TFPB — Bois Rouge and Tuscan Leather

Bois Rouge — this one was a surprise to me. I really didn’t expect to like it, though I’m not sure why.  Notes of citrus, spice, cedarwood, patchouli, jasmine muguet, sandalwood, vetiver, amber, leather, vanilla and tonka bean. Those are actually not bad notes for me most of the time, but I think I kept thinking it would be Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge, which was just an unmitigated horror show on my skin.  Bois Rouge is everything I wanted Chypre Rouge to be.  While there are some similarities in the open — they both have that “red” feel to them — the drydowns couldn’t be more different. Where Chypre Rouge just turned into a mess, Bois Rouge blooms.  It feels very woody on the open, but a soft, beautiful wood.  I think the base notes bring a warmth to it that makes it just lovely. There’s a phase in it that I don’t care for so much, when the patchouli and sandalwood are jockeying for position and kind of drown out the notes upon which I bestow my great love and affection, but eventually, they all work it out.  The leather in this is minimal for me. Not sure why, and does anyone else get more leather?  There’s a brief period, after the part I’m not crazy about where there’s almost a bit ‘o skank, must be the cedar, but then it settles down into a beautiful polished wood scent, that’s the closest I can come to describe it, but if definitely feels red, there’s just a hint of some spice in it to keep it from being boring.  While I think this would smell spectacular on a guy, it’s one I really love to wear.  In the sillage department, darling husband stopped me as we were doing yardwork to see what I had on, he loved it.

Tuscan Leather — notes of saffron, raspberry, thyme, olibanum, jasmine, leather, black suede, amberwood. I really expected to love this one, and I don’t hate it, and sometimes I think I almost love it, but there’s a note in there, probably the saffron and thyme, that just makes this a little off in the leather love.  I suspect this is a leather that will either fit your taste or it won’t. It’s certainly a nice, rich leather, a little rough around the edges, which gives it a charm. What is the best thing about this scent, even if you don’t have passion for it, it would be a great scent to leather up any other perfume you have that is in need of leathering.  Not my favorite leather, and it stays firmly in the bottom five of the Tom Fords.

I’m a Dog Moment of the Week

I’m pretty sure quite some time ago someone blindly waved Christian Dior Diorling under my nose and I promptly trashed it as old yucky perfume.  Early in Perfume Journeys, some of the stout, amazing stuff is so strange that you immediately don’t like it or you just dismiss it in your head because you can’t properly categorize it. Your nose has to learn to smell things that aren’t just pretty flowers or fruits and defy classic descriptions.  It has to be educated to smell complexities and weirdness and sometimes things that start ugly or just appear ugly.

I hereby recant any bad thing I ever said about any of the Diors. I am going back and sniffing them all again and finding out what a complete ass I have been.  They may not all be me, but there’s a new appreciation for the masterpieces they are.

So my question is, is there an entire line that you’ve had to rethink that you dismissed early on?  I also had to recant on the Malles and the Divines.  At first I thought they were nice enough, but not really special, and then I grew to love a couple of them, then a couple more. 

  • Bryan says:

    I suppose I am a fickle one. If I had to own up to my ultimate turnaround, that would be the formidable House of Ricci. I crave Fille d’Eve more than ever…AND I had it in my hands in London. :((
    It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.[-o<

  • MarkDavid says:

    Yes! My biggest turnaround has been L’Artisan. I recently began to fall in love with many of their scents. I still think they are far too fleeting in longevity to be acceptable, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying a few bottles.

  • Lee says:

    does this :-w gracelessly in wait for TFs….

    Turnaround? I’m such a perfume hussy, I’ve never rejected any house, though Chanel still needs some warming up to (I even had to learn to love Egoiste, in spite of my adoration on an earlier post. It took 10 years).

    *dashes off*

  • parisa says:

    For myself, I’m still struggling with Serge Lutens. Nazrin sent me a wonderful sample set to try and I’m still debating on my feelings for the scents. At times, they seem regal and at other times, I simply have the urge to wash it off, immediately:( However, I’ve come around to the line and will be the proud owner of Un Lys (hoping this week). I chose the most conventional? one in the bunch just to warm me up to the line again.

