Bois Imperial by Essential Parfums (Quentin Bisch)

ToughCool

More Cool Than Tough
Basenotes Plus
Jun 12, 2008
Yeah, basically my reaction. Strong bug spray vibes.

I've had a jokey rant going in the Friday sync thread about how persistent this stuff is - after about 10 hours of nuclear projection last time I wore it, I eventually had to scrub it off in the shower. Despite only wearing two light sprays from a decant and giving myself a thorough scrub, when I got out of the shower it was still so strong on my skin that it managed to contaminate the bath towel and my bedsheets to the point where it was obviously detectable the next day. I washed my t-shirt on hot, with an extra rinse cycle, and 10 days later (!) I put the clean shirt on and the screeching BI smell was still strong enough to give me an instant headache. My new theory is that most people are just anosmic to whatever molecules are overdosed here, and those of us who can smell it just have a really rough ride. Wear with caution!

I own and wear a lot of vetiver scents without issue, including some that heavily rely on ISO E and vetiveryl acetate, so I don't think it's the vetiver note. Here, I suspect it's either the akigalawood or whatever "georgywood" is (or some other unlisted molecule), and the ambroxan base seems to quietly boost longevity to insane levels. I agree this doesn't really smell woody so much as aggressively peppery, more of a harsh chemical smell than anything.

Glad some folks love it, but I suspect we'll see more of these reactions as this stuff grows in popularity. I had a similar reaction to Gucci Guilty Absolute, for what it's worth; I actually enjoyed the scent profile, but something in the top notes came off as screeching and caused an instant headache.

EDIT: in defense of Bois Imperial, my daughter smelled it on me the other day and said she loved it, literally describing it as "the best scent you've tried." So there's that at least!

Yeah I’m wearing it again today and no change..spicy bug spray that assaults my senses. I’m guessing I’ll never get this one because it’s quite linear too. About 5 seconds every 30 min or so I get a smell of what it could be and then assaults again
I actually saw them but frightened me off as I had never heard of them. Thanks for the recommendation though!! Providing I like my sample I'll probably look to order via them.

You’ll def like it mate. The hype is real on this one!!!

Man of the World you are smart sampling because I was prepared to love this stuff and went full bottle and it was a dud to me. For me I’m Public Enemy… don’t believe the hype😀
 

Man Of The World

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 3, 2017
Yeah I’m wearing it again today and no change..spicy bug spray that assaults my senses. I’m guessing I’ll never get this one because it’s quite linear too. About 5 seconds every 30 min or so I get a smell of what it could be and then assaults again




Man of the World you are smart sampling because I was prepared to love this stuff and went full bottle and it was a dud to me. For me I’m Public Enemy… don’t believe the hype😀
LOL. Yeah....Just ordering a 3 ml decant. How different can 2 points of view be? LOL
 

sunny5011

Basenotes Junkie
Jun 24, 2009
Yeah I’m wearing it again today and no change..spicy bug spray that assaults my senses. I’m guessing I’ll never get this one because it’s quite linear too. About 5 seconds every 30 min or so I get a smell of what it could be and then assaults again




Man of the World you are smart sampling because I was prepared to love this stuff and went full bottle and it was a dud to me. For me I’m Public Enemy… don’t believe the hype😀
I initially thought about bug spray and couldn't wear it much at first but after wearing only 2 sprays max and after about 20 wearings, that association is gone. Now its a totally different scent and I can't stop smelling it. Its a beautiful concoction.
 

L'Aventurier

Basenotes Dependent
May 8, 2008
Yeah I’m wearing it again today and no change..spicy bug spray that assaults my senses. I’m guessing I’ll never get this one because it’s quite linear too. About 5 seconds every 30 min or so I get a smell of what it could be and then assaults again

I get that bug spray note. I also get a chlorine / indoor pool note... But I love it.

I think this is one of the few fragrances where I actually enjoy the chemical nature of it (I usually can't stand synthetic notes or anything with an overdose of ambrox, iso e super, etc.)

Bois Imperial reminds me of being in the woods (bug spray), swimming lessons when I was a kid (chlorine), bleach, laundry detergent.... All things that are chemical but associated with being active and being clean. It's very sporty but hard to pigeonhole.

