Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods ~ perfume review

Caspar David Friedrich Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon

When I heard that Bath & Body Works would be releasing a fragrance called “Twilight Woods,” and that this fragrance would evoke “a romantic walk in enchanted woods,” I imagined a blend of pine and cedar, a few drops of resin, and an ozonic note hinting at an oncoming snowstorm. When I later saw the list of notes, I realized that it would actually be a woodsy-fruity gourmand, with “top notes of Juicy Berry, Sparkling Mandarin, and hint of Coconut, heart notes of Creamy Frangipani, Soft Mimosa, Wet Honeysuckle, Wild Freesia, and Apricot Nectar, and basenotes of Oud Wood, Skin Musk Captive, Vanilla Milk, and Warm Woods.”

Twilight Woods is the newest addition to Bath & Body Works’ Signature Collection line, in keeping with the recent string of more complex, “abstract” fragrances (such as P.S. I Love You, as opposed to yet another Cucumber Melon type). It was developed by perfumers Harry Fremont, Jane Konnyu, and Honorine Blanc.  This fragrance could just as easily have been named "Twilight Orchard," because a ripe apricot note runs throughout its development, starting off in a bright, syrupy vein and then gradually turning more subdued, like candied fruit. A creamy heart of frangipani petals and soft musk surrounds the apricot note after a short while, and a light, milky vanilla-coconut accord appears later in the dry down. Overall, this is a sweet scent (although nowhere near as tooth-achingly saccharine as Warm Vanilla Sugar), but it feels smooth and well-rounded.  The lingering traces of the fragrance, when the warm, woody notes finally become more noticeable and mesh with the ripe fruit aspect, are surprisingly polished (and long-lasting) for an Eau de Toilette that costs less than $30.

Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods perfume

Overall, Twilight Woods fits neatly into the recent trend of smooth, accessible fruity-woods fragrances. Its apricot note reminds me of the recent B de Boucheron, which included orange blossom, osmanthus, apricot, and sandalwood. It doesn’t have the spiced-honey accord of Estee Lauder’s Sensuous, which also featured mandarin and “molten woods,” but it might appeal to similar tastes. If you're a fan of Calvin Klein Euphoria, and you can imagine it with apricot rather than pomegranate, you might also like Twilight Woods. However, if you were hoping for something more along the lines of Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles or Kiehl’s Forest Rain, Twilight Woods probably won’t appeal to you much. And as for the inclusion of oud, which is shaping up to be the “it” note of late 2009:  if (like me) you don’t care for oud, don’t worry, because it isn’t noticeable here. If you’re an oud-lover, on the other hand, stick with the Montale line, or wait for L’Artisan Parfumeur’s forthcoming oud fragrance.

Lastly, in addition to joining the “sensual woods” trend, Twilight Woods is timely in another way: although it has no connection to the mega-successful books and movies of the “Twilight” saga, its release happens to fall just before the opening of the second movie in the series. I have a feeling that this fragrance is going to be very popular in its own right, even without the teen vampires, and if you’re looking for an autumnal-feeling comfort scent, you may want to give it a try. If Twilight Woods doesn't literally smell like a moonlit forest, maybe it suggests all the accessories to an evening walk in the woods, instead: hot cider or a dish of warm fruit cobbler before you head outdoors, a soft wool sweater or a cashmere scarf to keep off the chill, maybe a glass of red wine and a glowing fire in the fireplace when you return home.

Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods Eau de Toilette sells for $29.50 for 75 ml; an 8.5 ml roll-on is $7.50. The Twilight Woods scent is also available in a range of accompanying body and home fragrance products.

Note: top image is Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon by Caspar David Friedrich via Wikimedia.

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43 Comments

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  1. RachelSF says:

    the name and packing seem so completely misleading here – the notes read more like “midday jungle”. I was hoping for something dry and woody with a hint of vampire but this sounds too juicy fruity by far.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Rachel, Like I wrote, it wasn’t what I imagined either; definitely warm and sweetish rather than dry and mysterious. I liked it, once I realized it wasn’t what I expected!

  2. marko says:

    I ventured through the mall yesterday (note to self: unless you LOVE the sound of screaming toddlers, stay away from the mall the day before Halloween!!!) on a quest to smell Love, Etc @ Body Shoppe and stopped by B & B W to check out P.S. I Love You and Velvet Tuberose – and subsequently tested this too. You are much kinder then I would have been in your description….I didn’t care for this at all – I wanted it to be MUCH drier and woody – it was too sweet for my taste. (Didn’t care much for Love, Etc. either, but I did score a bottle of Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune after a stroll through Sephora!!!!)

