Saturday Question: What Are Your Favourite Woody Fragrances?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.

Over 100 responses I will draw a Secret Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)

Last Weeks Winner: Brigitte

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with your address please

Saturday Question: What Are Your Favourite Woody Fragrances?

So many different woods! From the pencil shavings of cedar to creamy sandalwood, the zing of fir to the dark depths of birch. I’m including the woody fungus oudh, salty driftwood, sweet fig wood and sharp rosewood and a world more. The gazillion or more created and captured molecules that give wood adjacent smells.

It seems, from my selection, that my woods need to be mixed media. I like wood but rarely alone, usually with a pile of bells and whistles to add light and shade.

My Answer:

Belgravia Chypre Penhaligon’s

Belgravia is a weird one. In some ways it’s generic 21st century niche woods and I can understand if you smelled it in the store and went meh. Get it home though and give it a real wear. Douse yourself. A modern chypre with a fizzy berry top, rose/patchouli heart and dark woods/mossy base that smells like it has some oudh components. Not groundbreaking but excellent.

Bois Bleu Robert Piguet

An aquatic wood! This is a 21st century Aquatic, scratchy niche style, bro-woods given a salt water bath. Imagine cutting through wet driftwood. Opening is bright, sharp citrus, heart smells like wet, oily spices and the base is creamy woods and dry green grasses.

Equistrius Parfum d’Empire

The woodsy iris rhizome given new life with chocolate, rice, sandalwood, ambergris and vetiver. It’s more than the sum of its parts though. Equistrius is a shape shifter and seems to curate its scent to the conditions. Sometimes woody iris, others carrot, other times it’s sandalwood heavy or grassy, or salty waterfront.

I by Costume National

Cedar, the smell of pencil shavings yeah? Now add greenery, citrus, lavender and a base of labdanum, leather and the lightly salted woodsiness of ambroxan. Costume National has always made off beat fragrances that feel comfortable and wearable, I is no exception.

Samsara by Guerlain

Ahhhhh! This is the creamy, lactonic and intensely diva sandalwood fragrance that got Mysore heart pumping last century. I worked the Guerlain counter at the mall and bought Samsara for my Mum for Christmas. Still smells like the ultimate glamour to me.

My Saturday Question to you is:

Saturday Question: What Are Your Favourite Woody Fragrances?

103 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Are Your Favourite Woody Fragrances?

  1. Many wood favorites. What it comes to mind now :
    Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois & Santal Blanc,
    All Comme des Garcons Incense series
    Tauer LADDM
    Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods
    Ormonde Jayne Woman
    Tom Ford Sahara Noir

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sandalwood. Gimme all the sandalwoods😍 Samsara is my número uno. That creamy yet punchy wood was my first love. A very close second is SSS Champagne de Bois, this has a large supporting cast with an aldehydic opening. Narciso Rodriguez Santal Musc is a monster in the best way imaginable. I’ll throw in Michael Kors Island for a salty, sunny, white floral driftwood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ormonde Jayne Woman – I dig the black hemlock note.
    Sonoma Scent Studio winter Woods, Champagne de Bois, Forest Walk
    DSH Colorado
    It’s interesting – when I first went down the rabbit hole I would not have picked any of these and now they are at the top of my list. The nose gains so much maturity when it is exposed to so many different notes!


  4. Feminité du Bois, Bois d’Ascèse, 10 Corso Como, Radio Bombay, Songe d’un Bois d’Été, Arso – so many! I just love wood notes.


  5. MFK Baccarat Rouge 540
    Tauer LADDM
    SL Feminite du Bois
    Guerlain Samsara
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit
    Dior Hypnotic Poison is this counts because of the sandalwood in the base notes?


    • Nice Kathleen,
      MFK Baccarat Rouge 540 haunts me. I tried it a couple of times and really loved it but can’t imagine it getting much wear here. Then I think I should have the things I love but then…..
      It’s like that in my head.
      Portia xx


      • You should always have things that you love Portia! But I get the inner dialogue in the head!
        Baccarat Rouge is amongst the most unique fragrances ever, and garners so any compliments when worn. After I discovered it, my sister sampled it (who has only loved and worn about three fragrances in her life, and is straight up a signature scent person) and she loved it. Now it is all she wears, she exudes Baccarat Rouge! It smells so good on her, she made it her own. I bought her the hair mist and body lotion for Christmas so she can layer. And now I feel like an imposter when I wear it!


      • Hey, Portia! Baccarat Rouge 540 has so many ardent admirers and haters among Russian perfumistas, it is such a polarizing scent. There’s a rumour that Russian escort girls love wearing it 🙂


  6. My tried and trusted woody faves are Cuir de Lancome & Etro Palais Jamais (the birch tar note), Issara (pine) & Oudh Infini, Guerlan Vetiver (vetivers in general), the perfect sandalwood in Samsara and Bois des Isles, and Feminite du bois (cedar note that isn’t screechy is hard to come by). If I added anything with oakmoss, the list would be much, much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Guerlain Vol de Nuit & Samsara, Chanel Bois des Isles, SSS lovely but discontinued Femme Jolie, Caswell Massey Tricorn, Madini Oils Bouquet & Modhilla, I’ll try any cheap headshop sandalwood. Yup, old hippie.


  8. Really nice picks Portia 👌🏻 That Costume National is really nice, i’ve tested it last week. I will go with Lalique – Encre noire a l’extreme, Comme des garcons – Wonderwood, Chanel – Sycomore (pretty similar with encre noire al’extreme from Lalique) and also i do like Bois Noir from Piguet. I’ve never tried the Bois Bleu version but i guess it’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I think woody that I love, I don’t think of sandalwood or oakmoss but rather things like Raghba Wood Intense or Mugler’s Pure Wood. Stuff that is more Middle Eastern. I also love agarwood/oud fragrances.


  10. This is of my favourite fragrance types so I’ll stick to my top 3

    1. Gucci – Pour Homme
    2. Tom Ford – Oud Wood
    3. Gucci – Rush for Men

    As others have said Comme des Garçons do some great affordable woody fragrances. I love Kyoto, Wonderwood, 2 Man etc.


    • Chene! I don’t have a bottle so, naturally, I forgot about it but it is an incredible oak scent. Fille en Aiguilles might be another great woody perfume by SL.


  11. I was a bit confused how to answer this question until I saw the answers from Portia and others. My fav. woody perfumes include vintage Samsara and Shiseido Feminite du Bois. However, the fragrance I consider to have the most realistic “an average tree-like smell” is Lutens Chene that is quite a literal interpretation of an oak tree. This also makes Chene quite an unusual Lutens fragrance in my book because Lutens tend to have many layers and Chene is rather linear.

    One of the reasons I have struggled to understand the woody category is that people sometimes call a fragrance woody that does not remind me at all of any woody element but seems more like a fougere or an aquatic creation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For me a woody fragrance is one whose primary note(s) are some type of wood, whether it be cedar, sandalwood, pine etc. Both Samsara and Feminite du Bois are absolutely what I’d classify as woody fragrances so I think your understanding is spot on.

      Also I just looked up Chene and I’m really intrigued! It sounds amazing!


      • Chene is pretty good if you want a realistic oak tree smell. I was quite surprised when I first smelled it because I was expecting to be deceived by the name. It turned out to be not an abstract but quite literal interpretation of the name.

        Liked by 1 person

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