Bois D’Armenie – Guerlain

Bois D'Armenie

Bois D’Armenie opens with a bitter myrrh and pink pepper undercut with a potent, creamy vanilla/benzoin mix. A trail of incense smoke quickly comes up front – any harsh, peppered spice and citrus notes smoothed and dissolved by the almost gourmand like notes underneath.

At times during the opening it kind of makes my mouth water, but the resins underneath take it away from being anything edible. A hint of patchouli comes in from the base, paired with the sweet vanilla it gives off a subtle cocoa aroma (in the same way that Angel does but not as sweet and… tacky). The cocoa mirage never gets sweet or cloying, in fact it’s pretty translucent, with the bitterness of incense and myrrh, patchouli and a touch of labdanum counterbalancing the benzoin overload that runs throughout.

As it begins to settle and the fruity peppery notes disappear, what is left is a relatively straightforward benzoin, the incense releasing a slight metallic scent, and a trail of smoke gently underneath. The amber base is a little irritating, and the patchouli comes in and out of focus – I’m never too sure how well it fits in here.

The texture dries down a little powdery (amber/iris?), and the straightforward bitter/sweet/smoky vanilla finishes Bois D’Armenie, relying on the disguised patchouli and a labdanum stain for support – given translucency by a clean musk. It sounds complicated and lush in writing, but it falls pretty flat on my skin very quickly, the top and heart vanishing within minutes and the base taking over for a linear drydown.
It’s nice enough whilst it lasts, but nowhere near complicated, rich or, embarrassingly, powerful enough for me to consider it the masterpiece that so many do.

Bois D’Armenie 75ml Guerlain – £??? Guerlain Boutiques

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16 thoughts on “Bois D’Armenie – Guerlain

  1. I wish you would have posted this yesterday as I was at a store that had had this and we could have compared notes. I am feeling very Guerlainy as of late and really like Derby and specifically went in to sniff that.

    • Owww sorry Houndy :P I was going to as well! Changed my mind when I picked up my PoaL sample.
      There’s not much to compare unfortunately :( You have the best Guerlain vanilla in the line already :P (Spiriteuse).
      Really? I struggle with Guerlain – I only own Lys Soleia because it’s a great, cheap, casual wear in the spring and summer. I’m desperate for a bottle for Terracotta Voile D’Ete which can be found pretty cheap on eBay. I’m not a huge Guerlain fan to be honest :(
      Derby ey? Anything else catching your eye/nose?

      • No, as I was communicating with Undina earlier I also tested Shalimar Vanille only to find that it still doesn’t create love for me towards Shalimar.

      • I’m not a Shalimar fan either :( I’m more a L’Heure Bleue kinda person but am yet to find the perfect formulation of it – the current EDP I think is pretty bang on for me :)

  2. laniersmith says:

    I am feeling Guerlainy too, but that is no surprise. I sampled this at the Guerlain counter at Neiman Marcus here. The only place in San Francisco that carries the complete line. I found it to be very much like you describe here. Almost fascinating but not quite there. Great review Freddy!

  3. Oh, Bois D’Armenie, how I love thee! I would be over the moon if I owned a full bottle of this, but alas, all my money went to a fb of Iris Ganache.

  4. Melis says:

    I have never tried Bois D’Armenie. We do not have a Guerlain boutique around these parts. The local department store only carries Shalimar, Samsara and the like. I did get a sample of Jicky PdT in one of my sample orders, I enjoyed it very much. As well as Après L’ondee, which I didn’t really “get” at first because my skin seemed to tamp the scent down. But one day it just clicked and I experienced what others had described in their accounts of the fragrance.

    • What do you think to L’Heure Bleue? You mentioned all the classics apart from that one :P
      I like Apres, but it’s far too quiet on me and that just kills it.
      Jicky is nice – be sure to sniff Vero’s Kiki if you get the chance.

      • Melis says:

        Lol, haven’t tried L’Heure Bleue. Nowhere to sniff it around here and I never thought to order a sample previously. BUT I have sampled Kiki parfum. I sampled it at the same time I sampled Rubj and admittedly didn’t give it a fair sampling as Rubj stole my heart immediately. I will have to revisit it.

      • :O Oh mannnn! I’m not saying like, rush and try it, but it’s one of the few classics I get on with, still not sure if I’d wear it you know….
        Yes Rubj and Onda both outdid Kiki for me, until I put them aside and appreciated Kiki for what it is :)

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