Chanel Bois des Iles

Chanel Bois des Iles

4.1

130 reviews

65% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$$

INGREDIENTS



Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This review is for the Eau de Toilette.

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Coriander, Peach, Bergamot, Neroli, Mandarin Orange.

Heart Notes: Iris, Lilac, Orris Root, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Lily of the Valley, Rose.

Base Notes: Amber, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Opoponax, Musk, Benzoin, Vetiver, Vanilla.

I have always loved Coco EdP, and I like No. 5 EdP well enough, but none of Chanel's other mainstream fragrances ever impressed me enough to purchase any of them. Thus, I began to look at the Les Exclusifs line. Several of the Les Exclusifs looked very interesting to me including No. 22, Coromandel, and Bois des Iles. Bois des Iles especially looked good to me, so after reading many reviews and watching video reviews on YouTube, I decided to order the 2.5 oz. bottle of EdT. I was chagrined that only EdT and extrait were available as I normally purchase EdPs. I was also chagrined by the price for a 2.5 oz. EdT! Nevertheless, I seemed unable to resist placing the order.

Well, the EdT finally arrived the other day, and after my evening bath, I spritzed it on my decollatage and on my wrists. Oh woe was I! I immediately fell completely and hopelessly in love! It was like a narcotic! I could not believe how gorgeous it smelt! I was totally smitten! The next day, I amazed myself and ordered the large 6.8 oz. bottle of the EdT so that I could spray with abandon anytime and as often as I wished, AND I ordered a .5 oz. bottle of the extrait as well. Having now tried BdI, I cannot imagine not having Bois des Iles in my fragrance wardrobe for as long as I live. Ernest Beaux was a genius, and I only wish I could have lived in his time and have met him. Without Beaux, I find it hard to believe that Chanel would have become what it became with him. I cannot help but wonder how many more spectacular fragrances he might have made if he had lived longer.

Some have said BdI is best suited to autumn and winter, but I think this is a fragrance that can shine beautifully all year long. It is utterly divine! It is sexy, warm, and so very beautiful. Do you want to seduce someone? I wager Bois des Iles will seduce any man you wish to seduce!

BdI is also very well blended. Thankfully, the (for me) dreaded aldehydes are very subdued. I perceive gorgeous sandalwood, amber, iris, ylang-ylang, tonka bean, vanilla, benzoin, opoponax, and a bit of vetiver and musk. From top notes to the deep dry down this is one of the most breath taking fragrances I have ever smelt. If you like orientals, florientals, and/or woodsy fragrances, I think you will love BdI. I think everyone should at least give it a try. It not only smells delicious, it also smells incredibly well-bred and expensive---and it IS expensive! At this price point especially, this is one fragrance you will not smell on others very often if ever, and I like that fact, too. Bois des Iles is not only full bottle worthy, it is signature worthy, too. If people who know me would alwys remember me by the smell of Bois des Iles, i would be very flattered and happy indeed.

There are two main drawbacks to the EdT. Firstly, it is not very long lasting (three to four hours maximum); and, secondly, it is quite expensive, especially for an EdT. The 2.5 oz EdT currently sells for $160+ tax, and the 6.8 oz. sells for $280+ tax. The .5 oz. extrait costs $200+ tax, which means that a full 1 oz. costs $400+ tax. There are so many wonderful fragrances on the market that cost so much less than the Les Exclusifs fragrances, and I always said I would never pay more than $150 for a 3.4 oz./100 ml bottle of EdP, yet I was unable to resist Bois des Iles. I still cannot believe I just spent over $500 on a bottle of EdT and an half oz. of extrait! (I spent significantly more than $280 on a vintage Cuir de Russie EdT very recently, too, and it also is to die for, so if you have not tried Cuir de Russie, another of Ernest Beaux's creations, you really should add it to your test list.) If No. 22 and Coromandel smell as good as Bois des Iles, I am financially doomed!

Please note that BdI turns into a skin scent on me about an hour after application. It lingers pretty well for a total of about three hours maximum, and then it begins to slowly but surely completely disappear. After four hours, I can no longer smell even a trace of it, but I so much want to continue to smelling it that I reapply it---hence the analogy to a narcotic substance!

