Chanel Coco Noir ~ fragrance review

Chanel Coco Noir

The word “noir” transforms nearly anything it modifies. For instance, think of “teddy bear.” Maybe you envision a beloved stuffed animal kissed by babies. Now imagine “teddy bear noir.” Suddenly that same toy lies abandoned in a sinister old farmhouse — maybe the house in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Try it with different words: Disneyland. Disneyland Noir. Kitty. Kitty Noir. You see what I mean?

So, I had high expectations for Chanel Coco Noir. Chanel Coco is already sultry enough for Mata Hari. A noir version? Well, look at Caron Narcisse Noir. It’s loaded with menace and seduction. No way Chanel would let me down. Coco Noir would surely twist Coco’s spicy, woody heart into a real femme fatale.

Not. They should have called it Coco Pourpre.

Chanel house perfumer Jacques Polge created Chanel Coco Noir, and it has top notes of grapefruit and Calabrian bergamot; a heart of rose absolute, rose essence, jasmine absolute, narcissus and rose geranium leaf; and a dry down of Brazilian tonka bean, Venezuelan tonka bean, Indonesia patchouli, New Caledonian sandalwood, bourbon vanilla, white musk and frankincense. Chanel forgets to include one of Coco Noir’s most prominent accords: purple fruit.

In Women's Wear Daily, Christopher Sheldrake, also a Chanel perfumer, calls Coco Noir a “luminous, transparent oriental.”1 To me, Coco Noir smells like an elegant rendition of purple fruit, soap and patchouli. In other words, it’s a fragrance you’ve been smelling everywhere from Macy’s to Walmart, only more finely calibrated here. As Sheldrake says in the same article, “We are careful not to launch a lot of fragrances — we choose to create scents that represent an era, not a passing fancy.” Frankly, this is an era that can’t end soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

Coco Noir’s patchouli, musk and purple fruit are evident from first spray, and they continue on until the fragrance peters out eight hours or so later. Under the blanket of fruit, musk, and patchouli, I do initially smell a citrus sparkle and then Coco Noir’s heart of mellow green rose and geranium leaf tingling with jasmine. Underneath all that fruit, patchouli and musk lies a tantalizing fragrance, with the cool, impressionistic feel of Monet's water lilies. But I challenge you to dig it out from Coco Noir's sweet-soapy haze. 

Coco Noir’s heart burns off within an hour, leaving the fruit, soapy musk and patchouli heavyweights stomping along until you either yell “Uncle!” and scrub it off, or a full day has passed and the fragrance has dialed down to zero at last. At this point, Coco Noir smells no different than scores of other fruitchouli fragrances sold at a fraction of the price.

Supposedly, Jacques Polge was inspired to create Coco Noir when he saw an opaque black version of the classic Chanel bottle. What a beautiful bottle it is, and what an amazing fragrance it could engender. But perfume is big business. Perhaps even noses as influential and talented as Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake can’t win when the business office waves its trend forecast in the boardroom. Or perhaps Polge and Sheldrake really do see Coco Noir as a “luminous oriental” fit to take its place next to No. 5 and Coco. I don’t know. If the reaction at my local Nordstrom is any indication, Coco Noir will sell like gangbusters. But for me, I’ll take the original Coco and get my noir elsewhere.

Chanel Coco Noir Eau de Parfum is sold at high-end department stores for $98 for 50 ml and $130 for 100 ml.

1. Women's Wear Daily, 8/9/2012.

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  1. eaudemale says:

    This sounds like any other Carolina Herrera, Ricci, Rabbane… puig like.
    I imagine this like a feminine version of L’instant Extreme, with cocoa and bitter oranges, roses, ambar and caramel, then ambar and tonka without making it too sweet.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I like your version of Coco Noir! It sounds a little more gourmand than Coco, but very sultry.

  2. lucasai says:

    Thanks for your impressions Angela! I wish I could try it already, it’s still not here yet…

    • Angela says:

      It was just released on Friday here, so it’s making its way onto the market little by little.

