One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Coco Not: CSP Vanille Coco


Sometimes a coconut scent has a sharp, green, astringent note that I find unspeakable. Someone at a workplace used to wear The Body Shop's Coconut perfume oil, and I couldn't bear to be in the same room with her.

That may well be how a fresh coconut smells in the real world. Usually, though, when we think of coconut in fragrances and fragranced products, we think of a rich, creamy, tropical scent, and that's just what's in Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Coco. It's very pleasant, almost edible. The sad fact, though, is that there's nothing particularly special about it; it smells more or less like every other sweet coconut scent on the market. There isn't anything to set it apart, to make it a worthy addition to the CSP line, and to make it worth what they're charging.

Someone somewhere suggested mixing Vanille Banane and Vanille Coco, and it's true; they go together wonderfully, with the coconut taking the preposterous edge off the banana scent. The trouble with both scents and with the combination of them is that after an hour's gone by, there's nothing left but the standard CSP vanilla--nothing at all. It's a very pleasant vanilla, of course, but it shouldn't have been that hard to strap down the other scent notes with some longer-lived base notes (even with vanilla itself) so they'd have a bit more staying power. CSP did it with Vanille Orange, after all, and citrus notes are among the most evanescent in all of perfumery, so you'd think they'd have been able to manage it with banana and coconut.

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