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  1. #1

    Default Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Speak and don't hold back.

    Never approached them. They beckon me everytime I enter Saks but I've been so burned out on niche houses whose creations chant hymns of essential oils in so naive blends. Have I been mistaken?

    Which of theirs would you reckon as one that transcends the boudaries of the typical niche recipes of the last decade's houses (ehem LV and many others)? Something that has the mastery of the 70's mainstream; something with chutzpah and not stolen from another creation so bluntly.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Bois 1920 classic Extreeme.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Well as somebody who likes the naive niche hymns of essential oils from LV and others I may not be the most helpful advisor but I would say that the chemistry in the Bois lines is more mainstram aromachemicals than noughties niche essential oils. I keep trying them as I can't believe that the contents don't match that alluring frosted bottle with the wooden top however, every time I do,
    they smell very average to me. All about the packaging in my opinion....
    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  4. #4

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
    Well as somebody who likes the naive niche hymns of essential oils from LV and others I may not be the most helpful advisor but I would say that the chemistry in the Bois lines is more mainstram aromachemicals than noughties niche essential oils. I keep trying them as I can't believe that the contents don't match that alluring frosted bottle with the wooden top however, every time I do,
    they smell very average to me. All about the packaging in my opinion....

    As usual, hirch_duckfinder's assessment is astute and to the point. The Bois 1920s series--like most niche fragrance series released since "niche" coalesced into an aspirational category--is pleasant enough, and some fragrances in the series have very beguiling top and heart notes, but the basenotes finishes are always unremarkable, mostly not very costly musk aromachemicals finished with very little craft and very simplistically. It's easy to fashion captivating top notes and heart notes, but the true test of craft in any fragrance is the
    quality, complexity, heft, and, most importantly, the captivating, charming, mesmeric, persistent quiddity of the basenote accord. In this regard, the Bois 1920s series fails spectacularly and is, like most niche fragrance series, an already identifiable generic variant of the niche genre.

    Killer_Vavoom, my friend, if you're looking for "Something that has the mastery of the 70's mainstream; something with chutzpah and not stolen from another creation so bluntly," you won't find it in niche. That's like saying you want the mastery of Rubens oil painting from 20th century acrylic copy. Acrylic as a medium can do some things that oil can't, but it certainly can't do what oil can do. It's a laudable desire yours; we all want to find the same thing, but I don't think it exists. It's a chimera. I've been looking for it longer than most people, and more sedulously, I think, but, unfortunately, I have found very few things post 1990 that have what your looking for. Try the Bois 1920s series by all means; like I said, it's pleasant enough, but it's a mostly an insubstantial variant in an age in which insubstantial variants are the norm and "instant classics."

    Finally, even the idea of a series should give us pause and cause to think. If Guerlain or Chanel, for example, had cranked out their fragrances in the series numbers that most niche perfume houses crank them out these days, their catalog of fragrances would have numbered in the thousands. It's no accident that both houses have gone substantially down hill, since they started cranking out fragrances at the current going rate and practice. One of the all time
    great perfumers Michael Hy would spend at least two years working on the basenote accord of his creations, after he had developed the top and heart notes, and I pretty sure Hy during his lifetime never developed more fragrances than the current number in Bois 1920 catalog. Edmond Roudnitska, arguably the greatest perfumer of all time, spent anywhere between 5 to 10 years working on the development of one perfume. It's the difference between gourmet food and fast food. To extend the metaphor, at best, a well done niche collection is like a well done menu in an upscale franchise restaurant chain. It's okay; it's dependable; it's consistent, but it never surprises like gourmet food. Don't expect any surprises, and you won't be disappointed.

    I have spoken, and I have not held back.

    scentemental
    Last edited by scentemental; 11th September 2010 at 12:58 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I can't match the insightful comments of hirch or scentemental. Well done, guys!
    I can endorse Oslo's recommendation of 1920 Extreme. Out of the entire line, it seems the most unusual to me (in a good way) in that it pretty much replicates a classic, old-school fougere along the lines of Houbigant's Fougere Royale. That it did that a couple of years ago, when that style was not in particular favor, is commendable. I've tried all the other scents. None were terrible, none were bottle-worthy from my perspective.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  6. #6

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Bois 1920 Classic, Classic Extreme and Agrumi di Sicilia are my favourite three, but their prices are very high for what they offer, as there are far too many similar fragrances out there that are cheaper.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    The blue text brought an immediate smile to my face.

