Coco Noir: Through black… simplicity revealed

Today I had a chance to smell Coco Noir and it is nice, I like it. But once more I had to wonder “what were those people thinking of?”. I can see traces of the original Coco in the drydown but to get there I crossed a sea of bluntness. During most of the development Coco Noir has no texture. It is a two-dimensional smell that projects like a billboard image: big and flat. What troubled me even more was the fact that it kept reminding me of recent masculine releases like CK One Shock for Him and Paco Rabanne One Million. And this is the problem identified: it is not sexy! It is almost genderless with today standards. Where Coco pops out of the bottle full of body, texture, strange edges and aggressiveness, Coco Noir just sits there motionless like the outline of a portrait before details have been added. It is not weak, just void of intricacies. I really think it is a nice fragrance but it does not smell like a Chanel. Like Bleu, it is a nice smell but it is not brilliant, it is not even good. And it smells a lot cheaper and genderless than it should.

I chose the teaser photo from Chanel official site because this is what Coco Noir feels like: if you expect something more than the simple lines of this image you will probably be disappointed.

About Christos

Scientifically minded but obsessed with the subjective aspect of things. Photos copyright of MemoryOfScent, with special thanks to Pantelis Makkas You are welcome to link to my blog but you are definitely not allowed to copy text or use the photos without my permission. All text and main photos are originals and property of MemoryOfScent All perfumes are from my collection unless stated otherwise.


  1. I also quite liked Coco Noir though I find it more “soleil” than “noir”. In this perfume the name does not evoke the darkness of the juice as the juice is bright.

  2. Loved your review. To me Coco Noir is a party girl on a night out… and then she is gone. I like it.

    • I like it too but there seems to be an element of complexity missing. The good thing is that it is totally wearable by a man. Tha bad thing, there are so many masculine releases that smell like it.

  3. It will sell well AND it’s not an offensive scent to be surrounded by so I say: let it be 😉

    • I know, I know… Coco could be offensive but it was brilliant. Am I wrong to expect brilliance from Chanel and Polge? Whether it is the austere brilliance of No19 and Pour Monsieur or the sensual brilliance of No5 and Coco I do not care. From their latest releases No19 Poudré was the best but they ruined it by associating it with 19.

      • Christos, I totally understand your disappointment. But since I did my own post on this perfume earlier (and it looks like it’s still one of the most popular on my blog, people keep coming and looking at it if to believe stats) and let my disappointment out in many words, I’m much calmer today. You’ll see: in a month, when whoever on your reading list, who hasn’t wrote about Coco Noir yet, finally does it – you won’t have left much to say about it 😉

        • I agree! But I am afraid that what will remain is a market full of sketchy, quickly created fragrances. They are created like this not because people do not spend the time an effort to make them more complex and three-dimensional, on the contrary. People spend a lot of time and effort to make new mass market releases expendable. No one should continue wearing Coco Noir in two years, when Coco ______ (fill the blank) will succeed it in the market.

  4. Apointofsmell

    More or less I’m on your side. It failed to wow me too, but at the same time I am absolutely sure it will sell like crazy. For as long as to afford and eventually buy a glass flacon with the Chanel logo on, is more of a statement than a personal choice, this house will be condemned to launch (at least for the mass market) easy going(19 poudre) and sometimes faulty flankers(Allure sensuelle, No5 Eau premiere, Coco mademoiselle) and cheap crowd pleasers(bleu, Allure Homme sport). All my hopes lie at “les exclusifs” line where Big money is not the sole prerequisite for a new launch. To my nose Coco’s spicy, edgy heart is substituted by pale yet more velvety florals. This said I still find the original Coco more unisex.

    • Truth be told the black bottle is amazing! But I find the original Coco much more angular and aggressive. It has a similar effervescence as Dolce Vita. I think I would wear Coco Noir more easily.

  5. Pingback: Chanel Égoïste: the real Coco Noir walks in drag « Memory Of Scent

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