Tag Archives: Collection Extraordinaire

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.

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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.

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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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Lunar hug, Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli

I’m not an owl type of person. I never spend long hours at night doing some productive things. I would pick a good night sleep over any other night-time activity. But at the same time I find evenings or nights to be a fascinating time. It feels magical when you can observe the stars but most of all I always liked looking at the moon. I like comparing it to a pearl of the night sky. Its glow is soft, soothing. It’s also such a gracious motif for a perfume. I’m a big fan of at least 3 fragrances with moon in their name. Lately I’ve been lusting over new Van Cleef & Arpels release.

Moonlight Patchouli begins in one of the softest and most delicate ways I experienced. Once I spray the perfume on my skin, it immediately melts into it and slowly starts to effuse a gentle fragrant aura. First I am welcomed by a magnificent suede accord. It warms up on the skin to a very pleasant temperature. It’s unbelievably soft and delicate. This suede note is so fluffy that the only good comparison for it is a huge teddy bear. Its plush fur is so cuddly and embracing that you could spend the whole day just hugging it. And I have the same feeling with new Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s this kind of softness that makes me feel cosy & safe. I can really feel its embrace.

Within 15-20 minutes this soft leathery aroma starts to enrich with a precious essence of Bulgarian rose. Its floral nuances are sheer and they entwine with suede, so that rose itself doesn’t make a large manifest of its presence. It’s subdued but actually it’s a big plus of Moonlight Patchouli. It would feel wrong if this perfume had any loud notes. Moving on from leathery rose – the perfume starts to sweeten. Cocoa notes gives it a lovely portion of sweetness that is not as obvious as it sounds. For it doesn’t smell like chocolate. Cocoa in this fragrances is a combination of powdery, gourmand-ish and oily facets that beautifully highlight the elegance of this creation.

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When I noticed this cocoa note I was even reminded a little bit of hot chocolate with a pinch of chilli, because this new addition to Collection Extraordinaire feels so warm. Afterwards a perfume develops a delicate fruity note. These are mostly dried fruit without a hint of smoke. In my opinion a handful of to me it would include dried apricots mostly. The longer I wear Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli the more I notice how it develops a lovely powdery vibe that after some time crystallizes into an iris. It’s a slow process during which this initially blurry note becomes more defined. Afterwards iris becomes more velvety thanks to its gorgeous purple petals.

Few hours later the drydown starts to come in a lazy manner. The base is pleasantly woody, even official notes structure doesn’t mention more. And as it says, woodiness of Moonlight Patchouli is hard to define because it doesn’t simply smell of sandalwood, cedar or other species of wood. At some point also a bit of patchouli appears to provide more structure to the composition and give it more dimension. Actually I think it’s thanks to patchouli that drydown has a nicely highlighted iris – this time more silky and suede – which is just as cuddly as before. Even though the final stage of development arrives within 4-5 hours I wasn’t bored because even the drydown undergoes some changes instead of being monotonous. This perfume put a spell on me. And I let it do it.

I had a chance to try Moonlight Patchouli thanks to a sample that came from Germany together with a perfume I bought to self to celebrate my birthday. It was a love at first sight, love at first sniff. I followed with a full bottle purchase within a week after I tried it. Van Cleef & Arpels together with perfumer Sonia Constant did an amazing job with this new release. I especially love the warmth and embrace this perfume offers to anyone who wears it. It might sound a bit funny to say but overall character of it matches the style of La La Land musical in my opinion. Sensuality of Moonlight Patchouli is addictive and seductive in its innocence. I’m sure you’ll love it too.

[note] photo – my own; all rights reserved

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