Bois et Fruits by Serge Lutens

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*Photo by me. I got Bois et Fruits as a gift in the special bell jar that Lutens is known for.

Bois et Fruits is another mulled masterpiece by the makers of cozy winter fragrances and weirdness in perfumery alike. It came out in 1992, as part of a series of cedarwood-based fragrances made in succession to Shiseido’s Feminite du Bois, which Lutens helped develop. The series also includes Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc, Bois de Violette, Santal de Mysore, Chêne, Un Bois Sépia, and Bois Oriental. (I learned that from Bois de Jasmin and Perfume Smellin’ Things)

The notes are cedarwood, plum, fig, peach, apricot. (LuckyScent) And it smells just like that. The top note is a strong, realistic cedarwood just like the one in Bois de Violette. The fruits come in after a few minutes.

Each time I smelled the heart notes, they were a little bit different. It’s subtle, so you wouldn’t notice unless you tried. At one point I was reminded of a good potpourri, at one point of cider, and later on I thought I detected some leather in there too. The strongest note is plum, and the rest are accents. The cedarwood takes backstage by the middle of Bois et Fruits evolution, but it doesn’t disappear.

The drydown smells more gourmand. It’s also at least as complex as the middle of the fragrance and more so than the beginning. Candied plums were the first thing that came to mind, but you might think it had some musk and vanilla too. Bois et Fruits gets heartier with time, and is a comfort scent in the same way mulled apple cider is a comfort drink. Lutens can be counted on for that comforting mulled effect: Arabie and Santal Majuscule also include it.

The best thing about Bois et Fruits is that it’s subtle. Every one of these effects are quiet, and the changes in their evolution are incremental. As someone who tends to favor obvious fragrances (see Patchouli 24, Ambre Russe, etc.), I appreciate Lutens and Sheldrake helping me note the virtues of subtlety.

Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake
Price Range: Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Winter
Release Year: 1992
My Rating: 9

This entry was posted in Apricot, Cedarwood, Figs, Peach, Plum and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bois et Fruits by Serge Lutens

  1. formaggio says:

    Helpful review! The enthusiasm makes me want to smell Bois et Fruits again.
    Because Bois et Fruits has none of the beauty of its antecedent Shiseido Feminite du Bois, I had trouble appreciating Bois et Fruits on its own – interesting – terms, I guess.

  2. Ariel Tyler says:

    Chris Sheldrake and Serge Lutens’s Bois et Fruits (1992) captures a moment of autumn before one becomes aware of its farewell connotations. Warm cedarwood is folded over lusciously ripe fall fruits—figs, peaches, and plums, which speak more of a voluptuous aspect of autumn than of its nostalgic side. This fragrance is one of few instances when fruit is not rendered as treacly and artificial. Instead, sweet resinous cedar married to fruit results in a very elegant scent with the brightness of sweet-sour plum courting the soft powderiness of fig.

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