Bois Farine is inspired by a tree which grows on the isle of Réunion. It's an ironic name because Réunion, which means meeting, is six hundred miles off Madagascar; not so handy for meetings then...
But that's where Jean-Claude Ellena went to sniff the flowers of the tree, which apparently smell like flour.
The perfume is light and powdery-woody but it has a depth, a heft - which l'Artisan call pastry and hazelnuts and which gives it a real charm. There's the almond smell of marzipan, as well as a kind of soft woodiness along with the flour - which I don't quite get as much as bitter oily-powdery-doughiness. It's quite honeyed - fruity, and with fig leaf.
This may have been new in 2003 but its quite familiar today, the powdery-woody core of the scent has been copied many times; and - lets face it - it's a great idea and a good base for development.
Its made with ambroxan, and probably Iso E Super, so these days it would be a no brainer : start with the core of this for a light woody scent with powdery hints, and then take it in a masculine or feminine direction - as required.
But, coming back to our scent, it's a good piece of work, imaginative; and it conforms - in the best possible way - to the old adage KISS : keep it simple stupid. A simple harmony, filigreed with bitter-sweet contrast.
But for me it gets a bit sticky later on; insistent. In fact, the base reminds me of Jardin en Méditerranée; which Ellena wrote the same year, and has the same kind of fault at the end, too heavy.
It's smells exactly like undercooked dough. Linear apart from the fresh opening which is marred by the dough smell. Projection and longevity is poor. If that is what you want to smell of then this is would be stellar if it performed. I don't.
I entered a shop selling the whole Artisan Parfumeur collection because I love their amber fragrances and saw the much-envied terra-cotta balls. I wanted to let someone I love smell some things of the collection, but then the name attracted me. I tried this one on first, and last. I told the seller I'd smell it all night and probably would come back the day after to buy it, but simultaneously I was already addicted by its roasted nuts smell and gave her my credit card. Just have all my money, Bois Farine, no question asked. I've been buying memories.