Coco (1984)
    by Chanel




    Average Rating: 4

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    Coco Fragrance Notes

    Coco information

    Coco is a women's fragrance by Chanel. The scent was launched in 1984 and the bottle was designed by Jacques Helleu

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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woody Oriental

    Coco was Chanel’s contribution to the bevy of dense spiced amber orientals that helped define 1980s perfumery, and I find it hard to discuss without reference to its earlier counterparts, Opium and Cinnabar. All three lean heavily upon cinnamon, cloves, opoponax, and heady rose and orange blossom, but coming from Chanel, Coco is more refined and elegant, less dense and garish, than either of the others, and hence much easier to wear.

    Coco’s amber is less dark and viscous than Opium’s or Cinnabar’s, its clove is less pronounced, and its opopanax is less exposed and angular. Fewer spices and a persistent sweet citrus note brighten Coco’s heart, and the floral accord is softened by a powdery mimosa that plays no apparent part in the Lauder or the St. Laurent. Together with a more prominent vanilla in the drydown, this powdery accent rounds and softens Coco’s contours, rendering it more pretty and slender than its rivals while at the same time aligning it more closely with the Chanel house style, as established by No. 5, Bois des Îles, and Cuir de Russie.

    While no fragrance in this style could reasonably be called understated, Coco comes closer than most. Sillage, projection, and endurance are all ample, but next to Opium, or even Cinnabar, Coco seems downright retiring. Whereas Opium and Cinnabar, applied lightly, make perfectly fine masculine orientals in the vein of Jaïpur Homme or JHL, Coco always strikes me as more gender-specific. On the other hand, its relative sense of proportion leaves it much more viable for today’s women than its more flamboyant predecessors.

    11th June, 2014

    tempest moon's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Review for the EDT.

    I absolutely love this one! A warm, spicy, sensual oriental. I love how this smells. In fact I actually think this is unisex. Cloves, Spices, Amber, dark resins, creamy sandalwood, I can see this totally working on a man. I also see this much in the same way that I would something by Serge Lutens (whose perfumes are very rich and heady and are inspired by Morocco).

    The fragrance itself opens up to me with a blast of cloves, I also get a type of orange blossom smell, and peach or plum (dried fruit accord). I also detect Jasmine, and Jasmine is actually my favorite smell. There is also some prominent rose, but the base is where it all happens; resins, amber, vanilla and tonka, dry sandalwood... it's all there, and it's very very evocative!

    I've heard that Jacues Polge wanted to evoke Venice with this perfume (just as Shalimar was inspired by India and Opium by the Middle East and Southeast Asia etc.), and I can totally see Venice in this. Italian, Baroque and also Oriental, with spices and rich, warm sensuality. Jaques Polge himself would later refine the spices (along with more wood, leather and tobacco) to create his eventual masterpiece "Egoïste" released 6 years after Coco.

    I remember trying the female Opium EDP and I think this is a lot more wearable for those who couldn't wear that. It's Chanel, and a Chanel is never too loud, it knows just when to stop and hold you there, without being too loud or overpowering. In fact to my nose Coco is like a spicy, exotic, oriental version of No. 5; and just like No. 5, it makes a statement. It's grown up, it's mature, but also sensual and in-control. It's for someone who knows a little about life and is experienced both in mind and body. Someone who isn't afraid to be who they are, instead they celebrate it.

    I don't know if that description helps, but that's what Coco brings across to me. Warm, sensual, passionate, loving and even a little amount of danger at the edges. It takes guts to wear this, but it's totally worth it. Pure Emotion in a bottle.

    30th April, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    How does Coco manage to smell fruity when there are no fruits listed in its ingredients? Masterful blending and the use of damascenes. Spicy, sweet, strong and warm.

    Barbara Herman's notes are somewhat different from those listed above:

    Top: Mandarin, Pimiento, Coriander
    Middle: Rose, Carnation, Ylang Ylang, Cinnamon, Orris, Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Tuberose.
    Base: Olibanum, Amber, Benzoin, Vanilla, Musk, Honey, Civet

    This is not a demure scent. It is right out there and in your face, like Patou's Joy or Lanvin's Arpege. Turin calls it "elegant spicy" and gives it four stars. He also points out the new use of damascenes, which smell like "complex dark, dried fruit."

    This is an ultra-feminine scent for a mature woman. Guys, stay away - not even remotely a unisex scent. Quite fine and for me, Chanel's best scent for women.

    17 April, 2014

    Izzie's avatar



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    This is absolutely beautiful. Albeit not for the faint of heart, wearing this around sensitive noses will bring out a myriad of complaints about allergies and headaches.

    The EdP version is the only one I've worn and the inital blast is a bit much. Sharp and downright unpleasant, even. But give it an hour on the skin and it blossoms into the most beautiful, spicy, radiating scent.

    In my everyday life, Coco is a bit much, and a little too attention-grabbing (not many 20-somethings will wear this one after all...), I've taken to wearing a little bit of the lotion, which is very true to the fragrance and actually projects like your average EdT even when you only use a little.

    Highly recommended! I could see this working on a daring man too, actually. It's not girly, even if it's feminine in nature, and it's just beautiful all around.

    08 April, 2014

    sparklish's avatar



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    This is a great '80s perfume that has been sadly eclipsed by its far less interesting younger sisters, Coco Mademoiselle and, more recently, Coco Noir. Soapy florals and a delicious cinnamon-flavoured dry-down make this a lovely winter smell. When I'm wearing it, I imagine myself snuggled up in a leather armchair with a wool blanket keeping warm by the fire as the snow falls outside. Unlike its younger siblings it does not aim to please by being overly sweet - it makes no apologies for who it is. Yet unlike similar fragrances from the era, it does not overpower. Coco is high on my wish list.

    24 February, 2014

    Lisa DP's avatar



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    Ahhh Coco. The perfume that rescued Chanel for me. As much as I love and respect No.5 on other people, it smells stale and sweaty on me. As with many of Chanel's creations, I was forced to admit that they just didn't suit my chemistry. That was until I met Coco. The ingredients, top notes, middle notes and dry down have been articulated far more accurately and eloquently by others here. All I can write about it how Coco makes me feel. She is a winter fragrance for me. Whenever I wear her, I feel lava hot, invincible...and pretty darn foxy.

    22 January, 2014

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