Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis : Fragrance Review



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

If the mythical Garden of Hesperides had a scent, the voluptuous warmth of Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis would be filling its air. Smooth and luminous woods provide a backdrop against which the crimson rose petals fall, touched by the sparkling quality of hesperidic notes. Their shimmer dims slowly, allowing the luscious blackberry to overtake the composition with its sweet darkness.

As its creator, Michel Roudnitska describes in his interview, Bois de Paradis took 2 years and about 300 trials to emerge in its present form. Musky, jammy fruit is a perfect pairing for the sensual sweetness of rose. The heart of Bois de Paradis is an abstract dessert of caramelized blackberries dusted with sweet spices and decorated with sugared hazelnuts. Yet, layered with violet tinged cedarwood, the composition is wonderfully balanced, without ending up as either too sweet or too gourmand…

Bois de Paradis becomes more luminous and caressingly warm in the drydown, undulating into a filigree of ambery notes. A beautiful sandalwood note is revealed slowly over time, filling the carved relief of the base with its creamy sweetness. While the composition starts out rich and opulent like crimson silk embroidered with gold thread, the end result touches the skin like the softest of cashmeres.

Parfums DelRae range also includes Eau Illuminée, Amoureuse, and Début, all created by Michel Roudnitska. It is available from Aedes, Beautyhabit and First-in-Fragrance.

Image: by M. Roudnitska, protected by Art-et-Parfum copyright.



  • annieytown: I love this fragrance and review. I have been struggling resisting the Beautyhabit sale this week. I wanted to cave on this one so much.
    Yesterday I decided to pass due to my future NYC trip and saving $$$ for the Xmas season.
    Thankfully this review was posted today after the sale was finished.
    I truly would have caved just based on reading this. You captured it V!
    One day I will own this bottle and it will have a special place on my vanity! Right next to Chinatown and 2000 et une Rose. October 19, 2005 at 6:05am Reply

  • Robin: Bois de Paradis is so gorgeous, as are all the Delrae scents. They all smell like time & care has been taken in the development, so it is no surprise that MR spent 2 years on it. October 19, 2005 at 9:56am Reply

  • linda: You have such a way with words! I can’t stop reading your reviews. I will look for my sample of Bois de Paradis to wear today. 🙂 October 19, 2005 at 10:43am Reply

  • linda: V, how does Bois de Paradis compares to Lutens’ Bois de Fruits? I am thinking of asking my husband to pick up a bottle from Paris, but if they are similar then maybe I should go for something else. October 19, 2005 at 12:03pm Reply

  • linda: Thanks so much, V! I think that I need Bois et Fruits AND Bois de Paradis. 🙂 I also need Delrae Debut. Are you going to review it? October 19, 2005 at 12:18pm Reply

  • linda: Great! I cannot wait to see it. October 19, 2005 at 12:57pm Reply

  • mreenymo: V I think you captured this incomparable fragrance! It is so unique, so rich and has so much depth, it’s difficult to compare it to anything I have ever worn. Maybe Bois et Fruits, but so much sweeter and, well, better.

    The blackberry-cedarwood note really hangs on to me. BdP can be quite heady, so just a few spritzes around the collarbone holds me in good stead for the entire, and mean the entire, day.

    I look forward to reading your review of Debut.

    Hugs and love to you, darling V! October 19, 2005 at 1:03pm Reply

  • parislondres: What a fascinating review dear V! I think you sent me a sample of this and I must revisit this.
    Hope you are well. 🙂 October 19, 2005 at 9:42am Reply

  • Marina: I love you review, V and I love this scent. I think it is one of the most exquisite, gorgeous perfumes ever created. October 19, 2005 at 9:49am Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, I do have a sample of it :), but haven´t had time to test it. I know that I smelled it about two years ago & didn´t like it at all.
    But since then my opionion on a lot of scents changed very much, so I think I may like it now. The Delrae fragrances seem to be very special & interesting. October 19, 2005 at 1:49pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Annie, thank you very much. I think that you have done a right thing. Perfume will always be there. I loved Bois de Paradis from the first time I tried it, with its beautiful richness contrasting wonderfully with the sandalwood base. I love it in its initial opulent stage as well as in the drydown after many hours, when only lovely traces cling to the skin. October 19, 2005 at 10:29am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Thank you, dear N! I would love to hear your thoughts when you try it. October 19, 2005 at 10:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, how can I but agree with you wholeheartedly! 🙂 October 19, 2005 at 10:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I also like the range of DelRae very much, as the compositions are so different from each other, yet bound by the same aesthetic sensibility, which I find very appealing and moving. They are like dreams inside bottles. October 19, 2005 at 10:33am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, thank you very much for your kind words. Enjoy Bois de Paradis! It is a beautiful fragrance, with many unusual facets. October 19, 2005 at 11:16am Reply

  • Tania: It’s just as you describe. Will goes totally gaga every time I put it on. Why don’t I put it on? I’m perverse that way. 😉 October 19, 2005 at 11:28am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Poor Will! You are certainly a difficult one. 🙂 October 19, 2005 at 11:30am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, someone asked me this once, and here is what I said:
    “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.”
    You can also find my review of Bois et Fruits here and see whether it might be something you like. October 19, 2005 at 12:06pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Oh, here is a link to the review of Bois et Fruits: October 19, 2005 at 12:07pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: You are welcome. I am going to review Debut tomorrow. October 19, 2005 at 12:40pm Reply

  • Marina: I was the one who asked about Bois et Fruits 🙂 And you were absolutely right, oh the wise one. I love them both a lot. If Bois et Fruit were readily available I would have bought both, as they are not identical at all. October 19, 2005 at 1:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, Happy Birthday! I hope that today will be a perfect day for you, with lots of great presents.

    I love the combination of blackberry and cedarwood very much, as their characters seem to complement each other really well. In a sense, the wood is turned into fiery flowers in this composition. Beautiful and unique. October 19, 2005 at 1:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, oh yes! You prompted that discussion. I feel that I will need to revisit Bois et Fruits more often this fall. Somehow, everything is so “bois” focused for me right now, whereas in the past, I would have selected flowers. October 19, 2005 at 1:14pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, I cannot wait to hear your thoughts. I often revisit fragrances that I did not like the first time I tried them, only to discover what gems they are! Tastes definitely change with time. October 19, 2005 at 1:57pm Reply

  • julien: Poor little me!
    I don’t even know where to find parfum delrae…
    It seems a very interesting perfume though…
    You got me hanging on to smell it!:) October 19, 2005 at 6:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, I know that First-in-Fragrance, a Germany based site, sells sample packages. They carry Parfums DelRae as well. I am not sure where else they are sold in Europe. However, let me know what you discover. October 19, 2005 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Campaspe: #$!%^*&#! it. I wasn trying not to buy this one. I have been ducking it for ages. But it is an amazing perfume. I don’t know many others that combine woodsy/sweet that well. October 19, 2005 at 8:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: F, you cannot avoid beauty when it comes to you! 🙂 October 19, 2005 at 8:11pm Reply

  • julien: I have sent an email to PARFUMDELRAE.COM to find out if there were any others stores in EUROPE.
    I will tell the response as fast as i get it.
    Kisses dear.
    Julien. October 20, 2005 at 10:57am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Thank you very much, dear J! You are such a great help. 🙂 October 20, 2005 at 11:01am Reply

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