      • lucasai says:

        Hope to meet it soon enough to be eager to try.

      • bluegardenia says:

        What is purple fruit?
        Forgive the dumb question, I know nothing about fruity scents!

        • Angela says:

          It’s not a dumb question! I smell almost a generic fruit that blends grape, blackberry, plum, and currants. I’d be interested to know what you think, though.

          • bluegardenia says:

            Ah. Makes perfect sense!

  3. Bejoux says:

    I found this frag very disappointing. I had wanted the promised baroque night in Venice etc. but on me it smells more like what’s left after having applied Coco Mademoiselle and then taken a shower. A pale shadow of a thing with no sillage and no staying power. Sigh. And you are right – the bottle deserved something better – preferably deeper and darker.
    Most underwhelming Noir since Dahlia Noir!

    • Angela says:

      I forgot about Dahlia Noir! Yes, that was a blatant misuse of “noir.”

      I found Coco Noir to have too much sillage and staying power for my taste. My skin is pretty good about holding onto fragrance though (especially the scents I’m not totally wild about, it seems).

      • Omega says:

        I would wear DN before CN. I got more from DN actually. I own the DN EDT, lol..and there is nothing noir about it, it’s completely different than the EDP. And way, way further from noir. But it’s a nice, light, powdery lemon for the summer. I like it. But ya, I prefer DN EDP over CN…if I had to choose.

        • Angela says:

          Lemon is great in the summer! I’m wearing L’Eau de Chloe right now for just that reason.

    • ChocolatEyes613 says:

      Dahlia Noir left a bad taste in my mouth, due to its english translation. The Black Dahlia is a notorious unsolved murder case. What were the PR reps at Givenchy thinking? Besides that, the scent was pretty pathetic.

      • Angela says:

        As a mystery fan, I know about the Black Dahlia, and far from being sexy and mysterious it’s GRISLY.

  4. Queen_Cupcake says:

    I tried this a few days ago. I just could. not. smell. it. Maybe something is wrong with my sniffer. So disappointing. The bottle is gorgeous, truly. What a shame.

    • Angela says:

      Oh no! You must be anosmic to something major in the fragrance. Maybe the musk? Well, you’re not missing a super genius masterpiece, in my opinion, anyway. The little sample vial I have on my desk is scenting my whole desk area just from what vapors leak from the vial.

  5. Abyss says:

    All the mentions of musk, black bottles and people’s inability to smell it kind of make me think of Narciso Rodriguez For Her with extra fruit (borrowed from Mary Greenwell, perhaps?). Regardless, it sounds like a missed opportunity on Chanel’s part and that’s a shame. It’s good know that I don’t need to go out of my way to try it at least.

    • Angela says:

      Extra fruit and a hit of patchouli.

      It seems like Chanel has decided that the fragrances in the No.5-type bottles will be high-end crowd pleasers, and they’re saving the more artistic achievements for Les Exclusifs. What is No. 19 Poudre if not a friendlier version of No. 19? Maybe that’s what Coco Noir is supposed to be, too.

      • Lys says:

        Coco Mon Amie

      • Omega says:

        Ya, more creative=exclusifs.

        Btw, I don’t want a friendly noir, lol:).

  6. ringthing says:

    Ah. Le sigh. Coco is one of my all time favorite scents, I’ve worn it since it was first introduced in the 80s. As soon as I saw this bottle, my heart quickened and a big surge of Want passed over me; the want of a darker, spicier Coco, something truly Noir, just as you were hoping for. What a disappointment. My daughter wears Coco Mademoiselle, and as nice as it is on her, it’s not something I want to wear myself. If I get a chance to try Noir I will, but at this point in reading reviews I’m not expecting much.

    • Angela says:

      I love Coco, too, and wore it through most of college. Coco Noir is worth a smell if you get the chance, though, if for no other reason than to settle the matter for good whether or not you need the gorgeous black bottle.

