Roger & Gallet Bois d’Orange : Perfume Review

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When I was preparing the bitter orange series and researching fragrances that showcase neroli and bitter orange, Roger & Gallet’s Bois d’Orange ended up at the top of my list. I also realized that although I had written plenty about this excellent cologne, I haven’t published a proper perfume review. This is an omission, because Bois d’Orange deserves more attention.

Bois d’Orange blends orange blossom and citrus notes with herbs and the result is a dry martini of a fragrance. This genre of cologne is the most uplifting and rejuvenating on a warm day–or whenever you need a pick-up. It’s easy to wear, easy to enjoy–and at 20 euros for a bottle, easy on the wallet.

The effervescent first impression is of sweet citrus. Think orange zest that has been grated and dried slightly. A hint of pine and spice gives it an aromatic edge, and with time, this interplay between citrus and herbs becomes more pronounced. The finish is of dry woods, classical and polished. Bois d’Orange lasts for a few hours, but in any case, it’s a cologne–it’s meant to refresh you and to depart with few lingering traces.

As far as colognes go, Bois d’Orange is bright but austere, which puts it in the company of fragrances like Eau de Guerlain and Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte. Bois d’Orange is simpler, plainer and more straightforward, but this directness doesn’t detract from its appeal. Of course, if you like sweet, warm, musky fragrances and prefer citrus tempered and toned down, then it won’t be a good choice. In that case, I would instead recommend Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine.

Bois d’Orange, like the entire Roger & Gallet range, is available in various body products such as lotions and shower gels. The soap is particularly good, with its deliciously fresh orange flower accent.

Roger & Gallet Eau Fraîche Parfumée Bois d’Orange includes notes of mandarin, verbena, basil, neroli, orange blossom, amber, cedarwood.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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24 Comments

  • Kelly: This sounds so lovely for the muggy summer S FL environment I live in ! Do you know where I might find it for purchase? Way de Guerlain has been my go to fir some years (I live near the Palm Beach bout it’s done is easy to access).
    Thank you! April 19, 2021 at 9:10am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t live in the US, so I don’t know where it’s available in FL. Try checking online. April 19, 2021 at 2:54pm Reply

      • Kelly: Thank you ! April 19, 2021 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Dina C.: Based on one of your previous mentions of this scent, I bought the shower gel, and I am loving it. Each time I use it, it fills the bath with a beautiful woodsy citrus scent that is so uplifting and serene. It’s been a perfect match for this winter-into-spring season. It’s harder to find Roger et Gallet products now, but worth it to search them out in my opinion. They’re good value. Thank you Victoria. I love your blog and your videos. April 19, 2021 at 10:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Dina!

      I also love the woody citrus aspect of this cologne. It’s so refreshing. April 19, 2021 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Kneale: I am so happy to see your wonderful review of one of my favorite scents, Victoria. My husband wears it all the time and for some reason, it lasts ages on him. We both wore it all the time when we lived in Turkey and it was great worn with lemon kolonya, too. The woods and citrus worked so well in the heat. April 19, 2021 at 11:08am Reply

    • Hilde: Me to. I am also very glad with your review of this cologne Victoria, because it is my favourite cologne for many years. And the excellent soap is also a very affordable luxury. April 19, 2021 at 12:49pm Reply

      • Victoria: I’m so glad to hear that this fragrance has many fans! April 19, 2021 at 2:56pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Great to hear that you find the soap excellent. I see it on ebay quite often and at reasonable prices. I do wonder though: does it smell of orange? And does the scent last? What is your experience?
        I have the R&G Osmanthus soap which to me smells of green tea (no fan of that!). And Vétiver which is a little wan. Only the vintage Oeillet is luscious, as well as creamy. April 19, 2021 at 3:28pm Reply

        • Joy: I have enjoyed the soap for years. I look forward to trying the fragrance. It can be purchased in the US on Amazon. I always look for other suppliers just to give them a chance.
          I have a small spray of Jo Malone Orange Blossom. It is not a favorite. It seems heavy and overwhelming. April 19, 2021 at 4:13pm Reply

          • Victoria: It’s quite dry and woody, rather than floral. April 20, 2021 at 2:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Now that you mention it, it would make a terrific kolonya! April 19, 2021 at 2:56pm Reply

  • Klaas: Roger & Galley is such a wonderful brand, and a house hold name in France; their products are very good and reasonably priced. This one sounds very enticing!

