Reviews of Bois d'Ascèse by Naomi Goodsir

This is simply wonderful. I love smoky scents, frankincense and birch and this one is all three to perfection. You have to be in love with intense fragrances, so certainly not for men only, I wear it but not just anywhere anytime. True, it turns into a skin event, but an astonishing one. Not office friendly, no first-date wear either. This reminds me of a walk in the forest, of a campfire at night, feeling drowsy next to one after drinking a sip of whisky. On my skin I get the slightest tobacco. To me it is charred wood, smoke, incense. That's creativity I highly praise Julien Rasquinet for. It's an amazing, first-rate discovery of 2022 for me.
20th December 2022
Starts out pretty smokey, but morphs into an amazing incense and amber fragrance that is warm and inviting in all the best ways. The slightest boozy note comes through in that warm amber along with a hint of tobacco leaf. I'm not a fan of smokey fragrances per se, but I definitely am of this one. Classy and excellent combination right there. FB worthy for sure in my book.
3rd September 2022

To me Bois d'Ascese smells like a campfire (made purely of cedarwood) made in the middle of the sawmill. Very prominent factors I can smell are: ash (whole a lot of ash actually!), cedarwood (which is a solid backbone, background to it) and an incense smoke. It opens up very ash-y and when it dries down it becomes more and more woody and the smoke transforms strictly into frankincense smoke.

What I really like is a fact, that Bois d'Ascese is a relatively dry scent on my skin. It sticks pretty close to the skin and does not make a scent cloud, maybe just a little bubble.

Longevity on my skin is 10+ hours and the sillage is very big at the beginning, but it mutes itself a little bit. This is potent so one or two sprays from a decanter are good for me.

I think all lovers of smoked scotch whisky should sniff this.
27th August 2022
Charcoal, whiskey, bourbon, cigars, and the scent in the air of a crackling fragrant campfire.... all of which are baked into your clothing, then whiffed the morning thereafter.
Arguably the best rendition of smoke in all of niche perfumery. Our latest camping adventures have made a profound impact on my appreciation for this accord. LOVE this scent!
27th May 2022
Rub a black dress with a balsam and soak it in a smokey scotch whiskey then throw it onto the embers of a dying camp fire.that's about as close as i can get using words.a dark, brooding,smokey, masculine,sexy beast of scent.this fragrance is extremely dry and smokey, almost bitter,like a pile of dead,dry leaves that was ingited by a lighting bolt.

The opening is a punch in the face with boozy whiskey and tobacco once it sits on the skin for a hour,the burnt ruberry ham smell disappears,the smoke and incense die down a bit and the amber makes it's debut appearance.after about 3 hours the scent is a nice balance of amber, woody,smokey incense tobacco.i can't imagine it being worn by a woman. the performance is great.
23rd November 2021
“It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history."
- Ray Bradbury
25th October 2021
My girlfriend freaked out when I wore this one for the first time. She called it "coconut campfire." It's definitely more tobacco than campfire. There is a prune/raisin thing happening that I like a lot. One day I splashed way too much on my neck and it smelled a very clearly defined almond liquor. I will be buying a bottle of this eventually for drinks and dinner. Not as versatile as I would want my every day scent to be. I'm not a very manly guy and this is a pretty darn masculine scent.
29th August 2020
Is Jeke by Slumberhouse not smoky enough for you? Is Hyde by Hiram Greene too friendly? Does Le Labo's Patchouli 24 seem like a root beer float?

Then Bois D'ascese might be made for you. Almost laughably masculine. It smells like a bonfire. With a bottle of whisky sitting open next to it. Maybe someone is smoking a pipe? Hard to say. At a bonfire you notice one thing: the blaze.

Jump in!
13th April 2020
The Goodsir website describes it as "RADICAL / MYSTICAL / STATEMENT" - wow, that sounds exciting!

Eh. None of the above.

Okay, maybe it smells a touch mystical, but in the way the apartment of that chick you know who claims to be a wiccan priestess (but by day she's an office assistant for a cosmetic dentist) smells.

Incense, a little campfire smoke, sweet booze and amber... You've smelled it before, even if you've never smelled it before. Perfectly nice, I guess, but perfectly uninteresting. Far more more commonplace than it thinks it is, just like the wiccan priestess.
3rd January 2020
the definitive scent of whiskey, wood smoke, tobacco and cedar wood.
very alcoholic in the opening. then I imagine myself and my girlfriend eating in the mountain hut with the fireplace lit. at the end of dinner our clothes smell of burnt wood smoke and cedar wood that comes from outside. all while I sip a whiskey and a friend next to me and I smoke a cigar.
some notes of amber, labdanum and oak moss.
excellent perfume but I would not buy it. too extreme for me. but I admit it's really good. 8/10
excellent performance.
4th December 2018
Tobacco right from the start.
Cigar tobacco.
Whiskey, on the rocks.
Ultra light cinnamon.
Something dark underneath; woody, smoky, incense-like.
Mostly, I smell tobacco.
17th November 2018
This is lovely.

I don't get the leather / tobacco that other reviews mention - on me this is just a relatively linear smoke. That said, it's a lovely smoke - campfire rather than fireplace and not all acrid.

Good longevity - over time a sweet, powdery soapy note emerges which slides the overall impression over to an incense.

Tested in high summer - it'd be interesting to see how this works in colder weather.
10th June 2018
Bois d'Ascese is among the hardcore smoky-woody scents, evocative of campfire, and at times reflective of a dark, forest-y green. There is a leathery nuance, perhaps with the addition of birch tar, while any tobacco or whiskey note is lost on me. I detect a touch of incense besides the leather; however, it is all about sooty, dark woods here. On my skin it is rather linear, with persistent projection and excellent longevity. It does mellow out somewhat after several hours as the slightest hint of labdanum becomes evident.

