I haven’t actually posted a video on the page in a while so, I wore Bosque today and decided to talk about it.
I know I’ve gone on and on about this one already – I don’t care I love it.
I haven’t actually posted a video on the page in a while so, I wore Bosque today and decided to talk about it.
I know I’ve gone on and on about this one already – I don’t care I love it.
Bosque constantly has my mind rattling. Ever since I wrote my first impressions of it, I have never forgotten it – but then I have bought bottles and bottles of other fragrances since then and never Bosque. I’ve always tried to wonder what it is in there that I truly love, why does it have the effect of pure joy as it advertises…
Everyone says Bosque is the easiest to wear of the Humiecki & Graef line… the most generic, the least risqué in a line-up of fragrances with complicated personalities that take unexpected directions. Bosque is the most complicated to me, emotionally at least.
What opens Bosque is a bright, dewy, pastel yellow shade of dried grass, hay – a handful of saffron and an indescribable floral accord listed as “primrose and daffodil” – it’s perfect, it brings to mind exactly that: natural weeds, common flowers – things with a subtle beauty that go unnoticed amongst grander florals. There is citrus, a slightly bitter grapefruit that acts as a “lift” rather than a scent – and I love that. Since when has “joy and contentment” (the emotional concept of this fragrance) been about tangy citrus’ and fluorescent roses and indolic jasmine – these notes are so often used to create this “mood lifting” scent. Here, the opening is joyous – but in a way like no other. It’s a memory scent – the almost mundane smell of weeds and subtle florals, subtle not in the sense of their volume on the skin but rather the lack of power (scent) these flowers actually produce. The saffron a surreal spice inclusion – it’s always a mysterious ingredient and tints the fragrance in an olfactory shade, similarly to how it literally tints food in its culinary uses.
The grass? It’s not the “I love the smell of fresh-cut grass” effect, because it’s not like that at all – it’s dried, yet again a subtle aura of an almost unnoticed natural aroma given a limelight. It’s bathed in dew and sunlight but with such little lift and lack of “sparkle”. It is instantly muted – a relaxed, meditative joy. But this totally isn’t my sort of thing is it? Since when do I like such a relaxed, “happy” perfume? Maybe that’s one of the reasons I find Bosque more challenging than others – I’m not used to this emotion in the opening, and because of that, it almost unsettles me on first spray. How can it do this? Well – it can easily because so many people experience these “happy” perfumes, maybe I just choose not to hunt for them. But happy for me isn’t the imaginary flower garden and tart “fresh” citrus, and Bosque isn’t at all fresh, even from the get go – but then it’s not exactly soiled or dirty either. There is a subtly animalic/human element from afar from the initial blast… maybe it’s a mirage… the saffron? Something more sinister underneath?
What comes next is where it all gets confusing – a Secretions Magnifique metallic/salty/lactonic element. I’ve always loved the heart of Secretions Magnifique – and not its heart in terms of the construction, but more what it’s trying to achieve with its contrasting textures and elements. However, as I stated in my Secretions Magnifique review – it’s all too much. The idea is blown overboard by making it excessively loud and amping up the unsettling notes to an uncomfortable pitch. Here – the metallic element is subtle but undoubtedly evident, the lactones come in and join the florals and the grass – turning them into a “meadow juice”, like an earthy elixir – whilst the salt combines to make Bosque that touch more savoury and the lactonic note “spermy”. It’s undoubtedly familiar for those who have tried Secretions Magnifique – and it captures everything about the fragrance I love at a level that is far more accessible.
But… how perfect is that! Ironic? No, it has to be intentional: The “joy”, of course – the release! The sexual release, a burst of salty, milky, sperm – it’s not literal of course, it’s the concept through a magnifying glass – broken down into accords that give the effect perfectly. You start with the most innocent of joys, the natural meadow grass, the delicate wild flowers and the warmth of the sun (saffron/grapefruit) – followed with a more sinister but perfectly fitting blast of sperm. It congeals and morphs without ever being uncomfortable, the glory of the opening slowly blurring and disappearing into the ugly, and human aromas enveloping it. A musk just enhances this even more – a musk that isn’t glowing and white, there may be that subtle hint of laundry and clothes – and sheets, but more so the subtle hint of skin that appeared at the beginning and vanished.
