Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Parfumerie Generale - Bois Naufragé

Summer lovers in a bottle

Bois Naufragé was inspired by the gorgeous photograph "Nu au bois flotté" by Lucien Clergue (1971). Sexy skin, sun-bleached wood and a sea breeze would be what you'd expect from this image.

There's been some disagreement on the perfumes blogs about whether Bois Naufragé fulfills expectations. Now Smell This didn't find it oceanic or sexy. Confessions of  a Perfume Nerd smelled pina colada.

But I'm one of those for whom Bois Naufragé works perfectly. To me, it smells like the beach. It starts with a very green note combined with coconut and the milky sweetness that together makes fig to my nose. The figs are salted with that fleur de sel note, but it's light, not over bearing the way I found Côte d'Amour to be too salty. In the middle there's a light, tart note, like a trace of lime. The dry down is slightly woody and musky.
Ok, that's not sounding beachy is it? But if I stop concentrating on the individual notes and just smell, Bois Naufragé resolves into the smell of the beach. There's a light sea breeze, the warm, lactonic (milky-sweet) and salty skin of someone nearby – sun tan oil washed off by the ocean – sand dunes and grasses all around.

Bois Naufragé reminds me of the movie Summer Lovers. The fig and the sea salt seem perfect for Greece. It gives me that relaxed, endless summer by the beach feel.

House: Parfumerie Generale
Nose: Pierre Guillaume
Notes: carob tree, also called "fig of Egypt", treated as driftwood, fleur de sel, ambergris

Photo: Le Nu au bois flotté, by Lucien Clergue
Image: Summer Lovers (1982) 


  1. I'm all about the smell of the beach so this sounds perfect. I can't keep up with PG sometimes but this is going to be a must try for me now. Thanks

  2. Gorgeous review...I find the concept of a beach/ocean/sea smell varies so much from person to person.

    I'm new to the fig note. I didn't care for Premier Figuier, but the fig in Bois de Paradis is lovely, sweet, milky and slightly nutty. A fig amongst beachy notes is something I am more than willing to try.

  3. Rose: M. Guillaume is a busy perfumer isn't he?

    JoanElaine: The fig is a little like Premier Figuer, so you might not like it. I didn't get any fig in Bois de Paradis, i should go back and try it again.

  4. I'm not sure if this is a perfume I would like, but you sure make it sound appealing. I am a fig lover, so I may need to try this.

  5. Give it a try Josephine! It's not holographic fig tree like Philosykos, or flowery figs like Premier Figuer; it's more of the scent of fig carried on a sea breeze.

  6. I smelt this when I was down in London last, and am firmly in the camp who love it, indeed I am eagerly awaiting a decant from a Basenotes member in the States!


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