Bois d'Armenie from Guerlain's L’Art et la Matiere series is forever linked in my mind and heart to the time I started blogging. Bois d’Armenie came out in 2006, around the time that my decades-long casual interest took over my life-- waking hours, storage space and brain activity. It had a major part in it.
It was inspired by Papier d’Armenie, burning paper that produces an insence-like scent used as an air-freshener. I smelled Papier d’Armenie a couple of times in Paris, but while I obviously see the connection, it posses an almost unearthly spiritual quality while still being very Guerlain: the way it uses iris to lead into a sweet base is familiar.
Incense is not a recurring Guerlain theme. That makes Bois d'Armenie even more unique and interesting. It swirls in the air, offering more sweetness and powder than most incense fragrances, while playing with warm and cold notes. A chilly breeze brought by iris, a burning bush, the sweetness of benzoin, the sharp and crunchy twigs and branches bearing balsam. It's all rounded nicely by a mellow and dusty patchouli note that even patchouli haters might find agreeable. Bois d'Armenie is here to seduce, to draw you into its inner circle and dance for you.
Bois d'Armenie was the first modern Guerlain that made me hear voices and see stars, leading me to give more attention to the things going on at the classic perfume house during a time that new smaller label were bursting into the scene faster than I could test them (what else is new?). I may have bigger L’Art et la Matiere loves now (Angelique Noire, Tonka Imperiale, Iris Ganache, Cuir Beluga), but Bois d'Armenie will always hold a very special place in my heart (and it smells fantastic on the husband).
Notes: pink pepper, iris, rose, coriander, benzoin, Indonesian patchouli, incense, precious woods, musk and balsams.
See other reviews on Bois de Jasmin, Beauty On The Outside, Pere de Pierre, Perfume Smellin' Things and Olfactoria's Travels.
Guerlain- Bois d’Armenie ($250, 2.5oz) is available from Guerlain boutiques around the world, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks NYC flagship store and also online from Nordstrom.com. Theposhpeasant.com and The Perfumes Court sell samples and decants.
Sølve Sundsbø-Invitation à la danse via Trendland
Bois d'Armenie bottle from Guerlain's Facebook page.