Mainstream Monday: Sniffing a Popular Perfume
There are so many popular perfumes that I haven’t reviewed because I don’t know where to start. Some perfumes are intimidating because of their popularity. You already know what they smell like. But, then I figure it’s popularity gives us something to discuss, right?
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle…where do I start? This is an insanely popular perfume with sales that even surprise Chanel. It’s a flanker that was created for younger women (the 20-30 year old crowd). It was insanely popular when it launched and it continues to be so to this day. I was in my late teens when this perfume was launched. It’s popularity increased as I entered college. In fact, I think many people received this perfume as a graduation gift considering how much I smelled it on campus. Like Uggs and fake tans, I was so sick of this perfume. It came across as conformist and dull. Plus, I had already found “my Chanel”, Chanel Coco. This was my “grown-up” perfume but wasn’t worn that often by women in my age range. It made me feel special even though it was also an accessible, popular perfume. Anyway, to put it lightly, I hated Coco Mademoiselle because I was one of those snobby, anti-conformist smug types that didn’t want to be like everyone else.
In my early 20’s, I had a girlfriend who’s signature was Coco Mademoiselle. At that time, I started to appreciate the perfume’s composition. It always smelled so good on her. This perfume is a BEAST. It’s strong, sweet and throws like a quarterback. Yet, it’s totally “Chanel”. Even though this perfume is worn by hundreds of thousands of people, I still associate this perfume with a single person. My point being that esoteric perfumes are overrated. This is one of the most popular perfumes in the world and I still associate it with that one person and our friendship.
I have never worn Coco Mademoiselle until now. Fifteen years after its launch, I’m wearing it for the first time. There’s enough distance from my memories of it and what it actually is. I feel I can wear it now without any of my baggage from my youth. I can’t say the same about Chanel Chance. (I need another decade for that one).
Coco Mademoiselle opens with citrus and sweets that has always reminded me of Earl grey tea and lemon chiffon cake. However, there’s a weirdness that comes across like citrus-scented household cleanser wiped over glass. The heart is a sweet amber. The florals aren’t really distinguishable from each other. They’re creamy and custardy like ylang-ylang but without smelling overtly like ylang-ylang. The dry-down is sweet amber with that modern “green” patchouli that defines so many of the perfumes from this era. Hours after, this amber-patchouli fades to a sugarcoated white musk. It comes across as both sweet and clean.
Coco Mademoiselle is such a recognizable, distinctive perfume. That’s because everyone wears it and because it’s been copied by numerous brands for fifteen years. To me, this is like the scent of the early 2000s. It fits with the idea of classic, sexy beauty around that time (long hair, bronzed skin…think that Victoria’s Secret Angels look). It’s conventionally attractive and confident without being overly intimidating. It smells “put together” without being too stuffy but you know it is trying to get attention. And it does. I’ve been told by countless people that this is the perfume they get the most compliments on.
Notes listed include orange, mandarin, orange blossom, bergamot, mimosa, jasmine, Turkish rose, ylang-ylang, tonka bean, patchouli, opoponax, vanilla, vetiver and white musk. Launched in 2001. PERFUMER – Jacques Polge
Give Coco Mademoiselle a try if you like sweet amber perfumes. Or perfumes like Yves Rocher So Elixir, Dior Miss Dior (modern version), Penhaligon’s Empressa, Chanel Allure, Mugler Angel, Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu and/or Van Cleef & Arpel Oriens. There have been so many Coco Mademoiselle copycats over the years!
The EDT was launched in 2002 and has more citrus notes and an addition of lychee. The opening is much more fruity and luminous. I also find the dry-down of the EDT to have more talcum powder. I prefer the EDP over the EDT. I think if I lived in a warmer climate, I’d be more of a fan of the EDT. I have no sampled the parfum but I’ve heard that it wears much softer than one would expect. Honestly, I like the sounds of a “softer” version of Coco Mademoiselle, that opening is too aggressive for me.
Projection and longevity are above average. This is one of those perfumes that lingers and holds onto fabric (forever). That friend I was talking about earlier, well, everything she touched ended up smelling like Coco Mademoiselle.
The EDP comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $94 at Nordstrom and Saks. The EDT retails for $78 for the same size.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Epitome of the sweet, modern amber. After wearing it, I understand how it’s so popular. It projects and it’s long-wearing. This increases the incidence of compliments. However after wearing it, I can confirm this is not “my Chanel”. I feel like it wears me. I also grow tired of it about an hour into the wear despite it smelling pleasant. It smells better on everyone but me.
I know you’ve tried it. What are your thoughts on this super popular perfume? I know you have your own “EauPINION”!
