Bois des Îles Eau de Toilette (Chanel)

Bois des Îles may be eighty-five years old, but there is nothing antique or fusty about it. It smells of sleek expensive fabrics sold by the bolt, their newness implied by a bright "finish" of aldehydes which wears off quickly, revealing something plush and infinitely more comfortable underneath. I have the very outfit in mind: a set of lounging pajamas in deliciously soft and weighty panné velvet, tailored to drape just so and pool softly around a body at rest.

As a textile, velvet possesses numerous inherent contradictions, all of which favor the wearer. Even as it traps precious body heat against the skin, it feels cool to the outward touch, ensuring a fine-tuned microclimate that never seems to edge over the point of discomfort. Even when its basic hue is warm (flame-red or chocolate, please!) its silvery highlights suggest a touch of frost... or perhaps light glinting off very dense fur. And yet it flows like water, shimmering, never static-- "inviting interaction", as a gentleman once remarked about my favorite lime-colored bias-cut velvet skirt.

I'm grateful he only wished to interact with his eyes. If I had been wearing Bois des Îles, his hands almost certainly would have been tempted into the fray.

When the time and place and gentleman are right, all this is just fine-- but Bois des Îles seems more conducive to nights spent at home alone, curled up on the divan with a big bowl of cherries and a good novel, wearing those famous pajamas accessorized with one's eyeglasses on the tip of one's nose.

Who's looking?

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, coriander, bergamot, neroli, peach, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, iris, ylang-ylang, vetiver, sandalwood, benzoin, vanilla, musk