A few weeks ago while in a design meeting at a factory, a cutter I was talking to stopped dead in her tracks mid-sentence.
“God, what are you wearing? You smell so good.”
I’ve gotten used to it by now. Bois D’Argent has been my scent since I first moved to New York in 2005. By then it was a year old. And I guess you can say it’s become my signature scent.
The smell can’t help but spark some curiosity in people. I think that it helps that it’s a pretty uncommon scent. Probably due to two factors. It’s quite expensive, about $190 for the small 125ml bottle, close to $275 for the 250ml bottle I have.
For the longest time, it was only sold at Dior boutiques. Now you can find it at higher end stores like Barney’s, though I believe they’re only allowed to sell it in stores as it’s not listed online.
The cologne was created by the perfumer Annick Ménardo and Hedi Slimane, which explain the slick bottle design.
I remember first walking into the Dior boutique in New York and being overwhelmed by Bois D’Argent. Back then, they produced candle versions of the scent and it was a staff favorite. When they told me what I was smelling, I immediately picked up a bottle.
Over the years, I’ve tried to transition into other scents because I felt I’ve worn it for so long. One that took over for a while was Comme Des Garcon Kyoto, but I always found my way back to Bois D’Argent.
To sum up the smell in a word, it’s warm. Most likely from one of its three main notes, incense essence from Yemen. A resin produced by trees near the Red Sea, it’s main characteristics are its spiciness and warmth. It touches a powdery note from iris. On me, it wears really long. A good 6-7 hours.
"Bois D'Argent" means "Silver Wood" (specifically Birch), and when I smell this I do get the impression of birch trees, but "Argent" also means "money", and yes, it does smell like money to me. Pure class."
Olfactory memory, ones connected to smells, are the strongest kinds. And every time I smell Bois D’Argent, it's 10 years ago and I’m 22 again. My first time in New York City. Optimistic and ambitious. I’m singing a lease for a small loft downtown on the corner Bleecker and Lafayette, a steal even by standards back then. Looking back, it was the ideal way to move to New York City. And this scent brings back nothing but good memories.
Now, as primarily a leather designer, the smell of this cologne mixed with leather is nothing short of magic. While the fragrance has some leather notes in it, letting it blend with the chemicals and notes of real leather amplifies this scent to another level. Dior recently released a new scent that is heavy on leather called Cuir Cannage (described as a mixture of floral and the insides of a leather bag.) I'm due for a trip to the Dior Boutique soon to see if Bois D'Argent has finally met its match for me.
Available at Dior Homme Boutiques
Around $190 125ml/$275 250ml