L’Occitane Eau des Baux : Fragrance Review


It’s always a special thrill to discover an affordable and interesting perfume, and we love to share such little gems with you. Today is Elisa’s turn.

The easy-going, effortlessly good-looking, yet overfamiliar and somewhat unexciting chum in a romantic comedy – the one the hard-to-please heroine inevitably falls hard for in the end – that’s L’Occitane Eau des Baux. This near-perfect amber – available at your local mall for under $60 per handsome, flask-like 100 ml bottle – is so thoroughly pleasant and charming at first sniff that a hardened cynic like you or me might be initially suspicious. What’s going on here? Is this some kind of ruse? Is this “nice guy” going to let me down if I trust him too soon? Do I only like him because he reminds me of somebody else?


After testing Eau des Baux repeatedly for several years, I finally realized it’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get situation, bought a bottle and haven’t looked back.

Like our prototypical plaid-shirt-wearing, stubbled friend, Eau des Baux isn’t fancy or complex. It’s pretty much linear from top to bottom: there’s a smooth woody section – like cedar, but without the sweaty aspect; a slightly green, herbal note, which gives it a fresh and clean feel, like you just washed your hands with eucalyptus soap; and a sweet, warm background hum like vanilla tobacco.

If you try hard, you can pick out other details – is that a lemony side to the resins? A bit of a nutty, boozy Amaretto accord? But the structure is balanced in such a way that you just relax into it; nothing sticks out or announces itself, and you feel no particular need to understand or describe what you’re experiencing. What’s the point? Eau des Baux is a reminder of the simple enjoyment of a good smell. And it lasts and lasts.

L’Occitane Eau des Baux includes notes of cardamom, pink pepper, cypress, incense, tonka bean, and vanilla. It’s available from L’Occitane online or in stores at $55/100ml.



  • The Scented Salon: Ah, Eau de Baux, the knight in shining armor of scents. I was also initially skeptical about buying this. It was just too good, and for a masculine scent, too unisex to be that price. I bought it and never looked back. I wish they would make this in a stronger version because I would drench myself in this tobacco herbal composition. February 18, 2015 at 9:17am Reply

    • Elisa: Funny that you had that hesitation too! On me this stuff lasts through the night, but without being too loud. Such good quality! February 18, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

  • Marge Clark: Just wanted to thank you for such a DELIGHTFUL review! February 18, 2015 at 9:26am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Marge! February 18, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

  • Michaela: I like your review a lot, spot on and very funny. I’ll test this fragrance for sure. If it kept teasing you for several years, it must be memorable. Amber, low price and good longevity sound very appealing to me, too. February 18, 2015 at 9:27am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Michaela! After testing dozens of ambers I still find it has a unique angle and doesn’t smell like every other amber, too. February 18, 2015 at 10:20am Reply

      • Michaela: Elisa, congratulations, you made a great discovery, what a beautiful fragrance! I wonder how many of us entered L’Occitane to try Eau des Baux after your review. 🙂 The lady there asked me what fragrances does HE like, and I did not have the courage to tell her it’s for myself. You are right, it smells totally unisex, which I appreciate a lot (I don’t like too masculine scents on my skin).
        I like it very much. Everything about this fragrance is smooth. The woods are not scratchy, the amber is nor loud, nor too sweet, the herbs are not sharp. Not drama, but balance makes it’s charm, I think. You found a very good word: it hums. Actually it hums all day long, the lasting power is amazing. I can see this beautiful amber with me, from autumn to spring.
        Thank you! February 25, 2015 at 4:00am Reply

        • Elisa: So so happy to hear this! I love sharing fragrance finds with people, but especially if they are so affordable! February 25, 2015 at 9:24am Reply

  • Gil: Great review! Love the comparison, made me think of Gerard Butler in “P.S. I Love You.” I’ve never explored L’Occitane’s range because in Toronto they have only a few stores that are much too far, but I definitely know now that when I go I’ll head straight for Eau de Baux. February 18, 2015 at 9:28am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Gil! Sometimes I think L’Occitane’s scents are too simple but this one is just spot on. February 18, 2015 at 10:21am Reply

  • Sylvia: Elisa, What a great review! Love the analogy of the boy next door. And, I’m sold. Looking in the directory to see if they sell here! Keep warm and safe.
    Sylvia February 18, 2015 at 9:37am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Sylvia! I hope you’re able to find some 🙂 February 18, 2015 at 10:22am Reply

  • Andre Moreau: Nice review! I agree, and think Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille should learn something from EdB 😉 …..or at least lowering its price. February 18, 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Elisa: Haha, I agree! Tobacco Vanille is also a little too sweet for me. February 18, 2015 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Andy: I am surprised I haven’t tried this, but I’ll seek it out. The last L’Occitane I sampled was Ambre, and while it wasn’t quite my style of amber, I was reminded of how great the quality of the L’Occitane fragrances are, on the whole. Arlesienne is another pretty one, an enjoyable rose-violet combo. February 18, 2015 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Elisa: I agree about Arlesienne, Andy — I thought it was really pretty! February 18, 2015 at 2:37pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I still only “use” l’Occitane for body creams and soaps. So I’ve walked past Eau des Baux countless times without even taking a sniff. Your review has made me realise that I should at least sniff this one, I tend to love ambers as well. February 18, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

    • Elisa: Do try it! It’s almost shockingly good. You just don’t expect it. February 18, 2015 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Merlin: Agree completely on what a great scent this is. I do find it strange that many reviews emphasize the cyprus and incense notes. Like you, I experience this as predominantly an amber. February 18, 2015 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Merlin! I don’t get too much cypress or incense, though maybe if I smelled the cypress material straight I would see its influence. I do get tobacco which isn’t listed in the notes. In any case, it just SMELLS GOOD! February 18, 2015 at 4:38pm Reply