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*Samples obtained by me. Product pic from Nordstrom. Gisele Bundchen 1998 Ralph Lauren ad from karmaandbeyond.wordpress.com. Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!
14 thoughts on “Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Perfume Review”
My younger sister wears this occasionally and to me this is “her perfume” so I’ve never been able to try it. I’m one of those people who compliments people who wear it. On the person with the right chemistry it smells great. How would you compare this to Flowerbomb? She has started wearing Flowerbomb because her son bought it for her. In my personal opinion, CM smells nicer but I think people should wear what they love. Speaking of body oils, have you tried Chanel no 5 bath oil? I love it. It might be my favorite Chanel no 5 which is a shame because it’s limited edition. You have me very interested in trying the opium oil.
I’m the person that compliments CM too! Like I said, I really like it on other people more than myself. I think like Montales or even Shalimar, there is something in this one that I find more pleasing from about 1 ft+ distance than up close. I mean, it’s nice up close but it really seems “complete” from a distance. I don’t know if there is a term for that, but it’s like it was created with distance/projection in mind.
On my skin Flowerbomb is a wreck, so I stay away. All I remember is a strong rosewood opening and then the sweet florals with patchouli. In theory it should work for me, but it doesn’t. I think your sister could be my “evil scent twin” 😉 She can pull-off what I can’t. Oh, you know what I tried the other day and was surprised by that is sort of in the Flowerbomb family? Lancome Le Vie est Belle. That is a sweeter patchouli floral that smells good on me.
So, the No. 5 bath oil is on my list. You are not the only person that has told me it’s their favorite of the No.5s. In general, I prefer body oils. I’m even tempted by the CM one! Hopefully, someone will gift me the No. 5 oil soon 🙂 The Opium one is really nice. It’s an metal spray can. As you’d expect, it’s not as strong as the EDP but it’s distinctively Opium.
I was given so many samples of this perfume that I never needed to buy a bottle. Sales associates practically threw them at me when I’d pass by. I liked it, but I was happy with just the samples.
This is like me and Armani Si. I tried a sample and thought, “Wow, I like this. I could buy a bottle of this” and since then I keep getting so many samples of it. I’m not complaining 🙂 It’s a good “problem” to have.
MY sister wears Coco Mlle too! CM is truly horrid on me, some high-pitched screechy florals and aggressive clean patchouli, truly truly dreadful. I spent a week wearing it because I had decided that the protagonist of a novel I was writing would wear it, and I hated every minute.
On my sister, it is a warm woody floral, very pretty. Sigh. I have a friend who wears it too, a fellow band mom I’m always glad to sit near on the bus when we chaperone because she’s funny and she smells good.
I have decided that CM is horrible on me. It wears nothing like it wears on the people that are loyal to it. Like on me the best way to describe it is “aggressive”. BUT, I smell it on other people and it’s just so darn pretty. I’d sit next to them on the bus too 🙂
I had a friend who, in college, wore CM. I HATED it on her. It was a horrid, death-dry patchouli stink bomb on her, and I’ve never recovered. I never try it out because of that one scent memory. It’s been 15 years and I can’t stand the thought of it.
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PS: aggressive. It is aggressive. That’s the word that made me comment!
I feel like it’s like “NOTICE ME! HEY, DO YOU NOTICE ME?! NOTICE ME!”
This was me. I’m still surprised I actually wore it on my skin, but I did. Now Chance, that wound is too fresh. It’s going to take at least 5 more years before I can stomach that one on myself.
Your entire review encompasses my opinion of CM. I have a bottle that I bought during my early exploratory perfume phase, but I rarely wear it because it grows tiresome. I like the ‘sweet but clean’, more than any other perfumes in the genre, but it’s something I wish someone else would wear so I could smell it on them (instead of me). It feels pretty and ‘espensive’ (and very perfume-y) so I wish I liked it on myself more than I do. It’s a once a year scent. Oh well. ☺️
Relatedly, I often wonder why I encounter so few people who wear perfume. More often, it’s the men wearing some, rather than the women. I must not run in the right circles
It’s one that I’m happy is popular because I can smell it on others. On me, it’s not so good.
It’s def a PNW ‘thang. I rarely ever smelled perfume on people unless they worked at Nordstrom or Barneys. People were sort of scared of fragrance out there. Out here, I smell perfume on everyone. And not like what you’d expect either. Le Labo is hella popular. I smell those high-end Guerlains that smell like gourmand goodness, Byredo and even Slumberhouse. People are much more scent literate in NYC than I expected.
Jealous! I rarely smell scent on people in the PNW or where I am now (San Francisco.) People are certainly buying, but I’m not smelling it. Le Sad.
I’m starting to think NYers must use perfume as some sort of protective bubble from themselves and the stink of this world (or at least the awful smells of NYC).
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