Perfume Directory

Féminité du Bois (1992)
by Serge Lutens (originally by Shiseido)

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Féminité du Bois information

Year of Launch1992
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 527 votes)

People and companies

HouseSerge Lutens
Originally byShiseido
PerfumerChristopher Sheldrake
PerfumerPierre Bourdon
PackagingSerge Lutens
Parent CompanyShiseido

About Féminité du Bois

Féminité du Bois is a feminine perfume by Serge Lutens. The scent was launched in 1992 and the fragrance was created by perfumers Pierre Bourdon and Christopher Sheldrake. The bottle was designed by Serge Lutens

Reviews of Féminité du Bois

Much has been written about this one, most of it laudatory. I was glad to see Barbara Herman single out the prominent cumin note that isn't in the pyramid—I was starting to think I had the wrong fragrance in the sample tube! But, no, FdB is most definitely cumin-forward, which is not necessarily a problem for me, although too much, or skewing too strongly to "B.O.," is a deal-breaker.

In the case of FdB, it's not so much the strength of the cumin as the juxtaposition. Herman likens the overall scent to "a poetic perfume rendition of a woman's nether regions," which may have been the intent, but I find the underlying fruit to be the wrong sort of sweetness for that; no disco lemonade here, alas. Rather than poetic punani, I got a fruity-floral bouquet of the 1990s "fresh" aromachems I abhor, and all the woods and spice in the world—which are seemingly crammed into FdB—aren't enough to compensate. It dries down better after a few hours, but not to anything worth slogging through the opening for.

For photorealistic sex-in-a-bottle, I'll stick with Eau d'Hermès, thanks very much.
14th September, 2021
Shiseido products have been my mainstay for decades. Where many went to K-beauty in the last few years I’ve always stuck with J-beauty. It’s hard to beat Shiseido skincare and cosmetics. Dedicated Shiseido perfumery, on the other hand, is new territory for me and I’m not sure I took a good turn down Serge Lutens lane.

Féminité du Bois comes across to me as a grape pixie stick mixed in with papier-mâché. It has a half life of about one hour, is pleasant if a bit thin (not a dealbreaker), and unfortunately follows up my horrid experience with the one other Serge Lutens I tried to love, Ambre Sultan. I am 0 for 2 with Lutens and not sure that I can make peace with this line. The upside may be a good upcoming deal on AS + FdB in the sale forum. I am glad to have tried them if for no other reason than reference.
15th March, 2021
It's a bit of a paradox. Woody and soft and the same time, with cinnamon floating above it.

My problem with it is that it seems to disappear on my skin. I can't smell it after an hour. This is not acceptable for an EDP, especially one in the Lutens price range.

But I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the problem is me.

It's possible, just possible, that my nose is burned out. That it's fried. That it's totally desensitized from all the 80's fragrances I grew up loving.

Maybe the huge shoulder pads combined with Poison did some kind of lasting damage. The atmosphere of 1984 was 51% Giorgio, as the Good Lord intended, but does that mean that years later I can't enjoy something delicate and sophisticated like Feminite du Bois?

Am I suffering from the Obsession Effect?

Or do I just have a weak sample. I think I will withhold final judgement, obtain another sample, and try this one again. Stay tuned.
05th March, 2021
The ultimate signature perfume since the 90's, its changed a little here and there of course suffering the usual assaults by IFRA and the SCCNFP's scalpel but its still glorious.
I recall the legend that is Yves de Chiris describing that after the usual toing and froing Serge declared he wanted a cake made out of woods which was the eureka moment. Interesting that Yves also was one of the holly trinity behind Angel which was in development at the same time, hhhmmmm 1992, a delicious year...
I stopped wearing Angel years ago but Femininte du Bois is the only juice I have ever been faithful to.
08th October, 2020
This is gorgeous stuff! It's complex in a way that's hard to describe - just look at the different ways it smells to various reviewers here...

Personally, I like the topnotes best. I smell mostly violets mixed with Serge's signature plum, made sparkly and golden with aldehydes and some sort of yellow, pollen-ish floral background that I can't really place. There's some cumin underneath for grit and balance as well.

Given a few minutes, the base starts making itself known, a mix of suede and buttery sandalwood that provides a rich grounding to the sparkle and high pitch of the topnotes.

On me, the rest of the day is basically a slow fade from the plum/violet top to the buttery leather base, with pleasant different combinations of smells coming and going as the ratio of top to base changes.

I've really enjoyed the current Lutens version of this. I'm also lucky enough to have a sample of the vintage extrait. Honestly, side by side, they're awfully similar, which I didn't expect from the reviews I've read. If anything, the sandalwood in the vintage smells more balanced, like those old-school sandalwoods that smells like opulent, buttery sawdust. The current version has the buttery richness, but has less sawdust, so it comes across as slightly less woody and more suede in the base. That being said, the current version is fantastic - I wouldn't personally bother hunting down and spending ridiculously for the vintage...
12th September, 2019
A feminine woody, not a woody feminine.

What Roudnitska might have done with Femme, had he converted to minimalism.

***** Shiseido
**** Serge Lutens
29th August, 2019 (last edited: 20th September, 2019)

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