Recently during a discussion with friends about – what else? – perfume, a Perfumista friend’s husband said something along the lines of: I only love one smell, I don’t need a woman to smell of perfume, not even the most expensive scent tempts me, I love coconut.
That was so hilarious and at the same time interesting, it inspired me to conduct a little, strictly scientific double-blind study (just affixed two blindfolds on my dear husband, that is our definition of double-blind for today) on the subject at hand.
First a suitable perfume had to be found, pure coconut that was the goal. Many tropical blends that feature coconut fell by the wayside because of their impure (read flower-contaminated) state of blending.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique is a port of first call, when one is on the lookout for foody ingredients and they offer a range of coconut fragrances, but they are all so sweet, I could not bring myself to wear them, there is only so much I can sacrifice for science. Coco Extreme has this suntan lotion vibe that can be very nice, but the coconut is too creamy and thick.
What I envisioned was something fresher, lighter, more reminiscent of the fresh coconut juice, rather than condensed and sweetened coconut cream. Coudray offers a Coco Vanille scent, not totally bad, but still not what I was looking for, again too many flowers contaminating the coconut.
Did you know that when you do a notes search on First in Fragrance for Coconut, Etat Libre d’Orange’s Sécretions Magnifiques comes up? Now that would be a lovely surprise for my friends coconut-loving husband, wouldn’t it?
The search continued for a while (I also found lovely things like Lostmarc’h Aod or several other beach inspired scents that are lovely for summer, but not exactly what I was looking for), until I struck gold in my own sample box.
Enter the lovely Ines, who sent me a generous care-package some time ago, and in it I found the perfect test material – Honoré des Pres Love Coco. Pure, natural, unadulterated coconut, perfect for my purposes, it hits all the right spots with me.
Created in 2010 by Olivia Giacobetti (score!) it is a natural, organic perfume as are all the Honoré des Pres scents. Notes include coriander leaves and seeds, coconut milk, tonka bean, vanilla and cedar.
What makes Love Coco so different from everything else I encountered in the coconut sector, is its fresh rawness, its vegetal purity that is a far cry from sugary sweet vanilla coconuts of old. It does smell distinctly of coconuts, of the fresh juice that tastes spectacular (one of the few things I love that are actually healthy! 😉 ), tempered with a little greenness, rather than spiciness of coriander and a backdrop of woody, maybe vetiver notes. Only later does it get a little softer and sweeter, vanilla, but discreetly, adds to its round and smooth drydown. It last for about four hours on me, I only have a dabber sample, but I suspect this would be even better when sprayed.
Okay, so I have found a coconut that charms me, but how does it fare with the subject of this study (aka the only male old enough to be subjected to such tests in my house). As I said, I double-blinded the poor guy with two scarfs (unscented, a hard thing to come by in my house!) and proceeded to stick my arm under his nose. He was under strict instructions to only respond in terms of emotions evoked. That means: tell me how you like it.
Cries of “Get those things off my eyes and let me get up already!” aside, I am proud to say the study was a full success. The subject unanimously (how else) spoke in favor of Love Coco.
Conclusion: Men love Coconut.