    • Patty says:

      Serge can take a while, Parisa, and on some people he never works. Clair de musc and Un Lys are great starters in that line. But sometimes a line will never work for you, and that’s okay! You can appreciate them for what they are, but they just don’t appeal to you personally or work on your skin.

      Chergui and Rousse are the richer scents that I think are the next most approachable.

      • parisa says:

        Un Lys is magical on me but CdM…a big no-no. It was the very first SL that I tried and ended up scrubbing off in nanoseconds. I even remember how it made me feel (queasy) after an entire year had lapsed. I am hoping that Rousse or Chene might be more up my alley.

    • patchamour says:


      I’ll second you on struggling with the SL’s. A la Nuit is nice, especially if layered with some sandalwood oil, but Cedre I just don’t get. I hoped it would smell like cedar, but it didn’t. Thinking I might try the Chergui.

      This is unrelated — but I’m in search of a decant of i Profumo di Firenze’s Talco Delicato. There’s a turnaround. The first time I sniffed it I thought it was a scrubber. Now I crave it, but don’t want to buy a whole bottle. Any ideas for finding it, anyone?


  • Louise says:

    My big turn-about has been Chanel, too-mostly Bois des Iles, but certainly Coromandel, and Rue Cambon. The older ones-still not there. Many of the classics (Caron, Dior) are new to me, so my virgin nasal passages get to experience them fresh. I think it’s the “grown up” stuff that’s taking awhile to learn to appreciate.

    I love both TL and BR-but still like Chypre Rouge better on me than BR. I know, I know-it’s few of us against the crowd on that one. Hmmm-I have noticed that many of the Fords do much better layered as you’all have suggested. An accident? I think not!

    • Patty says:

      Interesting, Lots of Chanel turn-arounds. wonder why that is? Aldehydes are offputting at first?

      I know you and March love the Chypre Rouge. I’m going to make one of you two wear it next time we’re in person just so I can know what it should smell like.

      I think Tom said that he intended this line to be able to go together and layer to change them, which is great if you are incredibly rich and can buy them all.

      • Maria B. says:

        Aldehydes are off-putting at first, second, and third. Then one can be fine with them. 🙂

        • Louise says:

          After rounding third, eh? It took me longer-but it is surely the aldehydes that have slowed my appreciation of Chanel.

  • Robin says:

    Just had to say that there are still plenty of Diors that you are justified in saying bad things about! I nominate Midnight Charm, for instance 🙂

    • Patty says:

      I never tried Midnight Charm. Why does the name sound foul? I should clarify that my blanket penance only applies to Diors made before 1975. Yeah, that should catch the best of them and toss out the recent ones (like the last 20 years) that I just don’t like a bit.

  • AngelaS says:

    I’m going to step in and be the one to say that I think Diorling is plenty approachable compared to many leathers! I think it’s easier than Cabochard to love and loads easier than Yatagan or Borneo. I’ve come around to the Diors, too. I’ve even been wearing Dioressence lately–lilies of the valley are blooming in my backyard and it just seems right–even though I was afraid it would seem too precious on me. I can’t say enough good about Diorella and Miss Dior.

    The line that always seems a bit off on me is Hermes, but I’m not through trying.

    • Patty says:

      It’s odd how we keep appreciating different things. I used to be much more critical of perfume. I mean, I’m still critical, but I’m learning to differentiate between my personal taste and what is a great perfume. That’s hard to do, keeping your personal likes/dislikes out of it, but usually it’s just trying to identify where your bias is. 🙂

  • Flor says:

    My biggest turnaround was Chanel as well. I remember my first reaction to them years ago. It’s quite comical to think back on it now, I was so close minded. I love nearly all the Chanels now, the only one that hasn’t won me over yet is Coco, but I still need to try it in the parfum.

    I have a special place in my heart for Dior, but not the recent ones (Miss Dior Cherie, Dior Addict, Dolce Vita). The timeless classic ones were never difficult for me to love. It was love at first sniff with me and most of them. I don’t have them all at them moment, but I have had them all through the years. Getting my hands on them now is a whole lot more challenging than it was, so uncool.

