Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
:-) . After a rapid skintesting from the tester in the store and from sniffing a scentstrip during a day, I have to confess: I really like Coco Noir and I even think it match the beautiful bottle and the story behind it quite well. I think it's a very wellcrafted floral musk with sweet fruity patchouli notes. When reading this one can be missleaded and think it's just another pink, berry/fruity, patch, but to my nose it isn't. First of all, even íf a fruity-patch-musk, it has the elegance and aura that is Chanel and that separates Coco Noir from hundereds of other in this genre. Second Coco Noir is not pink at all. It is dark, fruity, flowery, patchy which notes are contrasting the initial blast of light citrus bergamot. Third, there is tuned down traces of Coco Mademoiselle (in swedish) a fragrance that I unlike most perfumenerds like very much. Fourth the longevity is very good.
As stated above, Coco Noir starts light with the citrus/grape-bergamott infused accord. Then a moderate sweet, dark fruity-green-flowery, patchouli accord takes over and creates a distinct contrast to the topnotes. This stage is a bit dangerous because if too heavy applied, I suspect that it could be sickly sweet. After a whlie a rosy green geranium note appears and it adds a beautiful soapy quality to the blend, a soapiness that I feel very comfortable in. The soapiness creates an interesting retro vibe to Coco Noir. In the base there is a withe musk anchoring the blend, together with a soft and powdery tonka been and some light woody, slight resiny notes.
Strangely enough, I percieve Coco Noir as quite noir, other fruity-patchy blends are sweetly pink in comparison. When I first sniffed Coco Noir my first reaction was the similarity to the original muskfrag by Les Nereides, Musc de Java. The same sort of fruityness, almost berrylike, the patch and the musk are similar to each other but Musc de Java, even if more robust and rough, is thinner in it's texture and has an original hay-note that is not included in Coco Noir. Musc de Java is also brighter and lighter and is lighter on the soapy note. Coco Noir is a full and mature variation on the Musc de Java theme.
As with last year Chanel No 19 Poudré (in swedish) that also was not well received (at first anyway) in the perfumeblogosphere, I think one have to judge the flankers completely separate from the original fragrance and look at them as they where released under brand new names. Just as with Chanel No 19 Poudré compared to Chanel No 19, Coco Noir has little or no relation to the original, the beautiful oriental spicy Coco (despite the noir vibe), I think most of us perfumepundits starts to compare it with Coco and Coco Mademoiselle and therefore don't judge Coco Noir on it's own merits.
To me Coco Noir is a wearable and comfortable fragrance, definitly fbw and I just wonder for how long I will be able to resist...
Rating update March 2013: 4
Seems as CN wear better in warm and humid weather than in cold and dry. I perceive CN as less integrated between it's different stages and that the sweet accord stands out a bit too much in the top- and middlenotes. Reaching its basenotes, CN is just as good as last late summer.
Notes: Grapefruit, bergamot, rose, narcissus, geranium leaf, jasmine, tonka bean, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, white musk, frankincense