On the natural side, there's an amazing thai basil + pepper note that almost feels animalic, in combination with the grapefruit and leather. The salty combo of calone, vetiver, oakmoss and ambrox reminds me of moss and seaweed covered beaches or ocean cliffs.

All explanations aside, I love this shit for some reason, and even the "off-notes" make it better. If you can get past that, there's something magical about this one.

Also, one spray is more than enough for people to smell you from a distance (humidity and heat permitting). Anything more makes me nose-blind.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
I get that bug spray note. I also get a chlorine / indoor pool note... But I love it.

I think this is one of the few fragrances where I actually enjoy the chemical nature of it (I usually can't stand synthetic notes or anything with an overdose of ambrox, iso e super, etc.)

Bois Imperial reminds me of being in the woods (bug spray), swimming lessons when I was a kid (chlorine), bleach, laundry detergent.... All things that are chemical but associated with being active and being clean. It's very sporty but hard to pigeonhole.

On the natural side, there's an amazing thai basil + pepper note that almost feels animalic, in combination with the grapefruit and leather. The salty combo of calone, vetiver, oakmoss and ambrox reminds me of moss and seaweed covered beaches or ocean cliffs.

All explanations aside, I love this shit for some reason, and even the "off-notes" make it better. If you can get past that, there's something magical about this one.

Also, one spray is more than enough for people to smell you from a distance (humidity and heat permitting). Anything more makes me nose-blind.
Really good description. I can actually see the appeal when I wear it, but the bug spray note just slams my sinuses so hard that I can't get past it. I actually like the way it smells on a paper test strip.
 

H_West

Basenotes Dependent
Oct 14, 2015
I get that bug spray note. I also get a chlorine / indoor pool note... But I love it.

I think this is one of the few fragrances where I actually enjoy the chemical nature of it (I usually can't stand synthetic notes or anything with an overdose of ambrox, iso e super, etc.)

Bois Imperial reminds me of being in the woods (bug spray), swimming lessons when I was a kid (chlorine), bleach, laundry detergent.... All things that are chemical but associated with being active and being clean. It's very sporty but hard to pigeonhole.

On the natural side, there's an amazing thai basil + pepper note that almost feels animalic, in combination with the grapefruit and leather. The salty combo of calone, vetiver, oakmoss and ambrox reminds me of moss and seaweed covered beaches or ocean cliffs.

All explanations aside, I love this shit for some reason, and even the "off-notes" make it better. If you can get past that, there's something magical about this one.

Also, one spray is more than enough for people to smell you from a distance (humidity and heat permitting). Anything more makes me nose-blind.
Interesting! As you're mentioning it I'm noticing it too. It is something chemical/sharp, but at the same time, fresh about that pool note. I guess the associations from it is good. I've just bought a 10 ml bottle but I didn't notice that from start. I bought it based on a sniff from a strip but it surely has changed by wearing it.
 

pouring

Basenotes Dependent
May 22, 2013
My SOTD.

Have not worn in a while. Such a likeable easy wear.

I struggle a bit with the airy nature of it.

However in terms of longevity it kicks most other scents in to touch.

Have been wearing Bois dEbene for toast couple of days. Smother by far but not as impact making and becomes a barely discernible scent scent to quickly.

Not with Bois Imperial. Long lasting goodness
 

L'Aventurier

Basenotes Dependent
May 8, 2008
I think it's the vetiver. Encre Noire gives off strong pool/chlorine vibes, some parts of Sycomore EDT and Vetiver by Guerlain do it as well.
I think you're onto something. Iso E Super and its peers (eg. Timbersilk) also give me that chlorine / bleach vibe, but especially when combined with vetiver. The ambrox (or maybe amberwood?) in Bois Imperial is most definitely what makes the fragrance feel wet or humid. Maybe iso e super + ambrox + vetiver is the start to a really great pool accord! I haven't tried Louis Vuitton's Afternoon Swim, but now I'm really tempted to.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
I think you're onto something. Iso E Super and its peers (eg. Timbersilk) also give me that chlorine / bleach vibe, but especially when combined with vetiver. The ambrox (or maybe amberwood?) in Bois Imperial is most definitely what makes the fragrance feel wet or humid. Maybe iso e super + ambrox + vetiver is the start to a really great pool accord! I haven't tried Louis Vuitton's Afternoon Swim, but now I'm really tempted to.
I could see the vetiver contributing to the pool/chlorine accord, but I don't think it's the source of the bug spray accord. Some vetivers have a bleachy iodine aspect - it's in Guerlain Vetiver, even if it manifests differently than in Sycomore or Encre Noire. The bug spray accord in Bois Imperial seems more related to the peppery top notes; possibly the megadose of akigalawood, or maybe something else (whatever "georgywood" is, perhaps).