    • Patty says:

      Definitely try Coco in the parfum. It’s the only concentration I can wear of it now. The EDP is too over the top, the EDT is too thin, the parfum is just right. 🙂

      I’m doing Diorissimo today in honor of may day!

  • Judith says:

    To tell you the truth, Bois Rouge was kinda “meh” on me–nice enough, but lacking something. Then, because M. commented on its “masculine” character, I tried it on DH–and it was great! He thought so too, and promptly stole my sample!:).

    Leather fanatic that I am, I also expected to like TL more than I do. I think it is just somewhat to sweet on/for me. It really picks up when layered with Tobacco Vanille.

    With Elle on Diorling parfum–I don’t know if this is my all-time favorite (that’s an impossible decision), but it’s certainly up there. I would really like SOMEONE (I’m looking at you March), to test Roja Dove’s reformulated EDT and compare it with the vintage parfum.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, i need to get DH to put on Bois Rouge, I think I’ll love it even more there.

      Okay, we’ll put March on the EDT case. Any other reformulated ones in the EDT that we need to get to test? I know Roja is a huge fan of the Diors, so I would expect his reformulation to be perfection.

      • carmencanada says:

        Diorling is not actually Roja Dove’s reformulation, it’s the one Dior has continued to manufacture, only in edt, and only selling at a very few locations. I haven’t smelled it either: I have various formulations of the vintage (edc, edt, parfum). Even the edc is strong enough.

        • Marina says:

          What D. said. It IS the official, Dior’s Diorling, not Dove’s “dupe”…even though I am sure, should he decide to do dupes, they would be the best dupes ever. But still.

          • Judith says:

            Oh, thanks–I didn’t know. Well, that’s great! I do love Diorling. But Diorama IS reformultated?? What about the others>

  • Marina says:

    I like Bois Rouge but I like Tuscan Leather even more. As for Diorling, it is not an easy one to love. It is an austere, aloof scent that doesn’t even pretend to be lovable.

    • Patty says:

      Well, at first! 🙂 Diorling is definitely stand-offish, but it warms up so beautifully with just a little bit of time. I’m even beginning to adore that open the same way I adore Tubereuse Criminelle’s open, just to get to what comes later.

  • Solander says:

    Bois Rouge sounds lovely! I’m with you on the Tuscan Leather though, it’s weirdly unattractive although I should love it. It’s very leathery and I love leather, so what’s the problem? Unlike you, I think I didn’t find it quite rough enough, too much like velvety soft suede.

    • Patty says:

      Odd about the Tuscan Leather. I do think it will work great for some and not for others. It just leaves me in a meh frame of mind. The first time I put it on, I thought it was more smooth, but every time since then, it feels rougher. I can’t figure out why the change?

  • Elle says:

    I’m trying not to retry Bois Rouge. Only sampled it once and found myself very surprised and quite pleased. Too pleased. I already had decided I needed far too many FBs of these. Tuscan Leather is another one I’m not doing much retrying on. I’ve been using it for layering and it’s brilliant for that, but haven’t given it much solo wear. Don’t actually think it will be a must have, though. Not nearly as dangerous as the Bois Rouge.
    Diorling parfum is my favorite scent of all time. And for me, perfume sl*t of the millenium, to make that sort of commitment is massive. Haven’t tried the reformulated edt (or vintage edt), but if it’s as good as the reformulated Diorama, I have high hopes for it as well. There was a time I dismissed all Carons. Clearly, I was suffering from olfactory insanity. But I still have to say that I can’t wear the Carons except for in extrait form.

    • Patty says:

      BR is pretty gorge. I went at it three times with the same result, loved the drydown, just a serious beauty, but understated.

      I had heard Diorling is your favorite, but favorite of all time is a huge statement. I totally get it, though. there’s a danger in testing too many fragrances at one time, and Diorling is at risk there because of that open, but it is a stunner when you just give it time. Like a super-thorny, can’t be bothered exterior with just the most delightful warmth once you get to know her.

