Guerlain’s L’Art et la Matiere line has really escaped my attention for quite a long time, until I smelled Iris Ganache, which has quickly become a favorite. Before IG, I was thinking they were a little on the boring side or at least didn’t capture my interest, but finding love with Iris Ganache prompted me to snag some Bois d’Armenie to try and now I may have to revisit the whole specific line.
Based on the scented paper that is burned for incense, Bois d’Armenie has notes of pink pepper, iris, rose, coriander, benzoin, Indonesian patchouli, incense, precious woods, musk and balsams. First spritz is very smoky, almost tarry, an almost bitter, ashy blast. As it dries down, the ash smell softens, the flowers emerge from the ash-covered earth, softened by the woods and vanilla. It is like hope and life that always comes from destruction, but there is a gossamer feel to it like smoke, but it as smooth as a velvety iris petal.
Wearing it is a pure joy, the sillage wafts and enfolds you in velvet smoke. This is how I think Bogie would smell. Yes, I’m sure he smelled of real stale cigarette smoke and strong whiskey, but it’s my fantasy, you get out of my head and stop spoiling it with reality. Since I first tried it, Bois d’Armenie is one of those that I think about putting on, even when I have something else on — it’s become a wonderful comfort scent. There is just enough smoke to give it interest, a hint of mystery, but not so much that you think you have landed in a bar or a bonfire. It’s the fantasy without the reality.
I thought about doing some other reviews with this today, this doesn’t seem quite long enough, yet it just seemed wrong to have anything share space with Armenie, because nothing should sit next to Velvet Smoke… Or Bogie.