BOIS 1920

BOIS 1920 La Vaniglia Rapturous Labdanum, Le Voluttuose part 2

Julio Romero

La Vaniglia is part of the Le Voluttuose (the Voluptuous) series from the Italian perfume brand BOIS 1920. The Voluptuous line consists of three scents: Notturno Fiorentino (reviewed before), Rosa di Filare and La Vaniglia. The line is dedicated to the mysterious and enigmatic world of women.

Unlike what its name might suggest La Vaniglia is all about Labdanum (Cistus Labdaniferus). Cistus Labdaniferus is obtained from the Cistus plant around The Mediterranean. It comes in absolute and oil. Cistus essential oil is obtained from the twigs and leaves of C. Labdaniferus. The Labdanum absolute comes from extraction from the resin.

I am quite in rapture about La Vaniglia. After applying the perfume it changes from liquid warm butter and some rum to dusty labdanum. In the beginning a pinch of spicy pepper can be scented, after which a mentholic mint becomes more prominent. Traces of labdanum are already present with some added dryness from vanilla. The vanilla is not prominent more a slightly bitter addition to the labdanum. There is an air of dryness and powderiness through the whole wear of La Vaniglia. The powderiness reminds me of the dustiness of small woolen carpets on tables in Catholic Churches.

My favorite part of La Vaniglia is the dry down, the dry and powdery labdanum mixed with some bitter vanilla which lasts for hours.

According to Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in her book Complete Aromatherapy Handbook Labdanum (Cistus Labdaniferus in latin) works erotisizing on a mental psychic level. I can imagine it does. It is a fragrance very suited to get into a sensual mood. La Vaniglia is a scent about seduction which can work at quite a deep level while wearing it.

Amazingly La Vaniglia has gotten little attention. It deserves much better !

Which fragrance brings you in a sensual mood ? What is your favorite seductive fragrance ?

Fragrance family: soft oriental

Official notes:

Top: Mandarin, Bergamot, Mint, Pepper

Head: Incense, Patchouli, Woods, Ginger

Base: Vanilla

Sillage: stays very close to the skin

Longevity: quite good, 6-8 hours

Origin of sample set: I bought a Le Voluttuose sample set online and now own a very pink bottle

Sources: Jennifer Peace Rhind, Listening to scent

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi Complete Aromatherapy Handbook

Side note about Labdanum and Cistus, Kafkaesque interestingly mentions  in her latest perfume blog both Cistus Absolute and Labdanum Absolute. She says “many people and sites call Cistus “Labdanum” but AbdesSalaam finds a difference in aroma. Arctander has pages on the two, noting very technical differences in the type of plant species, geographic location, olfactory forms, and types of extraction.”

Painting made by Spanish and Andalucian painter Julio Romero de Torres, La Chiquita Piconera/The coal little girl, 1930


BOIS 1920 Notturno Fiorentino Rose, where did you go ? Le Voluttuose collection (part 1)

Bois 1920

After reviewing Neela Vermeire’s wonderful rose perfume Mohur edp I was inspired to smell other rose perfumes. Le Voluttuose collection by BOIS 1920 was announced as a collection based on rose (according to a BOIS press release) so I started smelling after buying a BOIS sample set.

BOIS 1920 is an Italian perfume brand which very surprisingly was founded in 1920. BOIS (BOttega Italiana Spigo) is pronounced boys. Le Voluttuose is a series of three perfumes and is based on the rose theme: Rosa di Filare formerly known as Kimono Rose, Notturno Fiorentino and La Vaniglia. All are dedicated to different aspects of the female world, sophistication, confidence, elegance and mystery.

The intention behind the perfumes: Rosa di Filare is elegant and feminine, Notturno Fiorentino is mysterious and La Vaniglia is soft with an eastern heart. Quite an interesting idea one would think but how did it turn out ?

Notturno Fiorentino will be reviewed first. The whole collection is said to be based on rose but where is the rose in the Notturno ? I smell a boozy spicy perfume, a bit like the Dutch People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo, but very little rose. After the top notes fade you might smell a very light rose in the heart notes but this is still overpowered by the spicy notes. The drydown is more earthly with patchouli and woods, finishing off with tonka bean and vanilla. I actually quite like the drydown.

As a woman I did not find this perfume very mysterious or intriguing, just another variation on the spicy oriental theme. Men might think otherwise. I did find the whole idea to portrait different aspects of the female world interesting; sadly this perfume did not turn out intriguing. The press release said men will not forget the woman who wore this perfume. But will women themselves want to be remembered by this perfume ? This might be quite different for the other two perfumes La Vaniglia and Rosa di Filare. At first sniff Rosa di Filare was a promising rose perfume. To be continued….

If you like spicy oriental perfumes just stick to/ first try Armani Prive Cologne Ambre Soie, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan or People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo.

Notes according to First in Fragrance

Topnote: Bergamot, Black Pepper.

Heartnote: Jasmine, Turkish Rose, Black Currant

Basenote: Vanilla, White Musk, Tonka Bean, Cedarwood

Originally published: August 10, 2012

Photograph by Esperessence

Update: July 29, 2015