SSS, Day 1: Champagne de Bois

This is the scent that lead to my taking the leap and ordering the 5-perfume sample set from Sonoma Scent Studio. Incense Pure was recommended to me based on my interest in Balsamo della Mecca, and I’m looking forward to trying that (maybe tomorrow?), but it’s the CdB that I’ve been lemming for some time now.

I feel like somewhere someone mentioned that it was similar to Chanel’s Bois des Iles, and I can see a relationship… second cousins maybe? The far dry-down of each bears a likeness. But since the moment of application, I wasn’t thinking Chanel. I was thinking Guerlain (no hippies here).

Champagne de Bois has an immediate “chewey-ness” that I wanted more of in Bois des Iles; a tangible texture that I get—and adore—from the famous Guerlinade base in L’Heure Bleue and Shalimar. It also has a decadent sort of opulence that I associate more with Guerlain than Chanel. Since it’s parfum concentration, it’s got astonishing sillage the first few minutes; after a half hour it settles down and sticks close to skin. Twelve hours later? Same.

Notes, a la Sonoma Scent Studio: aldehydes, jasmine, clove, sandalwood, labdanum absolute, vetiver, amber.
I only get the tiniest sparkle from the aldehydes, which is fine, because I like them but don’t love them. I love amber, but CdB is, at least for the first 45 minutes, all about the sandalwood. Just a dusting spice from the clove, and I can’t tease out the vetiver or the jasmine. Sandalwood dominates, and Champage de Bois feels like lounging in a plush, pillow-strewn chaise, the labdanum incarnated nearby as a leopard skin throw. The amber is more prominent after an hour has passed, providing a narcotic, creamy element that is driving me absolutely mad.

Full-bottle worthy? I’m a little concerned that I might try and smoke it.

*A note on my musings: I resisted reading other people’s reviews of this fragrance; Laurie has conveniently linked to several bloggers on her fragrance page, which I’ll go take a look at now. Hopefully I won’t feel like a dolt by the time I’m done.

Painting (top) by Frank Dicksee, Leila, 1892

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