Bois Richeux 1178 was an unexpected perfume pleasure I found and bought in Paris. The husband and I were delighted to see that the Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier (MPG) boutique on 5 rue des Capucines was open and apparently doing well (fans of MPG remember the brand had some difficulties a couple of years ago and at least one store location was closed). I was anxious to see that all my old favorites were stocked and readily available, including Iris Bleu Gris that somehow vanished from the North American shelves (the line is sold at Henri Bendel in NYC and at Luckyscent). Even more, I was eager to check the brand new MPG perfume (first release since 2008's Bois De Turquie), Cuir Fétiche; I just heard about it before going to Paris, and was ready to get a bottle as soon as I landed. Just think: cuir, fetiche-- I'm so there.
Unfortunately, Cuir Fetiche won't be launched until November and the store had neither samples nor testers.I was ready to pout but the husband directed my attention to a small display of non-MPG bottles labeled Bois Richeux 1178. Just show me something new and smelly and I'm as happy as can be.
Bois Richeux 1178 is all about the herbs. The perfumes comes from Bois Richeux, a medieval-style garden located in Pierres, a commune in Eure-et-Loir of north-central France (a 50 minute train ride from Paris. Note to self and to husband: consider a visit next time). Obviously they grow a lot of lavender and most of it finds its way into this perfumes. Green, a little crisp but not astringen, Bois Richeux 1178 is surprisingly elegant and subtle with a very modern feel. The list of notes might read like a spice rack, but the blend is seamless, smooth and confident. Bois Richeux 1178 is deceivingly mellow at first, but dries down into a sexy ambery sweetness that lasts 6-8 hours of with an always polite sillage with generous spritzing.
This information sheet for Bois Richeux 1178 calls it "Un parfum vegetal naturel sans colorant ni conservateur". I'm not sure this is enough to qualify as a natural perfume, but I can tell you the perfume smells like it's loaded with the real thing: high quality essential oils that clear the mind (without burning the sinuses). The heavy presence of lavender might cause some to feel Bois Richeux 1178 is quite masculine, but to me it just smells and feels beautiful and satisfying. Men and women who enjoy lavender scents with a twist (from Gris Clair and Encense et Lavanade to Kiki and even the classic Jicky) have a good chance of adoring Bois Richeux 1178.
Notes: basil, thyme, lavender, mint, rosemary, fennel, celery (seeds, I presume), laurel, clary sage, amber, musk.
Bois Richeux 1178 (80 euro) is a limited edition eau de parfum made of the available harvested materials from the Bois Richeux garden. It was launched in June and there are only a couple dozens bottles still left. The MPG SA predicted everything will be gone by November. The perfume is currently only sold at the medieval garden of Bois Richeux (phone: 0661817449) and at the MPG store in Paris.
Photo of the bottle display by me, photo of the medieval garden from Bois Richeux Facebook page.