That blend of clove and plum instantly put me in an underground urban street where there is a bit of smoke emanating from industrial activity. There is also some sweetness coming from the plum which tames the smoke and woods. This is great for fall and winter. I never thought I would like this fragrance, but the combination of clove, ginger, and cinnamon is really clever and well composed. That spiciness almost gives off a smokey quality and it becomes enigmatic.
The drydown is where this one shines. I think this is suitable for the older crowd since it feels a bit mature. However, I don't think it smells dated or that old. This is unisex but I don't think there is enough sweetness to make it lean feminine. The spicy and woodiness makes this lean masculine. Give this a try even if you're not a fan of cloves.
Vintage Féminité du Bois by Shiseido is the fragrance of a pinned up librarian by day,sex goddess by night,when she know before her leave the house that she will not return alone.this is so gorgeous.the kind of gorgeous where you just can't stop sniffing your arm to get more of it.very film noir and stunning.this is astringent and warm at the same time, cedary and sexy,with warmth from the plum.i am getting image of an older woman sitting at her make up mirror, slapping on rose powder, spraying on old fashion perfume,and caking on lipstick.she has a open bowl of ginger cookies.
It opens on my skin with a burst of cedar, conjuring up images of bonfires in autumn,the beauty of the leaves turning colours and the crisp air blowing across your face and you're wrapped up in your favorite sweeter. it's like a nostalgic hug. as the heart notes begin to show themselves, i get spiced plum and ginger.a gorgeous, spiced fruit connection that never gets sweet,but never too spicy either.the cedar and other wood notes stay lingering in the background,but allow the fruit and spices to steal the show during the dry down.the result is a more tempered sweetness,a darker and woodier edge.it sublimates impluses,desires,instincts, memories into a bottled magical fountain pumping with sexuality.
Much has been written about this one, most of it laudatory. I was glad to see Barbara Herman single out the prominent cumin note that isn't in the pyramid–I was starting to think I had the wrong fragrance in the sample tube! But, no, FdB is most definitely cumin-forward, which is not necessarily a problem for me, although too much, or skewing too strongly to "B.O.," is a deal-breaker.
In the case of FdB, it's not so much the strength of the cumin as the juxtaposition. Herman likens the overall scent to "a poetic perfume rendition of a woman's nether regions," which may have been the intent, but I find the underlying fruit to be the wrong sort of sweetness for that; no disco lemonade here, alas. Rather than poetic punani, I got a fruity-floral bouquet of the 1990s "fresh" aromachems I abhor, and all the woods and spice in the world–which are seemingly crammed into FdB–aren't enough to compensate. It dries down better after a few hours, but not to anything worth slogging through the opening for.
For photorealistic sex-in-a-bottle, I'll stick with Eau d'Hermès, thanks very much.
Shiseido products have been my mainstay for decades. Where many went to K-beauty in the last few years I've always stuck with J-beauty. It's hard to beat Shiseido skincare and cosmetics. Dedicated Shiseido perfumery, on the other hand, is new territory for me and I'm not sure I took a good turn down Serge Lutens lane.
Féminité du Bois comes across to me as a grape pixie stick mixed in with papier-mâché. It has a half life of about one hour, is pleasant if a bit thin (not a dealbreaker), and unfortunately follows up my horrid experience with the one other Serge Lutens I tried to love, Ambre Sultan. I am 0 for 2 with Lutens and not sure that I can make peace with this line. The upside may be a good upcoming deal on AS + FdB in the sale forum. I am glad to have tried them if for no other reason than reference.
It's a bit of a paradox. Woody and soft and the same time, with cinnamon floating above it.
My problem with it is that it seems to disappear on my skin. I can't smell it after an hour. This is not acceptable for an EDP, especially one in the Lutens price range.
But I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the problem is me.
It's possible, just possible, that my nose is burned out. That it's fried. That it's totally desensitized from all the 80's fragrances I grew up loving.
Maybe the huge shoulder pads combined with Poison did some kind of lasting damage. The atmosphere of 1984 was 51% Giorgio, as the Good Lord intended, but does that mean that years later I can't enjoy something delicate and sophisticated like Feminite du Bois?
Am I suffering from the Obsession Effect?
Or do I just have a weak sample. I think I will withhold final judgement, obtain another sample, and try this one again. Stay tuned.
The ultimate signature perfume since the 90's, its changed a little here and there of course suffering the usual assaults by IFRA and the SCCNFP's scalpel but its still glorious.
I recall the legend that is Yves de Chiris describing that after the usual toing and froing Serge declared he wanted a cake made out of woods which was the eureka moment. Interesting that Yves also was one of the holly trinity behind Angel which was in development at the same time, hhhmmmm 1992, a delicious year...
I stopped wearing Angel years ago but Femininte du Bois is the only juice I have ever been faithful to.