Monday, August 10, 2009

Frederic Malle French Lover (Bois d'Orage)

Wearing French Lover is the closest I can ever get to that "borrowing a man's white shirt" idea, considering my resident man is over 8" taller than me and wearing his shirts is not a good fashion move. At least his colognes tend to fit me well. I got him a bottle of the French version directly from Frederic Malle's website because the renaming of a scent for our market seemed a bit stupid. And the American name, Bois d'Orage, doesn't make much sense, except for the "bois" part, I guess. A wood after a storm is supposed to feel humid and thick, while French Lover is actually so dry it almost crackles when you spray it.

I never had a French lover, so I'm not sure what they smell like. Is it a mixture of angelica, pimento, galbanum, iris, bay rum, clove, cardamom, juniper, cedar, oakmoss, frankincense, patchouli and vetiver (these are the official notes)? Do they start medicinal and end with that cedar band aid drydown? To me, French Lover is mostly about frankincense and wood with just a hint of oakmoss. Not enough to declare it a chypre, but it does make me wonder where Frederic Malle and Pierre Bourdon (who created this scent) stand on IFRA and reformulations.

I wear several wood and vetiver perfumes that are considered masculine. They feel purposeful and I like them on those mornings I need an extra push to start my day. French Lover is a bit softer and friendlier, and as Nathan Branch noted earlier today, it's very comfortable to wear. We didn't really coordinate this, but I also have been marinating in the fragrance and sprayed myself from head to toe. It's pretty impossible to overdo it. French Lover melds with the skin and doesn't attack people around you. The crisp dryness is especially pleasant in this hot and humid weather.

Is it really about sex? I don't know, but is it sure works better than the mushroomy Dans tes Bras.

French Lover by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums is sold in Barneys under the name Bois d'Orage ($200, 100 ml).

Photo: Calm Before The Storm by Sara*Teresa


  1. I love this one as well, and how funny that we both got bottles from France. I like the humor in calling French Lover. Bois d'Orage (Thunder Woods?) sounds like a French porn star.

  2. Ha! We both turned our backs on Dans tes Bras and went for the French Lover marinade. You're really having far too extensive an influence on my tastes lately. ;)

    Thunder Woods! Hilarious. I did the Babel Fish route and got Stormy Woods, which is kind of cheesy pop-star, so it all goes together. But yes, a bad name. I almost passed it over because of it, and am glad the Sales Assistant insisted I give the scent a try.

    Cazaubon stated that the angelica is too much in French Lover for her to properly bear, but I can't find anything about French Lover that's too much.

  3. Tom, it is funny we both got the French version. I was just annoyed by the whole overthinking/overmarketing thing. French Lover is a cute name and I doubt the average Barneys shopper would have demanded they change it to Freedom Lover...

  4. Nathan, I'd start worrying when you find yourself craving Miel de Bois ;)


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