Monday, May 21, 2007

Chanel Bois des Iles

Every once in a great while, I try a scent that has been touted as admirable, decide it does not fit for me, and toss it back into my decant basket to revisit another time. And every once in a great while, I retest that scent that has fallen to the bottom of the decant basket and wonder how I let it slip away. Was it the wrong season? The wrong clothing I was wearing? Perhaps my tastes have changed drastically? Or perhaps, my nose has become more refined? Whatever the reason, this week, Chanel Bois des Iles has charmed me from the bottom of the decant basket.

What renders Bois des Iles so masterful is the gorgeous interplay of floral and wood notes, with a tiny bit of spice. The jasmine, damask rose and ylang-ylang opening pronounce the fragrance a Chanel. Bitter almond, gingerbread and vanilla compose the heart while tonka bean, sandalwood and vetiver round out the base.

I must repeat that this fragrance is irrevocably Chanel, with its aldehydic opening and Ernest Beaux designer stamp. When sniffing from afar, it vaguely reminds me of others - No. 5, No. 22 and the like. However, upon closer inspection, this masterpiece of blending stands beautifully on its own two feet. The notes wrap around one another in energetic fashion, like a whirlwind at first, opaque and indiscernible. As they settle and slow, what they reveal can be described as warm brilliance. They evoke the image of an impeccably dressed, perfectly coiffed, svelte French woman, who purchases only the best designer clothes, loves to read and discuss world affairs while she sips spiced tea. She is feminine and strong, an accomplished career woman. She dislikes frills, unnecessary details and verbose comrades. She is timelessy beautiful, unashamedly smart yet emotionally distant. When you are around her you cannot help but be mesmerized by her beauty, vitality and energy. She makes an indelible impression wherever she goes and she knows it.

I am so pleased to have resurrected this scent and yet somewhat frustrated that yet again, I have grown to admire a scent so undeniably exclusive and expensive. I can only assume that missing the comforts of home prompts me to enjoy a scent so warm and inviting. I will covet my tiny decant until the last drop.

Image source:


chayaruchama said...

I find it fascinating, that you find this woman emotionally distant, yet the fragrance warm.

Perhaps you're right.
Many Chanels are 'alluring' [no REAL pun intended], but very polished-
And the unspoken subtext might be- Come very close...
But not too close.

I adore this, but when I want folks to swarm all over me like honeybees, this isn't the one I choose.

Happy you're home again.
Hubby did well, bless him.

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Good Morning Chayaruchama!

I thought long and hard about that point. The juice is definitely warm. However, Chanels have a distant quality to them due to their exclusivity and posh. It is difficult to feel "snuggly" wearing any Chanel scent for me, no matter how warm. This one comes close, but again, she keeps her distance somehow.

I am not home yet, sadly. Three more days until I'm reunited with my sweet husband. Thank you for your compliments! You may hear from him again! In the meantime, I'm grateful to have some Bois des Iles.

Have a wonderful day, my Jewish mother. ;-)


violetnoir said...

I love the way that you and Chayaruchama have described Bois des Iles.

All I can add to that is: It had me at the gingerbread/sandalwood note. :)

Warm, yet aloof. That's the paradox of this timeless wonder.

Any chance that you will stop in LA on your way back to Arizona, T?


ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hi R.,

Warm, yet aloof indeed! It is incredible that such a beautiful scent from the 1920's captured my attention nearly one century later. The beauty of a Chanel.

I SO wish I could stop by in LA on my way back, but I have a direct flight. Shame. We could meet for a cup of tea or a sniff!

Hugs to you,

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IrisLA said...

I was so convinced I would love this, I bought BDI parfum unsniffed. I do love it -- whew. Like violetnoir, it had me at gingerbread & sandalwood.

Hope your new job brings you to LA more often!

helg said...

Now this is trully a masterful fragrance and really worth the exclusivity obstacles and elevated price.
Did you know it was inspired by Queen of Spades, the opera? It reminded Beaux of the mother land, so perhaps your nostalgia for home has something to do with it ;-)

Best wishes for your return.

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hello Iris!

Wow, parfum unsniffed! What a leap a faith but a good one. I'm certain the job *will* bring me to LA since my boss lives there. Stay tuned!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Thank you helg for the trivia. How beautiful to know that Beaux was inspired by opera for this scent. I'm not quite yet convinced that I should jump through hoops to get this one. But it certainly has my attention. Thank you for reading!


tmp00 said...

well, when you come to LA, keep me in the loop!

I love Bois des Iles- I think it may be my favorite Chanel- a warm smile from a usually distant lady.

Anonymous said...

Hi, T! This is one of the few Chanels (of the ones I've tried) that I actually can wear and enjoy! I wish I got more of the gingerbread, but it is lovely, nevertheless. Hope you're home safe and sound soon!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Thank you tmp00! I will let you know should I visit the big city. Glad to hear you like this one too. And your description is perfect!

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Hello Linda!!

I'm finally back safe and sound. I'm anxious to get back to my regular routine and blogging on a daily basis, although Mr. TMH and I leave for Italy 6/6 ... so I will be away for most of June. A small price to pay for seeing such a beautiful country, though.

I am so glad to hear you got your hand on some Bois des Iles. It's impossible to find here. I believe the EDT features a more pronounced gingerbread note. Have a great evening!!