Coconut Cooler – Review: Heeley Coccobello

By Tara

Not for the first time, I’m in the minority by not being a fan of coconut perfumes. I think coconut can be great when it’s in the mix (as it is in Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum or Fils de Dieu by Etat Libre d’Orange) but I find it too sweet and overpowering when it’s the dominant note. For the most part, Coccobello manages to buck this trend.

heeley coco
Launched in 2013, Coccobello has top notes of palm leaf and gardenia, middle notes of coconut, sea salt and vanilla and base notes of Virginia cedar, benzoin and sandalwood. The bottle features a pretty palm tree.

Coccobello opens up beautifully green and lightly aromatic/spicy. I’ve not encountered a palm leaf accord in fragrance before but it smells like lime juice squeezed over coriander. The gardenia is very muted which I think is a good move considering it might have tipped the balance and made it cloying.

There’s a subtle milky texture of the kind you often find in fig perfumes, but for the most part Coccobello is the scent of coconut water. It has a wonderfully fluid feel. If it were a drink it would be a Coconut Cooler with crushed ice and herbs, not a sweet and creamy Pina Colada.

It’s fresh, clean and simple in the most positive of ways, while a bit of spice, greenery and salt spray keeps it interesting. I enjoyed the first few hours.

At around the four/five hour mark, an airy vanilla gatecrashes the party and spoils it for me just a touch. I can’t help but miss how cool and refreshing the scent was before its arrival. It’s not unpleasant in the least but combined with the coconut, it becomes just that bit too sweet for my taste (although admittedly I have low tolerance for sugar).

It’s washed clean of vanilla by the base, which is very pale woods with a little of the aromatic/spicy feeling of the early stages. It’s like an attenuated version of Hermessence Santal Massoia.

As you would imagine, on the whole Coccobello has a relaxed coastal vibe, which is more breezy than beachy. Its style is that of Robinson Crusoe stranded on a desert island as opposed to a glamour puss sunning herself in St. Tropez.

Robinson-Crusoe-by-HeavenlyDeamonic-on-deviantART-Google-Chrome_2012-11-12_14-05-18_thumb

Robinson Crusoe by Heavenly Demonic on deviant art

It doesn’t smell like I’ve smothered myself in sun lotion and feels completely fine for office wear. There’s not a lot of sillage but it has very good longevity, better than average for an EDP.

I think it’s pricey for what it is, but give it a try if you’re prepared to splash the cash for the right coconut fragrance or you’re looking for a tropical scent which isn’t flowery. Coccobello is assuredly genderless.

For other coconut-centric perfumes check out Olfactoria’s reviews of Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder and Love Coco (Now Love Coconut) by Honoré des Prés.

How do you feel about fragrances featuring coconut?

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19 Responses to Coconut Cooler – Review: Heeley Coccobello

  1. Sandra says:

    Thanks Tara for the fun review! I have been trying to get my hands on some for a while now. Will go back to the store and ask if they have replenished their stock so I can finally beg for a sample. Xo

  2. Vanessa says:

    I am open to perfumes featuring coconut, although I’ve never found one I absolutely loved. Having read your compelling review, I don’t think there is any phase of Cocobello I wouldn’t enjoy, even the more fresh / bracing opening. A ‘gatecrashing vanilla note’ – hairy or otherwise – (oops, Siri! That should be airy…) would be welcome. I can take sweet as well. Yes, this all sounds delightful, with a muted gardenia note to boot.

  3. Sabine says:

    That’s probably the only Heeley I haven’t tried, because like you, I’m usually not a fan of coconut, but your review makes it sound lovely. I will try it when I have the chance. The gardenia note might be a problem though.

    • Tara says:

      Sabine, I’m guessing unless you really look for it you won’t even notice the gardenia note.

      I think it’s worth a go and then whether you like it or not, at least you’ll have tried the whole set!

  4. cookie queen says:

    Not a big fan of coconut unless it’s in a Thai curry. However, I tried this on my recent trip to London (!) and would love to give it a proper go. On a beach. At night. Enticing as ever Tara. xxx

  5. Asali says:

    As lovely as your description is, I am pretty sure this one isn’t my thing. I too am no huge fan of coconut in fragrance, and the somewhat watered down beach version here is probably not going to make me change my mind, even if I’m sure it would have its days of being just the perfect vibe 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Yes, as much as I like it and would enjoy wearing it at the right time, I don’t feel tempted to invest in it. It suits me better than strong coconut forward fragrances though.

      I wonder if it would appeal to the guys more actually because it doesn’t have that flowery or pina colada thing going on.

  6. Michael says:

    Heeley is a bit of a hit and miss brand for me with many fragrances smelling like a more refined versions of a common theme.
    Mind you, one of my all time favourites is Cuir Pleine Fleur. It’s such an easy to wear clean take on leather that’s easily dressed up or down. Fantastic stuff.

  7. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Back then I was so excited to hear about a “new green coconut” scent that I bribed a kind gentleman at Heeley’s in Paris to send me a bottle before even having the original cardboard box for it…
    I think it was the only ever blind buy in my life – and turned out to be quite a happy choice, after all.

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