Now, I said ugly… Bosque isn’t ugly, there’s not an ugly thing in here – but it’s like a dirty, unexpected stain across something so harmonious and innocent, but it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t there. Is it joy now? Most definitely, it always has been – but now I understand it more, it was there at the beginning but I couldn’t see it properly.
The vetiver drags the earth-bound opening into the base, along with the saltiness of the heart. The vetiver is bone dry, gradually soaking up the lactonic/milky notes into a crusty residue – still hinting at the moisture that was once there. It’s overlaid with a signature Humiecki & Graef “weirdness” – an almost chemical blur that verges on Iso E Super. It seems to smell more processed than that – if that’s possible: a cross between the laundry detergent previously mentioned and a more intense cleaning product – an antibacterial cream that merely attempts to scrub up the sexual crust that remains on the skin. Constantly: the memory of the innocence at the start, the true contentment of pure, unnoticed beauty, flickers to the surface of the skin – an almost tear-jerking reminder of what once was and what is now. It’s almost embarrassing. Is that ridiculous? Probably, but Bosque matures as you do – the life of the fragrance is literal, and it tells a story more so than any other fragrance I’ve tried. “A fragrance about contentment” – that’s perfectly true, at the start and at the end at least – once you’ve come to terms with everything in between. Sound familiar? Of course – it is a fragrance so accurately expressing life and emotions it’s overwhelming. Love, contentment, peace, selfishness, joy, guilt – it’s all there, in a harmonious and perfect order.
Am I alone here? It seems not – I read one small write up on Katie Puckrick’s blog by a reader who wrote to her regarding Bosque. I’ll quote what he wrote:
“I gather Bosque is H&G’s crowd-pleaser, not only because of all the musk and its accompanying sinus-clearing, steam-cleaned, bracingly fresh freshness (crowds love to be fresh), but because it’s marketed as “a fragrance about contentment”.
I’m not the target for contentment. I’m more content with apprehension, which means Bosque is perfect for me because my fondness for its fresh contentment makes me apprehensive.
In its defence, Bosque isn’t all clean. It also features buffalo grass and vetiver and supposedly some florals that are so pale and quiet, they smell like they’re coming from the perfume on the person across the room from you.
But mostly, Bosque smells clean, like emerging from the chlorinated swimming pool of a desert resort, surrounded by miles of dry grass and nothing else. It’s chlorine and dead grass and while I can’t defend such a thing, I’m hooked on it like its heroin.”
I was relieved to read this – it fits my thoughts perfectly, and I think me and this guy would get along just fine! Although I’m sure we’d drive each other literally insane talking about this fragrance. So what is it about it that is so unsettling? Or is it as this Bosque-fan so cleverly put it “I’m more content with apprehension, which means Bosque… makes me apprehensive”. Ok, so I wouldn’t go as far to say I’m more content with apprehension, but maybe I am in perfume?
This could go on and on and on, and I probably wouldn’t get anywhere. All I can say is – when you smell Bosque (if you haven’t already), don’t expect something extraordinary; maybe in writing this I have destroyed the fragrance due to exceedingly high expectations (for others of course not myself). At the end of the day – it is a perfume, and everyone connects with fragrance differently. It is what it is – a combination of materials, it’s how we interpret them and how we enjoy them that makes a fragrance so special, and personal. For me, Bosque is extraordinary – and it’s a relief to finally own it, I can’t imagine my collection without it already.
I don’t think I will ever figure out Bosque, me and the other quiet ones out there who are struggling to come to terms with it. The most I can do is spray it and enjoy it – personally enjoying the journey and the struggles that go along with it: re-living innocence and the loss of it, finishing in absolute contentment right before it dies peacefully on my skin.
So after my two-week fragrant tour around Europe (which went swimmingly!) – I managed to pick up some goodies on the way (of course).
