Chanel Coco Mademoiselle was kind of made accidentally on purpose, in so far as its huge success was unexpected: it was simply meant to carry on the success of Chanel Coco, in its guise as a Coco flanker (Coco Flanker would be a great name for a burlesque dancer). It was created by a nose who is frankly, a genius: the legendary Jacques Polge. One day I would like to thank him for Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte. It’s like a face full of fresh tulips, and I will review it one day. You may remember that he also made the divine Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere. Like I said, a genius.
Coco Mademoiselle is a runaway bestseller that even outsells Coco now, but sadly that means that you can smell it everywhere. I was rather disapproving of it when staying a hotel in Leeds recently. I could smell a woman twenty feet away wearing it at breakfast. My dears! Not before noon at least! And from twenty feet away. Light herby colognes only at breakfast, or nothing but a whiff of toothpaste would do fine.
Coco Mademoiselle is a great example of pretty meets sexy. It’s all orange blossom, rose, jasmine and mimosa at first (heady) spray. Sillage is a whopper. Never spray it in a lift unless you are caged there with an enemy. You could quite nonchalantly wear this to the office first thing IF, and it’s a big IF in capital letters, the top notes were the only notes. However, when these pretty flowers have stopped dancing the chorus and get to the serious part, the musk, patchouli and the incense-y Opoponax (delightful when said aloud!), all emerge looking sultry and wearing too much make up. If these notes were women they would wear leather skirts and try and steal your husband.
The juxtaposition of the pretty and the sultry leaves a question mark over this one. I like a pretty floral with a hint of citrus, so I like the top notes. I love a bit of myrrh/opoponax and patchouli, so I liked the base notes. However, it’s the fusion of the two that doesn’t quite please fussy old moi. Add that to the fact that this flies off the shelves of my local Perfume Shop so quickly that you have to duck and I’m afraid my review isn’t going to be a love letter.
However, Coco Mademoiselle has been around since 2001 and has spawned a few homages , which is no bad thing. . Yves Rocher’s So Elixir is a good fellow perfume in a lower price range. It’s not a duplicate, but it does have similarities and is less than 25GBP for 30ml. There is of course the legendary Lidl Suddenly Madame Glamour, which is a duplicate, although despite having similar notes, quality of ingredients is poorer and resonance is not as rich or long-lasting, but hey, at 3.99 I still own a bottle for the handbag. (check out my earlier review on this site) Coco Mademoiselle is here to stay, so I guess we will have to make room.
EDIT: My friend Mary wears this and smells terrific, so what do I know?