      • Merlin: I agree it may be that my nose is not trained enough, but if Ambre Sultan is classified as an amber, despite all the other notes, I think Eau de Beaux should also be. Yes, the main thing is the great smell 🙂 February 19, 2015 at 5:52am Reply

        • Elisa: I agree, similar to Ambre Sultan, though not as dry. Ambre Sultan with a splash of Chergui, perhaps? February 19, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

          • Merlin: I tend to think of Chergui as an amber too 🙂 And yet it seems not to be the official classification! February 20, 2015 at 6:56pm Reply

  • minteacup: Spot on! Eau des Baux is so easy to like. It’s unfussy but smells more expensive than what it is, especially if you get it from an online discounter. I got it for my beau a while back and he enjoys wearing it almost as much as I enjoy sniffing it. February 18, 2015 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Elisa: I also used my beau as an excuse to buy a bottle of this 😉 February 19, 2015 at 8:51am Reply

  • Karen: Plan on stopping by the shop to give it a test. Sounds like it would be a good fragrance to use for layering, too. February 19, 2015 at 5:11am Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Karen, yes, I think it would lend itself well to that! I should experiment with some EDB layering myself. February 19, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

  • Rosie: This sounds lovely, I’ve been thinking of getting the aftershave balm do my Dad’s birthday, I’m totally sold now! February 19, 2015 at 6:01am Reply

    • Elisa: Happy to help push you over the edge! February 19, 2015 at 8:53am Reply

  • The Blue Squid: That was funny. Thanks Elisa. I go into L’Occitaine now and again, usually in search of a tasteful gift for someone or other. I find their stuff to be a real mixed bag. Some things smell great. Others, that is to say, some of their newer feminine fragrances, hurt my nose… and my soul. EDB sounds great, like a sort of imaginary hunky carpenter smell. I’ll have to get amongst it sometime soon. February 19, 2015 at 6:47am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh yes, they’re a bit hit or miss on the fragrance side…this one has been around for a long time and so far they don’t seem to be messing with it! And yes — very hunky! February 19, 2015 at 8:54am Reply

  • Lynley: I love Eau des Baux! Thank you for reviewing it Elisa! Im so glad that this review was written by a woman actually. I wear a number of ‘men’s’ fragrances and usually the ‘official’ reviews are written by men, so it’s nice to have a clear, positive, acknowledgement that ‘masculine’ scents are worn by women. I’m fully aware that this is no revelation, it’s just nice to have re-enforcement 🙂
    (I’m in Yatagan today. I know women wear it but the reviews are all by guys.. ditto AdP Colonia Oud which is Top Shelf favourite! 🙂 ) February 19, 2015 at 7:23am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Lynley! I’ve noticed that the few times I’ve reviewed a “masculine” scent, I’ve gotten fewer comments — I take that to be because the audience here slants feminine and so the readers aren’t as familiar with those scents. But this one is perfectly unisex to my nose! February 19, 2015 at 8:56am Reply

      • Lynley: I agree, it is totally unisex imo too. I can see your point about the fewer comments, and as a generalisation I think most women probably slant toward feminine scents because even in the use of scent at all, it’s a ritual that highlights our femininity (in the makeup/product/’pretty stuff’ way) 🙂
        Also, i think for the most part there are so many fragrances we read about and want to try, that getting through the women’s ones is an effort let alone taking a gamble on which of the gazillion mens fragrances might suit us! A lot of my mens fragrance discoveries have been through actually looking for stuff for guys to try to wean them off Joop! or Cool Water 😉 February 19, 2015 at 9:07am Reply

        • Elisa: I usually try to buy my husband stuff that I would also wear. 🙂 He has a couple that aren’t my thing, but mostly I like them on him AND me! February 19, 2015 at 9:09am Reply

          • Lynley: That’s my strategy too 😉 February 19, 2015 at 9:36am Reply

            • SarahM: Mine too! In fact, my husband isn’t fussy at all and often asks me what he should wear before leaving the house. He knows it makes me happy! If we’re going out to dinner together I’ll choose complimentary scents 🙂 February 20, 2015 at 1:03am Reply

              • Elisa: We also do this! Recently I’ve been spritzing him with Midnight in Paris. February 20, 2015 at 10:50am Reply

  • Aurora: What a good idea to review this one, Elisa. I’ve neglected L’Occitane these past few years I remember how excited I was when it first opened while I was growing up in Paris.
    Now, I’ll make sure to sample L’Eau des Baux soonest. February 20, 2015 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Elisa: I hope you like it! February 21, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

  • Liisa: This reminds me a lot of Bulgari Black minus the rubber, smoke and the sweaty bit 😉 A nice woody and ambery vanilla. February 24, 2015 at 11:41am Reply

    • Elisa: Ah, now I wonder how they’d be layered together! February 24, 2015 at 11:43am Reply

      • Liisa: Heh, I was wearing Black when I tried Eau des Baux. It was already into the drydown so I couldn’t tell the difference 🙂

        I must say though that Black behaves differently each time I wear it. Sometimes, I get Shalimar. Sometimes, it’s a vanilla bomb straight out the gate. Mostly, it’s rubbery and spicey and sweaty before settling down. (I especially loooove the sweaty note. It’s so much fun with a glass of wine.) February 24, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

        • Elisa: A little bit of a sweaty note can be so nice! February 24, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

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