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Coco Mademoiselle – The modern Chanel classic, always a Top Ten

I don’t pay much attention to flankers. Give me the original fragrance, please, and don’t confuse me with Black, Intense, Sheer or Souffle. A flanker is never as good as the original, except possibly when it’s from Chanel, and when it isn’t a true flanker because the only similarity is the name COCO, and when it is so good that it becomes a monster success, a Top Ten seller year after year right up to this very day. Then I pay attention. 

I’m talking about COCO Mademoiselle. It’s namesake, Chanel COCO was launched in 1984, created by the new Chanel creative director at the time, Jacques Polge. Coco was a brand new version of oriental fragrance - brighter, assertive, intriguing with dried fruit notes mixed in with the traditional spices and florals and warm resin notes. It had a rich, plush warmth and revealed a level of sophistication that lifted it out of the mainstream into the realm of wordless beauty. 

Seventeen years later, in 2001, Coco Mademoiselle was launched, created by Jacques Polge with Francois Demachy, a new Chanel fragrance for a new and younger audience, the twenty-first century woman.  These two master perfumers took the sweet patchouli gourmand trend started a few years earlier by Mugler’s Angel, and “Chanel-ed” it with the famous brand’s iconic design style, giving birth to the first Fruitchouli fragrance, COCO Mademoiselle. Using British model Kate Moss wearing a string of pearls and not much else, the fragrance was a runaway success, vastly exceeding Chanel sales targets. The print campaign continues twenty years later in 2021, using another British beauty, Kira Knightly.

COCO Mademoiselle EdT is ultra feminine and sleek right out of the bottle. Vibrant and juicy with sweet orange and bergamot, the fresh citrus accord becomes spiced with dewy rose in the heart, sweetened with an abstract of white florals - jasmine and ylang-ylang and mimosa - and hints of creamy peach and lychee. The sensation is full of life, not overpowering but warm and sunny, and very appealing. 

And then the genius of the two perfumers is revealed. By their use of Patchouli Coeur, a refined distillation of the herb which removes its camphorous musty notes, and by blending this special patchouli with salty musks and vetiver, the base takes on powdery facets, expanding a feeling of carefree elegance and sophistication, and balancing the fruity sweetness of the citrus and florals with a sensuous undertone of green earthiness. As other notes blend with the patchouli - dark Bourbon vanilla, nutty tonka bean and balsamic resins of opoponax (sweet myrrh) - the base becomes lush and rich and ambery, giving COCO Mademoiselle a warm and generous quality. Its beautiful waft goes on and on for hours, the perfect union of orange, rose and patchouli, its romantic floral warmth left on scarves and sweaters, a love note to yourself.

Since its launch twenty years ago, I’ve worn COCO Mademoiselle occasionally, but never truly warmed to it. Chanel COCO is my favourite Chanel, followed Cuir de Russie28 Le PausaChanel No. 5. I always loved its scent on others, but not on myself, until I tried the EdT, instead of the EdP. That made the difference, because of the stronger citrus and addition of lychee, and possibly other tweaks I’m not aware of. In any case, I’ve now joined the multitudes around the world who love and wear COCO Mademoiselle. 

Coco Mademoiselle is definitely not an exclusive or niche perfume, but it is undeniably a gorgeous fragrance, regarded as a contemporary classic from one of the most iconic luxury fashion houses in the world. It’s an example of what makes Chanel great. Their fragrance Chanel No.5 was launched in 1921, and last year in 2020 it was still listed as one the Top Ten selling perfumes by Glamour Magazine, and other surveys. One hundred years as a best seller!

Will COCO Mademoiselle be listed one hundred years after its 2001 launch, in 2101? Current trends would indicate YES. I know I’ll still be wearing it, wherever I am....

Coco Mademoiselle EdT is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Image - COCO Mademoiselle EdT 50 ml. - perfumeniche.com