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.
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