At the risk of possibly being lynched, to date I've found the L'Art et la Matiere line distinctly underwhelming. Admittedly I've only tried Bois D'Armenie and Cuir Beluga, but as with Spiriteuse Double Vanille, these all strike me as very subdued and slight on my skin. Now, I am not saying that all perfumes have to shout and stand out, but I need a bit of bang for my buck. They all smell quite similar to me too, with a sweet vanilla accord, which, while very well done in that Guerlain fashion, is not enough to sell me. Look, Bois D'Armenie is very nice. Although quite sweet, it has enough of an incense/labdanum/smokiness to cut the goo and deliver an understated and fairly sophisticated take on incense. As the fragrance develops I do detect even a slight leatheriness, which is appealing. Funnily enough, when I was making notes, I wrote that Bois D'Armenie reminded me ever so slightly of Bulgari Black in style, without the rubberiness, and it has that coziness of vanilla with the hint of smoke. I've now read that Annick Menardo created this fragrance and perhaps it's no coincidence then that she also created Bulgari Black. Bois D'Armenie is suited to cooler weather and having also worn it back in the summer, certainly on my skin I can vouch for this. It was appropriate for a cool, drizzly autumn day.
Despite some of the positives, I still can't help but feel that some of Guerlain's latest offerings, Bois D'Armenie included, lack a bit of substance. They feel a bit unfinished to me, and slightly one-dimensional, certainly compared to some of their classics. I know there are plenty of you out there who would disagree, and I'm happy to agree to disagree. It's just my opinion after all.