It’s almost unbelievable to me that until today I had not tried Chanel Coco. Or maybe I should correct that and say I did not try it alone, but with four other scents and therefore could not pick it out of an identity parade. Today I wore it alone after testing it in a small branch of a regional chain of pharmacies called the Mayberry Pharmacy ( see note) It is indeed the Gothic mother of popular girl Coco Mademoiselle, (the white lidded lovely which walks off the shelves wherever it’s sold). It’s hard to believe that Coco begat Mademoiselle when Coco is all darkness and enigma.
First of all, I’d just like to say that I love Chanel Coco. I’m not massively keen on Coco Mademoiselle, although it smells good on those who wear it (but not I Sir), but Coco is another story.
I could tell you about the list of top notes and middle notes, but frankly, it’s the base notes that barge in and make themselves comfortable, sitting right in the middle of the flower bed and staying put.
Rich in cloves, Amber, and Smoky dark eyed Myrrh, the Mimosa, Roses and Jasmine are smoked to sepia petals and papery dry by the time the long, long basenotes kick in.
At first spray this reminded me of Givenchy Ysatis in so far as it’s a high pitched, powdery old fashioned chypre, at least to begin with. I was pleasantly surprised that this High Street wonder smelled like something from the 1930s, whilst competing with the likes of Opium and Cinnabar from the 1980s.
This rich, heady Oriental has a Lutens like whiff of rum sodden fruit (I may be thinking about Serge Lutens Arabie), although no fruit is present. Longevity is long and clingy, like Velcro. The finish is rich, heady and powdery, with a peekaboo of leathery whispers.
I find it odd that this seems to be so unloved. It’s flanker Mademoiselle sells steadily year after year and even Coco Noir has a respectable following, but Coco seems to be the difficult second album. Whatever, gimme, I love it. Out of all the Orientals on the market, Coco, I choose you, and that’s saying something as there are a lot of you out there.
Note– the Mayberry Pharmacy is a perfume lover’s delight. This one was in Blackwood South Wales which I ended up in quite by accident today. Just to prove what kind of swoony treasure I found there, here’s an example: Alyssa Ashley Green Tea Extract at 9.99GBP (so rare I had never ever seen it anywhere), and Tom Ford White Patchouli 30mls at only 25GBP!!! And many others that I couldn’t remember because I had my mouth open and went all starry eyed. It just goes to prove that no matter where you go, you never know when lightning might strike.