I have had a weird relationship with Chanel Boy, the 2016 addition from the Les Exclusifs collection. I was so excited when it first came out in Europe, and I pestered my ‘girl’ at the Chanel store, telling her to contact me as soon as it was available locally. I couldn’t wait to try it – mainly because of the story behind the release. The perfume is named after Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, who is said to be the one true love of Coco Chanel. The hopeless romantic in me relished that.
Signed by Olivier Polge, this is his second creation for the Les Exclusifs line, after last year’s Misia (which, come to think of it, I have to write about) When I trekked to the store, it was a hot day, and when I sampled Boy, I was impressed, but ambivalent. It is most definitely and unmistakably Chanel, I thought, and while I liked it, I found it derivative of some of their other releases – I thought it was very similar to Misia. My mistake was I didn’t ask for a sample. I think that day I suffered from parfum fatigue, when you try so many perfumes in a day and Boy suffered because I sniffed i late in the day.
Recently, I was back at the store, and tried Boy again. And this time asked for a sample. I liked this better same time around – I like the rose and geranium combo, I like the lavender in it. Polge calls this a barbershop scent, but it is so classy ans refined I can imagine an all-glass shop. Boy is a perfect example of what I call a soft masculine, where in theory this is a masculine scent but the touch is so light that it reads feminine. I found a lot of depth here – there is soft sandalwood int he base, and the aldehydes make it smell classic while at the same time this is a very modern perfume. Add this to my Santa list pronto!