Sweet dreams, Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

When I woke up this morning I felt the unstoppable urge of reviewing, this does not happen often. Good, because I was actually planning a review for today. The problem was I didn’t know what to review. Luckily life gave me a sign! I was doing a plum confiture with my Mum today and then it struck me that I should reach for something sweet. In my career I didn’t have much experience with foody perfume, rather known as gourmands. Melissa, a gourmand lover (check out her blog) supplied me with nice pack of “edible” perfume. Thank you dear!

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille is a fragrance that appeared in the market in 2003. It’s described as oriental vanilla which is quite right. Perfumer who created this fragrance is Christopher Sheldrake. In the opening I smell a lot of yummy coconut milk combined with sweet licorice. It has a blast of sweetness, but only for a moment. After few minutes it becomes much better when sandalwood reveals its presence. This stage reminds me of my favourite scented candles for autumn and winter seasons. Awhile later Un Bois Vanille is more dry woody than sweet although all edible ingredients of this fragrance are still perfectly perceptible. This phase remains for some time effusing nuances of warm vanilla and honey. It’s simply delicious.

Few hours from the moment of applying I could smell a touch of spiciness, provided by benzoin and tonka bean I think. There’s also a scent of bitter almonds tingling here and it’s easy to notice as the smell is specific. Musks create a nice base for Un Bois Vanille from Serge Lutens. Thanks to them a slightly animalic character is added. There’s also guaiac wood in this fragrance and it gives sensation of something burning. It’s somehow smoky and it creates depth to it. Overall – it’s charming fragrance.

When I first tried this fragrance I was really impressed by the quality, it’s whole day longevity and nice, not overwhelming projection. The smell of Un Bois Vanille brings memories of long autumn and winter evening spent on reading a book or sitting by the fireplace with a big mug of favourite chocolate drink. It’s truly a cozy scent that gives sweet aura to it’s wearer. I imagine myself wearing it to the meeting in local cafe, where smooth jazz quetly plays in the background and light is always dim. Un Bois Vanille suits pleasant conversations.

By the impression I get after wearing it, I dare to say that this Serge Lutens perfume will smell best in colder weather of autumn and winter, it would be too cloying in summer and spring probably. Un Bois Vanille is all about different aspects of sweet, edible things and woodiness of sandalwood. It’s marketed as feminine but “brave” guys will definitely pull it off. This Serge Lutens is sold in 50 ml bottle with stopper (spray included in box) and the packaging design signature to this brand. A good choice for gourmand lovers and those who crave something different.

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16 thoughts on “Sweet dreams, Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

  1. UBV is classy and soft, yet still enough quality and uniqueness to classify it as niche and make you feel like you’re not wearing it to please others.

    Lovely review, Lucas 🙂 Thank you for the shout-out!

    Also, I wear this in any weather 😉 But thn that’s cos it is “light” compared to my other frags…

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, soft and cozy like a warm blanket 🙂 I’m not into gourmands so I don’t know if there’s something mainstream that smells close to it, probably there is (you tell me).
      I’m happy you liked it. A shout-out? What do you mean? My comment about associations, or something else?

      You like it and you like foody scents, so just suit yourself.

  2. shellyw says:

    The SL I have tried had a few similarities. It lasted well into the day and was very gourmand. My 7 year old students thought I smelled like brownies, it was in fact Ambre Sultan.

  3. smellythoughts says:

    I’ve never really been too fond of Un Bois Vanille – it has everything I should like in it but I think you hit the nail on the head – candle. Another fragrance which smells like a candle is Parfumerie Generale’s Un Crime Exotique – which I similarly admire but wouldn’t wear.
    I still haven’t found a vanilla soliflore I can wear yet… ahh well. Glad you’re enjoying this Lucas 😀

    • lucasai says:

      I got a sample yesterday and gave it a try immediately and I enjoy it, but don’t think I’ll need a bottle one day. Sample will be enough. It really smells like vanilla pudding candle. The PG you mentioned – I don’t know it, I know very few of PG (3 or 4)
      Did you try Vanille Exquise of Annick Goutal?

      • smellythoughts says:

        Yes I have – I KIND of enjoyed it – it had a slight “off” note that I often get with vanilla, myrrh and some ambers. I will retry it though.
        You must explore the PG line more – I wish I included a sample of Intrigant Patchouli in the sample bag I sent you, it is a standout in the line, but, I’ve sampled away so much of my small bottle I am savouring it now!
        PG are fabulous for gourmands – Aomassai you would probably love. It’s rich sweet caramel that falls into dark liqourice soaked woods. And obviously, Musc Maori which I have sent you a sample of 🙂
        Un Crime Exotique I mentioned is basically a spicy gingerbread, it’s fantastic, but too reminicent of a good candle.

        • lucasai says:

          Will try to learn more about PG. There are two niche perfumeries in Poland and one of them carries a part of their line. Unfortunately it’s not that perfumery that has it’s boutique in my university town. If it was the one I would visit them and smell something. Oh well, I can order some samples of PG from the second perfumery. But not now, I’m slowing down with buying samples. I’m probably buying Rose Anonyme next week. It has just arrived at the local perfume shop.

  4. Gwenyth says:

    I’ve been reading your blog lately — Nice work!
    Serge Lutens fragrances were my first niche brand scents after ONLY knowing about and using more ‘mainstream’ fragrances I could buy in a department store. Wow! I was utterly amazed that such fragrances existed.
    Un Bois Vanille was among the first of the Lutens fragrances I tried. It was love at first sniff. Since that time I have acquired many Lutens perfumes and I firmly believe many of them are true masterpieces.

    Keep reviewing, OK? and I’ll keep reading…. 🙂

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks for visiting. So you literally jumped into deep water of niche, going into Lutens from mainstream. There are many I don’t know but Lutens line is very educative for me. Some really are masterpieces. Un Bois Vanille is one of those that are good to start an adventure with Lutens.

      Sure I’ll keep going.

  5. flittersniffer says:

    I don’t know why I overlooked this for so long, but Ari awakened my interest in it and I ended up buying a decant from her. Particularly nice in the colder weather, I sense.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    I will include this on my To Try list on my next trip to Barneys. My office move was postponed until ???…I must be the only person who was disappointed with not starting a longer and more expensive commute!

  7. […] reading Olfactoria’sTravels and ChemistInTheBottle SurrenderToChance starts at $4/.5ml You can also grab a bottle at the usual places, I found an […]

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