I purchased this new from Chanel in 2016.
I have quite complex feelings about Bois Des Îles. Well, as much as one can complex feeling about a fragrance. When I first wore it it was winter in Seattle and we’d just moved there that fall. And Seattle is such a different city and area from the East Coast and the Midwest. Very West Coast. It has its own beauty of course but I was struggling to adjust from the moment we left the airport.
As my husband drove into the underground parking lot at Whole Foods in downtown Seattle, which felt odd because it isn’t as solidly metropolitan as Manhattan or as suburban as my part of the Midwest, I wore Bois Des Îles for the first time. I smelled my wrist and thought something like, “This is more exquisite than No. 22, but I don’t like it as much as I should.” I knew instantly why it’s seen as one of the greatest fragrances ever composed but…it didn’t feel…for me?
Then, I had a falling out with No. 22 (my signature for years) after it became almost too unpleasant to wear for reasons of association with hurt and misunderstanding and people’s hatred. And then, as I’ve said before, this last spring my nose changed. I no longer was or am able to smell No. 22 as I did before and instead I smell a very sweet, white floral Chanel with a heavy emphasis on tuberose. It’s beautiful, creamy, opulent and Chanel certainly but not what I smelled before. Then I tried Bois Des Îles.
As I’ve said before, the Bois Des Îles my nose smells now reminds me a bit of the No. 22 I smelled before. Except it’s still a little sweeter and of course they’re ultimately different fragrances.
I still feel like Bois Des Îles is not “mine” but…I appreciate it in a different way than I did before. It reminds me of a grand 1960’s chinchilla that would have been worn by a rare sort of lady in the city. A Babe Paley sort.
Bois Des Îles is retro. Very glamorous. Exquisite. So exquisite. And one can’t help but admire it… I’ve always thought that. But…I can’t wear it often. My goodness I find it stunning when I do though.
I’m almost done with the original Les Exclusifs de Chanel eau de toilette fragrances. I’m keeping all of them, but I’m sure you guessed that…