    • boojum says:

      I sniffed at the bottle and that was as far as I got (had other business to attend to…13 yr old needed costume). I will say, the bottle is very attractive (much more so in person than the pic above)…but I wasn’t at all compelled to test on paper, let alone skin. Oh well.

      • Jessica says:

        Boojum, I’m actually pretty smitten with the bottle, even though it doesn’t completely “match” the scent. I heard a 20-something woman in the store say, “If I were 16, I’d love this bottle.” Well, I left 16 behind a looong time ago, but I still love it. Kind of mall-Goth. ;)

        • boojum says:

          In that case, you might want to check out the “Luna Twilight” makeup line over at Nordie’s…. I nearly bought a lipgloss, even though I haven’t read a single book nor seen the movie (and don’t plan to do so), just bc of the gorgeous bare, black tree on it. :D

      • mals86 says:

        I thought the same thing – pretty good for $30, but *I* don’t need it.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Marko, You were brave to face the mall this weekend! It’s definitely a sweet woody gourmand, although nowhere as sweet as some other B&BW scents!

      • Aparatchick says:

        I tried it today (and if you thought the day before Halloween was bad ….) and found it to be much less sweet than what they’ve produced before. Also not in the cucumber-laundry detergent theme I’ve seen there. A little too sweet for me to use as an EDT, but I could see using the body lotion.

        • Jessica says:

          Hi, Aparatchick… As someone who feels queasy in the presence of Warm Vanilla Sugar, and who has never owned a “cucumber-laundry detergent” fragrance (soap and a shower make me smell “clean”… perfume is something extra!), I’m enjoying this one. I also tested the shower gel, which is somewhat fruitier and reminded me a lot of CK Euphoria.

  3. newsitian09@yahoo.com says:

    Why do I get the feeling that the SCENT was well into development when the vampire thing hit big. Then the NAME got changed to take a free ride on all of that tie in advertising. All I smell here is a RAT. Denise

    • Jessica says:

      Newsitian, I don’t know the exact timeline for B&BW scent/concept development, but I’m assuming it’s pretty long! (Also, that they wouldn’t cut things close enough to risk a lawsuit.) In any case, the Twilight book/movie fans seem to realize (based on some very informal searching I’ve done) that the fragrance is around, but that it’s not a tie-in product.

  4. crowflower says:

    I went into my perfume oil collection from the 80s and got out Dark Amber, Dragon Amber and straight oil of patchouli to layer a autumn leaves and fall scent for Halloween. That’s more my idea of Twilight Woods.

    • Jessica says:

      Crowflower, Sounds good to me!

    • _Sweet_Dreams says:

      hey, are those from black phoenix? I like black phoenix a ton

  5. Na says:

    Love the bottle and the Name!
    although I agree that it suggests something different from what it actually smells like.

    • Jessica says:

      NA, They did a really nice job with the packaging. A bit misleading, but then again, *every* fragrance has to be tried in person, doesn’t it.

  6. Dolly says:

    Jessica- this sounds so disappointing. The name and notes don’t seem to match. Guess, there’s no sign of Serge in this.

    • Jessica says:

      Well, “disappointing” is a matter of taste… like I said in the review, it’s definitely not Serge-like (and Monsieur Lutens really did start the “woods” vogue back in his Shiseido days, didn’t he?), but then again, most shoppers aren’t familiar with the SL aesthetic in the first place. I actually *like* sweet scents and certain fruit notes, and I don’t wear any Serges except Rahat Loukhoum, the sweetest one he makes. So not *everyone* will be let-down. ;)

  7. crowflower says:

    I can’t get past the anise note in Lolita Lempicka, but I have it anyway because of the bottle. I could see having this for the same reason even if I didn’t fall in love with the perfume.

    • Jessica says:

      Crowflower, I used to wear Lolita Lempicka, too, and even when I eventually tired of it, I kept the bottle. One of my favorite designs! I have to stop myself from buying the LL flankers just for their packaging…

      • alltheprettythings says:

        I LL’s gwps! They come out with the most adorable little minis!

  8. alltheprettythings says:

    Sounds like it would make a good candle.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Jessica says:

      Prettythings, I believe there *is* a candle, and a home fragrance oil. That’s one thing about B&BW: if there’s a fragrance you like, you can really surround yourself with it!

    • I think it does work better as a candle….it was the only version of Twilight Woods that I considered buying when I first encountered it at the store.

