Perfume Directory

Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin (2008)
by Guerlain


Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin information

Year of Launch2008
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 84 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerChristine Nagel
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin

Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin is a feminine perfume by Guerlain. The scent was launched in 2008 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christine Nagel

Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Les Elixirs Charnels - Gourmand Coquin

Guerlain really stretched itself on some of its newer compositions in the last few years such as Gourmand Coquin. This fragrance has received so many enthusiastic reviews despite the fact that it is not easily recognisable as a Guerlain that I simply could not ignore it. I admit I had some trepidation in purchasing GC because it is undeniably a gourmand, and I am not a gourmand lover per se. I do love some gourmand fragrances, e.g. B&BW has two gourmands that I adore, Sensual Amber and Cashmere Glow, but I would not classify myself a gourmand devotee. Nevertheless, the notes of dark chocolate, rose, and rum appealed, especially after one well respected reviewer wrote that the rum and chocolate notes smelt like an expensive, not too sweet, cherry liquor, so after a year or longer on my radar, I finally purchased GC. What follows are my first impressions. I will update this review if and whence my impressions change.

Upon application, GC smells quite foodie to my nose---no surprise there. Specifically, it smells rather like dry, crumbly cookies of some sort, which I found quite disappointing. Initially, it could be mistaken for a B&BW body spray which is not at all a good thing at this price point. I do not detect pepper in the top notes. I do not care for the top notes at all I am sorry to say. To my surprise, the heart notes took quite a while to open, but once they did, I liked the fragrance a bit more. The dry cookie aroma continued to project within arm's length around me, but it was slowly dissipating. Unfortunately, as I love the idea of roses and chocolate together, I really could not distinguish any rose or chocolate or tea for that matter. The fragrance still smelt rather foodie to me throughout the duration of the heart notes---again not surprisingly, and I began to think GC was not one of my good blind buys at all even if it had only cost as little as a B&BW body spray.

However, by the deep dry down, the fragrance smelt so much better. The base notes are far less foodie than the top and heart notes. They do smell "edible" but in a much less literal and more more abstract way. I love the deep dry down. I detect dark chocolate and a not sour but not uber sweet cherry note that together are quite appealing. There may be a faint tinge of rose at this point, but I am not sure. My biggest surprise, however, was that the closer is my nose to the fragrance on my skin, the better it smells! I do not find this to be true of all my fragrances by any means. GC smells quite delicious very close up, but I cannot really say what it must smell like to someone within in a couple of feet of me. Perhaps it smells more like dry cookies to someone near me---a wholly unappealing thought. It is as though the perfumer, Christine Nagel, purposely composed the fragrance in such a way as to draw in ever closer the noses around the wearer, and indeed the wearer herself. The scent trail begins with, for want of a better descriptor, dry cookies, and ends with the most delicious chocolatey, boozy, not too sweet cherry liquor. I am not sure I would describe GC as "rascally," the translation for Coquin, as much as demonstrating the type of coquettish flirtation that might come naturally to a quite young woman.

Personally, I would love to detect more rose and far, far less cookie in this fragrance, but I do like it. However, and perhaps I am prejudiced, I do not think it warrants its price point, at least not whence one considers how many masterpieces Guerlain has in its portfolio at a much lower price point. I love so many of Guerlain's incomparable classics as well as some of its newer fragrances, e.g. Encens Mythique and Angelique Noire, both of which I find to be more properly "perfume," that GC perhaps cannot but be something of a disappointment. Please do not misunderstand. The quality is excellent as one would expect from Guerlan, but I question where or not GC fits well with the rest of Guerlain's magnificent stable of fragrances. GC just may be too "young" for my nose, but the house surely must appeal to a wider demographic than just the mature, sophisticated woman and man if it is to remain relevant in the decades to come. Yes, I do like GC. I am not sure if I will come to love it, though.

The best part of this fragrance is the delicious deep dry down, and to Guerlain's credit, that fabulous dry down persists for at least 12-14 hours on my skin, and not many fragrances these days do this. If I could get the dry down right from the start, and if the fragrance had a bit more projection and sillage, I think it might be a love for me from first sniff because the dry down is undoubtedly more sophisticated than the top and heart, but at this price, I am not happy to wait through the so-so top and heart notes to get to the delicious dry down. Longevity is very good, though, and the closer someone comes to the wearer, the more delicious she will smell. Thus, these are both the good and the bad aspects of GC for me personally.

I want to give myself more time with GC in different weather conditions before I reach any final conclusions about it. In my experience, temperature and humidity can dramatically effect any fragrance. For example, Lutens Mandarin Mandarine did not wow me initially whence I wore it indoors. Like many other reviewers, I detected a less than pleasant celery note in it, but whence I walked outdoors into a cold, breezy Winter evening, the fragrance soared around me and smelt so glorious that I could hardly believe it was the same fragrance.

Perhaps GC requires the right occasion or a specific mood for someone such as myself for it to become a love, whereas a much younger woman might feel comfortable reaching for this fragrance daily. Right now, all I can say with any certainly is that time will tell whether or not GC turns into a love for me, and closer is most definitely better. The deep dry down is delicious and smells of quality, but not so much the top and heart notes. At the moment, and I am chagrined to say so, I find GC far better suited to women than to men, and to far young women than to older women. One last thought to share is this. GC would make a lovely Christmas or Valentine's Day gift. On those occasions, I believe it could work for any age group.

