In Les Exclusifs there are currently two fragrances named after personalities: "Misia" and "Boy". Fans of the Chanel brand are already aware that Arthur Edward "Boy" Capel (1881-1919) from 1908 until his death in 1919 was Coco Chanel's lover and financial supporter. How big the influence the Englishman Boy really had on Coco Chanel's life and thus on the fashion house Chanel, however, is less known to many. Boy is still omnipresent at Chanel. He was the man who finally turned the young woman "Coco" into Coco Chanel. It is therefore fitting when Coco Chanel himself later said about him: "He gave birth to me". Boy met the then 26-year-old seamstress in 1908 with her mutual friend, horse lover, polo player and her lover at the time, Etienne Balsan. In contrast to Balsan, Boy's family was considered 'nouveau riche', the family fortune was hardly a generation old. His British father had made his fortune with the shipping of coal, his mother, a Frenchwoman, Coco Chanel was not unlike Coco Chanel, which, apart from the similar temperaments of Coco and Boy, was probably the reason for the attraction between the two. Boy was the first to discover that Chanel was an excellent businesswoman. He quickly became not only her lover, but also a teacher and transformer. It was he who introduced Chanel to the world of the arts, philosophy, politics, music and literature, it was he who awakened her business sense, inspired her fashionably and dared to openly criticise the already scratchy Coco ["You acted badly", "You lied", "You were wrong"]. It was he to whom Chanel owed her lifelong passion for collecting the artfully crafted Asian wooden fans, the so-called Coromandeln. It was he who had Chanel's first designs from Jersey re-cut by a tailor made of tweed. It was he who opened the boutique with her in the luxury bathing resort of Deauville. It was he who brought her new customers through his social contacts. As progressive as Boy was in his thinking for that time, he ultimately subordinated his feelings to professional ambitions and his own principles. He never married Coco Chanel and maintained further relationships during the relationship and married an Englishwoman, Diana Wyndham, 'according to her rank'. During the short marriage of the character incompatible couple, Boy "shone" most of the time in absence, preferring to devote time to his lovers or professional ambitions.]
If you look at the reviews of "Boy" here in the Forum, you will inevitably come across the term fougère. The first fragrance to bear the word fougère in its name was the "Fougère Royal" by Houbigant in 1882. In this family of fragrances, lavender is classically the top note, while coumarin or oakmoss are contained in the base. Coumarin is a synthetic component that can be obtained from tonka beans, for example.
How does the scent smell now? The lavender note is easily recognisable from the start and is the main protagonist throughout the fragrance. She doesn't smell old-fashioned or too woody. The fragrance, like the other fragrances in the house, has the 'typical Chanel note' that gives it elegance. The scent is embedded in sandalwood and vanilla, which make it softer, so that although it is marketed by Chanel as a men's scent, it can also be worn with ease by a woman. The coumarin note is often compared to "freshly mown grass" or "hay". In fact, it has a slightly sweet smell, which later turns into an intense, spicy aromatic fragrance. In addition, the oak moss in the base gives a slightly green undertone. When I wear the scent, I also notice that it is circulating, which means that it always returns to its original notes, repeats itself. I have compared the ingredients and structure of the historical "Fougere Royal" (1882) and "Boy" (2016). It is noticeable that "Boy" has more in common with the historical "Fougère Royale" than with other fragrances listed as modern Fougère today (e.g. Kouros, Armani Code, Eternity for Men, Azzaro Pour Homme). In this respect, the fragrance is rather a return to the roots of Fougère. Maybe the real Arthur Capel even wore the "Fougère Royale". However, this remains speculative. In summary, it can be said that "Boy" is elegant, powdery with vanilla and green undertones, spicy aromatic and smells of lavender.
Chanel: "1919, the year I woke up famous and I lost everything". Chanel mourned a double loss in 1919. She not only lost Boy in a car accident, but also suffered a miscarriage shortly before his death, as a result of which she could never have children of her own again. With the generous inheritance bequeathed to her boy in her will, she acquired the last traces he had left on this earth: the Bel Respiro holiday home, the interior of which she had painted in the company colours characteristic of today [beige and black for the roller shutters as a sign of mourning]. In summary Chanel said about him: "He was the only man I ever loved. He died. I have never forgotten him. He was the great chance of my life...He was for me my father, my brother, my whole family".