Polished Patchouli – Review: Chanel Coromandel

Because I have more time now to look into my box of samples, I made another stunning discovery:

Les Exclusifs de Chanel offers one perfume that is impressive in both sillage and longevity.

Unlike the others, of which I like several and truly adore one (28 La Pausa), Coromandel has what it takes to stay the day, or at least five to six hours. A requirement I have for something as expensive and exclusive as this line. Which is why I still have no full bottle of 28 La Pausa, despite its sublime loveliness, I just cannot get over its magic trick of disappearing after fifteen minutes.

So Coromandel is here to stay, an undoubtedly good and important point, but how does it smell?

In a word – gorgeous.

A study in patchouli, but the most classy one you can imagine, Coromandel is an oriental to dream about.

Coromandel was created by perfumers Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake in 2007, it features notes of frankincense, benzoin, amber and woody notes.

That list of notes seems not very extensive, but there is no need for it anyway. What Coromandel smells like to me is polished patchouli swirled with vanilla, a little cinnamon and chocolate into a warm and plush, dark-brown velvet cape.

It starts out as pure patchouli which can be a bit much for some (ahem – my husband – ahem), but I love it, soon it mellows into that sweet, but not overly so, entirely inedible but still gourmand in feel, veil of warmth. It manages to stay elegant throughout, despite being so cozy and comforting, in true Chanel style.

It sounds like a lot, but never feels heavy or cloying. Its sister fragrance Coco in the regular range is way more opulent and dated (it hails from the eighties after all), I can’t wear it much, and it irritates me soon. Coromandel delights me whenever I catch a whiff when I move or sniff my arm, which is a regular (if not to say compulsory) occurence when I wear it.

Patchouli and chocolate and Christopher Sheldrake – that is a combination we know. Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 is such a combination, but there is a world of difference. While Borneo strikes me as very masculine, hard-edged and dry, Coromandel is warm, soft and feminine.

Coromandel is a Lutens with manners. Which spells perfection, in my book.

Image source: fragrantica.com, vintageadbrowser.com

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This entry was posted in Amber, Chanel, Fragrance Reviews, Les Exclusifs de Chanel, Oriental, Spicy, Woods and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Polished Patchouli – Review: Chanel Coromandel

  1. RH says:

    Coromandel is one of my winter favorites! That, and Coco too. 😀

  2. lady jane grey says:

    It’s one of the Chanel stables of my french mother-in-low. It reminds me those wonderfully crafted lacquered wood utensiles from Japan (especially at Lobmayer…). Sorry.

  3. annemariec says:

    Sounds gorgeous, but … sigh … I really don’t want to fall in love with another fragrance right now. I’ll see how I feel when winter has truly set in here. At least Coromandel one would be value for money. The lovely Dee sent me a sample of Chanel’s Eau de Cologne and it is very, very lovely. I chose it tonight for when I picked up a friend in my car to go out. Because of the car trip I decided not to go for a strong fragrance. I did well. Within half an hour of application I could not smell it on myself and I’m sure she missed it altogether.

    I love Coco. I suppose it is dated, and yet I think it will survive. I often notice that it gets a high ‘buy again’ score on Makeupalley.

    • Olfactoria says:

      If I ever get a full bottle of it, I will send you some, I think you’ll love it.
      I think all the Exclusifs are so beautiful, but most disqualify themselves by vanishing so very fast.
      Coco also reminds me of a teacher I once had, not a great one, so maybe that is what puts me off too. 🙂

  4. Suzanne says:

    I love Coromandel so much!!!!!!! I’m glad to hear you’re loving it, too, and you’re spot on with that description. When I wear it in the more humid months of Spring, the choccolate facet of the patchouli is pronounced. When I wear it in the very cold but dry air of winter, that chocolate-y facet fades dramatically and the scent is more effervescent. But in any weather, beautiful!

    By the way, I posted a review on Ambre Fetiche today, with a link to your blog, as you’re the one who got me hooked on this. And I say that quite happily! 🙂

  5. Undina says:

    Coromandel is one of the several perfumes from the Exclusiffs line which I like on paper. I haven’t tested it yet on skin but plan to. It reminds me of some other scent I used to like but I cannot pinpoint it yet. I need a skin test.

  6. anotherperfumeblog says:

    I need to revisit this. I quickly sniffed through the exclusifs one day on a trip, when all I really wanted to do was go back to my hotel room and collapse (they were the exclusifs, so I felt obligated). But I really like Borneo, so this may be the first I revisit. Thanks for the review!

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are welcome! My first encounter with the Exclusifs was just like yours, a quick sniff through the entire line. Thankfully I got a great deal on a bunch of minis on ebay, so investigating at leisure now is a real treat. 🙂

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  11. Caro says:

    Hi Birgit, I sampled the whole Les Exclusifs line today, when I found they were carrying them in the local Chanel Cosmetics store.
    I instantly felt enamoured of Coromandel (and I had to buy a small bottle of it). On me it smells very refined and not gourmand at all.
    I also liked La Pausa and Bel Respiro, but Coromandel was very much “me”.
    The quality of the whole collection is excellent. Chanel is one of the few brands that haven’t lowered their quality to the point of shame.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love the Exclusifs! Coromandel is a wonderful perfume and on my permanent wishlist. I think this Christmas I will finally get it. 🙂 Congratulations on your purchase. What did you think of 31 Rue Cambon and Bois des Iles? I love those too.

  12. Caro says:

    I didn’t try Bois des Iles on my skin. I found it a bit sour, but I need definitely need to spray it on. in fact, I tried the line because I was interested in Rue Cambon, Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie. Rue Cambon fared better on me.
    I also liked Beige (though not for me at all) and La Pausa (although I’m currently satisfying my iris craving with Sienne L’Hiver.

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  25. phlegmfatale says:

    Coromandel is absolutely my top shelf, and will be in my fragrance wardrobe as long as I draw breath. The longevity is marvelous on me, and it is the fragrance for which I most often reach– so glad I opted for the 200mL! Enchanting. It is delightful to discover what a chameleon the accord of patchouli is! Coromandel is all elegant, creamy refinement. She is the bohemian girl disguised in pearls and silk charmeuse, but her secret is safe with me.

  26. Irene land says:

    I would like to buy some chanel coromandel in the uk

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