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Chanel is the little black dress of perfumes…a necessity in every woman’s wardrobe that never goes out of style.

My first encounter with Chanel was in my early 20’s.  I was browsing through the perfume department in Bloomingdale’s.  I spritzed Chanel No. 5 and that was the first and last time we ever saw each other again.  I found it too pungent and heady.  It was definitely a mature perfume that middle-aged women wore. Women with sophisitication and “knew the ways of the world”.  In my early 20’s, I had neither.

Then in 2001, Coco Mademoiselle made her debut.  Geared towards women in their 20’s and 30’s like myself.  I revisited the Chanel counter and ended up purchasing my “perfect black dress”.

Description:  A free and confident seduction.  The Oriental refined and softened, the freshness heightend by Sicilian Grapefruit.

Notes: Orange, Bergamot, Sicilian Grapefruit, Litchi, Jasmine, Rose, Indonesian patchouli, Haitian vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk.

From the Vial: Lively, bright, feminine and STRONG.  Not heady and pungent as Chanel No. 5 but a whopper of an opening.

Wet on Skin:  It still opens with a bright citrus but the floral is starting to take over.  The citrus accords give it a youthful vitality at the same time the rose and jasmine lends a feminine elegance.

Dry Down:  The floral starts to get powdery (white musk) as the citrus slowly fades away. 20 minutes later the patchouli and vetiver take hold giving Coco Mademoiselle another dimension. She starts to take on a man’s cologne smell which I think is the most interesting part of this perfume. Not only is there an elegant, feminine side but a masculine side which brings out Coco Mademoiselle’s confident personality. At the end of the dry down, she turns into a creamy sweet vanilla.

Sillage:  A little goes a long way.  This is smell-your-coworker-in-the-next-cubicle type of throw.  If you use sparingly,  you will not leave a trail of scent everywhere and be up everybody’s grill.

Longevity: It lasts ALL day! I never had to reapply it.  Once in the morning and that was it.  The longevity was a good 8 hours. 

Would I Buy a Full Bottle? Been there, done that.  Unfortunately, I gave it away. (I’ll explain why later.)

Pricepoint: $$$

Season and Occasion: Spring and Summer.  It was a daytime scent for me.  I wore it at the office.  Although I wouldn’t wear it on very hot days as it would be too heavy and cloying.

Final Verdict:  Coco Mademoiselle is very well composed and finely tuned. She’s modern, feminine, elegant, warm, and sensual.  She’s youthful without the naiveté like a 30-year-old woman who knows what she wants and is starting to figure out “the ways of the world”. Coco Mademoiselle really is a divine scent. There is a reason why she’s so popular and the reason she’s EVERYWHERE.  You can smell her on the bus, in the grocery store, at the mall. Your mom, your sister, your aunt, your best friend, and the stranger on the subway reeks of her.   Think of Coco Mademoiselle as a new recording artist you’ve just discovered.  You savor her songs for yourself. You are now part of an exclusive, clandestine group of special people.  The thought of being ahead of the mainstream makes you feel hip, cultured, and unique.  Then word gets around and she signs onto a major record label.  She gets heavy rotation on the radio.  Every 20 minutes you hear the same song over and over again until it hurts your ears and grates your soul.  She drives you mad and you can’t stand her anymore! This is what Coco Mademoiselle (or rather, her popularity) did to me so I happily kicked her to the curb.  As beautiful a songbird she was…she was way overplayed!

For women who want to disappear into the crowd.

Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle: http://www.chanel.com/en_US/fragrance-beauty/Fragrance-Coco-Mademoiselle-COCO-MADEMOISELLE-EAU-DE-TOILETTE-SPRAY-88219

Next Up: YOSH’s Stargazer