Bois 1920 is a line that has been somewhat under the radar for me. I have easy access to the line, as it is stocked at one of my local department stores, but for some reason I've never sampled it in any depth. I have tried a handful of the perfumes, but for the most part they've left me feeling rather underwhelmed. They've been ok, just not very exciting. So today I decided to give Sushi Imperiale and Agrumi Amari di Sicilia a go. Sushi Imperial sounds very exotic and I was expecting something slightly zen, perhaps a bit salty or marine-like, with ginger. Instead, it turns out that this is a spicy/vanilla combination. The listed notes include citrus, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. I must admit, Sushi opens distinctly unimpressively, with perhaps a hint of citrus, but I struggled to identify any notes and it felt muddied and indistinct. Once the top dissipates I detect quite a lot of friendly spices, if one can use such a term. I thought these might be cardamom and coriander, with a hint of anise, so I guess I wasn't very good at identifying cinnamon and nutmeg. I must be honest and say that I associate cinnamon and nutmeg very much with baking, particularly at Christmas, but Sushi does not have that festive vibe at all, thankfully for me. The spices are then joined by a vanilla note, but one that is not in the slightest sweet, syrupy or cloying. It's quite refreshing to find the usual vanilla cliches avoided and Sushi wears, at least on my skin, as a fairly dry and spicy scent, but moderated and balanced by a tasteful vanilla note. I have seen anise listed elsewhere, so perhaps my nose wasn't entirely tricking me. Sushi is in a way quite a comforting scent, but it isn't obviously gourmand to me and I think it could be worn all year round, but perhaps would be most suitable for early autumn, in my opinion.
Agrumi Amari di Sicilia has notes of Sicilian bitter citrus and hesperidian berries. Short and sweet and to the point. I don't know what a hesperidian berry is, but Agrumi is a quite delightful blend of lemon, orange and woods. The lemon note here is very good, without any hint of cleaning products, which can often be the downfall of lemon fragrances. It smells to me more like the flowers of a lemon tree, with the zest and oils of the green, rather than ripe fruit. It's a perfect summer fragrance, but like Eau de Sud, which I reviewed a few days ago, it is a citrus fragrance with a backbone and lasts for a good 5 to 6 hours on my skin. The woods here are light cedar, joined by an orange blossom note that flirts briefly but then fades to leave a slightly sharp yet herbal lemon/neroli and basil leaf accord, sweetened a bit by orange. Like Eau de Sud, there is a bit of a nod to Eau Savage, but Agrumi is sufficiently different to either of those to warrant giving it a try. I think if you are looking for a good summery citrus scent with a bit of a difference and some staying power, you should really give Agrumi a go. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Both Sushi and Agrumi surprised me - I was expecting to feel let down and underwhelmed again, but possibly these two are the best of the Bois 1920 line for me.