Scent Semantics #1 BRAVE

Hey Everyone, This month we are trying something new. New idea, new crew, NEW NEW NEW! We’ve gathered together a fabulously far flung gang. In my mind this idea was to let our creativity flourish with the least amount of parameters possible. We get a word, we get a date, we have to choose a single fragrance that fits the word and then have to explain how it fits together, in our way. As much or little as we feel the word/fragrance connection needs. We are going to probe a little into how each of us bloggers see the world, fragrance, ourselves. Also, if this idea works, we get to see how one word can inspire different directions in connection. or not. Everyone has signed up for 12 first Mondays of the month.

BRAVE Scent Semantics #1

This month the word is BRAVE. There’s an Aussie singer Kate Ceberano. Her first album was titled BRAVE (1989) and it was the soundtrack of our lives for a while.
The title song BRAVE has been running through my head over the last couple of weeks. No reason, just popped in there and won’t leave. The link will take you to the video.

Walking into Serge Lutens Palais Royale purple nightmare is BRAVE. That place is seriously skeevy. The blue light lit purple and black room feels like it is trying to enter your eyes and devour your brain. The walls seem like they are leaning in towards you with nefarious intent. The only hope of escape is via the black glossy spiral staircase in the centre of the main room where the faintest hint of light beams down to the ghastly gothic crypt. Thing is, that’s invitation only. Even the hostesses are glamorously ghoulish in the pattern of Morticia Addams, but utterly gallic. Feminité du Bois by Serge Lutens utterly embodies the darkness full of beauty and lightness that I feel when entering that shrine to perfumery.

Above is the collection of Feminité du Bois (1992) at Serge Lutens Palais Royale. Spiced fruits, ginger, woods and vanilla create a mysterious, enigmatic, alluring combination. Nothing that smells this decadent and enticing can be good for you.

Here are the dregs of my bottle. There are only about 3-4ml left. Yes, I have it’s successor on standby.

Please go check out the other Scent Semantics crew. Remember to leave them a comment too. This is about collaboration and communication.

Daisy also created a LinkTree which has us all organised in one place

How are you, or have you been, fragrantly BRAVE?
Portia xx



Filed under Perfume Reviews

23 responses to “Scent Semantics #1 BRAVE

  1. Yes! The Palais Royal boutique definitely radiates Sleep No More vibes! But the dark glamor of Féminité du bois is very brave. Wish I had not lost my nerve when it came to getting that that fabulous Shiseido bottle. Alas, once I worked up the courage to buy it, I had to settle for the presentation that you have a few remaining ml of. That’s okay. I still cherish it. Looking forward to seeing what the others came up with! Xoxo


  2. The Plum Girl

    Hello Portia,
    Funny but I love seeing a nearly empty bottle of perfume: this means you’ve really enjoyed it!
    Hope the next one will be equally good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hotfoooted it to the stores to try FdB as soon as it was launched by Shiseido all those years ago and was entranced by it. I could only afford to buy the pen, into which you put scented cartridges; you stroked the damp felt tip over your skin. My goodness the sillage and longevity was amazing, and I felt amazingly brave wearing such a grownup, mature, woody, plummy potion! Nothing like anything I had worn before.

    Word association is a brilliant concept. So interesting. Although I have to admit that seeing the word Brave first conjured up for me the Pixar cartoon movie – I bet the heroine of that would smell good in FdB.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love your story about the Palais Royal boutique! Sadly, it was on my list of places to visit during the big 2020 family trip to Paris we had been planning pre-pandemic, which we had to cancel. Not sure when we’ll be able to reorganize it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant concept Portia.
    Love your very fitting choice of FdB for Brave. Thank you for taking me up that spiral staircase a few years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That was very brave. I got as far as the front door in the Jardin du Palais Royale and changed my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah!
      It’s bloody terrifying. The good news is there is now a much more family friendly store just down the road where my all time favourite Serge SA was working last time we were in Paris (2019)
      Otherwise, nip over next time I’m in Paris and I’ll hold your hand.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bonkersvanessa

    Funny you went for FdB as your pick…I started off on Undina’s blog with my choice of Tubéreuse Criminelle for spooky in a good way. De Profundis is pretty out there too. 😉 The Palais Royal store has a dark Alice in Wonderland vibe to it. Have you had the JAR sampling experience? That is also very gloomy, and involves a lot of cloches


    • I want to experience both of those stores. Will need a dose of courage just to open the door, I’m sure! I expected De Profundis to be cold and distant but to me it turned out quite friendly.


    • Hey Vanessa,
      I stayed away from the JAR experience because I’m so easily led in those situations and at some point I do need to eat. I’ve tried a few of them and they are totally amazing. It would be VERY hard for me to say no, damn the consequences.
      Yes, those Serge are also deep but neither are perfumes I reach for very often. FdB is a love and there is excellent play between warmth and darkness.
      Portia xx


  8. Serge Lutens Palais Royale was one of the two destinations where we (in a great company with Vanessa) didn’t get during our 48-hours stop-over in Paris (the second one being the flagship Guerlain store – hi to my perfume of choice for this installation of the project 😉 ).
    FdB is one of SL’s perfumes that didn’t work for me. I think, I still have something left in my ancient decant, so I might dig it out and try again, about 10 years later – who knows what I’ll think today 🙂

    Thank you for organizing this great fun project. I really enjoyed thinking about it and coming up with the idea for illustrating the chosen topic.


    • Two of the best stops in Paris Undina.
      We don’t always but I prefer to stay across the road from the Palais Royale. We have walked from there to Guerlain and back a few times.
      I do hope you find your old FdB decant.

      The pleasure is all mine. What a wonderful, diverse crew we are.
      Thank you,
      Portia xx


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