Fun update on the longevity of this stuff: I know I'm in the minority who dislikes Bois Imperial, but the longevity on this stuff is just beyond nuclear, and I suspect most folks aren't even smelling the most irksome accords. I have a t-shirt that is essentially ruined from having worn this stuff once, well over a month ago. I wore two light sprays from a decant and the shirt has now been through the laundry 3 times. It still reeks! If I keep it in my shirt drawer, the whole drawer reeks. If I exercise in that shirt (as I've now done twice), the whole room gets contaminated, not to mention my skin. For those who like it, you're certainly getting your money's worth!
 
Jan 20, 2019
Fun update on the longevity of this stuff: I know I'm in the minority who dislikes Bois Imperial, but the longevity on this stuff is just beyond nuclear, and I suspect most folks aren't even smelling the most irksome accords. I have a t-shirt that is essentially ruined from having worn this stuff once, well over a month ago. I wore two light sprays from a decant and the shirt has now been through the laundry 3 times. It still reeks! If I keep it in my shirt drawer, the whole drawer reeks. If I exercise in that shirt (as I've now done twice), the whole room gets contaminated, not to mention my skin. For those who like it, you're certainly getting your money's worth!

I think we have a contender to battle against Jovoy Private Label for longest nuclear performance!!
 
Aug 16, 2022
I wore two light sprays from a decant and the shirt has now been through the laundry 3 times. It still reeks! If I keep it in my shirt drawer, the whole drawer reeks. If I exercise in that shirt (as I've now done twice), the whole room gets contaminated, not to mention my skin.
Sounds like my kind of fragrance. I'll have to try a sample because I don't buy the hype enough to blind buy.
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
Sounds like my kind of fragrance. I'll have to try a sample because I don't buy the hype enough to blind buy.
Definitely sample if you can. Most people really do love it, but those of us who don't tend to have a viscerally negative reaction.

The longevity thing also seems to vary - it's not heavy, but more of an aggressively peppery / synthetic / woody smell, like an updated Terre d'Hermes or Encre Noire (both of which I actually really like). It's pretty easy to go nose blind when you're actually wearing it, but it's the kind of thing where you'll get wafts of it forever. I'm clearly hypersensitive to something in here, and I have a feeling most folks can't even smell the bug spray accord that contaminates sheets, towels, laundry, and anything else you come in contact with.
 
Jan 20, 2019
It's pretty easy to go nose blind when you're actually wearing it, but it's the kind of thing where you'll get wafts of it forever. I'm clearly hypersensitive to something in here, and I have a feeling most folks can't even smell the bug spray accord


It's interesting; I didn't get the bug spray accord the first wearing: At night, 2 sprays, party favors involved an hour in.

But 2 days later, I wore in the day time, 3 sprays, and no party favors as I was at work all day. This is where I smelled the 'bug spray accord'; initially, later in the morning, and especially when my body became heated(5th or 6th cup of coffee). I did get wafts all day, but it was different than the accord I smelled the night before, and, it seemed reactive to environment & body temp. I was self conscience pretty bad, and that probably started a "bug spray feedback loop", lol!



I think the construction is avant-garde, and the materials don't grate on me like the "blu wave" designer materials do, but I just can't enjoy something this finicky. If I drink 6 cups of coffee while wearing Gucci Nobile, it just gets better & better! :)
 
Aug 16, 2022
It's not heavy, but more of an aggressively peppery / synthetic / woody smell, like an updated Terre d'Hermes or Encre Noire (both of which I actually really like).
I passed on both of those after sampling, but if you like them and don't like Imperial, maybe I will?

