Guerlain Boise Torride

There should be a warning at the top of this. New Guerlainperfume  post, insert old New Guerlain perfume post.

Let’s do something happy before we move on to the mundane. The winners of the Carter L’Heure sample sets are: Klara and Bursztyn. Just click the Contact Us over on the left, send me your mailing address and remind me what I’m sending you, and I’ll get them off to you!

Also, for those that asked about that way cool clock in last week’s post – I don’t think it exists anywhere, it looks like a photoshop, but if someone would get to work building one, I know I”d buy one too.

Okay, Boise Torride is the latest in Guerlain’s Elixirs Charnels collection and has notes of bergamot, tangerine, pink pepper, marshmallow harmony, orange blossom, jasmine, patchouli, white musk and cedar.  Some of those notes sounded a little fussy to me, so I was happy enough to find it fairly woody on the open, and it was pretty much like most of the new Guerlains.  Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m a huge fan of the La Matiere series, I find myself wearing them a lot, but I have noticed that they tend to be closing on interchangeable.  They are beautiful, easy to wear, but the more that come ou -, and I put the Elixirs Charnels in the same category, but far closer to interchangeable because they seemed to pick up after the La Matieres, but without their character – the more forgettable the individual ones are getting.

The names, and I’m not going back and revisiting March’s wish for Bois du Matin, are certainly interesting. Hot wood?  Is my barbaric French translation close?  I’ll give it the wood, but I don’t get the hot part of it.  In the long drydown, it gets a little muddy to my nose. That doesn’t make it icky, I just can’t get a good feel for what it’s supposed to be. Woody marshmallow?  Can we see how something soft like marshmallow shouldn’t be in a perfume called Boise Torride?  Of course we can.  At the bottom, there’s a note that reads slightly bitter to me that will keep this one from being something I would wear.

So I like it, it’s soft floral wood, very much like other completely likable Elixirs Charnels and La Matieres, but it’s not very much different.  So for $250 for 75 mls, you probably only need to pick out one of these to take home.

Maybe I’m just on a post-VCA/Cartier/MFK bummer?  Those did much to restore my joy in new perfumes, thinking, yeah, we have done it all, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it better.  Boise Torride is good, but it’s just not better, and I want that perfume bar to keep getting set higher. I want surprise and joy.

Hey, I know, you can’t always get what you want.

  • Kathryn says:

    Completely off topic, but I enjoy that the wolf killing governor of Idaho is named Butch Otter. I taught my animal rights supporting kids that this would be Butch loutre in French. All you have to do is drop the -re and le voilå, Butch the Lout. Apologies to all sweet otters.

    • Kathryn says:

      From the other person who posts here and elsewhere as Kathryn: I really wish that your blogging software would not allow two people to post under the same name. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I see the name I have been posting under associated with stuff like this.

  • violetnoir says:

    Yep, as Mick drawled, “You can’t always get what you want…you get what you need,” and it sounds like you got what you needed in the VCAs, Cartiers and MFKs, Patty.

    But I know what you mean by always wanting more, especially from a house like Guerlain.

    Now I admit that of their recent offerings, I liked Paris-New York the best, but I don’t think I like it enough to buy it. Let’s see what I think about this one.


  • sweetlife says:

    So, the thing that baffles me about these is — why not make scents like these for general consumption? Why do smell-alikes for your prestige line?

    • Patty says:

      That’s what I can’t figure out. These seem much more like Insolence, etc, which I like, but the price point matches what you’ve got, a very nice Guerlain that I didn’t plunk down a fortune for. But which I’ll wear because it’s pretty

  • Meliscents says:

    Your comment on wanting “surprise & joy” is exactly where I am right now. I’ve hit a brick wall in the perfume world. I’m at the point now that with as many as I have (& love) it has to be groundbreaking, knee buckling, surprise & joy for me to shell out the huge amounts of money being asked for these mediocre fragrances. Plus, it seems it’s all been done. If a new rose floral comes out I just reach for JOY or YSL Paris. If it’s the newest green, leather chypre I just fall back on Azuree or Miss Dior. It’s been SO LONG since I just had to have something that it’s making me a bit sad. I think the only line that hasn’t totally failed me is Chanel. I’m completely in love with Sycomore but can’t justify the $200 or the gallon size offered. Guess I’ll just have to keep a decant around.:((

