Oh, Boy: Chanel launches new fragrance

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Fashion designer, Coco Chanel is well known around the world for her fabulous fashion line worn by all the A-list celebrities. What many people don’t realise is, Coco (who’s real name is Gabrielle) was raised in an orphanage which is where she was taught her sewing skills.

After having a brief career as a singer she became friends with, Étienne Balsan and stayed with him just outside of Paris where she lived as a ‘kept woman’ in his mansion, and this is where she began to mingle with Balsans wealthy companions and this is when she met a man who would change her life forever, Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel.

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Arthur Edward Capel loved to read

Captain Arthur Edward ‘Boy’ Capel (1881 – 22 December 1919) was an English poloplayer, possibly best remembered for being a lover and muse of fashion designer Coco Chanel.

Born in Brighton, Sussex, Arthur Capel was a ship-owner, politician, tycoon and polo player . He was the son of Arthur Joseph Capel, a British shipping merchant, and his French-born wife, the former Berthe Andrée A. E. Lorin (1856-1902), and he had three sisters. But today he is better known for his 9 year love affair with Coco Chanel.

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Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel and Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel (middle) in front of the Chanel Boutique in Deauville in 1913

His affair with Chanel apparently began in 1909, when he became acquainted with the then 26 year old mistress of his friend Étienne Balsan. In that time he was already an apparently wealthy self-made man and he supplied Chanel with financial backing, and financed Chanel’s first shops. His own clothing style, notably his blazers, inspired her to put a squared masculine touch on her classic clothing styles, and creation the Chanel look. If it wasn’t for Arthur’s money or style then Chanel would never had had the funds or fashion muse to make what is one of the most well-known designer brands in the world.

The couple spent much time together at fashionable resorts such as Deauville, but.. he was never faithful to Chanel. Their relationship lasted nine years, and even after Capel married in 1918, he continued his affair with Chanel until his death in late 1919.

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Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, Étienne Balsan and Arthur Edward ‘Boy‘ Capel

Arthur tragically died in a car crash on Monday 22 December 1919, allegedly en route to a Christmas rendez-vous with Chanel. A roadside memorial was placed at the site of the accident, consisting of a cross bearing the inscription:

A la mémoire du capitaine Arthur Capel, Légion d’Honneur de l’Armée Britannique, mort accidentellement en cet endroit le 22 décembre 1919

He was buried with full military honours at Fréjus Cathedral, in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France, on 24 December 1919. After his death Coco began wearing black during her grieving process and she told a friend that the world would mourn with her which is where the ‘little black dress’ evolved from, and why black is no longer tied in hand with association with death but more with elegance and class. Chanel claimed Arthur Edward ‘Boy‘ Capel was the love of her life.

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An exceptional Fresh Aromatic fragrance infused with the timeless elegance

We were so busy waiting for Chanel’s reinterpretation of their No. 5 fragrance titled L’Eau (slated for a fall release) that we didn’t see this one coming at all! The new scent from Chanel is a unisex fragrance created by the house’s master perfumer Olivier Polge. It also becomes the latest (17th) addition to the Les Exclusifs collection and just like Misia (also an Olivier Polge creation), it was inspired by one of Chanel’s closest friends: Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel.  Gabrielle Chanel considered him as more than her soul mate; he was her double and her alter ego. Inspired by their love, Boy Chanel is a vibrant, perfectly balanced scent that challenges tradition and transcends gender.

My way of working on this fragrance was really not to try to make a unisex fragrance but really more to dive into men’s fragrance…and to show how well it could be worn by a woman. So it was not to try to create an in-between fragrance, but a very masculine fragrance. And — like many other things in life — gender is given by the person wearing it.

Olivier Polge

Boy is a masculine fougère with main accords of lavender and rose geranium sourced from the south of France. The composition also includes lemon and grapefruit, a note of rose, orange blossom, sandalwood and heliotropin, plus a hint of vanilla and musk accords. Like the others in the Les Exclusifs collection, it is contained in a simple rectangular bottle, and will become available worldwide this month in in two sizes, 75 and 200 ml Eau de Toilette.

You need this — and so does your boyfriend!