    I agree with Scentemental's assessment of the Bois 1920 line. I've been tempted to buy Real Patchouly a few times, mostly because I've been wanting a rich, amber patch for a while and Bois 1920 is available locally. But unique it's not, and the price point is out of line.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  8. #8

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I have sampled all of them at one time or another, but have never thought enough of any of them to buy one. My advice is to look elsewhere for what you seek.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I agree with Hirch and Scentemental 100%. The bottles are nice, the juice isn't. Classic (and extreme) is the best of the line but thats not saying much. Even though I could wear it, for the price, it is kinda of average. The dry down to classic reminds me of DG Pour Homme is a round-about way but I give a slight edge to classic. Its just simply too expensive for what it is.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    i used to own sandalo e the...its sandalwood and cumin...i would say this is the sandalwood cousin to rose 31 and muscs kublai khan....its clean and dirty all at once with tea, sandalwood and cumin.
    Current Top 5:

    Tabac, Cardinal, Brookes Brothers, Musc Kublai Khan, Andron

  11. #11

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    i like Real Patchouly. and yes, it's a good line. go ahead and test them. it wont disappoint.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I have not found anyone of them to be FBW.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  13. #13
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Somewhat better than average ingredients in generic fragrances.
    Last edited by pluran; 18th September 2010 at 02:00 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I, like Killer vavoom, have never tested this line at all, on some preminition of pre-emptive dislike. And Hirch's taste is such that he has saved me time and money, as I will continue to avoid testing the line at all, but with a complete and total dismissal, instead of an unsure dismissal. thanks for the savings Hirch.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    I found them disappointing. In the instances when an interesting accord in one of the Bois 1920s was presented, it didn't last very long or/and it was too weak for me. I found nothing I liked enough to buy.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Not that it transgresses any boundaries or wins any rewards for creativity but I absolutely love Bois 1920 Agrumi Amari Di Sicilia.
    Anyone who loves aquatics should give this one a test run.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Thanks everybody for your advice and valuable thoughts.
    As usual, Stentemental, your input puts the finger on the heart of the matter with incredible focus and insight. And as snafoo says above, that blue text is such a joy to read here.

    Now, I want to discuss a few things on the topic.
    A few years back, the buying of perfume habit of mine reached an alarming extent. You see, those *begiling* opening notes you talked about were enough for me to shell out the cash without thinking. I even ran out of space in my kitchen stuffing those *insubstantial variants* in every cabin and drawer. It wasn't right and I had to I stop buying them. Close people to me said I needed help and they were right.
    Now, it's been more than a year since I bought a scent for me and I'm so glad I achieved this.
    This year gave me ample time to step back a little and see the bigger picture of these niche frags being churned out every day. It took some time and effort to arrive at the what I believe in today--90% of the niche frags I have are what you have exactly called as insubstantial variants. The nuances are far too weak to justify their existence unless one is lying to themselves. Why should I have Tam Dao and Santal Noble at the same time and in the same drawer? I know very well the subtleties but I need a LOT more than those subtleties and the Mysore sandal wood extract. I'd love to enjoy sandal wood in an artwork that is as intricate and mesmeric as Bois des Iles; jasmine in the Must de Cartier (original) [another one you opened my eye to] instead of jasmine in Sarrasins--yes the mighty Serge Lutens of niche. I have realized that the artistry and sophistication in mainstream creations is far far greater than the cream of the crop niche, especially in the last decade. The horrible thing is that mainstream itself of recent times has become unbearably superficial, void, redundant and timid.

    Now to discuss the issue of crafting the basenotes, I agree with your piont 100%. I realized this truth a long time ago but dealt with the anomaly with the habit of re-applying every two hours. I always carry my scent with me to spray again several times throughout the day. I've always wondered why and thought that it was a result of using less fixatives and more natural oils.

    To conclude, I'm happy to report that I went to Saks yesterday and tried most of the Bois 1920 series and was so underwhelmed. I also looked to the other side and saw the entire collection of Hestoires de parfums and did not bother. Maybe next week, and on a not-so-jaded nose, I'll please my pocket with yet another confirmation of the redundancy and theft of these series.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Killer_Vavoom - how can you have formed an honest opinion about the Bois 1920 scents if you tried "most of the Bois 1920 series" in one day???????? How can you judge a scent properly if you have not lived with it at least for a day? I don't understand...

    I find Bois 1920 to be a line of high quality scents. My top favourite is Vento di Fiori, a beautiful honeyed, spicey leather - on my "to-buy" list. I also liked a lot Extreme, Sandalo e The, Vetiver Ambrato and Notturni Fiorentino. Real Patchouli is good, but nothing original. Sushi Imperiale was good as well and it landed on the "to-buy" list of a perfumista friend.

    I do agree with you though that there are lots of "variations" in the niche world. Many things I have already smelt in a slightly different version. However, there are also plenty of unique fragrances out there .

