Message in a bottle: Celine’s new eau de parfum embodies a quiet force for longing

 (Celine illustration Lydia Silver )
(Celine illustration Lydia Silver )

A love affair abandoned while there’s still heat, before its course has run, remains an unwieldy hurdle in the heart. You’re left with an ache for something not fully savoured when it was safe in your grasp. The passion gnaws while the regret sharpens. Memories lodge like a bullet in muscle; wistful what-ifs hobble your hesitant steps away from the scene of the crime. Did you blow it? Did they? Or did you both just narrowly save yourselves?

Bois Dormant, the new eau de parfum from French fashion house Celine, embodies this quiet force of longing. Green, bitter juniper is soothed by powdery clouds of iris butter. There’s an earthy rasp of vetiver roughing up cedar’s comforting smoothness. The trail persists in your wake, subtly, long after you were first lured by its soft voice. Bois Dormant smells expensive, which is only right because you always pay a price when you don’t pursue your desire to the very end of the story.

Muffled and melancholy, this ‘sleeping wood’ conjures the whisper of leaves on a forest floor as you slip between autumn trees, their branches nearly bare. It’s the smell of paper covered in the scrawl of a love letter. The words may yet have power, but they no longer apply to you.

CELINE Bois Dormant eau de parfum, £195 for 100ml (celine.com)