    And yes, it is always better to buy from a local retailer than from a online mega store….. April 19, 2021 at 5:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: We have a small pharmacy next door, and I usually buy there. The selection is limited, but they often run sales. April 20, 2021 at 2:41am Reply

      • Klaas: I’m all for little pharmacies next door 🙂 April 20, 2021 at 5:32am Reply

      • Klaas: And even more for little book stores next door, but that’s a whole different topic! April 20, 2021 at 5:33am Reply

  • Andy: Thank you for a reminder of this terrific cologne—one of the best! I always have one dedicated all-purpose cologne going at all times, to be used generously for bath, body, and home use. I think this will be the next one I choose for this purpose. April 20, 2021 at 8:55am Reply

  • Silvermoon: As mentioned a few posts ago, I am currently using the soap. It’s very refreshing with a herbal undertone, and perfect for spring. I often use the soap and sometimes the lotion in the summer months, but have never used the cologne. So, I shall look out for it next chance I get. Thanks for the review. April 20, 2021 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Eudora: I loved “that” carnation Roger Gallet soap so SO much this Summer. Very vintage to my nose. Do they make a cologne of the same range? Or what fragances captures “that” smell?
    Soaps are a delight. The best I’ve had -I am nobody- is the Chanel n5. I think about it as the cheaper luxury ever because I used it a whole year long, twice a day…divine.
    I have only tried the Roger Gallet Fig cologne but found it very sweet, honey sweet. For that reason I have not tried more colognes from the brand but Bois d’Orange sounds very tempting. Thanks Victoria! April 20, 2021 at 5:06pm Reply

  • limegreen: Not for the last time do I wish drugstores in the US would carry this, or even 4711. I always pick up a small bottle of Bois d’Orange from a pharmacy in travels to the UK or Europe, and without any travelling in two years, your column is a reminder of the small pleasures in life. Thank you for this lovely review, Victoria.
    Did I imagine that you once mentioned in a comment (not an article) that Ropion was one of the perfumers for Bois d’Orange? April 21, 2021 at 10:28am Reply

  • MaryAnn Popper Hardy: I am gratified to discover this in my INBOX this morning! I can’t wait to try it. And I WILL find it and most likely love it. It still breaks my heart (really) that R & G no longer make Santal, which to my mind was the most beautiful, sweet scent in the universe of fragrances. Perhaps it was the setting in which I was introduced to it: a small Vietnamese restaurant in Paris, a bowl of steaming, scented towels brought to us immediately after we were seated. The hottest summer on record, the comfort of being with my loved ones who were living there, the anticipation of cuisine I had never had, and the elegant hostess/owner who came to our table to answer my question: What IS this beautiful fragrance? She hurried out and returned with a bottle of Santal. I left Paris with two in my bag. That was 1983. Within just a few years, it was no more and I had used the last of my own. It was beautiful in every possible way. But I’ve learned from sad experiences that IF they would release it again, it could be re-formulated and nothing like the enchanting Santal I met in Paris.

    If Bois d’Orange is half as wonderful, R & G will be redeemed! 🙂 April 21, 2021 at 11:48am Reply

  • Rosie Jeffery: So lovely to find this review this afternoon Victoria! I am a huge fan of the shower gel, but haven’t tried the cologne. Next time I catch the bus into town, I will treat myself to a bottle! 😃 April 22, 2021 at 9:26am Reply

  • Zazie: I am incredibly fond of Roger & Gallet soaps… They are inextricably linked to the memory of my late grandmother, who treasured the ornate boxes in which came the 3 soaps sets – she used them to store her jewelry.
    I remember endless lazy afternoons as a kid, trying out garnet necklaces from the boxes that still retained their original perfume…

    Some of those garnets are lying, as I write, against my chest. A stone for deep autumns – a coloring I share with my beloved grandmother.

    I’ve never really loved R&G perfumes, and am not too fond of the revamped packaging and scents, because you don’t want certain things to ever change.
    But everything does, eventually, right?
    I still buy their 3 soap sets, occasionally… they feel precious and special to this day. 🙂 April 22, 2021 at 11:52am Reply

  • Aurora: ‘A dry martini of a fragrance’, your reviews are so evocative, Victoria. I was not familiar with Bois d’Orange (I only have Amande Persane and Fleur d’Osmanthus) but I am going to look for it, available in department stores, here in the UK. April 22, 2021 at 2:16pm Reply

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