Coco, always Chanel’s most exuberant and joyful creation, to me exudes a conspicuous air of eighties consumption. Blazing gold jewellery and glinting, multifaceted jewels, this woman knowingly struts her real or imaginary red carpet no matter the weather – transforming grey, mundane realities with a brush of the high life.

Though she is loud and a little persistent, this fruity, brassy  Miss, you still can’t help somehow inhaling with pleasure her dense, baroque carnival of odorous riches; her compressed, spiced, fusillades of peach, coriander, orange blossom, Spice Island clove; Indian jasmine, mimosa; the heart of Bulgarian rose over an effortlessly shoulder-wrapping base accord of sandalwood, amber, patchouli, leather, and chocolate: that complex, sweet and chewy rapture that is never vulgar (well, maybe slightly ), but still, always, a very  likeable scent; fortified internally, forward-looking: the life and soul of the party, and a perfume suffused for me with memories.


Filed under Spice Orientals

22 responses to “SHE’S ALL THAT: : : COCO by CHANEL (1984)

  1. Tara

    Loved that birdcage ad.

    Coco was never for me but you sum it up perfectly. Sweet, persistent, compressed and a little vulgar.

    Did I miss how Gaga was?

  2. Lovely. I’m a great fan of Coco and wear it a lot. For some reason it always reminds me of a British coworker I had briefly, who was speaking of one of our colleagues and lowered her voice to murmer in pained, discreet tones “I’m afraid she’s a bit flash.” This was in Manhattan, in the 80s, in the fashion industry. Damn straight, honey, we were all a bit flash. When I wear Coco it recovers a faint aura of those days. I don’t want the whole experience again, but a faint shimmer of flash in the air is not a bad thing.

    • I agree entirely, and this scent is a very pleasing way to achieve it. I have quite a soft spot for it, the kind of scent you want to crush yourself into, to lean into someone’s neck .

  3. Laurels

    I didn’t appreciate Coco at all, back in the day. My teenage self didn’t care for the fruitiness, or those rather ladylike florals in the heart. Looking back, maybe it was because it was only slightly vulgar. Now, of course, I see the error of my ways. Like Boucheron, unlike Opium, it seems to me to still retain its character and personality.

  4. I think Coco is the scent that made vulgarity chic. And that’s no small feat in my book

  5. Lilybelle

    I can’t wear Coco but I love it when someone who is right for it does. “Strutting one’s real or imaginary red carpet” – I love it.

    • It’s a bit too much to actually wear oneself ( not much room for manoeuvre once it’s on you).

      I also enjoy it on other people and find it rather comforting somehow, very much on the positive side of things.

  6. Can’t argue with any of this. It is ridiculously opulent for everyday suburban life, and yet bizarrely it was the first scent that caught the attention of my 75 year old M-out-of-law in when she showed a fledgling interest in perfume for the first time in her life. And now she owns a bottle, and wears it with abandon on coach trips to Llandudno and to WI meetings.

  7. So great to see the love for Coco…after admiring on a friend for years, I finally found the way that I can wear her…a dab or three of the pure parfum version on pulse points will last all day and provides a veil of sweet and spicy comfort. The parfum is rich, but stays skin close, unlike the voluminous edt and edp. She used to be too much for me, but now she is just right.

  8. Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus and commented:


    You know I think this is actually starting to suit me. I bought a cheap vintage parfum as just an adjunct to my Chanel collection and woof….it smells kind of fabulous.

  9. KimB

    LOL!! Coco has a way of catching up with you eventually if you are a Chanel perfume fan. For years I did not like it at all and then, wham! This summer I fell madly in love with it. That clove, peach, rose combination – heaven!

    • Yes it is that. I find it very psychologically binding somehow. It is, in a way, a bit stupid this perfume. It certainly isn’t poetic or intellectual at any rate. And yet it knows what a good time is, and it makes you feel it.

  10. bella ciao

    For all of us left over children of the 80ies still struggling with their inner Alexis Carringtons, Bobby Ewings and shoulder pad trauma!
    I will re-try it asap, “slightly vulgar” and “knowing how to have a good time” sounds so appealing!
    That said I always much prefered Falcon Crest to the other two, booze over petrol I guess

  11. bella ciao

    well yes, the intricate plot will be lost on you if you don’t start at the very beginning…. But you can start with cooling the champagne for when she makes her grand entrance. I am sure I will hear the clinking of the glasses and the satisfied shrieks “you show ’em, Alexis!!!” all the way to Europe

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