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October 19, 2006

Bois d'Ombrie by Eau d’Italie : Perfume Review

Umbria_assisi

There are seldom fragrances that I try very hard to like, but there are a few. I wanted to like the new Mille et Une Rôse by Lancôme because I wanted desperately to enjoy a glimpse of the original 2000 et Une Rôse. I wanted to enjoy Délices de Cartier because I have a weakness for red tinted bottles, but I could not get past the sugared cherries of the composition. When I first heard about the two newest fragrances from Eau d’Italie, I fell in love with the idea of scents capturing Sienese winters and Umbrian woods, a desire very much influenced by my two year sojourn in Italy. Thankfully, it was not difficult to find myself charmed by Sienne L’Hiver and Bois d’Ombrie. While neither strikes me as an exploration of a dramatically novel theme, their wistful character holds nostalgic connotations for me. …

The scent of Bois d’Ombrie has autumnal associations given its nutty plumminess reminiscent of fallen leaves, its smoky dryness evoking bonfires and its intoxicating tangy sweetness conjuring the aroma of spiced wine. I do not know why a fragrance inspired by Italian woods would evoke an image of Ukrainian rainy autumns, but for me this fact is undeniable. The somber chill of iris gently leads into the honeyed warmth of leather and tobacco. A dried plum note weaves in and out of the composition, teasing like the refrain of a familiar melody escaping from an open window. Warm, mellow and slightly rustic, Bois d’Ombrie dries down into a myrrh dominated etude of leather and woods.

In the end, it is irrelevant whether Bois d’Ombrie is the scent of the Umbrian forests or the aroma of Ukrainian autumns. Like a glimpse into another world—whether real or imagined, Bois d’Ombrie holds an irresistible charm.

Bois d’Ombrie includes top notes of whisky, cognac, Korean calamus, wild carrot; middles notes of tanned leather, Iris of Florence rhizome, Brazilian copahu essence; base notes of Caucasian leather, Haitian vetyver, Turkish Latakia tobacco, Mexican opoponax, Yemenite myrrh, Indonesian patchouli. Eau d’Italie/Sirenuse website provides more information on the line and the points of retails. In the US, Aedes carries the line.

Photo: Duomo San Rufino & Santa Chiara church, Assisi, Umbria. From Enkiri travel.

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