Gris Charnel fragrance notes

  • Head

    • fig, black tea, cardamom
  • Heart

    • iris, bourbon vetiver
  • Base

    • indian sandalwood, tonka bean

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Latest Reviews of Gris Charnel

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I had thought that I reviewed this a long time ago, and I was thinking it was time for an update. But apparently this is my first review.

I remember wanting to like this so badly, and not. I think maybe it was coming across as rubbery to me or something. But I held on to my sample, and every now and then, I would test it again.

One day, it just clicked. I was no longer getting anything unpleasant about it. Just a smooth, and amazingly beautiful fragrance.

For me, this is probably my favorite composition featuring a prominent cardamom note. In fact, it’s also my favorite example of a tea note… and pretty darn up there for the sandalwood as well.

The overall effect of this fragrance is a warm and comforting spicy chai. It dances between creamy and slightly powdery. But this isn’t the lactonic kind of creamy. Gosh it’s just so stunning.

For me, this one is among the special favorites in my collection. Now that I appreciate it, I appreciate it more and more each day. I don’t have anything else even remotely close to this.

Gris Charnel is gorgeous.
14th December 2022
A beautiful blend of cardamom, tea and tonka resulting in warm, spicy cup of creamy chai. The addition of sandalwood and fig bring the coziness up a few more levels to a cable-knit sweater hug of a fragrance, perfect for fall and winter.

Definitely my favorite sandalwood
7th September 2022

A bit average on my skin. Just super sweet with an impression of a crushed candy cane. Very little body or depth. Guess it’s a skin chemistry thing. Lasts well. Will look to try the extrait at some stage.
11th July 2022
Signature scent of my fiancée.
A brilliant composition, very much underrated brand.

To us, it is rather linear. The notes compliment themselves very well. It has a creamy aspect (sandalwood+iris?) but without going gourmand nor powdery.

Do yourself a favour and purchase at least a sample of it :) Now I'm curious about their other offerings.
13th March 2021
Words cannot do justice to this divine concoction. A timeless masterpiece.
23rd October 2020
BDK Parfums Gris Charnel (2019) is an interesting addition to the line, being both familiar and strange at once, combining iris, vetiver, tea, fig, and tonka with oriental elements. Perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui is nothing if not creative in her portfolio, with unconventional creations for the likes of Jacomo and Penhaligon's alike, and here that penchant for being "outside the box but also not" comes through. To be certain, this is not a challenging perfume after it settles, but there is also nothing 100% like it and you'll spend time processing its weirdness before deciding if you enjoy it or not. Oh well, such is niche, and BDK Parfums seeks to a true niche house in the spirit of L'Artisan Parfumeur or Diptyque, so Gris Charnel under those auspices is no surprise. I'm also reminded of some Commodity scents that take a similar direction of smelling like the bottom of a handbag where multiple cosmetics or perfumed products mix after being jostled around for months/years until a new unique "grayed" accord is made from it.

The first thing this does is introduce the fig and black tea, smoothed over by a green cardamom. Fans of Bvlgari Black (1999) and Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme (1999) will liken this opening to an orgy between the two, with cardamom keeping both notes from taking hold over the other, like a form of emulsion. The bourbon vetiver feels familiar to Lalique Encre Noire (2006) and the iris reads more as orris root in this context, very much waxy and rubbery, not powdery or soapy. The iris never fully takes center stage but the accord does feel appropriately "gris" and eventually affords a touch of powderiness late in the wear, especially after a dry sandalwood note joins the fig and vetiver to recall the Ferragamo again but gets blurred by a rare old-school unsweetened tonka that keeps Gris Charnel polite. Wear time is over 9 hours and sillage in "in the pocket" but this can project far in heat thanks to the sharpness. Overall, I'd call this masculine office-ready fare but anyone can wear it, especially if you still listen to Bauhaus or wear old surplus military petticoats as fashion.

The general vibe I get from BDK Parfums Gris Charnel is one of moodiness but lacking enthusiasm, like the edgy kid all dressed in black and grey, too "individual" to identify with goth, metal, or hipster subcultures but also enjoying content from all three "ironically". That's the feeling Gris Charnel gives me, a perfume that dabbles and freestyles with typically unsweet and austere notes, but adds a fig here and a tonka there to keep itself one foot in and one foot out of the artisanal coffee shop where it might hang out if it was a person. I like Gris Charnel but it isn't something I'd reach for personally, since I have scents I can layer to make a similar effect if I so chose, but I can see the value in one perfume checking off the same boxes as several while still feeling like it's own thing. In short, this is a singular perfume for fans of layering. Fans of BDK should definitely check this out but anyone else should NOT start their exploration of the house here, as Gris Charnel is a black (or should I say gray) sheep in the range. Thumbs up.
15th October 2020