Can a flanker be as good as the original? Coco Noir fragrance review

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Having such deep and long lasting memories of Coco and its very distinctive perfume, it was always going to be a tough act to follow.   Coco Mademosielle gave the original a reboot for the younger generation in 2001 –  a fresher, younger and more accessible fragrance than its big sister.

However it was those big, bold orientals that first captured me about Coco – I first tried it when I was about 17 and it was the most feminine, confident and sexy fragrance I had ever experienced – it was for a sassy, grown up lady that I hadn’t become as yet.  Coco is still a bold, confident fragrance and often hard to carry.  It’s deep, spicy oriental warmth can be a little inappropriate in some circumstances and a more sensual, subtle version of the original would be useful in many situations…particularly if others need to get close to you.

Coco Noir Eau de Parfum by Chanel

Firstly we have to mention the bottle, jet black all over with a tiny Chanel seal on the neck and a glossy black clip to lid to finish.  The bottle quality is excellent and similar to the clunk of a car door – the satisfaction of clunking the bottle lid back on is high!  It’s quite nice to have a dark bottle as 99% of my other fragrances have clear or at least see through bottles so I’m sure this one will stand out.

I was delighted to discover that Chanel has retained the essence of the bold orientals that I loved so much – but here they are much more subtle, more elegant without being indistinguishable.  Despite the top notes being predominantly formed of citrus you still get that unmistakable warm, spicy depth you expect from Coco fairly quickly which remain with the fragrance for the duration of its application.  There’s a gentle masculinity present here – perhaps through the presence of the patchouli and narcissus.  It’s not defiant like Piguet’s Bandit but harmonious, like the yin and the yan and reminds me a little of Tom Ford’s Black Orchid.  This fragrance is effortlessly Chanel and like its predecessors No5, Coco, Bois Des Isles, Cuir de Ruisse oozes glamour, sophistication and elegant femininity.

Top notes – bergamot and grapefruit.

The heart notes of rose, geranium and narcissus are prominent within the fragrance.

Base notes/dry down – Sweet, warm, spicy based.  sandalwood, patchouli, tonka bean.

Keywords – Striking, seductive, elegant, classy, sexy

Coco is the sort of fragrance you would expect to see on a power suited, shoulder padded woman of the 80’s – strong, confident, powerful, slightly brash.  It wouldn’t fade and would bring a tear to the eye if you got a little too close…

Coco Mademoiselle is ideal for the under 30’s woman, it’s floral, more flirty, sweeter and more innocent.

Coco Noir is a enchanting mix of both, it can be worn with simply jeans and a tee and it will just smoulder under the surface right through to a proper evening gown and you will sparkle right through the evening.   I’d wear this best with a pair of smart jeans, uber crisp white shirt, tailored blazer and the ubiquitous string of pearls.

It is a true signature fragrance in the best sense of the word – it is for she who is elegant (or tries to be!) confident and sensual.  In French a male will often greet an attractive female with one word – “enchanté”  It means quite literally “enchanted” and that’s how I feel about this fragrance while wearing it .  Enchanted.

Coco Noir is available in two sizes – 50ml (£75) and 100ml (£106) from Debenhams online and instore!

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