Can I start off by saying how amazing LuckyScent is? I remember when they first came on the scene, they were purveying a few niche brands; now they are THE source for all scents niche. I want to go to L.A. to live in their warehouse. It makes sense – I’d save a bundle on international shipping charges.
It’s been a long time since I reviewed anything remotely niche, and Bois Naufrage is a damn fine place to start. I haven’t been blown away by much recently, but when I received Lee’s sample bonanza a couple of weeks ago, this one blew me away. I’ve always been into fig, but this is something altogether different. It is salty, woody, after shave-y, slightly coconutty, musky, mercurial fig; yesterday my 12 year-old cousin told me I smelled like cotton candy. Officially, the notes are (according to LuckyScent): fig tree, ambergris, fleur de sel accord, which is comprised of vetiver, orris, mint, neroli and hedione.
I began a love affair with Parfumerie Generale a few years ago. Coze kicked it off, followed by Aomassi, Intrigant Patchouli, Musc Maori, Cadjmere, Cedre Sandaraque and Bois de Copaiba. There were a few others I flirted with, but these were my faves. I wore them all consistently and with relish. I was hooked like an ice addict being chased by Dog the Bounty Hunter.
The thing I loved most about all these PG scents was that on my skin, they were totally linear. How they smelled when I first put them on was how they smelled 3 or 4 hours later. Despite their lack of evolution, I found them enchanting; unlike anything I’d ever smelled. I totally dig the fact that Pierre Guillaume made the trek from chemist to perfumer; it is evident in all his compositions, even the ones I’m not so crazy about. And Bois Naufrage manages to be something totally different, while it remains loyal to the alchemy of his previous creations.
The first time I smelled it I was literally speechless; the fig burst out of the sample vial, smelling similar to L’Artisan’s Premier Figuier, but with a slightly less milky quality. This fig is greener, like Marc Jacobs for Men, but it has a salty, oceany (not ozone) quality that differentiates it from any other fig fragrance I’ve ever smelled. On Wednesday, it was totally crisp, green, salty and slightly after shave-y. Yesterday, it was figgy and milky and musky. No green, no salt. About 3 hours after putting it on, I received the cotton candy compliment from my rambunctious little cousin. She wasn’t far off – it was all sweet and musky and yes, it did smell like cotton candy; cotton candy and fig.
There’s a lot of niche I haven’t smelled in the past couple of years: none of the Byredo scents, nor Boadicea the Victorious, and a whole whack of others. Honestly, I just wasn’t interested. Now, the ground has (literally) shifted and I am interested again. All it takes is one.
Stay tuned for my foray into Humiecki and Graef. Or, as we at the Posse affectionately like to refer to them, “Humiecki and Daft”.
Since you had a few days to rest your weary brains during our short hiatus, here’s something to think about: Which niche line impresses you? Which one is a total waste of time? You can pick more than one for each.
Disclosure: My sample of Parfumerie Generale Bois Naufrage was ferried across the Pond courtesy of darling handsome Lee.