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.
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.
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.
How do you feel about fragrances featuring coconut?