One of several Chanel scents available exclusively in Chanel boutiques.

Bois des Îles Parfum fragrance notes

    • jasmine, damask rose, ylang ylang, bitter almond, gingerbread, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood, vetiver

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Latest Reviews of Bois des Îles Parfum

This is for the sexually confident.this is sexy dressed in a pencil skirt and heels.a sly wink with a pirate smile and a toss of the hair.and hypnotic like the luscious hips of a slowly undulating belly dancer. Bois de Iles is all about the sandalwood, strong and alluring, bathed in jasmine, iris,vanilla and amber.she is timeless,a perfect waltz between elegant, dressed up,and sensual, stripped reminds me of old lipstick and furniture.

The opening is fresh and bright with strong bergamot and aldehyde presence.ylang ylang, powder,and dry sandalwood that follows up with mostly jasmine,iris and amber to intertwine and lift up the sandalwood on a royal fact notes of jasmine and ylang ylang in this one which fit perfectly to that narcotic sandalwood smells like a burning,resinous,woody fragrance along with some bitter-sweetness. classy,smells very expensive, quality is sensual and intellectual at the same time.
23rd November 2021
Chanel Bois des Îles (1926) is the awaited follow-up to the landmark Chanel No. 5 (1921), and created by Ernest Beaux upon request by Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel to be what has been accepted as the first woody perfume for women. Unfortunately, it never made the same level of cultural impact and ceased production sometime after Chanel's passing, as did much of the original Chanel lineup outside the best sellers. Chanel resurrected the perfume in the 1980's when a younger Jacques Polge decided he wanted to tinker with the formula and make a modern masculine iteration as Chanel's house perfumer, to sit alongside a re-released original. This tinkering resulted in the creation of the limited and now ludicrously-coveted Bois Noir (1987), which sat alongside Bois des Îles briefly in 1989 when it finally saw reissue, until the formula of Bois Noir was altered for what was considered a more widely-palatable and mass production-friendly Égoïste (1990) the following year, with Bois des Îles quietly being discontinued again. Now the legendary perfume said to be inspired by Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades is a part of the Les Exclusifs range in Eau de Parfum form, while the original pure parfum concentration is available at boutiques or select counters at higher-end department stores, packaged much like it has always been. In an age of niche perfume selling exclusivity and a breaking down of gender barriers in perfume, Bois des Îles is as artistically important now as it has ever been.

The fragrance is the root of Bois Noir, Égoïste, and No. 18 (2007), but doesn't precisely resemble any of them, as all of them have borrowed parts of Bois des Îles and focused on making a new scent around those borrowed parts. In the case of the first two, Jacques Polge created semi-orientals with sweet citrus at the head, while with No. 18, the damask rose and musk became the focus, but Bois des Îles is in effect the "complete picture", being far drier and more complex than its "children". The opening is classic chypre, with bergamot, peach, neroli, and stinging aldehydes in a fashion not unlike Guerlain Mitsouko. Iris and muguet counterbalance rose, indolic jasmine, and ylang-ylang in the heart, which provides a tart and sensual floral experience for which grand old chypres like this are known. Bois des Îles does not become lost in the conventions of its style however, as an amazing sandalwood emerges, giving gravitas to the name which translates as "Wood of the Islands", joined by oakmoss, musk, a feathering of animalic styrax, and a tonka/vetiver tandem to reinforce the arboreal theme. Like many classic chypres, this was offered to women but would be equally elegant on a man, and carries a grace that is out of time compared to modern synthetic florals or freshies. Various concentrations produce focuses on various facets and differences in perfomance, but the tested parfum/extrait is an all-day affair yet still more transparent than one might suspect an extrait to be. I also get a bit more sweetness from the two parfum variants compared to the sadly-discontinued eau de toilette, and imagine the long-gone cologne was likely drier still due to a shift in focus to top notes that tends to happen with eau de cologne concentrations.

Overall, Bois des Îles was just niche before the term existed, and exhibits a character many modern niche perfumes possess inasmuch as it focuses on a particular theme and has all of it's composition bent towards it, plus will only appeal to people who enjoy that theme, with no use whatsoever to a wider mainstream market looking to just smell "good" or "pretty". Bois des Îles is a handsome perfume for anyone who loves a rustic and slightly sultry floral woody chypre experience that reveals multiple sides throughout the wear yet remains centered on a woody theme. Sometimes you'll catch rose, other times you'll get some peach, and yet others the jasmine and animalic aspects will come out to play, but always that sandalwood, softened vetiver, and oakmoss underneath will remind you why Beaux gave this a name rather than a number like it's older sister. Bois des Îles can be hard to sample outside a boutique as only stores provisioned to carry the Les Exclusifs range offer any form of the stuff, but if the great old dames like the aforementioned Mitsouko, Joy Jean Patou (1930), or Hermés Caleché (1961) appeal to you, then Chanel Bois des Îles is a definite pit stop in your fragrance journey. For everyone else just looking for Chanel's "greatest hits", this one might be a pass because it is a rather "serious" perfume due to its warm and dark nature, and there aren't many instances where it could be worn for somebody who isn't an enthusiast anyway. However, once you fall in love with Bois des Îles, you might increasingly find yourself making exceptions to wear it. Woodsy, wild, and wonderful, but not to be approached carelessly! Thumbs up.
23rd April 2019

