Friday, January 1, 2010

SOTE: Shiseido Feminite du Bois

Photo of a Sanford-Dexter pencil sharpener.
I showered before going out for New Year's Eve, and switched my scent to Feminite du Bois. And reconfirmed that I like this stuff.

It smells good, and it has occasional notes that don't smell so easily, straightforwardly good, and that's, well, good. I'm gradually growing bored with fragrances that are entirely sweet yummy prettiness, and developing a craving for just a touch of those "acquired taste" notes.

In food, that can be olives and orange peel and caviar and truffles and bitter herbs and - well, there are plenty of them. In fragrance, I'm still acquiring the challenging tastes. I liked gasoline-like notes from the very beginning (I loved Comme des Garcons Garage at first sniff, and Tar as well) and was reconciled to civet almost immediately.

But it's taken me a while to come to terms with iris, and there's a stale-nut note that I can't get past in several perfumes that I want to love, and ambergris is still a substantial challenge, and there are those pesky dark roses.

Last time I wore Feminite du Bois it was like a spiced meal with elves in the deep, dark woods. Wood and resin and spices and fruit and a little mystery and glamour.

This time, it's like an olfactory hologram of a new pencil. I can smell the cellophane unwrapped from the package of pencils, the cardboard holding the package together, the rubber of the eraser, the faintly metallic scent of the metal holding the eraser on and, of course, the freshly-cut cedar as I sharpen the new pencil. And, yes, the graphite, and the faintly stale sawdust of pencils gone by, in the sharpener.

I love it. I think I love it even more than the feast in the woods.

Photo copyright BrokenSphere. Wikimedia Commons. Click for details/license.


  1. "An olfactory hologram of a new pencil" is wonderful! The spiced meal disagrees with me unfortunately. I have a troubled relationship with plum.

    If you like gasoline, have you tried B Never's Breath of God? That is lighter fuel at its finest.

  2. I thought I wouldn't like the plum at all, but it doesn't register as plum with me, so I'm fine with it.

    No, I've never tried Breath of God. I'm adding it to the To Sniff list right this minute.

  3. I know what you mean about wanting to get bored of 'sweet yummy prettiness'. I'm at the stage of still marveling at the number of fragrances that fall into this category and are absolutely heavenly. Currently I have very simple tastes. I feel like a six year old girl dressed from head to toe in pink tutus and princess outfits from Claire's Accessories. I still love the frothy pink stuff - but I've smelt the dark side and I want to be part of it.

    Will be following you avidly this year to learn what "acquired taste" notes you are getting into.

  4. Howdy, SignatureScent! Welcome to the blog! I'm delighted that you'll be following.

    The pink frothy stuff released me pretty easily, but the sweet syrup representatives - vanilla, coconut, chocolate, burnt sugar - still have a fairly firm grip. But today I'm in love with a pretty stern and (to me) dry iris/leather scent, so I feel like I'm progressing.