As a child growing up in South Florida there were so many things the Cuban exile community added to our lives in the 1960’s. One of my favorites was that the Holiday season ended a week later. Not until the Dia de los Reyes happened on January 6 did we consider taking down the decorations. It was always the kind of mellow after-party to the hectic Christmas/ New Year’s shuffle. The mothers of my Cuban friends would give us Anglos a stocking stuffer while their kids usually got one last “big” present. My family was always invited to dinner. The traditional dessert is called “king cake” which didn’t interest me that much. What interested me was the home-made flan my friend’s mother would make. The caramel covered custard is still one of my favorite desserts. I would sit in their living room with the Christmas tree, wreath and roping breathing in the combination of pine and sweets. I didn’t expect to find that in a fragrance until I tried Maison Rebatchi Bois D’Enfants.
Maison Rebatchi is the new line from owner- creative director Mohamed Rebatchi. Who debuted four perfumes at Pitti Fragranze in 2018. Each of them is inspired by M. Rebatchi’s life. The story attached to Bois D’Enfants is summer walks through the woods of where in France he spent his summer. From the moment I tried it I saw the pine tree focused early going as a Holiday style of perfume. When the flan accord came together in the base that made me think January not July.
M. Rebatchi collaborated with perfumer Karine Chevallier on Bois D’Enfants. I can see the summer walk through the pine woods if I choose that perspective. It is much easier to see it as the final days of the Christmas tree adding its scent to the wood-paneled family room. A hint of scent from the Holiday flowers coming through. As I drag my spoon through the caramel and custard of flan.
Mme Chevallier uses baie rose to open with a green freshness tilted to the herbal side. The pine comes next uplifted by an austere incense. The piney nature intensifies with fir balsam mellowing the sharper camphoraceous aspects. A powdery veil of iris and rose also shows up during this. What comes next is an amazing construction of a gourmand accord using sandalwood, vanilla, and musk. I’ve seen these ingredients come together as a praline accord but here this is combined as rich caramel custard. I’m not even sure I’ve got all the ingredients that Mme Chevallier uses because this is a solid accord which I found difficult to analyze completely into its components. Once the accord is in place you have a creamy gourmand counterpoint to the resinous pine.
Bois D’Enfants has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Bois D’Enfants translates to “wooden children” it definitely connects with my “enfant” but not in a wooden way. It takes me back to the final days of my childhood Holidays on the Dia de los Reyes.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Maison Rebatchi.