Created by : Jacques Polge
Date : 1984
Genre : Floral amber
Concentration : eau de parfum
Coco was created in 1984 by the man who is still at the creative helm of Chanel perfumes today, Jacques Polge, and it was the first perfume created after Gabrielle Chanel’s death in 1971. This classic amber has a symphonic floral heart and as balanced symphonic florals go anyone would be hard-pressed to pick out its individual notes of Bulgarian rose, mimosa and jasmine. However Coco is also very spicy and one can smell a cool clove note among the bouquet. You see… Yves Saint Laurent’s blockbuster, Opium (1977), had introduced spices bigtime, especially clove, and Coco was very much influenced by its competitor.
Mr. Polge describes Coco as “baroque” because of its inspiration, Chanel’s apartment with its coromandel screens and gilt mirrors. Perfume taxonomist Michael Edwards classifies it as a “classic soft oriental” but I can see why Jacques Polge prefers baroque, although not an actual category. Coco is dense, layered and luscious… a symphonic floral, laced with spicy clove on a quality amber base.
Really great perfumes leave you wondering at all stages of their development which stage you love best. Coco is top-down genius right down to its warm, inviting and spicy amber drydown which could easily be tweaked into a whole new perfume on its own.
I love Coco with its lush floral flourishes. The materials feel A-1 and being vintage Chanel, the longevity and sillage are there. For those who fear rose-scented perfumes, don’t worry about this one. This is not your grandmother’s drugstore rose water by any means. As for men wearing it… go ahead, guys… just go easy on the atomizer.
Now I know we all want to remember the 60s and forget the 80s. As cruel fate would have it, we remember the 80s all too well… the big hair… the shoulder pads… Alexis Carrington… while the cool-and-hip 60s are just a blur. So let’s end this post with one last look (on this blog anyway) at the fashion of Dynasty.
Thanks to Coco and a few others of that era, it wasn’t all bad.
Top image : The Union of Earth and Water (c. 1618) by Peter Paul Rubens
Bottom image : The cast of Dynasty (1981 to 1989)