This is a lovely, soft floral. Sophisticated, a little demure. But not an arm-sniffer for me. It feels a little too subdued.
I have this in parfum. Bois des Iles is the fragrance epitome of my dream self. To me, it is so beautiful it nearly overwhelms my senses. I've owned the edt, but for awhile I've owned only the parfum. Not being a well-honed poet, I have a hard time explaining what it is about Bois des Iles that makes it so magical. Certainly it smells amazing, but it's almost as though it's a part of me, like it's traveled through time with me, and I've found it, in this life, yet again. Yes, I know that sounds unbalanced, but art doesn't always bring out balance in us, does it? Putting aside any supernatural musings, or romantic reactions, the practical side of me can stress that I love Bois des Iles for its sandalwood, which is so clear it's more like crystal than wood, for its benzoin and vetiver and all their depth and sensuality, and for its heady aldehydes, neroli, and peach...Bois des Iles is Veuve Cliquot, a rose garden, a Beaux Arts mansion, a Gothic heroine...it takes away practicality and dissolves it into dreamy romanticism...it's everything "Perfume" was originally all about, and I cannot imagine a fragrance world devoid of its beauty.
This is by far my favorite of the three olderscents in the Les Exclusifs range. I first bought this fragrance in pure Parfum on a trip to London in 1993. I've been in love with it ever since. Many people find it too strong or masculine. You need to really give this one time on the skin to let the notes come out. On me, it smells almost like No.5 at first due to the aldehydes, but then the Ylang-Ylang really comes out and the fragrance takes on an exotic sweetness but is never overpowering. I just adore it. Try the pure Parfum available at Chanel Boutiques, I think you'll like it better than the EDT.
I have to agree with ruby_tea_roses' review below... this is way too masculine for my taste. Although I'm a huge fan of white florals, I actually like spicy scents as well ~ but I like my spice with a bit of sweetness and I didn't find any in this scent. To be blunt, it smelled a bit like dirt on my skin.
Of course this is nice but for some reason I cannot smell it. Its like someone breathing on me. I feel it but it doesn't have a smell. I can't spend this kind of money on something that is gonna hide from me and drive me nuts trying to get a whiff.
Meh. Too dry and spicy for me. Borders on masculine in my opinion, but then again I like really sweet fragrances like No. 22 and YSL BabyDoll. Bois des Iles seems more exotic, spicy and incensey than I am used to. It's not a bad scent. It's unique, that's for sure. But it's just not my taste, so I wouldn't repurchase. In fact, since it's so expensive and I know I just won't ever wear it, it's getting returned tomorrow. I wish it would have worked for me, but oh well.
Life was boring, work was dull and Seattle winter was getting to me with its dark and perpetually rainy skies. I needed something fabulous. Something that will tell me: "Listen, there are things to life other than traffic and paperwork and rain. You are still not a bad looking young lady, damn it. Remember that." So, I gambled with my hard-earned 160 bucks and one day the package from Chanel came to my doorstep. Inside was Bois des Iles pure parfum. As I was opening it, my hands shook from excitement and my heart fluttered happily. Yes, it did smell good. Phew! (I do have some bad buying-unsniffed memories).
Then I applied it lightly (!) it on my skin - and - I walked to the computer and wrote on the perfume board: "Ladies, I think I am in love and we are going to get married."
This perfume sometimes reminds me of a little fairy that dances on your skin. It twirls around in little pirouettes and jumps high and low. Notes sparkle, shine, sing, change, flow into one another seamlessly. On me, Bois des Iles is almost like a magic trick: it's a baby! it's a goose! it's a confetti sparkle! One second Bois des Iles is powdery, then it is green, then it is vanilla, then it almond, then it is vetiver, then it is the softest whisper of woods and then the twirling around starts all over again... However, don't get me wrong: all these notes form a well-rounded scent, an impression, an aura. It is impossible to pick out just one or group of notes, everything is blended seamlessly and flows harmoniously in one beautiful melody. If it was a dance, every move would have a logical continuation, there would be no abruptness or awkward moments. I think of Mikhail Baryshnikov doing his prep routine, so light and airy and intelligent and stern-looking in his simple black tights. The colors, objects, textures and adjectives that Bois des Iles reminds me of are white tuille veils, green, gold, sparkling, elegant, full twirling skirts, dry grainy sandalwood trunks, roughly sanded wood, permutating, ethereal, different and familiar. Also, I noticed that Bois des Iles plays out differently in different conditions. On cold morning on dry just washed skin it is more green and powdery, smooth sandalwood lingers in the background. On the evening warmed by roaring fireplace it flaunts its almond-y notes, it becomes warmer, more golden, more juicy; the little fairy is a bit tired and hot, she rolls on the ground eating her gingerbread-almond cookies, making a mess and laughing. Exuse me for my musings, but I just love that perfume. This time I gambled and hit the jackpot, ladies and gentlemen...
I have loved this perfume for years. My best friend in high school (in a very strange Southern town)wore this. She was very unique in everything she did, and her perfume was no exception. I loved it. When I was old enough to buy it for myself, it had disappeared. I tried to find it for years. My husband took me to Paris as a Christmas present one year, and I went sraight for The House of Chanel and bought Les Exclusifs, the lovely trio that included Bois des Iles, Gardenia, and Cuir de Russie. I love them all. I go back and forth between Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie as being the most perfect of fragrances. They are appropriate for the "Little Black Dress" and your favorite pair of worn out jeans and your man's sweater. The remind me so of hot summer nights when the air is filled with indescribable scents of lovely things. Now I can get them online, and I am in nirvana. If there is anything "Old Ladyish" about this fragrance, she is a sexy old babe!
I wish this had stayed the way it started.. pretty and woodsy -- with enough sandalwood, ginger and flowers to to make it mysteriously feminine. It's lovely. But ---------- it dried down just like Chanel No 5 dries down on me to lovely powder. That's all. I can wear Johnson's Baby Powder and get the same result. Pity -- it was lovely at first.
I've tried this many times over the years and I was never impressed with it till now. For some reason I am now able to smell many of those delectable notes that I did not pick up on previously. This begins as a masculine, woody scent on me. Within the first 30 minutes it smells like shampoo, nothing impressive. Then, within an hour, all the good things surface. I really wish the drydown was faster but when you get there it is quite lovely and worth the wait. The tonka bean, vanilla, gingerbread...all surface gently. This is chanels version of a gourmand scent IMO. I have both the EDT and the parfum and thankfully they are not different fragrances. Naturally, the parfum lasts a lot longer and stays closer to the skin, but both the EDT and the parfum have the same woody, delectable sweetness at the complete drydown. The EDT seems a lot thinner on first spray but at drydown it seems to develop more body as it matures on my skin. The EDT also seems a tad less woody and the sweetness is slightly more pronounced at the drydown but they are very much the same scent. This is definitely a sophisticated unique scent that is worth seeking out. It is one of only two chanel fragrances that I am able to appreciate and wear easily without a headache. A little FYI, there is something about this that really reminds me of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's perfume for Zents called "Fig". No, it is not a dupe so don't run out and buy it and be disappointed. These two scents are extremely similar though. Fig has no fig present, it is a woody, sweet scent (sweeter than BdI) with a warmth it it, the same warmth that is present in the final drydown of Bois Des Iles. Fig is sweeter and less woody but there is an undeniable similarity to me and they are definitely from the same family of scents. Both of these would be suitable for a man or a woman.