imaginable. A deep, smokey, plummy rose enveloped in the softest of woods and florals. Unmistakable and singular.
Apparently, damascone is now considered harmful and I believe (but could be wrong) that it is no longer allowed in fragrances, at least in the EU.
Last edited by Griff; 27th November 2007 at 11:54 PM.
I think the whole wood series, with the exception of Chene are in the FdB family
and iirc damascones aren't outright illegal, but are only allowed in minute concentrations.
Sending BEMs scuttling back to Betelgeuse with my fierce fumage!
I would love to smell Nombre Noir just once. Turin mentioned NN in that Fantastic Man magazine article I posted months ago. I'll re-post below his eloquent way in describing the scent - one of the finer moments in the great article:
By 1982 TURIN had completed his PhD in Physiology at University College London and was employed by the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, where he was to remain for a decade. 1982 was also the year he discovered fragrance. The first was SHISEIDO's NOMBRE NOIR. Now discontinued, he keeps a precious flacon of the scent in his collection. "This is the first fragrance that I smelled and thought: this is as beautiful as anything I have ever seen or heard. I mean, I had liked smells, I liked perfumes. But it was NOMBRE NOIR that broke through the ceiling and made me realize that there are some things you can say in fragrance that no other art can convey." He sprays a bit on our bare forearms.
And what does it say to you?
"Well, it's almost a person that I can see. You can fall in love with someone who's not there. It's such a personality," - and now TURIN'S voice turns a little tender, and he looks amazed, as if he's smelled the rosy scent for the first time - "although there's no person there. It's as though there's a hole in the air, shaped like this invisible person - that you are perfectly ready to dedicate the rest of your days to. There's a presence there, a kind of hologram, that goes far beyond something just smelling good."
The full article can be read here, here and here.
"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"
-- Jack Kerouac