Eau d’Italie Bois d’Ombrie : Perfume Review

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Umbria_assisi

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

There are seldom fragrances that I try very hard to like, but there are a few. I wanted to like the new Mille et Une Rôse by Lancôme because I wanted desperately to enjoy a glimpse of the original 2000 et Une Rôse. I wanted to enjoy Délices de Cartier because I have a weakness for red tinted bottles, but I could not get past the sugared cherries of the composition. When I first heard about the two newest fragrances from Eau d’Italie, I fell in love with the idea of scents capturing Sienese winters and Umbrian woods, a desire very much influenced by my travels in Italy. Thankfully, it was not difficult to find myself charmed by Sienne L’Hiver and Bois d’Ombrie. While neither strikes me as an exploration of a dramatically novel theme, their wistful character holds nostalgic connotations for me. …

The scent of Bois d’Ombrie has autumnal associations given its nutty plumminess reminiscent of fallen leaves, its smoky dryness evoking bonfires and its intoxicating tangy sweetness conjuring the aroma of spiced wine. I do not know why a fragrance inspired by Italian woods would evoke an image of Ukrainian rainy autumns, but it does. The somber chill of iris gently leads into the honeyed warmth of leather and tobacco. A dried plum note weaves in and out of the composition, teasing like the refrain of a familiar melody escaping from an open window. Warm, mellow and slightly rustic, Bois d’Ombrie dries down into a myrrh dominated etude of leather and woods.

In the end, it is irrelevant whether Bois d’Ombrie is the scent of the Umbrian forests or the aroma of Ukrainian autumns. Like a glimpse into another world—whether real or imagined, Bois d’Ombrie holds an irresistible charm.

Bois d’Ombrie includes top notes of whisky, cognac, Korean calamus, wild carrot; middles notes of tanned leather, Iris of Florence rhizome, Brazilian copahu essence; base notes of Caucasian leather, Haitian vetyver, Turkish Latakia tobacco, Mexican opoponax, Yemenite myrrh, Indonesian patchouli. In the US, Aedes carries the line.

Photo: Duomo San Rufino & Santa Chiara church, Assisi, Umbria. From Enkiri travel.

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34 Comments

  • chayaruchama: My, oh my !
    How evocative…
    Clearly, whatever they have done, it has been done very well.
    You’ve got me seduced- and I’ve just had my am coffee !

    Delightful post, dear V- thank you.
    Hope all is well, and you enjoy a w/e’s repose… October 20, 2006 at 7:00am Reply

  • Erika: That’s it! I absolutely need to try this one, based on your earlier writing, and now this review. It sounds wonderful – very evocative and clever – and intriguing to wear. October 20, 2006 at 8:27am Reply

  • March: You must be getting bored with me typing “oh, that sounds wonderful!” in your comments. But I can’t help myself. It is all YOUR FAULT. 😉

    “… a myrrh dominated etude of leather and woods…”? Sign me up.

    Can you clarify a bit how wine-y it is? Really wine-y or booze-y things tend to smell fermented on me, like unrinsed, empty wine bottles. Not a bad smell, but not what I’m trying to capture in a fragrance… thanks. October 20, 2006 at 9:44am Reply

  • Marina: My heart greatly desires to re-try this one, because the sample I have is nothign like the wonderfullness you describe. I am clinging to the hope that it is the wrong sample, not the wrong skin chemistry 🙂 Thank yuo for the lovely review. October 20, 2006 at 9:55am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Darling Victoria,
    Wow. I just signed myself up for the Aedes webmail link/ Thanks to your seductive protrayal of this new (to me) line of the Eau d’Italie Sirenese products sounds like a venture into uncharted scent territory. In other words , not just a pretty standard (not that any fragrance is standard ) but those that exquisitely set out to evoke a instant olfactory nostalgia and yearning for a time and place just out of reach. It sounds like these scents are more that to adorn your physical body but more to create a invisible yet palpable aura nostalgic of visits to exotix , romantic places such as Italy etc. Also these scents can create a undeniable longing to visit in person to fully experience their world of a melange of musky. woody, leathery, citrus etc.
    I now want to visit Italy and your wonderful descriptive gift of reflection , dear Victoria HAS succeeded in in instant drawing to this magical place . What a sweet reverie. Will keep you posted on my success ! Best to you.
    Madelyn E
    Are you going to be appwaring at any of these NY fragrance events? I would love to meet you . October 20, 2006 at 11:29am Reply

  • Robin: Ok, just tell me which one I’ll end up buying… October 20, 2006 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Ina: Absolutely agree! I get tons of pepper, too. October 20, 2006 at 12:54pm Reply

  • Dusan: Vika,
    I’ve just sent you an email. Thank you sooo much!!!
    Kiss October 20, 2006 at 1:57pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, thank you. It is a very handsome fragrance, especially the plummy aspect of it. It makes me think of dried plums smoked over wood fire that are particularly famous in certain parts of Ukraine. October 20, 2006 at 5:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Erika, it is very intriguing to wear. Just when you expect it to turn sweet, it reveals its incensy side. October 20, 2006 at 5:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, I can never get bored with you! It is not winey in the literal sense of the term–it does not smell fermented or sour. It just has a tannic quality that reminds me of how wine feels in the mouth. October 20, 2006 at 6:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, thank you. If not, then I am sure you will find plenty of great things that will suit your taste and chemistry! If you say that it is cold, then perhaps, your sample got mixed up with Sienne L’Hiver. I do not care for that one as much–it is very cold and green. October 20, 2006 at 6:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, out of the Eau d’Italie line, my favourites are Paestum Rose and Bois d’Ombrie. They are somewhat on the adrogynous side, which I know does not seem to work as well for you. I hope that you can make a trip to Aedes to try them for yourself. I am around this weekend, but I am not at the Sniffa events. Perhaps, we will run into each other anyway. October 20, 2006 at 6:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I think that Sienne L’Hiver will suit your tastes more. Just a guess… October 20, 2006 at 6:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, yes, there is that scent of dried peppers in it. I do like it very much. October 20, 2006 at 6:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dusan, happy to help! Please let me know what you decided in the end. October 20, 2006 at 6:08pm Reply

