WHAT I SMELL: Boy opens with a soft, bright, yet warm citrus which bounces upon a layer of lavender warmed in the sun. The perfume is aromatic and rather herbal and from the beginning it provides a blanket of security and comfort without being overly warm or heavy. As the perfume begins to develop, a geranium note comes forward with a light touch along with a freshness of florals accented by rose. Soon after, a sandalwood note adds a hint of a pencil shaving accord. As the perfume continues to develop, the citrus comes back to brighten the mix along with a lightly sweetened vanilla. Finally, the perfume is covered in a layer of oakmoss which dries the fragrance and creates some added projection. Boy is without edges, making it smooth and incredibly easy to wear.
In her younger days, Gabrielle Chanel met Arthur “Boy” Capel, an elegant British polo player. He was the love of her life and the first to encourage her to pursue her creative endeavors. Inspired by his sophisticated style, Gabrielle Chanel imagined women dressed in tweed, with short boyish hair and flat shoes. Designs that mixed genders, the beginnings of unisex fashion.
BOY CHANEL presents a lavender and geranium accord heightened with exquisite notes of wood. A fragrance that transcends gender and illustrates a personality.
Top notes are Lavender, Grapefruit and Lemon; middle notes are Geranium, Orange Blossom and Rose; base notes are White Musk, Heliotrope, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Coumarin and Moss.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Tab Hunter – fresh, easy on the eyes and always neat and clean and inoffensive.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE BOY: easy, uncomplicated, comfortable
BOTTOM LINE: Part of the Le Exclusifs de Chanel collection, Boy is one of those perfumes that only get’s better as it develops. It’s warm and inviting and a modern fougere that can easily be worn by a man or a women.
WHAT I SMELL: Idyllwild initially graces the skins with a soft and fresh light tea along with a hushed rhubarb and grapefruit note. It’s so soft and pretty and incredibly comforting, like a light cashmere sweater that’ spun with the lightest and finest of wool. Soon a slight medicinal artemisia note appears which quickly is punctuated with a creamy lavender. Here, the perfume begins to move from the lightest of comfort to a more rounded warmth that buzzes with a creamy evergreen. The perfume continues to move to the Northwest with the cypress and fir becoming the perfume’s focal point. Evergreen can be tricky as it can overpower and turn a perfume into a car air freshener. Here, the notes are incredibly subdued as if the trees are wafting their beautiful scent from afar.
BOTTOM LINE: To me, Idyllwild is completely a comfort scent. It’s one of those perfumes that makes you feel like you’re taking a lovely hike through the green forest with the bounty of nature abuzz all around you.
Based in London, Timothy Han approaches perfume making a little differently, choosing to produce perfumes in small batches called editions stating that raw fragrance materials vary year to year like grapes for wine. As such, theses variations means each run of perfume is created in a limited volume, with edition numbering to allow you to easily identify which batch of perfume your bottle came from.
Both fragrances in the collection were inspired by iconic works of literature. And each fragrance is accompanied with a numbered work of art on the box cover tied to an individual artist. Similar to differing covers that appear with each new print run of a book, each edition of a perfume will also feature new artwork by the same artist.
ON THE ROAD – WHAT I SMELL: On the Road begins it’s journey with a lush, moist muted lemon and galbanum. The perfume is a little sour in addition to having an undertone of what smells like dirty socks. In a short time, the perfume begins to feel pinched as a birch tar takes over, mixed with what feels like a plastic sole from a tennis shoe. After a few more minutes, the perfume feels as if there is a bonfire that is now lightly burning but which stemmed from a set of tires that once were raging in the flames. Quickly, that aspect of the perfumes development disappears and the perfume moves to more of a rubbery consistence. The perfume softens considerably and begins to become strangely pretty with what seems to be a sweetened patchouli and vanilla stirred into the rubbery mixture.
SHE CAME TO STAY – WHAT I SMELL: She Came to Stay opens up with a warm, inviting geranium topped with cloves and spices. It feels as if you’re walking into an herbal terrarium, with a breeze of lemon wafting through. The perfume however is not light; instead, all of the components feel heavy, heady and pressed with weight. After a few minutes, the perfume does begin to lighten as a metallic edge joins the herbs. This edge actually does feel like a metallic pole that is planted right at the center of the perfume. Although not bad, it does feel as if the perfume rotates lushly around this singular component. There’s a great deal of movement in the perfume and as it continues to develop a mentholated labdanum starts to emerge. Again, the perfume is warm and herbal. After some time, the warmth retreats and the herbaled lemon ends up sitting on top of a woody base with hints of cloves and nutmeg
BOTTOM LINE: Both of these perfumes are interestingly different in their own right. On the Road is really intriguing in that it captures the post WWII age of a new generation through plastics and the automobile. It has a nostalgic vibe and in the end feels very comforting and secure.