A lovely fragrance in its own right. For me it comes off as a gentle floral with a slightly sour or bitter, wood accord (which isn't a bad thing). It has a mellow base which lasts on my skin.
4th March 2018
A classic aldehydic fragrance with themes of vintage Chanel. Not overly sweet or floral, it is a balance of Ylang Ylang and vetiver. It doesn't come across as a floral despite the Rose and Jasmine notes. This smells classy and an Evening formal scent.
24th August 2017
Bois des Iles the best sandalwood fragrance I've smelled, and one of the best fragrances I've experienced, period. There are aldehydes, florals, and semi-sweet fruit and spice notes in the opening - but they're so well blended that it's nearly impossible to pick them apart from the perfectly harmonious whole. There's an unbelievable sensation of smoothness.

The accord morphs fairly quickly into a surprisingly direct sandalwood phase. The florals recede, and we're left with a semi-dry, somewhat powdery sandalwood note. It's glorious. So many sandalwood scents bury the note with fillers and try too hard to augment some facet of the note, with often unfortunate results. For that reason, I've been underwhelmed by most sandalwood scents I've tried. Bois des Iles lets the sandalwood augment the character of the rest of the accord, instead of the other way around. The sheer quality of ingredients here is what makes that approach work. Few scents in this price range are so clearly worth their price.

Men and women can easily wear it. Quality is top notch. It's unique, yet extremely comfortable to wear. People love it. Outstanding.
3rd March 2017
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.

11th October 2016
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.
27th June 2016
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.

Edited 2018: I've changed my star ratings for the EDT to reflect a surprising finding. This fragrance has continued to macerate in its bottle, and has become almost a powerhouse! I can still smell it on my wrist the next day, after only two sprays. It's heavenly. Such a shame that Chanel discontinued the EDT.

I love the EDT so much that I splurged on the parfum - it is exquisite and smells nearly identical to a 1950s or 60s vintage. The sandalwood is of course not the same, but Chanel has done a fine job with the current version of this classic parfum.
3rd March 2016
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
Today I have luxuriated in the edt and parfum layering of Bois des Iles; and I still have a problem with the top. It's better with the parfum version, but the top doesn't quite work for me. About an hour and a half in, we're into the mid and/or base, and it smells like deliciously edible Chanel. But the top is a soapy wood I don't really love. Still, I can't exaggerate and give it a thumbs sideways. The mid and base are delicious.
23rd April 2015
The vintage version contains someone the best sandalwood I have experienced, preceded by an opening touches of bergamot, rose - gorgeous! - ylang-ylang and the famous gingerbread-vanilla drydown, the latter more marked in the EdT. The original is of stunning quality, with the perfume displaying a dark leathery undertone at times that masterfully combines with the Mysore.
The Les Exclusifs reformulation's sandalwood is quite ordinary in comparison, with much more aldehyde in the top note, a peachy muguet-iris drydown on my skin and a white musk in the base added. More on the floral side, still good but miles off the stellar experience that the original provides. This version gives me a longevity of six hours, the original perfume more than double that.

The original is a grand classic. The new version still very nice. 4.75/5 for the original perfume.
26th December 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

Others before me have described Bois des Îles in accurate detail, and I see no need to retread that ground. I will say that to my nose Bois des Îles has much in common with its sibling Cuir de Russie, especially the prominent doughy iris root, the animalic civet, and the labdanum-tinged amber drydown. Perhaps I'm deluded, as I haven't seen the observation made before, but I can't escape the feeling that the two share some crucial DNA. I'll even posit that whatever core features Bois des Îles and Cuir de Russie share account for the unparalleled sense of indulgent luxury they both express.

Bois des Îles is simply and without a doubt one of the most compelling wood-centered fragrances I know. I rank it alongside (the vintage) Santal Noble as the finest treatment of sandalwood that I've encountered. What more can I add? Only that this is a true classic, one of the few scents that every serious student of perfume must smell at least once in order to appreciate the full scope of olfactory art.
9th June 2014