As perfumery continues to define the boundaries of gourmand perfumes, I am finding the ones which center around nuts are becoming a favorite. It is probably because the perfume versions of nuts come with a woody background as part of the package. It allows for perfumers to blend them with actual versions to create new accords which have an edible streak. Van Cleef & Arpels Bois D’Amande states its purpose on the label.
Bois D’Amande is another addition to the Collection Extraordinaire. For the most part this has been a fragrance collection which hits the mark. When it works it is because it is kept simple. Usually by accentuating the ingredients in the name. In this case the bois is cedar to go with almond. Perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur uses the overlap between the two to ideal effect.
The first almond tree I ever saw was in the middle of a lemon grove. The opening moments of Bois D’Amande bring back that memory. Almond has slightly sweet nuttiness which contrasts the tart sunniness of the lemon. It keeps that aspect more forward until the cedar shows up. This cedar is the slightly green clean wood as if it were cut down a touch too soon. This is the version I enjoy most in warm weather. The woody facet of almond adds back a more mature woodiness while also retaining the sweeter nature. There were moments during this part that smelled like a sandalwood accord of these two ingredients. Vanilla comes along to add a creamy swirl while a suite of musks add some depth. It all flows together into a woody gourmand.
Bois D’Amande has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Almond is becoming one of those gourmand ingredients which will come to delineate a certain style. It has the versatility to interact with many other ingredients. Mme Lancesseur puts it through its paces in this perfume. By the end it shows just how interesting it can be.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Van Cleef & Arpels.