Here are my somewhat unusual choices if I do say so myself…
Bosque by Humiecki & Graef
I love Bosque. I always have. I got thinking about how people say it is the easiest to wear and the most “generic” of the H&G line – I completely disagree, but maybe that’s my mindset. I’ve planned this big friggin’ essay on Bosque that I’ve been working on and am looking forward to posting, it might be a bit ridiculous for most people to read but it’ll be there anyway
Bosque is a dried grassy/floral with really bizarre floral notes I might add… it dries down to this bizarrely salty/milky/spermy? accord undercut with vetiver, it’s extremely unusual, absolutely beautiful and I’m thrilled to finally have it.
M/Mink by Byredo
I had tried this one before but only on paper. I thought it was absolutely disgusting. However, as soon as it hit my skin in the store in Germany, I got this blast of animalic musk and an intensely synthetic aldehyde combo that still, turned my stomach a bit. But as it dried down and the bitter, set honey, dark incense and unsettling inky notes came in, I found it completely captivating. I’m not sure whether I’ll wear M/Mink much, but I knew it had to be in my collection – it fits an empty spot. It’s both intimate and completely soul-less – brilliant!
Miriam by Tableau de Parfums
Miriam is an incredible fragrance, a modern vintage classic that carries a true Andy Tauer signature. It’s such an emotional fragrance, beautiful, elegant and timeless – full of interesting twists and turns that take it in unexpected directions. It evokes such strong memories and emotions with me and is a real “homely” fragrance – it is pure bliss. I have written my big review on this so I don’t need to write much more, but I feel like I can sigh relief with a smile now I have it.
Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens
I knew I was going to get this one – it’s the most perfect iris (soliflore?) fragrance I’ve smelt. Full of carrots, powder, clove, earth and blahhhhhh it’s just great. A cold, calming, haunting perfume that has been on “the list” for far too long now. I needed it!
Rahat Loukhoum by Serge Lutens
Now here’s a weird one ey? Well… after my deep exploration of the exclusives line both outside of the Palais Royal and during my visit, I decided to pick up this one again for a quick sniff – having reviewed it many months ago after I had a slight obsession with it before smelling it. I loved it all over again – cherry, marzipan cakey goodness. But before, I was disappointed with the drydown – it lost the cherries, it lost the sweetness – it became a subtle skin scent that just hovered on my skin in a light, slightly powdered layer of vanilla, rose, musk and almond. The thing is, right now – this part appeals to me just as much. It is the ultimate comfort scent and I’d love to fall asleep to it. But also, It is the perfect fragrance to wear when you don’t know what to wear – something that will just within an hour or two melt into your skin in a delicate sweet layer that smells like a part of you – just a little more yummy. Thoughtless, elegant, edible? but necessary! I had to buy it. It alters my mind completely on first sniff – a complete joy.
Rubj by Vero Profumo
Rubj is one of the greatest florals created… in my opinion of course. As Judas as it is to say, I love the EDP more than the extrait… now, I adore the extrait, it’s beautiful – but the crisp green quality and the tart passionfruit in the EDP just tips the scale for me and could literally make me faint in adoration of this fragrance. An overwhelmingly gorgeous perfume that I almost feel is too good for me to wear, but when I wear it I feel incredible – and that’s what a real perfume should do! A necessity.
Leva by O’Driu
I have always wanted an O’Driu - but thought I didn’t like any of them enough to own – and the price is indeed terrifying. Leva always gets put down a bit in the lineup as being too sweet, too light, and too unlike the other O’Driu’s - I can’t disagree with that enough. Leva is a powerhouse on me, holding a typical O’Driu signature up top with THE MOST intense lemongrass and green olive combo which smells like a dense, pungent almost vinegar-laden oil on the skin. But the thing that captivates me the most is its perfect development (using only naturals I believe). The olives burn off after half an hour or so, the pungent lemongrass undercut by the greatest vanilla I have smelt. I struggle with vanilla so this is a big deal for me. Difficult to wear, but a real piece of art work.
Fracas by Robert Piguet
Ok I’m lying a bit here, this was a gift from the Robert Piguet house, but I came back to it from my holiday so I’m including it After all, it is a new bottle. I do love Fracas – a playful ditsy tuberose that I can splash on in abandon and roll around smelling of candies and cream – all buttered up in creamy white florals! Of course, there’s more to it than that, but I’ll be sure to write something a little more mature about it soon
So yes! There you have it. What do you guys think? Did I do good?
