Serge Lutens Bois de Violette

Serge Lutens Bois de Violette
Bois de Violette

4.2

78 reviews

74% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$$

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on 10/22/2017 12:16:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Notes: Cedarwood, Violet Leaf, Candied Plum, Peach, Orange Blossom, Rose, Violet, Cardamum, Cinnamon, Clove, Musk, Vanilla, Honey.

I love woody fragrances, and I love several Lutens fragrances, including Cuir Mauresque, Chergui, and Fille en Aiguilles, so I am sad to say that I am very disappointed in BdV.

Unlike many other reviewers, I detect neither candied violets, powder, candied plum, peach, orange blossom, rose, cardamum, cinnamon, clove, musk, vanilla, nor honey in this fragrance. I love so many of these notes, but they simply are not present to my nose. I smell a light but sharp cedar and a very light green note which may be the violet leaf, but not much else. Performance is very poor, too. It is nearly a skin scent from initial application and thus reminds me more of a chemist shop cologne than an upmarket niche EdP. The fragrance all but disappears on my skin in under two hours. I must press my nose against my skin to smell it at all.

Either my nose is not developed enough to tease more notes out of BdV or my bottle is compromised or BdV is greatly overrated indeed. However, I wish to give the benefit of the doubt to the fragrance and to so many other reviewers who disagree with this assessment, so I have awarded BdV a neutral rating. If I have the opportunity to retest this fragrance from another bottle and my opinion changes, I will happily update this review. In the meantime, if you seek a pleasant cedar dominant fragrance, I recommend Cedré.

Fragrance: 3/10

Projection: 2/10

Sillage: 2/10

Longevity: 2/10

2 of 2 people found this helpful.



on 8/10/2016 10:44:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Absolutely beautiful. Cedar base with an unidentifiable floral top - personally I have never smelled a violet, all the ones I've encountered have been completely fragrance free but I'm assuming there are other varieties out there that do have a scent and this could be it. If I had to describe this in a single word it would be 'harmonious'. It's perfectly balanced. My rating is closer to 4.5 stars for the sheer beauty of the thing, but I don't know that I could justify a full bottle purchase based on the unimpressive longevity.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 8/9/2013 4:52:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

This is a happyer toned down version of feminite du bois, less spicy (thank god) and more floral. love it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 11/26/2013 9:53:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I love violette, and woody perfume. this perfume opens up full violette and calm down into a warm spicy wood. Only minus it last about 5-6hr but it is pure pleasure.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The perfume that launched a thousand ships.

For me anyway.

Bois de Violette was my first bottle of Serge Lutens. My first dropping of an ungodly amount of money on a fragrance. My first idea that this whole perfume thing had more to it than I ever imagined.

It is the Proust Questionnaire writ en perfume: When and Where were you happiest? If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? What historical figure do you most identify with?

What is your greatest extravagance?

Ahem.

Before we get into me handing over my credit card at Barney’s while doing some deep breathing exercises, I suppose it’s important to note that Bois de Violette is a flanker.

The original. The big Momma. The first Serge Lutens is Feminite du Bois originally by Shiseido. It is iconic. It is one of the best. And it is a shining example of what niche perfumery can do. Check it out. I’ll review it some day.

In the meantime, experimentally, Christopher Sheldrake (the perfumer) decided to dink around with the formula and pop up one of the notes to 11 while keeping the “bois (i.e. woods)” intact. What followed was Bois et Fruits, Bois et Musc, Un Bois Vanille (Which always makes me go “That is one Woodsy Vanilla!”),Orientale, Santal de Mysore, Chene, Sepia and Bois de Violette. While I have given good sniff to some of these, I can only speak to Violette.

It’s a darker violet than most violet perfumes which tend to be rather simple and girlish.

It’s a rainy day at the library.

It’s a deep thought.

It’s an Eddie Izzard riff on European history. Same gender confusion and all the better for it.

This is not a perfume of sex, death and religion but rather a dissertation regarding all three.

My parents love to watch a show about Monarchy and they do impressions of the host who always says very British things like, “So it remained for years, ” except it comes out “yee-ahssss.”

And so Bois de Violette is professorial in nature and has a bit of a tweediness and yet it is as French as French can be. Mr. Proust, we meet again.

But for this Midwesterner…

Who gives a sh*t? It’s great!

In the words of a fellow American philosophizer, the esteemed Gomer Pile, “Makes ya think.”

It DOES make you think. It’s thoughtful, studious, and takes itself a little seriously, and yet in the end it’s simply the one of the greatest violet perfumes ever conceived. So prepare yourself, Bois de Violette may ask you the big questions:

What is a trait you most deplore in yourself?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?

What flower do you like?

Violets.

11 of 13 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Ordered a sample of this. Have been wanting to try this for years. Smell the non-sweet violets and the cedar/woods. It's too soft for me. I have dry skin that devours fragrance. Would rather smell this on a man. Not for me.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

Sexy, dark violets, perfectly balanced - never cloying or candied and never so intense as to hit people over the head. I find it too intense for warm weather or active days, but love how long it lasts, and the way it settles into my clothes.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


on 12/10/2012 6:16:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

There's a period of time in the beginning when the violets are just too much, but once that settles down, this is a beautiful violet-wood fragrance, perfectly balanced and blended.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 3/19/2013 9:57:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Wow, I don't know how to describe this scent because I have never smelled anything like it. After reading Luca Turin's review, I had to give it a go. It's very unique and to me really does smell like what the color purple would smell like if it had a scent! I am thoroughly enjoying my sample. Warm, sweet, intriguing. My husband likes it as well on me. Pricey but it does smell expensive!

7 of 8 people found this helpful.


on 11/7/2012 11:25:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Candied violets and cedar. Starts out playful and nostalgic, babyish in a vintage way.The violets are effervescent and floating, just loosely tethered to the very grounded cedar. On me, the violets don't settle down for hours, but when they finally nestle into the wood, it is revelatory, surprising, with perfectly balanced almost austere taste. The scent is romantic and old-fashioned, but not quite a grandmother scent. Instead, it's like digging in the attic and finding an old wooden chest, filled with mementos of your grandmother's secret wild life.

7 of 8 people found this helpful.


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