Crystal clear, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois Doré

First days of spring used to be different from now. Mornings would be crisp and very refreshing while in the afternoon it become pleasantly warm but still not warm enough to give up on some sort of a jacket. Yesterday we still got some snow here. Perhaps winter wanted to say goodbye on its last day? But it continues to be cold for the moment and I don’t feel like bringing my spring perfume to the front of the shelf. That’s why I’m going to use this opportunity to tell you about another gorgeous and warm perfume, from Van Cleef & Arpels, hoping that it will scare leftover bits of winter away.


Bois Doré has a very serene and calm opening that brings to my attention an interesting mineral accord. It’s not something you see often in perfume so you might wonder how does it smell like. To me it’s a very transparent and crystalline aroma that draws a picture of the seaside in the evening. There’s something that reminds me of the scent of rocks giving off their warmth after a hot day. There’s also something pleasantly salty in this perfume. Some body balms are enriched with sea minerals – it that olfactive direction but elevated to much higher elegance and exclusivity.

This crystal-like, slightly salty impression lasts on my skin for 20-30 minutes, sitting there quietly and not changing much. Later on Bois Doré begins to evolve when it warms up. The fragrance has sort of a signature lightness but it also develops a nice density and richness. Cedarwood brings a significant weight to this Van Cleef & Arpels composition but it smells very tender and mellow. It’s warmth is a carrier of sensuality that becomes deeper thanks to dark, slightly resinous & benzoin-like hues of vanilla. Cashmeran introduces so much softness that Bois Doré becomes a Cuddlefluff™.

After some time the perfume becomes very creamy in an oriental kind of way. It still smells irresistibly soft and cuddly but now with an added oriental edge. Tonka bean addition in Bois Doré make it very aromatic. Its creaminess entwines with arousing spiciness that feels very well-balanced. There’s an element of balsamic mystery to it & there even is a hint of something lightly leathery for a brief moment. White musk in Bois Doré veers slightly animalic but it’s so seamlessly blended with a meringue-like cloud of plush. Bois Doré is very huggable. Stylish and inoffensive too.


Composed by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois Doré feels like classy fragrance that wears like a second skin. From the smell of it you can say that it’s using good quality materials. When applied lightly it forms an almost invisible veil around the wearer. I think in this case a small sillage is not disadvantageous. Bois Doré lasts all day and is very pleasing at any moment of the day. I think it’s a great addition to brand’s Collection Extraordinaire. It doesn’t beat Bois d’Iris or Moonlight Patchouli but I wouldn’t mind getting a larger decant. Maybe for next Autumn…

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14 thoughts on “Crystal clear, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois Doré

  1. chez Marzipan says:

    This sounds delightful…and I love the way you trademarked cuddlefluff 🙂

  2. Undina says:

    On the first glance I thought: Finally! They started making smaller bottles! (I know, I know – wishful thinking 🙂 ).
    Perfume sounds interesting though tobacco and almond are hard notes for me: more often than not I do not like them on my skin. But I will give it a try when I get a chance: I might like it – right (especially since it’s a Cuddlefluff™ ;))?

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Just in time! My Bergdorf SA is sending me a bunch of samples tomorrow. I will add this to the list! Cuddlefluff sounds right still even though the calendar insists it is spring.

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