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 floriental. 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 oriental 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.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Epitome of the sweet, modern oriental. 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!