THE GIVEAWAY – NOW CLOSED!!!
(the real reason you’re reading this)
So one lucky reader can win a 1ml sample of each of my new goodies!
All you have to do is subscribe/follow (if you haven’t already!), let me know which one takes your fancy the most, AND – LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THEM!!
I love feedback, negative and all, don’t be afraid to tell me you hate something that’s part of the fun But it sucks to send people stuff and never hear from them again – just saying
I’ll announce the winner next Sunday: 23/12/2012 so make sure you come back and check because people keep forgetting to collect their goodies
Thanks for the support everyone
This post could be huge if I went into detail about the crazy descriptions surrounding these fragrances released by Humiecki & Graef themselves, so I’m going to just do my bit and leave the rest to the company.
This company piqued my interest after some noses I love to listen to had mentioned great things about these guys. So, I ordered 5 samples: Skarb, Askew, Bosque, Geste and Multiple Rouge. I haven’t tried these yet, and am going to try them now, and write my initial impressions. I’ve never done this before so it’ll probably be a little shaky and maybe not make much sense but I’ll do my best!
Okay… 1st one:
Hmm, Skarb doesn’t actually open as I expected, this is the only one I read into a more than the others. Bizarrely it reminds me of watermelon, there is a sweet, watery vibe to it, and it smells like a fresh cut of watermelon, not the bubblegum kind of flavouring.
Really that’s all I can pick up at the moment, there’s an underlying sweetness to it but it’s not dominant at all.
This watermelon aromachemical explosion of calone, holds a little bit of earthiness underneath providing a tad of substance.
Something metallic is peeks through, almost in a Secretions Magnifique vibe – the fragrances aren’t similar, but they both have this sour/metallic edge although here, Skarb is droned by aquatic synthetics. The effect is clever – a watery scent that has a solid density, nothing light and aquatic here.
I’m picking up something slightly herbal now, it’s savoury, and not that strong. The watery accord is most dominating, it’s very bizarre actually and somehow compelling. It is almost the scent of drowning… If that makes any sense in an abstract/visual way…
I’m actually finding it very easy to wear, I don’t know what all the fuss is about…
Not much more to say really…
The first blast of Askew is like a quick blast of I don’t know what. I think I quickly picked up cloves, and now before I know it a tart citrus accord has came in. Instantly from tart citrus it becomes “disinfectant” citrus. It reminds me of swimming pools, not the aquatic chlorine, but the chemical disinfectant smell.
It smells a little sweaty, and now I’ve mentioned swimming pools, I can’t get this image out my head. Great… and now I can smell feet.
There’s some menthol coming in now, and some birch tar from what I can pick up.
I like this, It’s typically masculine but so overtly modernized that drones into something almost genderless.
The mental image for me is swimming pools, but like, all the good aspects of it, not the headache inducing chlorine or the water, more like everything else that’s involved in it. I know this sounds really grim, but it’s not. It’s a fascinating “environmental” fragrance in the style of many Christopher Brosius’ scents. The smell is so familiar and so literal, I feel like I am in a completely different environment.
The slight spice (cumin?) mixed with the disinfectant lemon, musk? and chemical explosion, combine to make this abstract aura of a gym changing room – fantastic!
WOW! This is fantastic! Love the opening blast of Bosque! Gosh I don’t know what this is so bare with me
Oh well, it’s some florals that I’ve never smelt before that’s for start. It’s like a natural, almost “blonde” smelling floral, neutral and kind of hay-like, with a raw meadow grass scent that is fresh, and muted. It smells bright and absolutely stunning. There’s something bizarre underneath it all that’s kind of salty or maybe milky… wait it’s turning a bit strange already.
It’s been like one minute, and I don’t mean to keep referencing it as though I’m trying to bring it up, but this really has got a Secretions Magnifique vibe coming through. I’m still really liking it, but then I don’t find SM all that bad.
Unfortunately the face dropping buzz from the beginning has kind of blended into this slightly sour milky accord. I think I can smell iris now, although it’s not listed in the notes.
Ok so this sour note is becoming more skin like, it’s quite green underneath, the meadow grass become stronger and silkier. I love the combination – a bizarre sour salted milk (sperm accord?) and the freshness of grass. It’s raw and sexual.
