Elegant, warm and opulent, woody notes have become key to our favorite perfumers. They can be found in many of our compositions.
Indeed, woody notes have become essential in perfumery. They come from wood or plants, such as patchouli (shrub) and vetiver (root). Perfumers usually divide woody notes into 6 different categories: foamy, amber, wet, smoky, resinous and dry woods. To be honest the love affair between wood and perfumes does not date from yesterday ... Since the antiquity, people used to burn wooden chips and resins to honor and pray to Gods ... Everything started there!
In 1926 Gabrielle Channel released "Bois des Iles" and introduced woody perfumes for the first time. Chanel offered then a floral bouquet on a woody accord, dominated by sandalwood along with a warmth sensation and its seductive role. However woody perfumes became more common from the late 40’s. In 1957, Carven released a vetiver perfume, called Vetiver (sic!), the first of its kind and was a huge hit! In 1992, Serge Lutens (then Shiseido) surprised by releasing "Féminité du Bois", a feminine essence with cedar and sandalwood balance. It was the first woody feminine perfume to date! Woody scents have traditionally been designed for men and fortunately it is not the case anymore! In fact, regardless of their classification, at Bon Parfumeur we believe in genderfree fragrances and our woody perfumes are among the most versatile ones.
So why do we love them so much?
Simply because when you smell a woody fragrance, you have this sensation of warmth, depth, daring with always a lot of character. It's sort of reassuring. They act as tutors in the bouquet and give a backbone to any perfume. Woody perfumes are also quite distinctly structured. The woody notes are used as a base note and last on your skin after a few hours. With time, they become more and more warm and sensual. They are also very polished, and blend smoothly on the skin.
Perfumers got this right! Many successful perfumes have played the woody card. Among them we can think of “L'Eau d'Issey”. It is a mix of aquatic and woody notes. Fresh, invigorating and relaxing. Refreshing notes of cilantro, yuzu and tangerine for the top. Base notes made up of woody and intense ingredients such as tobacco, ambergris and sandalwood.
You can also think of the famous “Mademoiselle Ricci” by Nina Ricci. A timeless, elegant, natural, and sensitive perfume. Its facets express a beautiful personality made of wild rose, centifolia rose, pink pepper, oleander along with a powdery and woody background.
Cedar, vetiver, patchouli, oud, wood, in short, all the notes that give a very special character to our favorite perfume!