Saturday, August 18, 2007

Miel de Bois by Serge Lutens

Got a care package a few days ago from Aedes. Actually, I had to pay for it, but it was worth it. The Tubereuse from L’Artisan Parfumeur came along with several samples of different Serge Lutens fragrances –something for winter -- that I had requested. We’ll get to the Tubereuse a little later. I’m too compelled to discuss one of the Serge Lutens samples: Miel de Bois.

Before I started writing this, I googled Miel de Bois to see what other people might think about this perfume. It is different. By and large, the jury does not seem to be with this one. This doesn’t surprise me, but I am a bit disappointed. Different does not have to mean awful.

I really like Miel de Bois, but it's unusual, oh boy. I mean you either love it or you hate it, from the reviews I have read. It’s kind of like a study in black and white -- set in a Catholic Church. Right out of the bottle, Miel de Bois opens with a fragrant blast of sweet wild honey immediately tempered with the pontifical scent of guaiacwood. What? That’s right. Guaiacwood. For the uninitiated, guaiacwood is a smoky, deep, woody scent, highly reminiscent of the incense that Catholic priests wave through the air on high holidays. I am sure there are lots of other notes in between the honey and the guaiacwood, but I’ll be darned if I can smell them. I sense myrrh and frankincense and perhaps a tip of the hat toward galbanum.

The drydown on Miel de Bois is the best part. The smoky scent of the wood melds into the honey and takes on an ephemeral, powdery dimension. I find the scent to be fleeting in drydown, but when I inhale deeply at a pulse point, I can smell the guaiacwood again and it seems to linger.

Miel de Bois is a puzzler. It works well for both men and women. I am wondering how it might smell as a soap – if the scent will transfer nicely, or if it will morph into something else.

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