  • March says:

    Yeah, that Bois Rouge reminds me of something, not sure what — it sure dries down nicely, though, doesn’t it? All spicy and delicious.

    Biggest turnaround: *cough* Caron *cough.* I still can’t stand most of the EDTs, to be honest, or some of the EDPs, I hate that iodine smell. But the parfum! Sniffing the parfum, I went …. oh. OH. So THIS is what they’re going on about!^:)^

    • Patty says:

      I think BR is the sleeper of the bunch. I can’t remember, have you wnt through the Diors? Maybe we need to do a couple of them in a Fourplay post.

      Caron… I always knew you would come around eventually.

  • carmencanada says:

    Patty, I’m not sure I ever had to recant on a perfume house per se, as my perfumistery goes way back: once upon a time, before the blog/forum explosion, I tended to explore a house rather thoroughly and go through most of their offerings, one or two a season. Caron, then Serge Lutens, moving on to Frédéric Malle… I feel that it’s more of an ongoing discovery process, either of houses I finally “get” – my ventures in “non-niche” got me to Guerlain – or of families or notes I work myself up to as my tastes expand: from orientals to chypres/ leathers to white florals to aldehydics… It’s more of a learning curve, a bit deliberate and methodical. I’m the same way on the various topics I’ve had to treat as a writer/journalist…
    Now Diorling, that’s interesting. It was an unsniffed buy since it’s vintage and I was working my way through a list of leather chypres, starting with Bandit. To be perfectly honest I still sometimes find the bitter/medicinal topnotes rather difficult (I go from loving it in many leather chypres to tolerating it until it dissipates) but the complex floral heart is utterly beautiful. I must now get my butt out to Dior to try Diorama, which was an eBay scam Fouroaks antique “burn” – never got here.
    And, like Maria, Chanel is a rather recent discovery. I’d dismissed the house because of N°5’s ubiquitousness and of the mainstream Polges, which I used to get as gifts when I attended the Chanel shows back when I covered fashion. The discovery of the rue Cambon exclusives turned me around completely, starting with Cuir de Russie (thanks to your decants, Patty) which was the first full bottle purchase. I’m nursing my samples until I can get full bottles of N°22, Bois des Iles, 31 rue Cambon. All a matter of budget!

    • Patty says:

      You have an excellent way of goint about it. I wish I had done that, though I do find myself going back and revisiting certain houses and re-trying. Some suffer in the comparison, and some bloom.

      I’ve got some vintage Diorama EDT here that a darling friend sent me. I’m at a loss to explain why they discontinued it. I really need to find more. :-w

  • Maria B. says:

    Chanel is my biggest turnaround. I was given No. 5 on my 18th birthday and felt very grown up wearing it–but maybe I felt too grown up too soon. I had no curiosity about Chanels, and I had a stuffy attitude about aldehydes. Because I knew the limitation was mine and not the House of Chanel’s, I sent away for samples of Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie. Bois struck me and the DH as “not me” (even though it works so well for Louise). Cuir de Russie at first didn’t make much of an impression, but I tried it again and this time it clicked more. Then I kept thinking about it–you know how it goes. Now I adore it. I recently tried No. 19 and went crazy for it too.

    Another company I’ve changed my mind about is Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. My DH got samples of some of their men’s fragrances when we were still too new at the sniffing game. He disliked Iris Bleu Gris. I positively hated it. I still do! :d But Diane sent me a sample of Soir d’Orient with a purchase, and that hooked me. I recently received an unasked for sample of Magnolia Pourpre, and that hooked me too.

    I need to try Diors. I’m woefully uneducated in them. I was given Miss Dior when I was an adolescent, and I enjoyed it, but I need to do some adult research into the house. I’ve never tried Diorissimo! *goes to hide her head in shame* :”>

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I backed into appreciating the older Chanels through Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie. that whole house just has a distinctive feel to it. I’m still ignorant of the Mpgs, though I’ve tried a few, just nothing has bowled me over, though I do need to re-sample.

      Diors are just elegant and worldy, but never jaded. I’ve been very surprised in my revisit at how much I like many of them. I always liked Miss Dior. Oh, well, we’re all entitled to these lapses in judgment. 🙂