BOY CHANEL ($325 for 6.8 oz) was "Boy, oh boy, this is fabulous!" Boy is the newest of Chanel's Les Exclusifs. It arrived at counters in early June. I had gone to Saks in Chevy Chase in May, specifically to try and buy, but it had not arrived at that point. So I waited. I finally ordered it blind, something I hadn't planned to do, but I needed a lift.
About a week ago, I ordered it from Chanel online. I wasn't up for a car ride to Chevy Chase in weekend traffic, and I love the way Chanel's online site sends my purchases (beautifully packaged in a heavy reusable Chanel box, with samples - always sent overnight).
Gabrielle Chanel considered Arthur "Boy" Capel as more than her soul mate; he was her double and her alter ego. Inspired by their love, BOY CHANEL is a vibrant, perfectly balanced scent that challenges tradition and definitely transcends gender. Boy was developed by house perfumer Olivier Polge, who, interestingly, called it masculine, but said he wanted to show how it could be worn by a woman.
Chanel describes Boy as an exceptional fresh aromatic fragrance infused with the timeless elegance of lavender and Grasse rose geranium, lemon, grapefruit, rose, orange blossom, and a warm, woody base of sandalwood mingled with notes of heliotrope, vanilla, and musk. I think it's more than the sum of its notes.
I find it to be unisex - definitely neither totally masculine nor feminine - and very green and fresh. My nose doesn't pick out the lavender, which I love, and it doesn't smell any of the other notes as standing out above the others. The blend is unique and gorgeous. The notes mingle, yielding a fragrance unlike any I own - and I'm something of a fragrance hoarder. I can often classify my favorites as floral or by note. Not this one! It is as elegant and distinctive as Gabrielle Chanel herself.
The top notes are masculine. Not knock-me-out masculine, but definitely not feminine. The middle notes yield a fragrance that either a man or woman would be equally delighted wearing. The base notes do lean masculine, but not to an overwhelming extent. Boy is a chameleon, changing its presentation over its life on the skin like chameleons change their skin coloration. Nicely, also, it has great longevity, sticking with me all day at work.
I know that many of you have expressed a desire to try BOY CHANEL before you buy. If you like unisex fragrances that are so distinctive (and fresh) they are hard to characterize, you will be delighted if you blind-buy. I am. If you don't want to make the leap to $325, there is a 2.5 ounce size for $185.
Photo courtesy of Chanel