  • Dusan: Fumerie Turque! I can’t wait to try it! Of course, you’ll be the first to know how it fares with me, my dear friend.
    Hugs October 20, 2006 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Elle: After reading your gorgeous, evocative review, this is a scent I also *very* much want to love. Can’t wait to try it! But, I do wish the bottles would match the wistful mood you describe so perfectly here. They are more in keeping w/ sunscreen packaging for a hot day at the beach. A beach in NC at that. 🙁 October 20, 2006 at 8:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Dusan, it is a great choice! Of course, I cannot wait to hear your detailed impressions when it arrives. October 20, 2006 at 8:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, oh, I completely forgot to mention how much I dislike the packaging. These are fantastic fragrance packaged in hairspray like containers. They are up there with Parfums de Nicolai for the beautiful perfumes/unattractive containers award. October 20, 2006 at 8:33pm Reply

  • k-amber: After reading your beautiful review, I love to visit Italy again. Forence is one of my beloved cities(probalby the best) in the world. The fragrance sounds very attractive and I like to get the sample for sure.

    Ciao,
    Kaori October 21, 2006 at 5:20am Reply

  • newproducts: I bought a decant of Paestum Rose just for the myrrh and opoponax notes (of course, I love rose too) and was disappointed because I could not detect those notes. I ended up liking it anyway. Are these notes more prominent in Bois D’Ombrie, Victoria? If not, I think I will try the Sienna L’Hiver instead. The chestnut note in that one intrigues me. October 21, 2006 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Madelyn E: Bon lundi dear Victoria,
    I hope you fared well this past week-end .(fleeting us by ever so quickly . no ?)
    well. I had a pre – anniversaire treat today . Not only did I discover Aedes beautiful website(Thanks to your suggestion ) I ordered samples AND got to speak with Karl – a co-owner of the Greenwich Village fragrance treasure house ! Having been a bit morose , saddled with u=inertia, I immediately sprung back to life upon speaking with a man “in the perfume know “. What a joy . he respomded to my many questions about the vast Aedes line with a gentle yet knowledgable enthusiasm. I can hardly wait to receive my sample . my first foray with such awide variety of scented exotica.
    Scented and sincere thanks to you dear Victoria.
    I think I may be lucky enough to bump into you sometime soon – there !
    Have a great day!
    warm regards-
    Madelyn E October 23, 2006 at 1:45am Reply

  • Laura: I can no longer raid your perfume closet to try these. I’ll just have to send for samples when I get back. Btw, I tried the new Etro and it is delicious. I’m sure dianthus lovers everywhere will love it—it avoids that overly piquant thing that some carnation/dianthus fragrances have. I didn’t buy it, though I may yet. I’d already made two perfume choices recently ;D. October 23, 2006 at 1:53pm Reply

  • gr8face: Wow, hadn’t heard of Bois d’Ombrie but from your description I want to try it NOW. Sounds hella exotique 🙂 October 23, 2006 at 7:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, it is a very nice fragrance, which the lovers of niche perfumery style–uncluttered, minimalist and nature inspire, will find very appealing. Like you, I love Florence, and I cannot wait to return to Italy at some point. October 24, 2006 at 11:30pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Newproducts, I would not recommend either Paestum Rose or Bois d’Ombrie (nor Sienne L’Hiver) if you are looking for myrrh dominant fragrances. While those two notes are present, they are functioning only as accents. October 24, 2006 at 11:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Madelyn, thank you for your sweet comment. I am sure that Karl was equally touched. I am glad that you discovered the website and even found something interesting. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the perfumes. Thank you, as always, for sharing! October 24, 2006 at 11:45pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Laura, Dianthus sounds wonderful! I cannot wait to try it, but it is not in the States yet. Meanwhile, I am enjoying other interesting perfumes, not least of which is Eau Suave and Eau de Glorie. October 24, 2006 at 11:46pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Gr8face, it is very alluring to me. I am very pleased with it. October 24, 2006 at 11:47pm Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    Whilst the Guerlain discussion blazes away, I thought I would ask you something in this now quieter corner of Bois de Jasmin. I am quite interested in Poivre, and have never smelled it. Do they make Poivre in an eau de toilette or does one buy Coup de Fouet as the eau de toilette? Can they be worn together or are they better on their own?

    With Best Wishes, October 25, 2006 at 8:52am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Nick, I am happy to talk about my beloved Poivre anytime! Coup de Fouet is the EDT version of Poivre. They can definitely be worn together, and I find myself reaching more often for Coup de Fouet, since being a little lighter, I find it to be easier to wear. Poivre is magnificent, but it requires me to be in the mood for something that grand. October 25, 2006 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Nick: Dear Victoria,

    Thanks for help with Poivre, I have returned to your review several times and am thoroughly intrigued.
    I’m glad to hear you describe Poivre as grand. I am currently falling for a number of perfumes from the 40s and 50s, and Poivre has always fascinated me from afar – I look forward to finally discovering it soon. October 27, 2006 at 10:24am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear Nick, I am glad that it was helpful. I love Poivre, and I always find myself reaching for it whenever the weather turns cooler. Wearing it on a snowy day is such a bliss–the scent of warm woods and pepper under the layers of wool becames particularly alluring. October 27, 2006 at 12:29pm Reply

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