Dries Van Noten, the renowned Belgian fashion designer, has ventured into the world of fragrance with his first-ever collection, launched in March 2022. The collection features ten distinct scents created by some of the world’s leading perfumers. Each perfumer was inspired by a walk in Dries’ garden and immersion in his world, resulting in a collection of contradictory and game-changing genderless fragrances.

Despite their modern and unconventional nature, the fragrances pay homage to traditional perfumery gestures, with bottles inspired by apothecary vials. The collection features classic eaux de colognes, soap bars, and scented creams that coexist beautifully, making for an exciting aromatic experience. Bois Defendu is one of the most memorable fragrances in the Dries Van Noten collection. Perfumer Nicolas Bonneville, who created the scent, blended the earthy and warm notes of patchouli with the fresh, herby accents of sage and cedar to craft a captivating and relaxing fragrance.

Exclusively for KHAMSA, Bonneville shares a few of his thoughts about the fragrance.

١. Describe your creative and emotional touchpoints in the universe of Dries Van Noten

His incredible audacity: nothing is forbidden, and his choices are assumed completely (patterns, choice of fabrics, patchworks, …). The result is a unique universe, his very own, totally free of conventions. As a designer myself, it touches me.

٢. How did you approach the creation of Bois Defendu?

With the spirit of Dries Van Noten fashion, where antagonistic elements are combined to create surprise. I watched with great attention a documentary about the designer, where we saw his house and garden: the shimmering interior with printed fabrics, and a soothing outdoor space that invites you to meditate and be inspired.

٣. In which way is your perfume an “impossible combination”?

It is the meeting of two very different leaves: on the one hand, the fresh green leaves of clary sage, the basis of a lively aromatic accord. They rub against the dried leaves of patchouli with their woody and wet olfactive profile.

The signature of this fragrance is like a light and dark olfactive pattern, with subversive vapours of patchouli reminiscent of Woodstock.

٤. How would you like the person wearing your fragrance to feel?

Free! I would also like this person to be relaxed and soothed thanks to this fragrance, which I believe brings pleasure and serenity. We all need that so much right now!

Rand Al-Hadethi is an art, culture, and fashion writer who approaches all her creative endeavours with a penchant for storytelling. She explores the intersection of fashion, culture, and society and sheds light on talent and cultural movements across the Middle East and the world. Rand also publishes a bi-monthly themed substack newsletter called WebWeaver™. To reach Rand, email her at rand@khamsa5.com or follow her on social media @rundoozz.