  7. Rappleyea says:

    While I dearly love the older Chanels, Polge’s work for the company hasn’t moved me. I understood why when I read an interview with him wherein he stated how much he loved iso e super and that he used lots of it! I hate that stuff!! Its use would also explain this scent’s longevity as well as folks’ being anosmic to it.

    Great bottle though!

    • Angela says:

      Interesting about the Iso E Super! I didn’t know that he used a lot of it, and I didn’t know some people can’t smell it. Hmm.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Iso E will also boost florals. It boosts something in Rue Cambon to the point that it renders that otherwise beautiful scent unwearable! And makes it last for days on my skin!

        • Angela says:

          You are a fount of info, thanks!

        • CM says:

          I’ve had my fill I Iso super as well. Its like glue on my skin. I didn’t notice this in coco noir, but then again, the SA wouldn’t even let me spray the tester on skin. I got a card with a spritz on it and the SA played keep away with the bottle (and the freshly spritzed card). I was really miffed at the Chanel counter. I esp. hate that she sprayed the card and waved it in the air for a good 30 seconds before handing it over.

          • Angela says:

            You weren’t even able to get a sample? Just a sprayed card? That’s too bad.

    • solanace says:

      I’m not crazy about Polge, either. No. 18 smells really horrible to my nose, and Coco Mademoiselle is like a display of everything that goes wrong when a brand loses its integrity (Coco?? Come on!). I can’t smell many of the “new” Exclusifs when I dab from my samples, even after 3 minutes – a problem I don’t have with, say, L’Artisain or Goutal, which are modern and transparent but are still there. Coromandel and 31 Rue Cambon are my favorites among those, but I’d always prefer a Lutens over Coromandel, and can’t see myself buying a full bottle of 31RC any time soon. And I’m pretty sure I’d love Cuir de Russie or Bois des Iles a lot more if I had a chance to smell them on an older, more assertive incarnation.

      • Angela says:

        How about Sycomore? I love that one.

  8. daruma says:

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by it but that’s only because my expectations were extremely low – I was expecting from the notes, especially the grapefruit and patch that it would be very similar to Coco Mlle or Chance both of which I dislike a lot. To me, it smells like a modernised version of Coco – the fruit is perhaps the common thread because to me Coco smells very strongly of dried fruits like prunes. I need to try it again but I may end up buying. I’ve tried to wear Coco several times in the past but I always end up getting rid of the bottle – I don’t feel woman enough for it. Noir seems a little more forgiving.

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you like it! Yes, “forgiving” is a good way to describe Coco Noir. The bottle will look mighty nice on your dresser.

  9. FragrantWitch says:

    Oh no. I love Coco and was so excited by this, thinking it would be a silken dagger of a fragrance, with Coco’s seduction amplified and tinged with the barest edge of violence and danger. Shame on Chanel for letting down that stunning bottle. It must be so ashamed! ;-)

    • Angela says:

      Maybe you’ll love it! (Or not.) But to me that name really did suggest something a bit more carnal than what Coco Noir delivered.

  10. Lys says:

    It’s sad b/c Chanel could have put anything in that bottle and it would have sold.

    • ggperfume says:

      So true! That bottle is divine.

    • Angela says:

      They did! And what they filled it with is really popular these days. I guess I just expected something more “Chanel” in the grand tradition.

  11. Lys says:

    Also, don’t you mean _Hello_ Kitty Noir? (=> x <=)* -hisssssss


    • Angela says:

      Oh, now that’s a really scary thought!

    • RusticDove says:

      Well, there isn’t a Hello Kitty Noir, but there *is* a Hello Kitty “Intense” and that is just as incongruous to me! Made me smile and chuckle when I saw it at Sephora.

      • Angela says:

        I would have smiled, too (in fact, am smiling now!).

  12. juicejones says:

    Angela, from your description, all I can think of is Poison w/ a Delaware Punch back.
    I bet they could make a small fortune if Chanel would just sell the bottle, empty. I would fill it with aged balsamic. A girl gets her noir where she can!

