Bohemian Spice is pretty much a patchouli soliflore from the get-go, but with an awesome, herbal, camphor-filled opening stung by a hit of orange. The orange is more gourmand than cologne-like, the patchouli giving off a bit of a cocoa vibe as it tends too, but never quite turning edible. The camphor is enhanced a bit by a lavender/rosemary type smell – softened with a hint of powder, with the “spice” being a touch of cloves.
The herbal opening softens pretty quickly (a side to natural perfumery that often puts many off – it has a tendency to be rough and pretty aggressive up top), and as a vanilla/benzoin/amber joins the patchouli – it seems to overtake it a little bit and leads to a relatively linear drydown. I like a good patchouli/vanilla drydown and this is one – I do kind of wish that Bohemian Spice went in a slightly different direction though as I feel like I’ve smelt good examples of this kind of thing in many other fragrances, Von Eusersdorff’s Classic Patchouli to name another.
However, lovely quality – after the hard-hitting opening: a little, soft, comfort scent that clings to the skin for a good few hours longer than expected – sweet, creamy, and classical – a really easy to enjoy patchouli.
I love the start to Precious Woods as I expected a big, faux-oud accord and got a pine-y, resinous, bitter, herbal, incense thing! The pine isn’t softened into a jammy, forest scent like usual, and instead is again camphorous, herbal, with a sticky texture and a black colour. It’s surprisingly light from the start though, nowhere near at least as dense as it could be (should be?). Underneath is a bone dry cedar and a fantastic sandalwood smell, nothing like the syrupy Lutens’ interpretations that I’m all too used to smelling these days (and admittedly love!).
Here, the smell is a subtle waft of wood chippings, a hint of smoke and a bit of forest-floor… basically it smells like camping. Precious Woods gets translucent very quickly, and remains a linear, woodsy cedar/sandalwood combo with just a touch of vetiver and patchouli in the base - the camphorous and high-pitched qualities in the opening vanish within minutes. Ok so I like it, but again I feel I need a little more. Maybe I’m not entirely used to the simplicity of these fragrances (a line signature it seems). This is about as straightforward as it can get – relying on great quality naturals to survive in a market surrounded by other good wood (and pine) fragrances.
All in all, a fragrance that starts very nice and ends a little minimal for me – whereas Bohemian Spice I can forgive because that vanillachouli is just so damn delicious. Both however, great reference fragrances for sure – an easy way to identify certain characteristics in fragrances genres for a newbie whilst experience awesome quality. I think I prefer my naturals to be laden with florals – and there are thankfully some fab ones in this line up I’m yet to write about…