I blind bought a decant of this when I just started learning about fragrances. It wasn't a big leap of faith; I have worn and loved Chanel No.5 since my mid teens, and I had just smelled and fallen for Egoiste in my local perfumery, so when I read some reviews saying Bois des Iles lies somewhere between those two, I was pretty convinced I would love this fragrance.
Upon trying this-perhaps due to those reviews- this is exactly what I got: something halfway between Egoiste and No. 5. Absolutely lovely, but at that stage I was wondering if my very limited fragrance collection was in need of something that, at the time, seemed a subtle variation on what I already had rather than a distinctly different fragrance.
Well, 2 months later, I changed my mind. I have been gently, but firmly won over by this scent. The more I smell it, the more I see its resemblance to its offspring Egoiste. However, the differences have also become increasingly apparent.
Let's compare them both to food.
Egoiste is the most delicious slice of cake at you favorite local bakery. It's an excellent bakery, that uses only the highest quality organic ingredients. The resulting product is sweet, rich, and warm, yet light and perfectly balanced, like a clear golden brown syrup infused with woody spices. It's the kind of delicacy that you treat your friends to when they're in town, and something you come back for time and time again.
Bois des Iles is that same cake, but made by a 3 Michelin star chef. It's a cake, but it's so much more. It's much more subtle and far more complex. The same sweet woody spices are treated with a lighter hand here, and they have been delicately layered with fragrant florals and a hint of the richest cream. It's at the same time more restrained and more surprising to the palate, both familiar and distinctive. It's the kind of desert that brings tears to your eyes when you eat it, because it is such an expression of skill and beauty.
Needless to say that I have now fully realized that I need a full bottle of this pronto, and that having both Egoiste and Bois des Iles in my very small collection is absolutely necessary.
I think this is an excellent fall/winter fragrance, but I'll probably wear this just as happily in hot weather.
If you are interested in this fragrance, but don't have easy access to a vendor to test it, try Egoiste and try No. 5. If you love both of these, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll love this with a passion!
It has a subtle sillage, and moderate longevity.
This is for review is for the vintage EDT!
Bois Des Iles is a wonderful Sandalwood fragrance. It is marketed for women but it is very much unisex. I get a blast of sandalwood off top with some floral arrangements & that beautiful woody/ginger cookie note.
This could ALMOST be gourmand but it falls short. It is delicious & wonderful in spring & fall weather. I personally think it is to thin to wear in winter. Much better options for that.
A draw back is that the lasting power is only around 5 hours or so... Not good considering the soaring prices for the vintage juice. The new version is still good, but lasting power is about the same, tho I would say, if you can live without the vintage juice & its real use of sandalwood, than by all means get the new version because it is a better option for your money as you will get more juice.
This is a classic for sure.
This review is for the contemporary 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 favour and 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 most highly addictive narcotic! I could not believe how gorgeous it smelt! I was totally and irrevocably 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. 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 reviewers 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 in this fragrance. I perceive gorgeous sandalwood, amber, iris, ylang-ylang, tonka bean, vanilla, benzoin, opoponax, and a bit of vetiver and musk. The notes come together to form one of the most enticing fragrances I have smelt in my life ever!
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 around you 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. Some may not find these prices excessive, but I certainly think they are excessive, but a fragrance that smells this heavenly can command these prices it seems.
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 quickly begins to disappear altogether. After four hours, I can no longer smell even a trace of it, but I so much want to continue smelling it that I reapply it---hence the analogy to a narcotic substance!
Projection: 6/10 (first hour)
Sillage: 6/10 (first hour)
I'm giving this EDT a thumbs-up because it's so lovely - but sadly, it doesn't last on my skin: within one hour of spraying, the scent has diminished by half. Most people get much better performance from it, judging by other reviews. I might need to purchase the parfum. This is a lilting, well-blended spicy-creamy floral, soft and with all the elegance and integrity one expects from Chanel - it's so good that I'll just double up on sprays.
Hmm! The EDT.
After the assault of adelehydes, this is the spot for the dreamy,creamy Chanel Sandalwood drydown.
Chanel has captured the soft round creamy facet of Mysore that forms part of the picture of this precious stuff.
A recent taste of a 2015 issue of the Parfum convinced me that this is the way to go these days.
22nd October, 2015 (last edited: 04th January, 2017)