Blog post by Gwen

Bois d'Ascèse – smoky and woody and sophisticated

Photo - Wikimedia Commons - Burning fireplace - Francisco Belard, 2006


Outside, it is all stark white, cold grey and wintry, but inside, it’s all rich jewel tones, warm browns and mellow mahoganies. The contrast between inside and outside is why winter is my favourite season. It’s Nature’s way of getting us to slow down, to regenerate; to take the time to deepen our knowledge of ourselves and our experiences with others; it’s a call to nestle, cuddle and caress and to seek out things that feed your soul.

This is the time to wear Bois d’Ascèse from Naomi Goodsir Parfums.

When I happened to meet Naomi Goodsir in Paris a few winters, she excitedly shared decants of her two new fragrances, Cuir Velours and Bois d’Ascèse, with me. Each fragrance is a stunner, and I knew that I was smelling something original and unique with each of them. But it was Bois d’Ascese, smelling all smoky and incensey, that I kept going back to for the rest of the trip – something that had to do with winter and smoke.  

For me, the one smell that bridges the inside and the outside world at this time of year is smoke - the smoke from a fireplace that wafts through a house rises through the chimney and scents the cold, winter air outside. This is the soul-stirring experience that Bois d’Ascèse captures.

Bois d’Ascèse is a soliflore of smoke, and the smell of smoke is present throughout the fragrance's development.

It opens with a note of citrus that quickly gives way to incense deepened by a note of wood smoke from smoked cade – a juniper species with a sharp cedar forest smell.  It is clean and clear until it blooms, and the smokiness becomes more complex with the addition of tobacco and boozy whiskey. Spicy cinnamon adds warmth as amber softly sweetens it. Oakmoss here is green and mossy; it adds freshness before its earthy, smoky facets appear and gives Bois d’Ascèse a sensual woodiness.

Bois d’Ascèse showcases all the facets of smoke - incense, dry, woody, medicinal - with a deft hand so that it’s never heavy or dark. Instead, the drydown is refined and sophisticated.

The Naomi Goodsir Parfums website describes Bois d’Ascèse as a secluded CHAPEL, BLAZING dusk, moment of GRACE, DIVINE smoke, silent CANTIQUE.

I describe it as a full, rich, addictive olfactory experience that makes me feel good on the inside while smelling good on the outside.

Check out Bois d’Ascèse in our Shop.