Bois de violette (1992)

Bois de violette by Serge Lutens
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7.8 / 10     75 RatingsRatingsRatings
Bois de violette is a popular perfume by Serge Lutens for women and men and was released in 1992. The scent is floral-woody. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Blossoms, Violet leaf, Cedarwood



7.8 (75 Ratings)


7.3 (48 Ratings)


6.1 (49 Ratings)


7.8 (56 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 22.09.2018.
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0 Reviews
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Very helpful Review    4
Dark Purple Velvet
Violet always sounds much more playful and cute than the French violet, which is also a female first name. Violette, let's take the -e away and immediately have the matching shade "violet", where I have just noticed that in everyday language the clumsy "purple" has often mistakenly crept in.
Pantone has chosen the colour "Ultra Violet 18-3838" as trend colour 2018.
Then there is the romantic meaning and language of flowers. There's a lot of nostalgia in that. Today, flowers are no longer chosen as gifts according to their message.
But where we are at the messages of the flowers:
The violet stands for innocence and restraint, virginity, modesty and loyalty.

Now when I smell on my wrist where I applied Luten's "Bois de Violette", completely different associations and images come to my mind.
It's not an immature, naive girl wearing that scent. It is not tender and not restrained.
The fragrance radiates a feminine maturity, it is deep and dark. As a color it would be a dark velvety violet.
It is a perfume with character, not at all superficial or loud, but it is very present and very confident in its charisma. It is like a good, mature red wine, a long kiss in the evening, a deep black night sky. The seduction happens alone, the scent holds a silent eroticism in itself. The dark that I feel in it, but has nothing dark, rather something mysterious and very feminine.
I find it dark woody-velvet-flowery.

I don't know if Serge Lutens and I can still get together. Bois de Violette" doesn't suit me either, and yet it is always a special experience to get to know one of its scents. I believe that the wearer and this scent know very quickly that they belong to each other.
6.0 3.0 3.0 4.0/10

99 Reviews
Sadly Disappointing
I love woody fragrances, and I love several Lutens fragrances, including Cuir Mauresque, Chergui, and Fille en Aiguilles, so I am sad to say that I am very disappointed in BdV.

Unlike many other reviewers, I detect neither candied violets, powder, candied plum, peach, orange blossom, rose, cardamum, cinnamon, clove, musk, vanilla, nor honey in this fragrance. I love so many of these notes, but they simply are not present to my nose. I smell a light but sharp cedar and a very light green note which may be the violet leaf, but not much else. Performance is very poor, too. It is nearly a skin scent from initial application and thus reminds me more of a cologne than an EdP. The fragrance all but disappears on my skin in under two hours.

Either my nose is not developed enough to tease more notes out of BdV or my bottle is compromised or BdV is greatly overrated indeed. However, I wish to give the benefit of the doubt to the fragrance and to so many other reviewers who disagree with this assessment, so I have awarded BdV a neutral rating. If I have the opportunity to retest this fragrance from another bottle and my opinion changes, I will happily update this review. In the meantime, if you seek a pleasant cedar dominant fragrance, I recommend Cedré.

Fragrance: 4/10

Projection: 2/10

Sillage: 2/10

Longevity: 2/10

325 Reviews
Passable Beauty
The name means wood of violet, I imagine. First sniff is an almost candied violet with a sharp wood note. Our database says blossoms, violet leaf, cedarwood. The initial sweetness and sharpness die down quickly and we’re left with a subdued loveliness of the listed notes. Though beautiful, it’s not for me. Too sedate.
7.5 2.5 2.5 7.0/10

91 Reviews
Innocent and Girly
This scent is pretty linear. The Cedar and Violet leaf are dominant throughout with a touch of powder from the violet flower. The sillage is low and the scent is rather short lived. It is very beautiful while it lasts though.

This one makes me think of sundresses with little floral patterns. All dainty and girly. This is also a very comforting scent for me, which is why I've considered buying it despite it's short longevity.

7.5 7.5 8.0/10

1239 Reviews
Helpful Review    4
Cedar and Violet at a concentration I can detect
Now here's a cedar-violet composition from le Grand Serge for me. When I donned FEMINITE DU BOIS earlier today, I seriously worried that I might be suffering an "anosmic moment". I literally could smell NOTHING for a couple of minutes. BOIS DE VIOLETTE has solved that problem by basically tripling the violets and doubling the cedar to produce a gorgeous creation obviously intended precisely for me, the world's biggest violet 'ho' (big in passion, not in size).

There is some real depth to this deceptively simple combination of notes. Ironically, the first Serge Lutens perfume to go into the "must buy" category of my wish list is also the one that costs 50% more than the others. Why? I ask most sincerely. Violets? Cedar? What's the special ingredient which justifies the "special" price? I wonder.

Well, let's not get bogged down in ignoble mundanities. This perfume is beautiful--that's the bottom line.

484 Reviews
Helpful Review    5
less booze, more crystal
The first time I tried Bois de Violette I kicked myself for having bought Feminité du Bois a few months earlier. You know that shitty feeling of having bought the good, and then finding the better? I quickly came to the conclusion, though, that I prefer Feminité for most purposes and would choose it over BdV if I were to have just one. BdV brings into relief a feeling about Feminité that I could never quite get my nose around. Feminité’s boozyish combination of fruit, wood and flower expresses itself with a dried-fruit resinousness that I find nowhere except in the SL Feminité and Bois perfumes. Without using any of the classic perfume resins/oils (benzoin, olibanum, myrrh, spikenard, peru balsam, cistus labdanum) Feminité synthesizes a flower/fruit/wood that has the same stickiness and chewy quality that we associate with botanical resins.

Bois de Violette, while gorgeous, removes the stickiness of Feminité in order to focus on the highs of the added violet. The result is that it speaks in a higher, perhaps prettier register, but loses some of the implicit harmony of Feminité’s middle register.

The Feminité / BdV dilemma fleshes out an understanding that I’ve been coming to. I’ve always preferred the range of the viola to that of the violin. In the small bit that I’ve experienced of opera, I’m instantly drawn to the mezzo soprano rather than the soprano. The majority are drawn to the most prominent, the one that shines the brightest, the highest in the hierarchy. But just listen to a recording of Marilyn Horne singing Rossini and you’ll understand why I’ve come to prefer Feminité du Bois to Bois de Violette.
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