Fragrance: 10/10

Projection: 6/10 (first hour)

Sillage: 6/10 (first hour)

Longevity: 4/10

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.



on 9/21/2015 1:32:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have always felt that I am a bit of a philistine in that I don't appreciate Bois de iles as much as I should. I have the rue cambon trio of parfum extrait (Bois de iles, Cuir de Russie and gardenia). I also have sizable decants of Bois de iles EdT and Cuir de Russie EdT. IMO, Bois de iles is mainly aldehydes, ylang ylang, musk and something that vaguely induces a sense of car sickness (leather? Nope. Perhaps Sweetened, lightly spiced dry sandalwood in the dry down?). I agree with the reviewer below who said that sometimes this reminds her of No 5, sometimes No. 22 (IMO because sometimes you get a nose full of Chanel aldehydes, sometimes light floral).

I've read reviews commenting that this is a more feminine version of the more woody of Egoiste. I vastly prefer Egoiste (original, not platinum). Other reviews remark that this is reminiscent of gingerbread. . . If so, EdT is a light crisp dry ginger thin that might be at home with tea and Prousts Madeleine( i am not a fan of Proust, nor madeleines) not the super moist, sweet- spicy - bitter molasses heavy gingerbread from my Maida Heatter Cookbook. ( if it smelt like moist gingerbread, I wouldn't like it any better; I am not a fan of gourmand fragrances). I also am not getting much sandalwood especially in comparison to either Egoiste or Coromandel.

The Rue Cambon parfum version IMO opens with more floral honeyed, aldehyde rich, with a high note that reminds me of rose Oud combos. (There is no Oud in either) however the dry down of the parfum seems less sweet than that of the EdT. Reviewers comment on the doughy iris richness of this; I think I understand what they mean. notes as per basenotes include: Jasmine, damask rose, ylang ylang, bitter almond, gingerbread, vanilla, tonka, sandalwood, vetiver. One point in favor of both the EdT and Parfum is that while they are 'dry,' I don't get the sense of throat parching powder common to modern scents that have bases filled with ambroxan and benzoin (since there is none). I should add that while I use descriptors such as gingerbread and dough, this is not a sugar sweet gourmand like SL Rahat Loukam. Given the original date of release in the 1920s, I am tempted to retest Guerlain le Heure Bleue to compare. (My preferred rendition of LHB is vintage EdC in the disc bottle which dates 1960s or 1970s and is far less powdery than modern LHB extrait).

Since I am clearly not getting the point of Bois de iles, and since Chanel isn't really my cup of tea (notwithstanding my fondness for No. 19 EdT, the vintage Pour Monsieur and Cristalle EdT in the summer), I will say that it's clearly well blended and contains high quality ingredients. Like No. 5, I feel that this is an abstraction of the Chanel interpretation of what a woman should smell like -- and I am just not that woman. I prefer the Guerlain treatment of aldehydes ( vintage extrait preferred) which I think, to mix my metaphors, is somehow moister and sings a lower octave. What the Chanel's and Guerlains do have in common is that dry down is amazingly smooth and lush and close to the skin.

Note: I have been smelling Hawthorne in a variety of perfumes in the past few days (Bois de iles, Dior Farhrenheit, davidoff Cool water, SL daim Blond, FM Eau de Hiver and Dans de Bras), but there is none listed here. I even get a sense of Etro Heliotrope plus Oud in the dry down, but thankfully no overdose of sugar and powder. Perhaps it's the doughy iris milky feeling that is heightened by bitter almond? Also, Chanel famously uses different formulas for EdT and parfum, so if you don't like one, I would suggest it still might be worth trying the other. Finally, I am a dabber, not a sprayer. A spray delivers three times the amount of fragrance and creates Sillage ( I am not a fan of any Sillage). However, this is also nice if you layer a tiny dab of EdT with parfum.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