    • Patty says:

      I know. The past year or so, up to now, has felt like that for me. Which is horrible for a perfumista, because when you start this journey, there’s so much great stuff because you’re smelling it for the first time, old and new, and you realize how much is amazing that you love or admire.

      so it gets harder the longer you’ve been doing this because you do have favorites that you compare everything else to. And that’s as it should be. You can’t love everything, taste is rejecting a lot of other things to love the one thing.

  • Shelley says:

    First of all, congrats to Klara & Burztyn! Enjoy!

    Hmmm. So the Guerlain Metier are better than “meh,” but just not all that? It would be cool if they were almost as good as the Cartier but at a lower price point. This trying to ride the edge of max price…I wonder just how big the pool is of peeps who will pay top dollar for top quality fragrance? Can’t be THAT big. Nor can the pool of people who will buy just because a certain name is on there. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

    I hate to drag this out again, but remember the good old days, when the kvetching about price was directed at Chanel and their “outrageous” pricetag on 200ml of product? /:)

    • Norjunma1 says:

      It seems to me like there’d be more people out there willing to plunk down hard-earned dubloons for tres-chic, forward-thinking niche brands like Le Labo and Strange Invisibles (even with their goofy marketing ploys) than for grand old houses like Guerlain. If my guess is correct then Guerlain/LVMH is playing a risky game with its aspirational pricing.

    • Patty says:

      Oh, no! I LOVE the Matieres. It’s the Elixirs Charnel, which the Boise Torride is part of, that I can’t get a feel for. They just are muddy. The La Matieres each are distinct, and despite being incredibly pricey, I wear them all the time, along with the Double Vanille thing, which it’s time to start wearing that again.

      I know! At least with the Chanels, you got 200 mls so you could split it up with three friends and feel pretty good about it.

      • Shelley says:

        Oof! Thanks for clarifying. My brain is addled enough as it is…when I have to juggle too many words in French (which I never studied, so I’m going to learn more hear from the dialogue @ french language then I ever expected to), I go all overload. Sorry.

        Okay, yay Matiere! (The only one I’ve experienced is Angelique Noire, which I do enjoy quite a bit.)

        Am I supposed to share my jug of Bois des Isles?? =p~ heh, heh

  • March says:

    So, limp wood? I thought it smelled pretty limp. Yeah, they all start to smell alike. This wasn’t the total Guerlain vat o’powder thing, but close enough, with some “molten woods” in there, like they’d crossed it with EL Sensuous or some such.

    The SA in Bergdorf was very careful to correct my pronunciation, they must get tired of hearing “Bwah” all day long, (it’s Bwa-ZAY, I guess, like CC said). But at least I didn’t say “BoYZ.” Right?

  • Melissa says:

    I liked a number of the La Matiere series and I find them to be just distinctive enough to own a couple of them. The Elixers have done nothing for me so far, although I haven’t tried Boise Torride yet. Of other recent releases, I love the crazily (over?) priced Les Secrets de Sophie. But every time I wear it, I have to repeatedly spritz it for the gorgeous top notes. Oh and over the summer, I repeatedly talked myself out of buying Tokyo from the Voyage Collection.

    Oh and CC, I had stopped smirking until you reminded me to start again!

    • Patty says:


      I do like the Sophie, which that scent would have worked better as far as remembering what it is in the Charnels. They need at least one scent in that series to stand out more distinctly so I can get a bead on the rest.

      I like the Voyage collection MUCH better than ECs.

  • Louise says:

    I’m still crushing on my Matiere fav-Angelique Noire, and do feel this would satisfy my need for a “new” Guerlain.

    Off to bath in vintage Mitsouko PdT 😮

    • Patty says:

      AN is gorgeous. It too me a while to really appreciate that one and Cuir Beluga, but I eventually came around to love both of them.

