Bois de Paradis by Parfums DelRae

After the hell that was CdG Hinoki, I decided it might be nice to test out something unapologetically pretty, so I chose Bois de Paradis by Parfums DelRae, a warm and more traditionally floral fragrance without a whiff of sharp greenery or musty oakmoss for miles.

Bois de Paradis settles onto the skin with a bit of a rounded, amber quality, but soon finds its way onto center stage with a performance of powdery rose, the shyest of citrus peering out from the wings. There’s some fresh, sugared berry in there, as well — a bit of pulp, but so well-balanced that the spotlight stays fixed on the rose until the whole thing fades away in a breathy sigh of soft incense, cinnamon and blonde wood.

I would consider this a strictly feminine fragrance, as it’s far too lovely in composition and intention to straddle the gender line with any conviction. That doesn’t mean a man can’t wear it, but he’d have to be quite finely featured and delicately attractive in order to successfully pull it off — too many broad, sharp angles, too loud a laugh, and the result would be jarring.

Bois de Jasmin, a fragrance review website, describes Parfums DelRae’s Bois de Paradis this way: “Smooth and luminous woods provide a backdrop against which the crimson rose petals fall, touched by the sparkling quality of hesperidic notes . . . While the composition starts out rich and opulent like crimson silk embroidered with gold thread, the end result touches the skin like the softest of cashmeres.”

My own prose isn’t quite so purple, but I’m sure you get the point.