Fragrance: 6.5/10

Sillage; 6/10

Projection: 6/10

Longevity: 10/10
03rd December, 2019
My sampling of Guerlain Gourmand Coquin is long overdue. Upon initial smell (even on paper, when I first got a whiff of it in BG), it's obviously an elegant, carefully-crafted, high-quality gourmand fragrance, the vanilla and chocolate accords standing out the most. Still, there is the faint booziness of the rum and spiciness of the pepper (and vaguely listed "spices"), but I admit I don't detect the rose directly. Rose is generally welcome at the table as far as I'm concerned, as when it's not a standout, it can be a neat nuance to incorporate.

Gourmand Coquin mostly gives the air of sweet sophistication, not an over-the-top, indulgent gourmand that smells of actual food, but rather, the artistic representation of the given notes, especially vanilla and chocolate.

Its performance is superb, quite a standout, like the other high-end heavier Guerlain offerings I've tried.

Pricing for Gourmand Coquin and the rest of the Elixir Charnel collection is on pair with L'Art et la Matiere collection (i.e. SDV, TI) at $260 for 75ml, so it's surely in that $3+/ml category of probably needing to love it to consider buying a full bottle. I do love it, though.

Certainly on my list to be acquired--simply put, one of the best gourmands I've ever tried.

9 out of 10
09th August, 2018
It's a good chocolate gourmand but, specially for the price, its longevity and sillage leave to be desired. It’s got red wine and vanilla as well.
12th September, 2017 (last edited: 20th March, 2019)
Ho hum. I kind of feel with this one that Guerlain has cynically tapped into two of the most shame-inducing secrets of the female psyche, which are as follows:

1. Women love chocolate. We love it so much that when offered the choice between a bar of chocolate and a book, or an hour of fabulous sex, about half of us will choose the chocolate. And the other half will have the sex while guiltily thinking about the chocolate. Naturally, this is a shameful thing to admit to, and if you look at the extraordinarily glowing reviews of this scent over at Fragrantica, you will see a clear vein of desire mixed with shame when talking about Gourmand Coquin. Everyone is all "Oh I know I shouldn't want this, but I do...." and "I smell delicious and I want to lick myself but I know this is not a deep scent but oh my God have I mentioned that I want to LICK MYSELF" and so on and so forth. People are saving for years to buy this fragrance they love it so much. Don't believe me? Go over to Fragrantica and read the reviews. They are both hilarious and sad.

2. Women want men to find them delicious. I mean, yes, we believe in equal pay and we want the right to control the fate of our own reproductive systems, but really, what chance do we women have when, according to all the surveys, men like women who smell like they have been dipped in sugar, rolled in vanilla, rubbed down with marshmallow fluff, and dusted with cacao etc? Somewhere along the way women (well, some women, I should say) have bought into this depressing belief about what men are attracted to and have decided that their ultimate pulling strategy is to sit in crowded bar wearing something vanilla-ish and hope that some cute guy will like it enough to want to take a bite out of their delectable shoulder, or something. Not all women, of course, and not all men, of course. But enough of them. Enough of them to make this scent possible. This is for people in their twenties who want to be cute for the opposite sex and who are scared to death to smell like anything that suggests they might be adults, complete with adult smells and adult genitalia, and not some weird type of sexless girl children whose highest level of ambition is for someone, some cute guy to say, "Gee, you smell delicious".....

Oh the scent itself is fine. It's nice actually. It's the intent behind the making of it that annoys me - I am so far beyond the mating rituals of my youth that I can look back with incredulous pity at the hoops some young women feel they have to jump through to attract the opposite sex. Or maybe I'm wrong, maybe everyone is using this as an appetite suppressant, since it is a very realistic, tasty chocolate smell after all. But for me, that's what it is - a nice smell rather than a completely realized perfume.

It opens up with a Guerlain cherry enrobed in a thin shell of dark chocolate and syrupy maraschino liquor, smelling exactly like those cherry liquor chocolates you get in the grocery store. It transitions into a smooth creamy vanilla, with liberal dustings of powdery cacao and rose petals. The scent is round, sweet, creamy, very Guerlain in a way but quite undeserving of the grand heritage of a house that still produces something like Mitsouko and Jicky on spec after all these years. It also is a bit dull, not in the sense that it is boring (although it is pretty boring) but in the sense that it is like a round object polished off to smooth down any rough edges, but dull and without any light refracting off the object's surface at all. This scent desperately needs a rough, spiky edge to act as counterpart to all that smooth, sweet, boozy roundness. But there is nothing in the base that provides that contrasting ballast, and without it, the scent ends up feeling like you have been eating dessert all day, which is nice at first but then you start to actually miss your greens or your carrots, or whatever. This kind of smells like Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion, actually, which is hilarious considering the price of Gourmand Coquin.

I am voting neutral on this, because it is well done in the rich, Guerlain style, and if sugary smooth gourmands are your thing, you will probably go crazy for this. For me, well, as you may have guessed, it's not my kind of thing. If I want chocolate this badly, then I will eat a bar of chocolate (yes, the whole thing if I want) and if I want a man to find me so delicious that he wants to take a bite out of me, well, let's just say that I have my own methods, thank you very much, and none of them cost almost $300....
28th May, 2014 (last edited: 06th June, 2014)
Stunning concoction!

Prettiest gourmand ever! One in a million, creamy chocolate waffles in a very rich way, this is absolutely a masterpiece for gourmand lovers.

30th May, 2013
I m no fan of sweet gourmand scents, but this one is nice, its very similar to cuir beluga vanilla , in the dry down, the opening is very much chocolate-coconut-rum note, that reminded me of summer tanning creams, it has nice projection and longevity and smells creamy sweet,reminds me of tom ford brand, sweet , natural, and likable and better creation then Cuir Beluga
11th November, 2012 (last edited: 26th March, 2013)

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