This is definitely my favourite so far. It turns from a blast of pure, joyful florals and sunshine into this bizarre milky skin scent. The transition is uncomfortable just for a couple of minute. But now yes, it is a refined, wearable version of Secretions Magnifique… It’s what SM should have been!! It’s natural smelling, and I’m finding it very comfortable. Thumbs up!
Ow wow, Geste now and I love the opening to this too. Kudos Humiecki & Graef! I’m very impressed!
Well, I can definitely pick up violets in this, I didn’t type quick enough to explain the initial opening. It was great, I’ll just say that
So yes, 10 seconds later there’s violet, violet on top of a beautiful, creamy musk. There’s some very pale but exquisite amber under there too, it acts like a pillow to support the violets and musk.
This is a very, very pretty scent. This is impossible not to enjoy, a beautifully put together feminine. Sorry if I’m jumping to my conclusions quickly, but I’m taking little breaks to smell this in between sentences.
Yes, delicate, elegant and fragile. I could imagine many people becoming completely attached to this fragrance as a comfort blanket. There’s a slightly “laundry” feel to it too, but it’s really clean and lovely. The delicate violets become slightly more powdery, and the musk becomes sheer, white with a laundry softness to it that is delicate on the skin and utterly comforting. Maybe not the most complex or original of the bunch, but beautiful non the less.
Multiple Rouge opens like an explosion of every fruity scented bath and body lotion in a confined area. It is extremely fruity, but not edible at all!
This gives way to an ozonic note that has surrounded all this fruit, it’s all fuzzy and metallic. Hugely synthetic and exhaustingly loud.
I’ve never smelt anything like it!
It reminds me of hairspray too, it’s almost dizzying! The two words on my mind are “robot fruit” :’)
Picking out the fruits, it’s just a huge bundle, I think I’m getting a fair bit of peach, and berries. These fruits are all leaves and stalks attached giving it a green feel. There’s a dash of immortelle providing a slighty syrupy spice to it, but the overwhelming scent is that of a robot fruit and broken stems. It’s intense, and hillarious.
This is not like any Luten’s fruit mix, it’s not stewed or candied, but neither is it fresh. (Update: I find it very similar to the opening of Byredo’s Pulp). Yep as I expected, I’m making absolutely no sense! Hopefully I’ve put this across visually enough for you to get the jist!
Ok so that’s the basics of all 5 fragrances over and done with. I have to say, I am hugely impressed with these scents so far.
I’m gonna do a quick one liner type of thing on all the fragrances again now, just as they’ve been on for a while:
Skarb - the watery accord isn’t as strong, I can still sense the watermelon notes of earlier, there’s a faint woodsy note under it all. Very pleasant and minimal. Maybe a big dose of Iso E Super in the base?
Askew - kind of reminds me now of Lush/Gorilla Perfume’s Dirty fragrance. Slightly salty/ozonic/mint, not quite as interesting anymore, but I’m sure if it was sprayed, what I loved at the start would last a lot longer. Please remember I have only used an applicator for these out my sample vials.
Bosque - still love it. It’s milky, a little salty, but with those bizarre florals now floating around on the top. Very abstract fragrance, it reminds me of sunshine… :’)
Geste - subtle, but beautiful violet. The effect of this scent almost makes me want to press my nose against my hand as though it’s a pillow. It is subtle, loveable, and comfortable.
Multiple Rouge - Unnaturally fruity, ozonic, slightly metallic, with a strange wet dog note. It’s wearable, very interesting, but I just can’t make up my mind on what I think of it!
All in all, I’m desperate now to sample the rest of the line. Very impressed, more so than I hoped. It’s great to discover something so new and unusual.
These were just part of a huge batch of samples I ordered, and I’ve pretty much been disappointed with all of them, so I’ve now got a great big grin on my face and can say that despite all the crap that Humiecki & Graef have fed us regarding these scents (the huge price being part of that crap), I think they are an exceptionally strong house and I know I’ll be investing in one of their fragrances some time soon.
I’m feeling very inspired – Wonderful stuff!
Please let me know what you think of these if anyone has gave this house a go yet