Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits : Fragrance Review

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Caravaggio28

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

In one of his most famous poems, Alexandr Sergeevich Pushkin, a revered Russian poet, remarks upon the nostalgic autumnal beauty. The beauty that is poignant because of its evanescence. The serene silence pervading the atmosphere forebodes fragile frosts turning into the dense snows of winter. The vibrancy of the gold over crimson foliage hints at the decay about to envelop it. The scents of chrysanthemums and late roses intoxicate as the flowers rush to bloom before the chill.

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.

Painting (click to enlarge): Caravaggio, Still Life with a Basket of Fruit. 1601. Oil on canvas. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy. abcgallery.com.

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14 Comments

  • parislondres: I love this review V! Well expressed and it is such a beauty Bois et Fruits. However, I need to be in the right mood to wear this.

    xoxo July 21, 2005 at 10:28am Reply

  • Robin: This is another SL that smells like cumin to me. The longer it is on my skin, the more it smells like sweat. *hangs head in shame* July 21, 2005 at 10:40am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, N! I usually reserve it for the cooler weather, because it is a sweet fragrance, with a distinct powderiness that manages to be somehow wrong in this heat. It is probably one of the few fruity scents I like.
    xoxo July 21, 2005 at 10:43am Reply

  • Victoria: Hmm, that is interesting. I really do not notice it. Raw cumin is a scent that few people like. I do not have a problem with it unless it begins to strangle me a la Dinner by Bobo. July 21, 2005 at 10:45am Reply

  • parislondres: Same here it is one of the few fruity scents I like – most fruity scents go a bit strange on me. Lately I am wearing Jardins Ottomans quite a bit and I got compliments from strangers which is a wee bit scary too. I rarely get compliments on my perfume – guess I wear them discreetly too.

    xoxo July 21, 2005 at 10:47am Reply

  • Victoria: I love Jardins Ottomans for its amazing blend of patchouli and citrus. I was actually planning to review it next week. It is a scent that is mouthwatering without being gourmand. July 21, 2005 at 10:52am Reply

  • Tania: That one smelled so much like Feminité du Bois to me, but with less of a wallop. I do like it quite a bit, but I couldn’t justify having both this one and the FdB in my collection. July 21, 2005 at 11:47am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, I forgot to mention it. I have both, but I agree that they are similar. Feminité du Bois just seems drier and less sweet. July 21, 2005 at 11:56am Reply

  • Tania: Perhaps that is the case, that BdF is a bit sweeter than FdB. (Are my acronyms confusing enough yet?) Then again, I may be perplexed in that I think I have the extrait version of FdB at home, which is just naturally more intense than the BdF sample, which is probably EdT or EdP. (An EdT of BdF…good Lord, no wonder some people find us fragrance hobbyists insane.) July 21, 2005 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: LOL! I am doing Ph.D., which means there is no reason to assume I am sane, by default. I have EDP of FdB, which seems more potent than Bois et Fruits. I always attributed this to the fact that it has more wood in the base than BeF. Now, how is this for confusing? July 21, 2005 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Tania: Oh, Bois *et* Fruits, not Bois *de* Fruits. I get so confused with the Bois de Violette and Miel de Bois…bois bois bois, blah blah blah. July 22, 2005 at 11:29am Reply

  • Victoria: This discussion of ours, acronyms included, made me laugh more than once. I confuse them all the time, rest assured! July 22, 2005 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Marina: I have just recently fell in love with Delrae’s Bois de Paradis and am now of course looking for other woody-fruity scents. I was wondering does SL Bois et Fruits bear any resemblance to B de P at all in any way?
    Wonderful post as always!
    Marina July 22, 2005 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Victoria: Marina, Bois de Paradis is sweeter than Bois et Fruits, with juicier ripe fruit notes. Bois et Fruits, by comparison, is drier, with more subdued sweetness, slighly powdery in the dry down (not too much, but if you like fig notes, you may notice that characteristic powdery feel that fig lends). So, if you like Bois de Paradis, you should sample Bois et Fruits, because they share the same sweet darkness and luscious smoothness. They are not similar to the point of being identical, but they speak of the same theme, which I like. July 22, 2005 at 2:29pm Reply

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