If asked five years ago which perfume line I most admire, I’d have unhesitatingly said Chanel’s Les Exclusifs. In it, classical masterpieces like Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles sat, reformulated but recognisable, alongside creative success stories such as Coromandel. Recent releases however, have given me pause for thought: Jersey, I felt, was too apologetic (and for all the wrong reasons); 1932 too self-referential (as a Chanel perfume). Now with Boy, it seems that the very polished aesthetic Chanel has come to define itself by may well be undermining its potential for future greatness.
As openings go, Boy’s strikes me as actually somewhat unpleasant and includes a mix of fresh, methyl pamplemousse-type grapefruit and waxy, green, lower-numbered aliphatic aldehydes. The latter help introduce the geranium themed floral heart that complements a classical fougère accord. Rather than being a glossy, bright geranium however, the one offered here comes in a powdery, pastel hue and is supported by a host of musks, sweet heliotrope and vanilla, a little, grainy Evernyl-like oakmoss replacer and light, sandalwood-ish woods. Advertised as an EdP, I found Boy to wear fairly close to the skin and have only average longevity; once the lavender notes faded, it was rather a linear, sweet-powdery-floral affair.
Nose: Olivier Polge
Release date: 2016
Notes (per Fragrantica): lavender, lemon, grapefruit, rose, geranium, orange-blossom, sandalwood, heliotrope, vanilla, musk.