Something Old, Something New – Boy Chanel (2016) Exalting Aroma Allegoria Guerlain (2002)

This whole naming perfumes after people Coco Chanel knew, is not quite my thing, I think it probably caters to brand loyals and Coco Chanel fans, of which I am neither, particularly. In a way, when it’s named for somebody mostly known to posterity because of his affair with Coco, it feels almost like we’re into retro-pseudo- celebuscent domain. Could you imagine the Kim Kardashian perfumes being called after her friends, lovers and family? Not so much.


Anyway, putting my initial reservations aside, Boy is a lovely perfume. And it does feel like the side kick to Misia and 1932, the last two exclusifs. I hesitate to call it the ‘masculine’ side kick, as this is more dandyesque, and reminds me that I must try to watch ‘Transparent’ soon. It’s certainly as cross-perfumed as it gets.

The almost candied lavender feels like opening an old French linen chest. Behind the lavender there’s tonka, coumarin, talcum powder and (the inevitable) white musk. Like starched white shirts and brilliantine hair (ok, I see the latter rather than sniff it), it smells old-fashioned clean, and contemporary smooth. Boy is easy to wear, easy to like and great for everyday use. Especially for someone who finds the floral elegance of Misia and 1932 a bit too much.

Oh, I should have given the Anthony Andrews picture right, a purple tinted hue, that would have been just perfect for Boy.

img_1027While I like Chanel perfumes (but only have two bottles in the cupboard), I can’t run from being a lover of most Guerlain classics (with a fair collection). A perfume that I’ve been wearing loads as the colder weather set in, is the discontinued Exalting (or Exaltant) Aromaparfum as it’s called, from the Aroma Allegoria line by Guerlain. It’s a true autumnal perfume, for the first days of grey sky and a myriad of brown coloured leaves. It’s purifying and velvety, comforting and mood enhancing. The perfume is a balance act between zesty and luscious. There is a distinct spicy bitter orange and neroli but also pepper and a crisp-bitter green scent of cypress. Perhaps there’s even a spruce bud tinge. To keep the tart juiciness in check there are warm spices of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and a touch of vanilla (it’s a Guerlain after all), there are resins and tonka and it’s all wrapped up in an exalting sandalwood coat. Indeed, Exalting is a warm and exuberant woody-oriental perfume with a Christmassy touch.

I’m left with the image of walking down an Italian path of tall cypress trees, exaltingly striving towards the sky.



A mini of Chanel Boy was sent to me by the sweetest cookie on the blog, Val da cookie queen.

Except Anthony Andrews as a dandy (couldn’t find credits), the pics are mine.

14 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New – Boy Chanel (2016) Exalting Aroma Allegoria Guerlain (2002)

  1. Haha, you are back in every way! I do love a good pic of Anthony Andrews, my best friend’s fantasy ‘period pin up’ in the 70s. 😉

    Most amused at ‘cross-perfumed’. Boy was never going to be my thing, on account of the lavender AND coumarin, because of which note I once gave away a bottle of Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre (name is approximate – it was so long ago).

    And I am not a fan of cypress, I’ll be honest, but your description of the Guerlain is enchanting, especially with autumn now upon us.

    • Hehe, thank you Vanessa, I’m truly trying, I miss it. AA the pin-up, giggle, why do all women I know have a soft spot for him, I wonder?
      No, I wouldn’t think Boy your thing, with the Guerlain I don’t know, I think it’s beautiful on all the people who have tried it so far.

  2. What a coincidence that you wrote about Exalting! I wore it just the day before you posted this. I’d been going through the cigar box of decants that I keep on my dresser, thinking that I knew every scent that I’d placed in there, and unexpectedly came upon the original decant of Exalting you gave me years ago, which I thought I’d used up in its entirety, only to discover that I still have a good couple mils left of it. So naturally, on to the wrists it went immediately, and it is still as beautiful as ever and reminds me of you and how I got to know you, really.

    I love your photo of the bottle and your line, “I’m left with the image of walking down an Italian path of tall cypress trees, exaltingly striving towards the sky.” So perfect.

    • Dear Suzanne,thank you, and I remember it being so beautiful on you, so I’m glad you still have a little left.

  3. Ooohhh, nice what you said about Exaltant. 🙂
    And true what you said about Chanel. Considering Boy – no amount of nice words would make me consider it something interesting, due to the white musk being there. One of the reasons I practically hate Misia.

    • I believe it’s very much the same kind as in Misia, actually. It’s funny, how it didn’t use to bother me all that much, but now… maybe it’s because it’s (as you’ve pointed out forever) EVERYWHERE!

  4. I agree with you on the whole naming thing. I’m not a Chanel (person) fan, so I could care less about people in her life. But whatever, I think they shoot themselves in a proverbial foot with this name: I do not see men who shop at the boutique buying and wearing something called “Boy.” I do not think 95% of women who shop at the boutique would know after whom the perfume is named. But maybe it can be a gift for a baby shower? “It’s a Boy!”

    I haven’t tried Exalting, but it sounds nice and after falling in love with the previous Aromaparfum that you introduced to me (Apaisant), I feel sad that it had been discontinued.

    • Hahaha, fantastic! ‘It’s a boy’! Yes, now I will never think of anything else. 🙂 and yes, I agree with what you say.
      I wasn’t sure how much you liked Apaisant so I’m very glad to hear it was a winner with you. Exalting has quite the same intensity, even if the perfume is, of course, very different.

  5. Your review sums up my view of Boy perfectly. It comes across as very easy to wear and dandy-ish rather than masculine. Like V, lavender and coumarin mean it’s not for me but I can see why our Cookie Queen loves it so much.

    Ari’s post on Coco Chanel was a real eye-opener for me. I’d want to distance the brand from her but I guess, like me, most people aren’t aware of her political affiliations.

    If only Guerlain made more perfumes like Exalting. It’s sounds perfect for autumn.

    Fab main pic!

    • Thank you Tara, I’m very happy that you agree on Boy, and I too can imagine it perfectly on the cookie queen 🙂
      Coco wasn’t a very sympathetic character, but even so, those names, they actually invite you to find out more about her life, which is sort of strange…
      I agree, with the Guerlain point, although I did like Amber Eternel quite a lot.

  6. Boy is even better in the cooler weather.
    You captured it well. I love the warmth of the heliotrope. It’s easy to wear whilst remaining kind of decadent. Big hugs. ?❤️?

    • Dear Val, thank you so much for giving me the chance to try it. I can imagine it wearing beautiful here in the cold actually, and as the weather has turned today to get quite icy, I should probably wear it now. As Tara said, I can imagine it being beautiful on you. 🙂

  7. Boy is not at all like Pour un Homme? If so i might be interested since PuH can be a bit strong and a touch of dandyism sounds appealing. Love the Anthony Andrews pic-so right even without the purple tint!

    Those Guerlains in the aromatherapy line sadly got away from me, but Exaltant sounds very warm and tawny. Wonder if they will ever re-issue any?

    • Sorry for the appalling time I’ve taken to answer, I wonder if in the meantime you tried Boy, and how you like it?
      I don’t find it like the Caron, although, it has been an awful long time since I last tried that one.
      Another to joint the Anthony Andrews Admiration Assembly 🙂

      I truly can’t image they would ever re-issue the aroma allegorias, they are just too different for today’s market. I think Guerlain was trying to hit the aroma therapy wave, and exaltant, at least to me, smells dense and of a quality that they wouldn’t make at that price anymore. I might be wrong on all accounts. Let me know if you would like a drop.

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