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.
An elegant woody fragrance for those who can't stand overly sweet, 'kitchy' scents. A fragrance for a refined woman. Nice sandalwood drydown.
This is "en femme", Chanel "en femme", not masculine. This wears feminine clothing, has a very feminine personality, and it's all femme inside-- I don't care what the birth certificate says. To say the sandalwood in this is masculine is travesty, but if we must insist that this is masculine then let's call it Odin. Odin dressed as a female healer as part of his efforts to seduce Rinda. This is by far one of the best perfumes I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. Opens up smelling of expensive jewelry, middle notes of jewelry box doors closing after retrieving your piece. I then get notes of make up and finishing powder. The dry down is light ginger ice cream after excusing yourself to powder your nose. This smells like a rich b.
I was so in love with this fragrance.......before I even tried it! Yes, bewitched by the descriptions, I couldn't wait to get my own bottle. I've always loved woods, and have found mens colognes generally much more attractive than womens sweet and sickly florals, so I really did think this perfume would be for me. The reviews that emphasised 'sandalwood' and 'gingerbread' really sold it to me and I set about tracking it down. Not easy here in the UK, since it's only available in the Chanel boutiques themselves (officially) - but finally I got a bottle from Scent Direct, who I suspect had to go out and buy it specially for me given the 'out of stock' email I initially received!
So what did I think. Grown-up, sophisticated, evocative .......and dare I say it.....just a tiny bit disappointing. I got the musk alright, and a fair amount of spice, but where were the supposedly predominant woods and tonka? Vaguely reminiscent of Rive Gauche, which suprised me as BDI is not supposed to be a chypre! Another surprise was reading that this was formulated around the same time as No 5 - wheras No 5 is truly timeless, Bois des Iles does feel a little old-fashioned. I liked the un-sweetness of it (to an extent), the powdery drydown and the longeivity of the scent. And - shallowly!- the kudos of such an unusual and hard-to-find fragrance. Perhaps a tiny bit more amber, or a hint of vanilla would have rounded it and balanced that champagne dryness. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's nice, but it's not perfect.
Ernest Beaux, the master creator of Chanel Nos 5, 22 and also Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles, reportedly said that Chanel No 5 smelled of a snowy landscape. Mr. Beaux had fled from Russia, so he knew his snowy landscapes well. But to me, Chanel No 5 smells warm and golden with a refreshing coolness underneath it all, . . . but no snow. It's Bois des Iles which smells silvery and snowy. I know, I know. Bois des Iles is supposed to conjure images of warmth and woods, and while it does have a warmth to it, it's the warmth of the silver necklace you're wearing under your heavy parka while you're in that snow in those woods. Guerlain's Attrape Coeur is similar to Bois des Iles in many ways, which makes me wonder if Guerlain was making a nod to Chanel when it released A-C. Bois des Iles also reminds me of Long Lost Perfume's dupe of Lanvin's My Sin, another creation from a Russian perfumer and which predates Bois by a couple years. There is a large dollop of sandalwood in the drydown of Bois; it's rather alluring yet stays classy at the same time. I don't find the sandalwood overpowering as in some of the heavier fragrances popular on the market. I won't list the notes of BdI since others have done so below. One day I hope to sample the pure parfum. It is rather pricey, but I bet it's worth it. For the time, however, I'm content with the EdT. And, yes, this is one to wear all year. You don't have to wait until it's parka time.
Oh, I could simultaneously kiss and slap the swapper who was kind/mean enough to send me a sample of Chanel's Bois des Iles fragrance in the *pure parfum* form. Released in 1926 (!), it is Fragrance Nirvana for me, unspeakably beautiful. Mellow and comforting sandalwood, light aldehydes, a little vanilla and spice, a light gingerbread-like smell in the drydown. Blended to perfection and simply gorgeous, I *must* own a bottle of the pure parfum; it's an instant Holy Grail for me. It's only found in Chanel boutiques, so I'll have to order online when I buy it (not if, when)... and it's $150. Ouch. Hence the "I could slap her" comment... I could try to wait for my birthday and ask for it as my gift from my DH, but can I really wait that long (2 months) without more of this in my life?? Damn, it's lovely. I want to date myself. Update: Ordered!! YAY!
This strikes me as a very watered down version of Coco. I like Coco and it's lovely on me but BdI is a little disappointing. It's nice enough, but barely there on me and not worth the price. Maybe at one time it was a great fragrance in a previous vintage form, but the current EDT is weak with poor lasting power. This is for the EDT; I've not yet tested the parfum.
This is my 2nd review here and to those who don't know me from the boards, I am one big perfume-holic. I was fortunate enough to get a small decant of BdI in a swap and when I first sprayed it on, I felt cheated! It had the aldehylic opening of No5 which I dislike. However, that soon disappeared and led to a nice warm sandalwood aroma. Soft and very warm, like a much softer Samsara and reminded me of pure sandalwood oil I smelled while vacationing in India. This is a very refined perfume and I am definitely picking a bottle up when I go to Paris in 2 weeks!
This is a beautiful fragrance. I doubt I would actually wear it (at least not very often) because it smells a little (I thought I would never say these words, but here goes) "old ladyish" to me. And I'm an old lady. Compared to many of the ladies who post here, I might be very old, but I'm not saying.
I admire it, but it is not my style.
I kept hearing how great this is, so I bought a decant. It has that aldehyde opening like #5, which I *hate*... but underneath is a pleasant, gingerbread-like fragrance. I'm going to have to try this a few more times to see how it sits. I like it but don't love it.