Un Bois Vanille by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2003


Guest Post by EmmaKate


Hello fumies,

As the weather is starting to get cooler my thoughts turn to things that make me feel warm on the inside during Autumn and Winter. I have chosen to write about

Un Bois Vanille by  for Serge Lutens

UnBoisVanille FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Sandalwood, black licorice, coconut milk, beeswax, bitter almond, musk, vanilla, benzoin, guaiac wood and tonka bean.

When I first started working at Mecca Cosmetica I found the fragrances all too much in terms of how different they were to anything I had ever smelt before. I couldn’t sell them because I had no back story, had no understanding of the notes and quite frankly didn’t like any of them. Being the girl I am I set out to find out about these fragrances that had grown women running in and gasping with delight. My first port of call was Serge Lutens. This brand was all round scary due to all that French – Eek! I chose to work with what I knew and selected Un Bois Vanille- a woody vanilla fragrance. And here our journey begins.

The first spray is a sweet creamy vanilla with a slightly bitter tart scent. (Back in the day I used to judge fragrances from the very first whiff, thank god that changed quick smart or I wouldn’t be sharing my thoughts with you all.) I didn’t like it. Not one bit. Oh well, try again with something else tomorrow. Except, about 20 minutes later I caught a whiff of it again and it had evolved beautifully into this full bodied creamy vanilla that I wanted to be engulfed by. It reminds me of pannacotta before it sets and I wanted to swim in it.

Un Bois Vanille PANNA-COTTA lafestaPhoto Stolen lafesta

This is a grown up vanilla that makes me glow on the inside during winter. It makes me feel like I am wrapped up in a thick silk scarf and nothing can touch me. The tonka bean gives it body and cuts the slightly acidic note that vanilla can have, it gives it a milky feel while almond gives it strength.

Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens is a Oriental Vanilla fragrance and wears well, I would say around 8 hours, but this always depends on the wearer.

VanillaWood 123rfPhoto Stolen 123rf

Further reading Olfactoria’sTravels and ChemistInTheBottle
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/.5ml
You can also grab a bottle at the usual places, I found an unboxed 50ml for $94 at FragranceNet

EmmaKate xx

14 thoughts on “Un Bois Vanille by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2003

  1. Due to having vanilla, instead of the red
    stuff running through my veins, I have yet to
    purchase a vanilla fragrance. But if I was to, this fab review would have me reaching for this one! CQ xxx


  2. EmmaKate,
    As a vanilla fiend, i have been wanting to try this for ever so long…now after seeing the notes..licorice, sandalwood, coconut and vanilla…MUST have it! (and isn’t fragrancenet wonderful? I cannot tell you how many discounts I have gotten there!).

    great review 😀 !!


  3. Dear EmmaKate

    “A grown up vanilla”, you’ve hit the nail on the head there!

    I actually enjoy that bitter or burnt note at the start and the darkness it brings with it underlies the whole scent for me and sets apart from the Brtineys and Givenchy Pi-a-likes, that I find unwearable.

    I wonder if you’ve ever tried Kenzo’s Jungle l’Elephant? You might like it I think…

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy


  4. Ooooohhhh….. I have tested this from samples I got from Lucky Scent, and it is divine. I just love it. But it wasn’t love at first sight. When I first applied it I got nothing. Nothing. I got a whiff of something for about a minute and then it was gone. I thought I had gone anosmic! It wasn’t until a little while later that I suddenly started smelling something really great and realized it was the Bois. It just kept getting better and better over the day, but it was mysterious disappearing for brief periods and then reappearing in waves of fragrant delight. Thank you so much for a great review of this wonderful fragrance. I love this one so much that I am looking forward to sampling the other Bois’ as well.


    • It’s a weird one this fragrance, it’s a bit like the office tease- is there something there, is it toying with me, I think there’s something…no wait…

      I’m glad you enjoyed the review


      • Ha! Yes – just like that 🙂 It has the same hide-and-seek quality (on me anyway) that Escentric Molecules has.


  5. Pingback: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille EDP Perfume Review | EauMG

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