Bois Farine (L'Artisan)

It's good to be Jean-Claude Ellena. I imagine his life looks much like a Duran Duran video, circa 1983. Designer suit-clad, hair blowing in the breeze, he sails from one exotic location to another on a yacht well-staffed by Nagelesque supermodels. When it's time to enter the jungle in search of local botanical rarities, he gets himself up as Indiana Jones as played by Simon LeBon-- a touch of eyeliner and mousse; sexy sweat beading on perfectly tanned skin. (Hey! Saxophone solo!)

More likely Ellena spends his time schlepping wearily between airport terminals and suffering endless security patdowns. He does this to bring us nice things like Bois Farine, a perfume inspired by the bois de senteur flower which grows on L’île de la Réunion. Bois Farine, which smells like fresh foccaccia sprinkled with crushed fennelseed, is the predecessor of Serge Lutens' Jeux de Peau and The Different Company's De Bachmakov-- two perfumes which I happen to like better than Bois Farine, but which clearly owe Ellena a debt. As do I.

Pass the olive oil, please... or the saxophone. I'm easy.

Scent Elements: Ruizia cordata flower, fennelseed, iris, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood, guiaicwood