      • Jessica says:

        Hi Catsofulthar, I went back and bought a small candle during one of the sales; strangely enough, it seemed sweeter as a candle! I think I prefer the fragrance, in the end.

  9. CynthiaW says:

    I actually picked up the little $1 lotion bottle and the $7.50 roll-on before the scent was “officially” released and I really like it. Mind you, I *like* CK Euphoria and enjoy ambers and gourmands in the right circumstances, but I really think that it’s a nice little scent. It’s nothing ground-breaking or unique, but it’s well-done and comforting.

    I probably won’t drop $30 for a bottle, but I’ll pick one up when it hits the outlet for $4.99.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, Cynthia! We have some similar tastes. It’s nice that they offer a smaller size as a roll-on, too. I think it’s a more well-rounded scent than Midnight Pomegranate, for example… I *almost* wanted that one, but it felt a bit rough around the edges. That one wasn’t as “dark” as the name suggested, either, come to think of it!

      • CynthiaW says:

        I think that B&BW definition of “dark” is a bit different than ours – lol. I know what you mean about Midnight Pomegranate, although I did like it enough to plunk down $4.99 at the outlet for it. I mostly use it for a linen spray, after shower scent type thing. The B&BW outlet is about 5 minutes from my house – so if you ever like something enough to want it, but not enough to pay full price for it, let me know and I can keep an eye out for it.

        I wish that more of their scents came in the little roller-balls – I really like White Citrus, too, but I’m waiting for that one to hit the outlet to buy.

  10. laken says:

    given the notes it should be called “tropical beach resort”, or “midday at the beach”

    • Jessica says:

      Laken, There isn’t really anything beachy about it, though! I’ll stand by my suggestion of “Twilight Orchard.” Or maybe “Sunset Orchard.” ;)

  11. supa kawaii says:

    It smells just like With Love… by Hilary Duff…
    I sprayed it and I swear I could recognize this scent from somewhere then I later brushed threw the Macys counter and saw With Love… and was like this is an imitation…
    Buy this for cheap thrills if u cant find H.D. fragrance…but its a nice overall…

    • Jessica says:

      Hi, Supa. I don’t think I’ve ever tried H Duff’s fragrance, although I remember it getting a fairly positive response on the various message boards. Thanks for the comparison!

      • CynthiaW says:

        Hmmm… I’ll have to pull out my Hillary Duff With Love and do a side-by-side because I didn’t get that vibe at all. Of course, it’s probably been 18 months since I sprayed on the With Love – I remembered it as being more “amber-y” than Twilight Woods.

  12. jonr951 says:

    It smells just like Viva La Juicy to me!!! My cuzin LOVES Twilight and LOVES Viva so this is perfect!!! I like it!

    • Jessica says:

      Viva La Juicy was *much* too fruity-sweet for me… but I’m glad your cousin was happy with this one!

  13. amy says:

    It’s very close to Victoria’s Mood Succulent- which has been discontinued– I thought primary notes were definitely Berry and Vanilla

    • Jessica says:

      Amy, I tried Succulent once… I don’t think Twilight Woods is *that* sweet, but I can see the comparison! Fruity vanilla.

  14. _Sweet_Dreams says:

    I like this one. I am admittedly not a perfume snob, but if you like sweet vanilla-y woods-y things this one is pleasant and wearable. my friend thought this smelled like burberry brit on me- and this costs less, so good deal. it is unfortunate that the name is misleading, it’s definitely not a “dark” or what i would consider a woodsy scent but for what it is, it’s nice. It would be better titled “soft apricot” or something.

    • Jessica says:

      SweetDreams, I’m still enjoying my sample, but I agree, the name isn’t quite right for it! It’s sweet and comfy, fruity-woodsy, and well-priced; just not exactly dark or mysterious!!

  15. Dawn says:

    At the ripe old age of 27, I am loathing a lot of the Bath and Body Works stuff now. It’s just too fruity and sweet to me now.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Dawn, Well, I left 27 behind a long time ago, and I’m not much of a fruit-punch fragrance person… but I do like Twilight Woods and P.S. I Love You. They’re different from some of the earlier scents… maybe B&BW finally realized that some of their customers were getting older and had changing tastes!

  16. asmittenkitten says:

    i was really hoping for something much different than what this scent turned out to smell like once on my skin. on me, all i’m getting is vanilla and musk scents. no hint of anything else really, certainly no fruit or florals. it comes off as a dirtier version of their warm vanilla sugar….not in a good way.

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