The latest addition to CHANEL’s Les Exclusifs line is the long awaited CHANEL BOY. Long awaited for a few reasons, including the fact that any Exclusif release is an exciting moment for me. The name of the perfume, BOY, references the love of Gabrielle Chanel’s life, Arthur “Boy” Capel. They had an intense personal and business relationship, as Capel had invested in her business. He eventually married someone else, but their affair continued until his untimely death in a car accident.
Here is the scent description from the website. Love it:
More than a fragrance, a double.
Boy Capel. The love of Gabrielle Chanel’s life, her double and her inspiration. Two singular beings fully attuned to one another.
This gender-defying bond is now the influence for a fragrance that plays on the masculine-feminine encounter: BOY CHANEL. A LES EXCLUSIFS DE CHANEL that anchors sandalwood and the heliotrope note, heightening them with geranium and rose to enhance the fusion of neroli, grapefuit and lavender.
BOY CHANEL or an alter ego.
BOY was created by Olivier Polge, and it’s his second perfume for CHANEL after the beautiful Misia in 2015. I wrote about my love for Misia here. BOY is intended to be “the mark of a man on the skin of a woman”, in the way that Gabrielle Chanel borrowed from menswear in her designs. BOY is inspired by a mix of the genders. I’m using terms like “traditionally masculine/feminine” to reference perfume styles of the past. As we know, perfume today has no gender and where what you love is the best guide. But traditional perfume styles are still referenced today, often with a modern twist. BOY is about:
“That unique fragrance of love when the other person’s scent permeates your skin and the fusion prevails over the original scent”
As someone who is obsessed with scent, of course scent and love hold meaning for me as well. The scent of your loved one on their t shirt, or pillowcase – these fragrances trigger feelings and can be so comforting as well as sensual.
Monsieur Polge started with the basics of a fougère fragrance, which to me is associated with the classic “barbershop” scent. But this doesn’t smell like a traditionally masculine scent to me. There is a soft velvety accord from whatever exquisite musk raw materials CHANEL uses, the “sexy skin scent” with almost pheromone effect, in BOY. The lavender smells clean and beautiful but not too soapy. The heliotrope smells like sweet powdery almond, and then there is vanilla, and both of these help to balance the masculine notes. The geranium and sandalwood, along with soft rose, orange blossom and citrus, are not star players here at all, and just hover in the background keeping the perfume from being too traditionally feminine.
There is something in BOY, likely the lavender and vanilla, that reminds me of Guerlain Jicky. Not with regards to the scent itself, but more in the Warm Sexy Lavender Perfumes category. Another stunning perfume in that category is CHANEL Jersey, which is a soft and fluffy lavender vanilla musk, yet so different from BOY. BOY smells unique and stands on it’s own as a beautiful perfume.
So it is for all of the above mentioned reasons I love it. Short story – CHANEL BOY is a soft, powdery clean smelling perfume, and that is my kind of perfume.
The CHANEL Les Exclusifs line is sold at CHANEL boutiques and select CHANEL perfume counters. In Canada, you can find them at select Holt Renfrew stores.
Product provided for my honest opinion