I have a feeling most folks can't even smell the bug spray accord that contaminates sheets, towels, laundry, and anything else you come in contact with.
I do like the classic OFF! smell; this is getting better and better! Hornet spray isn't my favorite. :)
 

ToughCool

More Cool Than Tough
Basenotes Plus
Jun 12, 2008
Definitely sample if you can. Most people really do love it, but those of us who don't tend to have a viscerally negative reaction.

The longevity thing also seems to vary - it's not heavy, but more of an aggressively peppery / synthetic / woody smell, like an updated Terre d'Hermes or Encre Noire (both of which I actually really like). It's pretty easy to go nose blind when you're actually wearing it, but it's the kind of thing where you'll get wafts of it forever. I'm clearly hypersensitive to something in here, and I have a feeling most folks can't even smell the bug spray accord that contaminates sheets, towels, laundry, and anything else you come in contact with.

You and I, as earlier mentioned, are in the same boat. I can’t get rid of that bug spray smell and completely agree with the aggressive pepper/scratchy feel. In fact I’ve discovered that is one of my main faults with this…it feels incomplete. I wore HdP 1899 the other day as it’s one of my fave Fall/Winter fragrances. It has a peppery/spicy accord. However it’s muted by the cinnamon and orange blossom and then is sweetened with amber/vanilla. This one has no “muter” or finisher. So I wore this a 3rd time the other day. Full day and fully sprayed with a few more squirts. I was less annoyed but everytime I caught a whiff I was waiting for a closer…a sweetness or smoothness. It never comes and it leaves it pestering. Even when I smell the sprayer I get a “pester” for 30 min after and I want it toned down. Not sure if that makes sense but it’s like waiting for the punchline that never happens. It’s like linear static
 

pouring

Basenotes Dependent
May 22, 2013
You and I, as earlier mentioned, are in the same boat. I can’t get rid of that bug spray smell and completely agree with the aggressive pepper/scratchy feel. In fact I’ve discovered that is one of my main faults with this…it feels incomplete. I wore HdP 1899 the other day as it’s one of my fave Fall/Winter fragrances. It has a peppery/spicy accord. However it’s muted by the cinnamon and orange blossom and then is sweetened with amber/vanilla. This one has no “muter” or finisher. So I wore this a 3rd time the other day. Full day and fully sprayed with a few more squirts. I was less annoyed but everytime I caught a whiff I was waiting for a closer…a sweetness or smoothness. It never comes and it leaves it pestering. Even when I smell the sprayer I get a “pester” for 30 min after and I want it toned down. Not sure if that makes sense but it’s like waiting for the punchline that never happens. It’s like linear static
Great post. The lack of a “finisher” makes so much sense when you say it.

I wore this yesterday. Applied at 7.00 am same scent 12 hours later and it definitely is not as smooth as other more expensive scents
 

Toxicon

Basenotes Dependent
May 29, 2021
I passed on both of those after sampling, but if you like them and don't like Imperial, maybe I will?


I do like the classic OFF! smell; this is getting better and better! Hornet spray isn't my favorite. :)
Really hard to say how you'll enjoy it. It feels modern, minimalistic, synthetic, and extremely linear; for those who like the central accord, that's probably a great thing. I think you could describe Encre Noire the same way, and I know a lot of people find the aggressive ISO E and triple dose of vetiver to be too harsh. I love vetiver and have no qualms with ISO E, so it works for me.

But whether you like Bois Imperial probably just boils down to whether you like whatever ingredients they're overdosing here. I don't honestly know what's in this, but it has the feel of a modern scent where one ingredient is cranked way out of proportion to everything else (whatever gives it that peppery abrasive quality, and that leaves the whole composition feeling hollow but tenacious). I'd love to pinpoint the exact ingredient or note combination so I can watch for it in the future. (Maybe large amounts of akigalawood? Maybe "georgywood"? Wish I knew.)
 
Oct 8, 2003
Agreeing with many of the recent posts. I was very very apprehensive about going FB with this but I do now own it. There were times when I would wear it and find it so screechy and almost headache inducing, it would get right up my nose. But then there were times when I'd sniff a t-shirt and love the afterglow so I knew there was something about it I enjoyed. I also wanted to use up the samples voucher which made the FB very good value.