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on 5/8/2014 2:25:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I wore an entire half milliliter today, which would have made me unbearable in almost anything else, and could barely smell it. What I could smell was awesome! Sweet slightly powdery old wood. But when I put on hairspray after work to go out, all I could smell after that was green apple candy from Fructis, and nothing of the entire tester bottle of very expensive perfume.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I bought a sample of this in the parfum as opposed to the edt in the Les Exclusifs line. The parfum is beautiful and very unisex. It smells like a walk in the woods in autumn with some gingerbread sweetness included. I have been told the edt is more woody.
If you like this but are looking for a little more oomph I suggest Cuir de Russie which reminds me of Bois des Iles with some leather and spices added.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Very much disappointed: this is the Holy Grail so many people rave about ??! It's nice but by no means a head-turner, IMO. I agree with the previous review as regards the sandalwood smelling thin and synthetic. This fragrance barely lasts on clothes, and vanishes very quickly on skin. It feels diluted, VERY diluted. Well, I'm aware that my review is rather negative; let me think of something nice I could say: it reminds me of Chanel 5, it's a soft fragrance which won't bother your co-workers, and that's about it. My number one Chanel is Coco, followed by Chanel 19, then Chanel 5; Bois des Iles must be put on steroids to enter my top 3 !

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


on 6/8/2013 1:35:00 AM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I wish I could give this a higher rating but this perfume doesn't last at all on me. Like KittyC I ended up with a faint sandalwood dry down which was nearly imperceptible. Initially, there is a wonderful blast of aldehydes-- very much like No. 5 which reveals a heart of lightly spiced sandalwood. The sandalwood is nice and has a creamy quality but also smells somewhat thin and synthetic. Overall I enjoyed this for the 30 minutes it lasted but I can't give it more than 2 lipsticks for being so short lived.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Curly, Other

Eyes: Blue

This perfume reminds me a teeny bit of #5. It must be the aldehydes, but I'm not sure. It really is a beautiful sort of everyday scent though. It's refined and mature, but I can see women 30 and over wearing it best. It has an intensity to it, but it really isn't cloying at all. I wish I were better at describing scents as to the actual notes, but this scent certainly upholds the quality of the Chanel name for sure.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 3/10/2013 1:55:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

No. Not for me. I can't smell it. Three big spritzes from a large decant on to freshly moisturised skin produce a faint burst of roughened wood and a fizz of cola. That dies in a couple of minutes, leaving almost no trace on my skin, and almost no sillage other than what I might expect if I had just showered with sandalwood soap. I wish I could be transported to bliss like so many other people are, but no.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


on 8/31/2012 11:44:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I wish there was a maybe for "would you buy this product again", as I am on the fence about whether or not this fragrance is really for me. I bought a decent sized decant of the EDT from TPC and have tested it several times over the last 6 months or so. I'm giving it 4 stars because I do appreciate it and I do think it smells very good, but I don't really find myself wanting to wear it often. I've said this about other decants and samples in the past and then when I've run out I've decided I miss it and end up buying a bottle and loving it for a long time, so maybe this will happen with Bois des Iles.


It's funny how this EDT sometimes reminds me of No.5, and how other time it remind me of No. 22. It certainly seems to have notes that are found in both. Of course there's the massive aldehydes, but beyond that there is the jasmine, ylang-ylang, and neroli of no.5 and no.22, as there is similar vetiver and vanilla base notes. But Bois des Iles makes sandalwood the star note, blending it with the florals and resinous and woody notes to create a woodsy, warm, powdery scent that has very decent lasting power and silage. Again, I really like the smell, and am even ashamed to admit that I often prefer spritzing it in the air in a small room over wearing it. I like being able to walk through that room several times later that day and smell it. It does smell so good, but I think it is just not really the type of perfume that works with my personality enough to feel right wearing it...

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Creamy sandalwood with a dusting of strong, nose pinching, almost headache inducing aldehydes. I read about this perfume and desired owning it. When I first smelled it, I was suprised how familiar it was. This has been done many times over the years one way or the other. Creamy, feminen smell with a very sophisticated, almost dated edge. It did bring to mind Samsara. Bois des Iles has a lovely, yummy, warm, creamy sandalwood side to it. But also a side that reminds me of visiting aunts, dressed best, hugging and kissing you, saying how much you have grown. And you just want to get away!
And I must add that this perception may be due to the fact that Bois des Iles has been reformulated. It is a tribute to sandalwood without sandalwood. Sandalwood has become very expensive due to regulations and scarcity, thus substitued in perfumery with synthetic polystantol and others. And from my experience, while polysantol has a nice warm wafting aroma, it can also be a little screechy. So just to clarify, my review is for the Les Exclusifs version. When Bois des Iles was created, sandalwood was imported from India in large quantities, so I bet back then it smelt devine!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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