The Feminite du Bois woman is intellectual, there's also an aura of mystery about her. She wears Celine, Haider Ackermann and Veronique Leroy.
I worked on a Shiseido counter part-time when I was at university (way back in the late '90s). Though I was directed to sell Feminite du Bois (distributed by Shiseido then) I personally thought it was "weird" and "gross". I then preferred Chanel Allure and EL Beautiful.
Oh how time has changed what I find appealing!
Now that SL has it and I have re-smelt it and fallen in love.
I now see and appreciate it's earthy smokiness and the delicious woodiness.
So on those days when a floral feels too girly, a chype to austere this little beauty give me a dose of warm, smoky sensuousness.
I wore Feminite du Bois by Shiseido many years ago. It is such a lovely, warm scent. Perfect for winter under a cashmere sweater. Cedar, smoke, incense. Very Zen, peaceful and content. On a lark I did a little research on Serge Lutens. Wanting to jump on the "great perfumers" bandwagon I ordered this unsniffed based on the name and the reviews comparing it to Shiseido's version. I am not completely dissapointed, but this is definitely not exactly the same as what I had in the past. The SL version can best be summed up as smelling like an EdT of FdB EdP. There is a lack of depth. Shiseido's FdB melded with my skin and after a few hours, the incense seemed to emanate from my pores. This one smells lovely, but is so much lighter, lacking in depth. I wouldn't go so far as to claim it smells "designer imposter-ish" but you can definitely tell it is a "version" of the original...not "the real thing". I will enjoy wearing this, but feel a bit wistful about the rich plum bottle of Shiseido I once owned. Some things just can't be replicated...maybe that's a good thing as well. I am interested in trying other SL fragrances. Perhaps his forté lies in his own creations rather than in re-creating others.
This perfume smells bad! ughhh. It smells like an old lady. I'm not sure who buys this. My aunt brought it from France and we wanted to puke. Do not waste your money!
Feminite du Bois is definitely one of my top 5 fragrances that I own. I first tried a sample of FdB maybe 3-4 years ago in the August heat, not sure what I was thinking because this is definitely not a Summer fragrance. I was expecting the violet and orange blossom notes to be more prominent and at the time I was disappointed. I ended up throwing out my sample and didn't give the fragrance any more thought. Fast forward a few years, I went through a phase where I sampled almost every Serge Lutens that I could get my hands on, this time during Fall and Winter. When I re-sampled feminite du bois, I felt that I just had to have it. The fragrance is much better suited to cooler weather. The most noticeable notes are sandalwood and cedar, followed by spice, then slightly sweet stewed fruits followed by violet which isn't very prominent at all. In fact, I'm not sure that most people will be able to pick out what florals are in the fragrance.
The easiest way to descibe the fragrance is pretend you are working in a wood shop cutting sandalwood and cedar and in another room peaches and plum are cooking down on a stovetop with cinnamon, ginger and cloves, and somewhere in the wood shop there is a vase with orange blossoms and violets.
I ordered samples of both Shiseido and SL versions. Any time something is relaunched some people say it is "watered down". I find the SL Feminite du Bois very similar, perhaps freshened up with a pencil shavings note. I do not find any fault with this perfume. I love it. Perfect balance between masculine and feminine for me, warm and woody.
Surge Lutens relaunch of FDB is a soothing, relaxing fragrance that seems to fit the mood of delving into an intense day of reading on a leather recliner and contemplating on the mysteries of life. This perfume doesnt strike me as a head turning fragrance at all. Its intellectual and introspective. On my skin the spice and cedar are most prominent with a sort of dry plummy note that lingers in the background almost like dried fruit or potpourri. Its sheer, yet has staying power with moderate sillage. Could easily be a scent for a man, the name FDB doesnt seem to suit the juice. Its definitely unisex. I can smell the similarities between this and Dolce Vita. The difference is that Dolce Vita has a honey like sweetness and vanillic base, while FDB has neither. I do enjoy this fragrance but it hasnt made the full bottle worthy cut.
Side by side comparison between Shiseido and SL's versions of FdB.
Shiseido version is the older one, and lots of folks prefer this over the SL's relaunch. Some says the SL is more costly. Other says the SL relaunch doesn't smell as great. So here we go: R wrist spritzed with sample that was given to me by a SA at a SL counter, L wrist spritzed with Shiseido bought online and a tin of grounded coffee in front.
SL went on first - as I am more familiar with Shiseido - it is unmistakably FdB. Then Shiseido went on too. I try to apply the same amount of FdB to both wrists, but the Shiseido pump is much more powerful, so I add a few more miniature squirts to my L wrist.
Shiseido starts with more oomph (could be due to volume used but still I think it is stronger), most apparent is the cedar. SL also has cedar but it's much more muted and it has this black pepper smell and a bit of heat which reminds me of chilli.
A swift 10 minutes later the cedar in Shiseido stays strong but the basenotes have came out to play, it reminds me of Christmas (ginger, cloves, dried fruits, pinch of coriander seeds). Calling it Christmas becoz I am reminded of mulled wine. SL stays on the cedar plus a bit of heat route, cloves is also obvious, fruits are very hard to find.
Half an hour later on the Shiseido the Christmas stage is still going strong, although a bit weaker. SL turns into a puff of cedre with a bit of spice, it's much weaker. I can smell Shiseido with my nose a inch away, I can only smell SL with my nose brushing my wrist. SL is smoother, quieter. Shiseido more sparkling, with a bigger presence.
I often hesitate to choose one thing over another and this time is no different. Which one is better, I guess, depends on where you want to wear it. If I am planning to wear it to a uber sober workplace then SL would do well, anything else Shiseido is what I would choose.
(Comparison done on 29th August 2009)
Notes: cedar, musk, vanilla, rose, orange blossom, ylang ylang and peach.
A scent characterized by the vanilla, yang yang and rose notes; a barely noticeable cedar acts as a base. This fragrance is very linear and soft; its dry down very pale musky. Lasts for 4 hours.
While I can appreciate this scent while in the bottle, it was just appreciation, not love or even really like. It reacted terribly with my body chemistry when I tried it on my wrist, and lingered ~ particularly the cedar notes ~ (seemingly forever) after I tried to scrub it off. It ended up smelling like bad aftershave. However, the staying power would have been wonderful if I'd liked it on me.