      Some bath! 🙂

    • violetnoir says:

      Ooh, that’s my fave too, Louise. I absolutely love it, but didn’t when I first sampled it. Then a perfume friend gave me a small decant, and I was hit so hard, I ordered a full bottle the very next day. It’s definitely on my top three list!

      Hope you are well.

      Big hugs!

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Doesn’t sound like this particular Guerlain is going to set my heart on fire. I’ve been put off ever since hearing the phrase “marshmallow accord.” Aimed at 12-year-olds, or what? Oh, hang on, it’s $250.

    Thanks for the review! I really do need to try those Cartiers, though, don’t I?

    • Patty says:

      See, I feel really bad about this. I DO like this one, but it’s too much like the others and doesn’t carve out any special place. I thikn all the ECs have been that way. I can’t remember which one is which. The Matieres are much mor distinct for me, they each have a direction/pov that I can put in my head easily

      You do need to at least sniff the Cartiers. They’re at Liberty, aren’t they?

  • Klara says:

    Yay, I won the sample set! Thank you.
    Can’t wait to try them.

  • carmencanada says:

    First the French lesson: “Boisé”, with an accent on the “e”, pronounced like the letter “a”, is an adjective and thus means “woody”, with no sexual connotation whatsoever in French, so don’t smirk in the back of the class, you guys! It’s the perfume family (like the chypre, gourmand and oriental of the series). “Torride”, well, that’s a word in English too… In French, we use it quite commonly to talk about something hot, this time in the sexual sense, but it isn’t slang like “hot” (we use “chaud” in the same context).

    That said, I hear you on the bummer: I’m so in love with two of the Cartiers (XII and XIII) that I can barely tear apart from them except for my all-time favorites, and I haven’t been able to write a bona fide review since. Now *that’s* torride.

    • Louise says:

      Funny to think that Boise, ID is truly “woody” or “wooded” :d/

      • carmencanada says:

        Well there you go. They should order oodles of the scent.

      • sweetlife says:

        Um, well…I grew up there. And it is indeed woody and wooded. And it was named by some French guys who had been travelling through the sage brush deserts that surround the Treasure Valley (yeah, uh huh, OK, I can hear you snickering now, and that really is the name of the valley) and when they came over yet another one of the dusty, dry hills, they looked down into the beautiful narrow river valley at all the green trees and–presto! My hometown…

        • Louise says:

          Ah, it’s so lovely. I’m an Oregonian, treasured my time in Idaho.I’d love to get back and do some fly-fishing 🙂

    • Norjunma1 says:

      Denyse @ Grain de Musc had some interesting things to say about the similarities between the word “boise” and “baiser” (with all the latter’s attendant, eyebrow-raising meanings). If the verbal interplay was intended then there’s that extra layer of “hotness” to consider in the name.

      That being said, marshmallow harmonies and torrid passions don’t seem to match up for me.

      And congrats to Klara and Bursztyn!

    • Patty says:

      I was so hoping you would show up and help us out with our French. I knew the e on the end changed it somehow, but?

      So Boise, Idahoe should be pronounced Bwazay? I’m so using that pronunciation when I talk to my brother, who lives there.

      I hear you on the Cartiers. I have as much love for the VC&As too, and the MFKs. Between those three, I’m awash in new loves, which is great until you have to actually pay attention and write about other stuff.

  • carter says:

    I am laughing at the “Carter L’Heure” reference in the second para. If only! ;))

    • Shelley says:

      Ha! I saw that and wondered if I had woken up in a parallel universe. If so, I would be hunting you down… 😉

    • Patty says:

      My typing is a trainwreck, but I like the Carter L’Heures better!

      • carter says:

        Oh, me too >:d< Actually, Cartier was my maternal grandmother's maiden name, which was changed to Carter when the family came to America from France. I should probably do a search of my family tree to see if I can come up with a connection to some really good jewelry. Oh darn, no bling emotihead; not even a fleur de lis. I guess I'll have to settle for a plain old fleur @};-