  19. #19

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Quote Originally Posted by bonsai View Post
    Killer_Vavoom - how can you have formed an honest opinion about the Bois 1920 scents if you tried "most of the Bois 1920 series" in one day???????? How can you judge a scent properly if you have not lived with it at least for a day? I don't understand...

    I find Bois 1920 to be a line of high quality scents. My top favourite is Vento di Fiori, a beautiful honeyed, spicey leather - on my "to-buy" list. I also liked a lot Extreme, Sandalo e The, Vetiver Ambrato and Notturni Fiorentino. Real Patchouli is good, but nothing original. Sushi Imperiale was good as well and it landed on the "to-buy" list of a perfumista friend.

    I do agree with you though that there are lots of "variations" in the niche world. Many things I have already smelt in a slightly different version. However, there are also plenty of unique fragrances out there .
    Because, what I'm looking for is not what's offered by them. I tried them carefully and wasn't smitten by any of them. See, I've spent enough time sniffing and eternalizing aromas to be able to know instantly the potential of a fragrance. Yes, there will always be epiphanies that unravel with more diligent study and more time but you usually see a park in the beginning of such cases--something totally lacked in Bois 1920--even that Extreme you guys are talking about.

    This is not about the appeal and pleasantness of the fragrances. My point is far from this. You can say I'm looking for Coromandel vs. Borneo 1834. That complexity vs. that effortless minimalism and predictability. Instant appeal and niceness of the scent is hardly the issue.
    Last edited by Killer_Vavoom; 13th September 2010 at 09:05 AM.

  20. #20
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    As usual, hirch_duckfinder's assessment is astute and to the point. The Bois 1920s series--like most niche fragrance series released since "niche" coalesced into an aspirational category--is pleasant enough, and some fragrances in the series have very beguiling top and heart notes, but the basenotes finishes are always unremarkable, mostly not very costly musk aromachemicals finished with very little craft and very simplistically. It's easy to fashion captivating top notes and heart notes, but the true test of craft in any fragrance is the
    quality, complexity, heft, and, most importantly, the captivating, charming, mesmeric, persistent quiddity of the basenote accord. In this regard, the Bois 1920s series fails spectacularly and is, like most niche fragrance series, an already identifiable generic variant of the niche genre.

    Killer_Vavoom, my friend, if you're looking for "Something that has the mastery of the 70's mainstream; something with chutzpah and not stolen from another creation so bluntly," you won't find it in niche. That's like saying you want the mastery of Rubens oil painting from 20th century acrylic copy. Acrylic as a medium can do some things that oil can't, but it certainly can't do what oil can do. It's a laudable desire yours; we all want to find the same thing, but I don't think it exists. It's a chimera. I've been looking for it longer than most people, and more sedulously, I think, but, unfortunately, I have found very few things post 1990 that have what your looking for. Try the Bois 1920s series by all means; like I said, it's pleasant enough, but it's a mostly an insubstantial variant in an age in which insubstantial variants are the norm and "instant classics."

    Finally, even the idea of a series should give us pause and cause to think. If Guerlain or Chanel, for example, had cranked out their fragrances in the series numbers that most niche perfume houses crank them out these days, their catalog of fragrances would have numbered in the thousands. It's no accident that both houses have gone substantially down hill, since they started cranking out fragrances at the current going rate and practice. One of the all time
    great perfumers Michael Hy would spend at least two years working on the basenote accord of his creations, after he had developed the top and heart notes, and I pretty sure Hy during his lifetime never developed more fragrances than the current number in Bois 1920 catalog. Edmond Roudnitska, arguably the greatest perfumer of all time, spent anywhere between 5 to 10 years working on the development of one perfume. It's the difference between gourmet food and fast food. To extend the metaphor, at best, a well done niche collection is like a well done menu in an upscale franchise restaurant chain. It's okay; it's dependable; it's consistent, but it never surprises like gourmet food. Don't expect any surprises, and you won't be disappointed.

    I have spoken, and I have not held back.

    scentemental

    An excellent post. The kind you don't see here anymore.

    And yeah, most of today's niche stuff is void of any real character, yet it dominates most of the recent space taken up on this site.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    How is the sillage and longevity on Classic 1920?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Speak to me of Bois 1920

    Bois 1920's one of the better 'Italianate' houses out there. It's a darn sight better than the likes of Profumum, Acqua di Biella and Mazzolari.

    The line does have a very strong signature aroma underlying all the juices. I don't find any of them significantly generic; admittedly some of them simply don't work (Sandalo et The, Vetiver Ambrato), but a few are lovely. Sushi Imperiale just has to be tried if you're an orientalist. 1920 Extreme is an elegant but fairly conventional fougere, and Sutra Ylang is this floral-sandalwood-citrus feat of molecular acrobatics I've never smelled anything like before.

    My major gripe with the range is the lack of a 50mL option.

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