I am not wearing it at all these days, though that may be because it's getting colder, but also because it's a very simple, powerful, linear and loud scent and that's not really me. It's artificial, at times obnoxious, cool/cold, enormous. As I reflect more I think I bought it more for what it symbolises, a good, alternative, masculine that is very wearable, likeable, and tenacious. I would have worn this instead of Aventus in my twenties.

I've been dying to try Kenzo EDP pour homme because it looks like Bois Imperial with sea notes, I was intrigued even though I don't normally do oceanic.

Overall I think I'm still undecided, I don't feel like selling it immediately yet I am also not reaching for it regularly. It holds my intrigue, I'm just not sure it fully fits me.

The fact there's five pages of discussion is proof it has stirred the community.
 

pouring

Basenotes Dependent
May 22, 2013
The following paragraphs could have been written by me…. Super post

I am not wearing it at all these days, though that may be because it's getting colder, but also because it's a very simple, powerful, linear and loud scent and that's not really me. It's artificial, at times obnoxious, cool/cold, enormous. As I reflect more I think I bought it more for what it symbolises, a good, alternative, masculine that is very wearable, likeable, and tenacious. I would have worn this instead of Aventus in my twenties.
Overall I think I'm still undecided, I don't feel like selling it immediately yet I am also not reaching for it regularly. It holds my intrigue, I'm just not sure it fully fits me.
 

Nom de Guerre

Basenotes Dependent
Jan 2, 2020
I've been dying to try Kenzo EDP pour homme because it looks like Bois Imperial with sea notes, I was intrigued even though I don't normally do oceanic.

I had Kenzo Homme EDP (2022) and sold it after a brief trial run. It didn't remind me of Bois Imperial or Ganymede (I don't find these two similar as well) but it did smell like a less dense dupe for Patchouli Magnetik from Maison Crivelli (same perfumer, who'd guess?) with a pinch of marine notes. So far, I've only kept Ganymede and I've come around to really liking it.
 

ripjean

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 9, 2014
Has anyone noticed lots of particles floating in their Bois Imperiale? I assume this is just the "natural ingredients" doing their stuff but just thought I would check.
 

Effortless

Basenotes Member
Jan 11, 2022
Has anyone noticed lots of particles floating in their Bois Imperiale? I assume this is just the "natural ingredients" doing their stuff but just thought I would check.

That does not sound so good.
Just checked my bottle (older batch 1L291 - 73% VOL) and there isn't a trace. Juice is so homogeneous and transparent I can hardly spot the tube.
 

Andy the frenchy

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 16, 2018
Has anyone noticed lots of particles floating in their Bois Imperiale? I assume this is just the "natural ingredients" doing their stuff but just thought I would check.
These might be micro-precipitates of oil, possibly caused by bad storage (too cold), before the sale or transportation.
Heating it (moderatly, like around 80F) might dissolve these, but if you did not notice any alteration in smell, I'd suggest to keep using it as it is.
 
Mar 26, 2022
Fine particles in fragrances are generally precipitates that form over time as resinous components of natural materials fall out of solution. Generally doesn't happen with cheaper commercial frags because those usually don't contain much in the way of natural resins. Could be a sign that the fragrance wasn't allowed to macerate for long enough before being filtered - but unless the odor is off or there's enough to clog the sprayer, I would consider it a sign of a quality fragrance that contains natural materials such as resin oils, wood oils, juniper, etc. Slimy residues could be a sign that the fragrance contains some residual fatty compounds from floral absolutes/concretes that weren't removed by chilled filtration and are more common in older, higher-end fragrances.

If it's an indie fragrance, it could also be a sign that the artisanal perfumer who made it hasn't gotten their filtration procedure completely figured out yet or doesn't use perfumers' alcohol with any water in it (because water causes the resins to fall out of solution quickly, making the fragrance go cloudy at first, something I've seen one claim is a bad thing).
 

ripjean

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 9, 2014
These might be micro-precipitates of oil, possibly caused by bad storage (too cold), before the sale or transportation.
Heating it (moderatly, like around 80F) might dissolve these, but if you did not notice any alteration in smell, I'd suggest to keep using it as it is.
This makes sense - the fragrance was sent to me and we are going through a cold snap at the moment so the bottle was very cold. The smell is great as is the performance.
 

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