All’s well that ends well

It happens to all of us sometime. We smell a fragrance we’ve been eagerly awaiting and then we’re bummed because it was nowhere near what we were expecting after reading the description, the notes, the hype, etc. So we walk away shaking our heads and wondering what happened.

Chanel Coco Noir Perfume ReviewWell, dear perfume folks, I’m here to tell you that there can be a silver lining to these experiences, at least once in a while. And here is one of mine.

After all the hoopla about Chanel Coco Noir, and not incidentally that gaw-jus black bottle, I couldn’t wait to hit Nordstrom to try it. The very sweet SA not only gave me a nice little spray sample of it but also one of the original Coco EDP. (However, I had to say “no thanks” to her kind offer of a Coco Mademoiselle sample — it’s just not for me.)

So as any curious perfumista would do, I put the original on one wrist and the Chanel Coco Noir on the other, just for comparison’s sake.

Let’s just say it was a mixed blessing. In my humble opinion, the Noir really ought to have been called Coco Poupre, as Angela over on NST noted. I wanted to like it, but despite its good ingredients and its pedigree, its purple haze of fruit and patchouli was just not memorable on my skin. Sniffing it blind I might have deemed it a well-done celebuscent and left it at that.

On the other hand (wrist) however, the original Coco just shimmered and glowed. I’d worn this ages ago when it first appeared and loved it enough to invest in the ancillary products, but I guess over the years (and countless other bottles) I’d forgotten how good this is, even sniffing it now in its current formulation. Over the course of that afternoon, I kept asking myself how in the world I could have lost touch with this beauty. Now I can’t wait to try the extrait and to revisit the body products.

Thus, my Dear John letter —

Dear Chanel Coco Noir: You are a beautiful, classy bottle and you have a wonderful and elegant family. I don’t regret our very brief time together, but you’re just not for me, and I hope you understand. I know you’ll make some people out there very happy. And although I won’t be wearing you again, I must tip my hat to you and thank you for helping me rediscover a great long-lost scent. With all best wishes …

What about you? Has any fragrance you’ve tried sparked a renewed appreciation for another perfume, or sent you running to dig out a golden oldie?

( You can try both and see which one you like more, get a Chanel perfume sample)

16 Comments

  1. Coco is not for me and a purple haze of fruit and patchouli doesn’t sound promising either, but still…for some reason I can’t wait to sample this. Perhaps it’s that Chanel allure.

    • Hi, Sara. Please do give Noir a try — it’s got good “bones,” as they say. You never know, it might just be magic on you; skin chemistry can make all the difference.

  2. Howdy!. The Chanel SA suggested I might give it time to ‘settle on to my skin so I could really smell the darkly sexy base’ and even though I had my doubts, I duly spritzed. 1 hour of bookstore browsing later, I remained unimpressed and cruised back by John Lewis to the delight of the very bored looking SA. She looked much less pleased when I proceeded to spritz myself with the original Coco, whilst explaining that the Noir just wasn’t enough and smelled very ‘meh’. She looked at me as if I was clearly deluded and said she found Coco to ‘old-ladyish’ but loved the Noir. She was maybe 23 and that seemed to sum it up really- Coco Noir is will be a gateway Chanel.
    No doubt it will sell like gangbusters though between those gifting the gorgeous bottle and those loving the fruitchouli!

    • Hi, dear M! You hit the nail on the head with your comments. It will go over very well and sell to the younger crowd. And hopefully it will be, as you say, an entry point for them to go on to the other scents.

  3. Ann, I’m so sorry, I had no idea that you also had a Coco Noir review going up today!! I agree with everything you’ve said here, especially the part about CN resembling “a well-done celebuscent”. The original Coco has always been a little too floral for me, but I’ll definitely be retesting it after reading this post.

    • Oh, heavens, dear, don’t worry about it. Besides, it’s not a review, just a commentary about how sampling Coco Noir helped me reconnect with an old love. Do re-try the original Coco, especially in EDP or parfum if you can — it might be nicer than you remember, you never know …

  4. It’s such a coincidence that you should post this about the original Coco, because I had a similar experience. I read all about the fruitichouli mess that is the Coco Noir and decided it’s not for me — hate that whole category — but realized that I had never sniffed the original Coco. I tried it out in edt, and it was so lovely. Spicy, floral, just right for fall/winter. So, ya win some, ya lose some, right?

    • Hi, DinaC! So glad you tried the Coco and liked it — it’s great stuff. You’re exactly right — some things are going to work on you and some are going to be better on someone else.

  5. I’ve sampled the Coco Noir and liked it enough to enjoy wearing it for a day, if not enough to devote more of my time and budget to it. Before I left, I spritzed some of the orginal Coco on a scent strip, found it to be a bit too strong, and dropped the strip in my purse. The next day, as I was rummaging for something, I was amazed by the glorious aroma wafting up and seeming to suround my wallet, “What IS that?” I asked myself and sure enough – it was the Coco scent strip. I may have to play with this one some more…

    • Hey, Maggiecat, I think it’s great that you were able to wear the Coco Noir. And happy that you liked the Coco, even if it wasn’t a direct hit, so to speak. If you don’t like it on your skin, you will at least have the best-smelling purse in town!

  6. Hi, dear Ann! I’ve worn the original Coco since it first came out in the 80s and have been through many bottles. It still smells great to me. I was really excited when I read about Coco Noir coming out but after reading all the reviews, I know I need to sniff it on it’s own merits and not in comparison to my beloved Coco. I’m still looking forward to trying it although fruitchouli is not my thing at all.

    • Hi, lady! It’s great that you’ll at least give Coco Noir a chance. If my skin chemistry had been different, I might have loved it. (I did enjoy the 19 flanker, the Poudre, which many folks disliked, so there you go.) And I’m happy to find another Coco fan. Which version do you like best: EDT, EDP or parfum? I’m dying to try the parfum now. If you haven’t tried it either, well, maybe your perfume fairy will help you out, tee-hee!

  7. Coco is one of my favorite fragrances. Don’t like Mademoiselle. Tried the Coco Noir and it’s a total scrubber on me which is a shame because I love the bottle!

    • Hi there, Barbara. I’m sorry that it was a scrubber on you; it wasn’t that bad on me, just notgreat.. But glad you like Coco. Maybe if some folks don’t like the Noir, this will at least bring them to try other Chanels.

  8. Coco by Chanel was my signature scent for many years. I began wearing it when it was introduced and have purchased and used many bottles of the EDP and lotion. Coco is glorious!

    I am a HUGE Chanel fangirl and I am lucky indeed that Chanel fragrances work well with my skin chemistry. I own and regularly use No. 5, No. 19, No. 22, 31 Rue de Cambon, Coromandel, Cristalle, Allure, Allure Sensuelle, and of course, Coco! BUT here is the rub —- I’ve never been able to wear Coco Mademoiselle. Go figure. CM smells wonderful on my daughter and I’d love for it to smell on me as it does on her…….

    So —- I, being a Chanel fan, purchased Coco Noir on a blind buy (!)
    I found it to be NOT like Coco and NOT particularly Noir…..however, Coco Noir wears on me as I perceive Coco Mademoiselle on my daughter’s skin. Et Voila! I have a new Chanel I can wear happily.

    All’s well that ends well.

    • Hooray, Gwenyth! I’m just thrilled that it works so well on you and you got the beloved CM vibe that you’d wanted. You really hit the jackpot with your blind buy! You’re very fortunate to do so well with nearly all of the Chanels; only original Coco, the No. 19s, both Cristalles and Coromandel seem to like my skin, but I’m not complaining.

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