Bois d'Ascese is definitely an acquired taste. After spending considerable time with it, I have come to the conclusion that it is not for me. There isn't enough separation of notes, it is at times a little synthetic, and it doesn't excite me the way Sahara Noir does, for example. Neither does it convey any emotion, and perhaps it is lacking somewhat in abstraction. If you're after the dark, smoky, tarry wall of campfire wood - this is it. A must try for anyone interested in smoky-woody scents.

It is compelling and even manages to tell a story, but I'm missing the beauty here.

29th April 2018
Just the magic of a cool fall crisp evening by the fire in a bottle. Everything here comes together to bring up memories of fall. Leather boots, dead leaves, bonfire smoke. Beautiful. Goes well with Chene by Serge Lutens.
5th March 2018
An ingeniously engineered perfume that combines rooty, earthy wood, the smoke of twigs and dried leaves, the salt of dried sweat, cured tobacco and booze into a creation that is anything but stale or heavy, but curls around the wearer's skin in an energetic invitation to the outdoors. Perhaps the trick is that the dreaded leaden ambery backing that such notes usually receive is here kept well in check or perhaps it's the excellent volume control – one receives this challenging mélange in little puffs rather than in gales. So instead of making you feel like you've woken up with a hangover in a shuttered bar, reeking of everything that enclosed space and its ancient carpeting contained the night before, it keeps pulling you towards campfires and open spaces, particularly in the drydown where the smokiness becomes the overriding spirit. It's only late in the day that a leathery amber clumps into dominant mode but by then it is time for bed.
26th February 2018
Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí 1951
4th January 2018
Just a stunning incense, especially in cold weather. I finished up my sample today, and this is at the top of the wishlist.
13th January 2017
On me, Bois d'Ascèse starts off like one of those campfire-in-a-forest scents, smoky and sooty and strong. It ends up as frankincense with a hint of pine, and the whole day is spent in a long slow fade from the smoke to the incense. I don't really smell the whiskey or cinnamon - I guess they're just adding sweetness and depth if anything.

I pretty much always like perfumes like this, and Bois d'Ascèse is no exception. I'm not really sure if its intense realism takes away from its depth or if it's an artful statement in and of itself, but that's more of an intellectual argument I'm having with myself than an actual complaint, so it's a thumbs up all the way.
19th November 2015
wonderful Smoky and burnt woods
3rd September 2015
While I admire the daring of Bois d'Ascese, I find the crackling dry woodsmoke to be overwhelming. It drowns out the creamy, spiky elemi in thick billows of black soot, and makes it very difficult to perceive anything else that's going on with the scent until the far drydown, when it becomes a 50-50 mix of great-quality frankincense and woodsmoke. Then I can enjoy its mysterious, austere smokiness on my scarf for days afterwards. But up until the dry down, I am choking through a fog of unremittingly bleak, black smoke.
1st July 2015
finally, and at long long last, my holy grail smoke! yay!!! it's perfect: strident and unambiguously smokey, but with depth and complexity without ever deviating from that core, central aspect. it doesn't relay on birch tar or phenols to ramp up the smoke but what seems like a more organic wood-based accord (how that's put together here, i don't have a clue, perhaps styrax, opopanax, myrrh, actually i don't want to overthink this one). it doesn't develop appreciably but does soften into a gorgeous denoument of shimmery resins that mirrors the last coals of a fire gone out. did i mention it was just perfect?
7th January 2015
Naomi Goodsir Bois d'Ascese is at the pinnacle of all smokey fragrances I have tried to date and I'm a lover of the genre. Bois d'Ascese starts with loads of cade and possibly hints birch tar and/or nagamotha which creates a realistic rendition of a desert campfire billowing smoke into the crisp cool air. Oakmoss and Somali Frankincense provide a very nice smokey-green aesthetic in the middle/base of Bois d'Ascese which takes you away from the fire and inside some sort of protected shelter. Labdanum adds some blanketed warmth to the base of this fine fragrance. Definitely one of my favorite scents I've encountered so far on my fragrance journey. Although I thoroughly enjoy fragrances like Norma Kamali's Incense and Sonoma Scent Studio's Fireside Intense, I like this one a bit more - the shifts from top to base notes is nothing else out there in the dark incense and smokey genres. I cannot write gracefully enough to do this fragrance any justice; 10/10 for me.
15th August 2014
Opens up extremely smoky/slightly boozy with a whisper of cinnamon that has an almost burned paper characteristic to it. As it moves on, the amber and oakmoss become a bit more prevalent and start to add a slightly sweet soapiness. All of the time it never loses a bit of the ash-like quality that it opens up with. A few hours in it loses some of the smoke, but a very dry wood emerges and mixes great with the touch of oakmoss from before. Thankfully it loses the soapy quality that appears in the early stages of “development" as it can be a bit overbearing. In the end you are left with an extremely dry wood/moss/smoke scent with the slightest amount of powdery/ambery sweetness to round it off. Sillage is moderate and longevity is excellent.
3rd July 2014
Another hyped scent which i'm glad i tried a sample of instead of blind buying a full bottle.

This to me smells very similar to Armani Bois D'encens, which i already have a full bottle of.

Both scents are heavy on somali incense, which by nature, smells like light bonfire smoke as opposed to the thick richer smell of omani frankincense.

Funnily enough, both scents also have a sweet bite to them, which strikes me as another common feature they both share: Bois d'ascese gets it from the cinnamon dipped whiskey shades, while the armani does the same effect with the semi-sweet vetiver background.

A pass for me, i'll stick with my Bois d'encens.
29th May 2014