Dropping black gold: a perfume by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

a perfume lover’s column

Bois Doré by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS | ©birdsneverbored.com

Bois Doré by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS | ©birdsneverbored.com


It’s been a while since I talked about the beauty of perfume. Neither have I forgotten about their drawing power, neither has my passion become narrower. But with perfume it’s like it is with love – always there, but we don’t always lean back to enjoy the beauty of it. As days weren’t getting any brighter and winter seemed to never fade, I took a moment to lean back again. Relax, smell, enjoy and finally introduce you to a perfume, which has accompanied my thoughts for some time now. It’s a perfume, or better - an Eau de Parfum Natural, which was launched already at the end of last summer: Bois Doré N°1 2953XW by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS.

Its name already holds a secret, and this secret describes the masterpiece even better as part of the Collection Extraordinaire of the jeweller’s perfume range. Can you see the diamonds? I see gold, black gold, so to say, because this extraordinary fragrance features one specific ingredient: the tonka bean.


A little update on that first: The tonka bean is a seed, which comes from the Dipteryx odorata tree – also known as coumarin – which is native to South and Central America. It’s been used in perfumery since the late 19th Century. The black bean is known for its sweet aroma that is often likened to almond, vanilla or tobacco. Result is a creamy kind of scent that is often balanced out by fresh or green ingredients such as citrus notes like bergamot, lavender, vetiver or fresh mint. As an essential, this bean is part of fougère or oriental fragrances and is said to be an aphrodisiac… We therefore find it mostly in fragrances for men - but also in this one, created by perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin.


Of course the treasure piece I fell in love with now, Bois Doré, isn’t just putting the luxurious bean in the spotlight by itself. Surrounded by a likewise luxurious note of cedar wood, this Eau de Parfum Natural takes another path. It’s such an artistic way in which these two iconic ingredients unify here – creamy, classic and unexpectedly charming. At least I haven’t experienced a fragrance like this so far…

Is it addictive? Yes, it totally is.





The moment this aphrodisiac reaches your senses you just want to fall into it. Of course some people might disagree on that - but isn’t that what an excellent fragrance’s aura is all about: You either love or you hate it. There is no question of inbetween. It’s clear, written in black and white, like an old-school romance… or have you ever heard Romeo and Juliet saying: “Should we be just friends with benefits?“ No. You go for it, or you leave it. And it’s the same with this fragrance: Once you fall in love with it, you can never go back. And I’m falling for it, fully and deeply… Blend out the reality, lean back and enjoy - whatever comes your way, just think of Juliet: „…it is not yet near day: It was the nightingale, and not the lark, …“


Bois Doré N°1 2953XW, Eau de Parfum Natural Spray,
by VAN CLEEF & ARPELS for about € 130,– (75ml)


Story by Kate Fronius