A Blog about my love in perfumes, the aesthetics, the hedonism, the greatness of these artistic creations of the olfactory world. It is about my wish, my dream to create something like this one day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Coco Madamemoiselle

It is a fragrance that I did not like when I initially smelt it. It really turned me off with its overdose of the heavy florals, with something like a coconut cream overtones, so much so I thought I was smelling a rather expensive sunscreen lotion, rather than a perfume.

Its when I bought a bottle of the parfum and in really small doses, started to understand and appreciate this fragrance. I wondered, since this fragrance is one of the success stories in Europe, I wondered how people grew to love this fragrance? I really wanted to know!

The Osmoz website states that “After Coco, Coco Mademoiselle is a tribute to Gabrielle Chanel's contrasting personality. It's an expression of femininity, a sparkling fragrance, fresh and sophisticated for an elegant and sensuous woman”.

At the heart of Coco M., the key to this sweet floral fragrance is a crystalline amber note that is both solid sweet like a block of crystalline rock sugar, yet smooth and heavy like a black abyss. It is this note that is the seed and foundation of the sensuality of the fragrance. It contributes to the sense of darkness and the sense of mystery. This amber note is beautifully married to a sweet vanilla, making the whole construction even more rock hard crystalline.

Around this deep amber base, is built a huge column of a floral rose note, that seems like a tornado swirling around the amber. This is not the big blossoming blood red cabbage rose that gives out a rich syrupy scent, but this rose is sharp, green, clear (a little like PEA (phenylethylalcohol, the principal leafy rose odour combined with the sweetness of Irises (ionones) and somewhat like a thousand shards of glass flying out at you. It is a beautiful effect however, because it shimmers and gives a sort of architectural structure above the equally structural amber base.

After this, is where I lost it, and cannot follow the rationale behind the composition.

At the top, the citrus notes, mandarin, bergamot and orange, I think gives this a rather sweetish, soda soft drink like feel, throw in a syrupy honey feel and the whole thing starts to look really bizarre to me.

And then, they decided to put in a heavy blooming floral and dressed it with sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli, around this massive structure, like drapping a heavy curtain around a steel frame pyramid, it simply obscures the beauty of the structure below, and makes the whole perfume so heavy and ponderous.

The creaminess is reminiscent of Madam Rochas, with the accord of rose, lily, adehydes and a rich creamy sandalwood linking of them together. However, in this context, it was off, we did not have the nice lily notes to lift the fragrance or the aldehydes to countpoint the overwhelming sweetness.

To improve, as a personal suggestion, I think if the lily note, and a slight dewey rose aldehyde (rosalva perhaps) would fill up the perfume. Otherwise, the sandalwood should have been toned down, for a more edgy, lighthearted feel.

Nevertheless, the overall perfume is a successful one, and has gone on to inspire other similar structures. The idea of the crystalline amber note, has in my view, inspired other beautiful renditions like L’Instant, and Omnia.

And even so, the heavy iris and sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver combination is once again found in Attraction of Lancome.
I don't know, after thinking about this fragrance for a week, it still eludes me. Perhaps the vanilla and the rose remind me of No. 5. But otherwise, it does nothing for me…
Image from Chanel.com