This is the first (marketed) feminine fragrance that was created around a very masculine core, cedarwood. Here, in this sleek bottle, people discover the feminine side of a wood.
The perfumers, Pierre Bourdon and Christopher Sheldrake created the fragrance with cedarwood, honey, and plum as the main notes, under the direction of Serge Lutens. In 1992, Féminité du Bois was first launched as a perfume under the Shiseido brand. After Serge Lutens finally opened his own niche perfume house, Féminité du Bois was back into the house in 2009. Lutens re-formulated his masterpiece to comply with the new IFRA regulation while keeping its core notes alive.
Féminité du Bois is filled with spices in regards to its muse, Morocco. It opens with the warm-spicy cinnamon that dwells elegantly in the cedarwood universe. Cinnamon enhances the warm atmosphere around the dry cedar and adds a sweet touch in the opening. A slight touch of cumin and cardamom adds richness in the top notes, creating more defined spicy nuances.
It is delightful to see that the sweetness from the natural spices combines smoothly with orange blossoms and peach accords. This fruity and creamy tonalities given by peach intensifies orange blossom’s floral and sweet facets and make it even more splendid. The combination dances around the cedarwood backbone and allows the fragrance to reveal its playful side.
Rose, violet, and plum established the feminine facet of Féminité du Bois. The pleasant sweetness that comes from Turkish rose’s honey-facet modify the smoky cedarwood’s sharp edges, making it balance and round. At the same time, violet’s floral and powdery persona mingles elegantly with the rose, creating a delicate yet broad silhouette. Vinous plum, with its intense and mysterious nature, gives depth and emotion to this floral bouquet. This part of Féminité du Bois is indeed astonishing, glamourous, and, moreover, sensual.
Féminité du Bois has successfully amplified and touched all the sweetness from spices, flowers, fruits, and woods to build a tenacious oriental woody backbone, whereas the oriental part is fortified by the queen of all spices, vanilla. It begins with an airy and light spicy complex and ends as woody, powdery scents with sandalwood and musky undertones. The fragrance conveys a dark, mysterious, and sensuous aura without being provocative nor aggressive. Lutens endorses this personality of Féminité du Bois through the purple color perfume inside a sleek transparent flacon.
I find Féminité du Bois is an art. I perceive the idea behind this perfume was to find and magnify the feminine side of woody compositions, yet also to discover the masculine side of floral compositions. The oriental facet acts as a bridge between them and brings balance. Full of imagination and soul. Truly a classic.