Dead Letter Office: Gobin Daude Sous Le Buis- One Shining Green Moment


Of every brand that I will profile in this series the Gobin Daude line is the most confounding one I will cover. In the fall of 2002 when I visited the Takashimaya department store the sales associate walked me over to a new brand the store had just stocked, Gobin Daude. There were five perfumes in the brand: Jardins Ottomans, Biche Dans L’Absinthe, Nuit Au Desert, Seve Exquise, and Sous Le Buis. Each of these fragrances were tiny glittering personal statements by the perfumer Victoire Gobin Daude. Mme Gobin Daude wanted to make perfume that was not represented by the mainstream or even the niche lines which were in their infancy at this point. She also wanted perfume to arouse passion to make the wearer feel pleasure in the experience. My favorite of the line is Sous Le Buis.

By now if you read me regularly I think you know of my fondness for green fragrances. Let me say this very simply I have no green fragrance like Sous Le Buis nothing comes close. Mme Gobin Daude takes the name, which translates to Under the Boxwood, and instead makes a perfume which should be more correctly named Inside the Boxwood. If you imagine yourself surrounded by green growth along with the leaves and woodiness, thick but also airy then you know what Sous Le Buis is like.

victoire gobin daude

Victoire Gobin Daude

Mme Gobin Daude uses extremely simple constructions to elicit extraordinary complexity. Her style is as unique as her perfumes. Sous Le Buis opens on lavender and orange blossom turned crisp and green with clary sage. This is the expansiveness of leaves on a tree. Galbanum intensifies the green and it is all finished with oakmoss. What these five ingredients combine to form is that sense of being outdoors amidst the shrubbery. It never gets heavy but it has heft. It is light as a feather but is not inconsequential. It is a master class in perfume composition.

Sous Le Buis has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

The entire line are some of my most cherished perfumed possessions because inexplicably in 2003 the line was discontinued and the remaining stock sold. I thought it just might have been too different and didn’t sell. The people at Takashimaya told me it was one of their best-selling brands. People were as enraptured as I was. Poor sales waere not the reason. When I ask people about this who might know I am told financing might have fallen through. I have heard Mme Gobin Daude just didn’t want to do this anymore. I am not sure I will ever know the story. At the time I expected to hear from Mme Gobin Daude again but like her perfumes she has also disappeared. If I was given one wish in all of perfumery it would be for Mme Gobin Daude to return to making perfume. Hers is a completely singular olfactory voice. I hope one day I will be surprised to find a press release announcing her return.

Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle I purchased.

Mark Behnke

3 thoughts on “Dead Letter Office: Gobin Daude Sous Le Buis- One Shining Green Moment

  1. I've spent more than 10 years waiting for Mme Gobin-Daude to reappear somewhere.    I felt so sure that either her entire line would re-emerge, or she'd turn up crafting new perfumes for another niche company.   All of her scents intrigued me, but I truly loved Jardins Ottomans – I may be the only one who did.  Today, as I applied a bit of this carefullly rationed juice, I found myself wondering if there was news of her that I'd missed, so I did a google search limited to the past year and found this blog post.   I suppose I take some solace in the fact that I'm not the only one still thinking of her and her perfumes.   Thanks for that, Mark. 

  2. My favourite was Biche dans l'Absinthe. When the perfumes were available, I was quite good freinds with both Victoire and her husband Christophe Bourgeous, we emailed regularly, and I spoke to both of them a number of times on the telephone. Christophe explained to me that they needed a backer to keep financing the line, but a backer never materialised. When they closed down, I lost contact with them both totally. I would so love to be back in touch with them again, and in the meantime, I treasure what I have left of Biche dans l'Absinthe.

  3. How strange that I have just come across this little blog post. I discovered these scents in 2005 and was completely bewitched by Biche dans L'Absinthe. My mother was dying and it was her last summer..I have such vivid memories of our last walks together through our local forest with me wearing this perfume. Since then I have kept it like treasure in a dark and again I take it out for a sniff and very occasionally wear it. I have half a bottle left because I heard years ago that it was discontinued and felt bereft. Whenever I smell it I am enveloped in melancholy..but in a beautiful way. I wish Victoire might some day know what this scent meant to one person in the world.

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