    • Angela says:

      Balsamic vinegar is a great idea! Or maybe rhubarb bitters.

  13. Warum says:

    OK, this review had made me 100% sure I won’t like it.
    I hate fruitchouli and especially dislike the purple variety.
    I’ve heard several opinions and read several reviews. I dislike Coco Mlle and when the comparisons with Coco Mlle started flying around I grew tense. But now I know. Will ask for sample, will not even spray at the store. Thanks, Angela! It is always better to know the truth no matter how bitter :)

    • Angela says:

      That’s a brave attitude! It does sound like you’d better smell it on a test strip before committing any skin to it, though.

  14. RusticDove says:

    I keep reading disappointing reviews of Coco Noir and it’s making me sad and forlorn. It appears that there is quite the opportunity lost here. I mean, the original Coco is such a badass in its own right!Sigh. Of course, I will smell it when I come across it. I can hope that it’ll work better for me. *Fingers & toes crossed*

    • Angela says:

      There’s always hope! Maybe it will be wonderful on you.

  15. RavynG says:

    so why not make our own Coco Noir with a few drops of dirty musk and patchouli in strategic pulse spots and just wear Coco?

    • Angela says:

      Great idea! No need to wait for Chanel to get around to it.

  16. Omega says:

    Coco Noir just sucks..sorry! I was so disappointed. Should have named it Coco Pamplemousse. lol. I really wasn’t expecting too much…but a little, since the bottle is just so dang gorgeous. Not noir at all. A blast of grapefruit+green note grossness+littlest puff of smoke+vanilla balminess. A less sweet, less patchy Coco M. So not impressed! Come on Chanel, you give us a bottle like that and fill it up with juice like THAT? I have more respect for the Dior house. Oh well.

    • Angela says:

      I’m not wild about it, either, but I bet it sells really well! The combination of clean musk, patchouli, and purple fruit seems to be a winner these days.

      • Omega says:

        Ya, and that is sad…Chanel clearly looking to go safe on this..I bet it sells well to people who don’t know or care what a noir scent is.

        I was hoping to smell jasmine, if you are going to do luminous..might as well do it with more jasmine! Lol.

        So…their slogan…through black..light revealed? Maybe name it Coco Grey. Just such oxymoron-ness all over this release. Oh it’s Coco Noir…I mean, with light in there?? They had to make a nightlight ya know, don’t wanna be too dark for the tweens! They may get scared! LOL. Nightlights for the tweens..says Chanel. lol.

        • Angela says:

          I would have loved more jasmine, too! Or maybe just less of the so-called “noir” overlay that hides it.

          • Omega says:


  17. Omega says:

    Oh btw, where is that super bouquet of jasmine flowers Chanel was talking about?? I get a bouquet of balmy, pink grapefruit….:(.

    • Angela says:

      The grapefruit didn’t come out as much on me as it sounds like it did on you. I could smell the jasmine, but it was weighed down by fruit. Normally, I love how jasmine adds light and vibrancy to a fragrance, but it was only a tiny platinum thread here.

  18. mals86 says:

    Urgh, another fruitchouli. The bottle deserved something fabulous.

    OTOH, I never liked, and still don’t, Coco – so I personally am out precisely nuthin’.

    • Angela says:

      Yes, those hopes don’t have far to crash if they weren’t too high to start with!

  19. Omega says:

    JP is capable of a lot more I’s just Chanel wanted this to be accessible to the ever-ongoing tweenkie target. lol

    Haha, maybe I just fill the bottle with the Caron:D. That would make me feel much better!:D.

    • Angela says:

      Those bottles are so danged gorgeous!

  20. Lys says:

    Okay, someone tell me why all of the sudden these big houses are releasing fruitichoulis as their major releases. I thought once we got to 19 Poudre and Baiser Vole, fruitichouli was over outside (except for celeb-u-scents). Now you have Coco Noir, La Petite Robe Noire, La vie est belle … are the big houses ten years behind in the pipeline?

    BTW SOTD is Missoni: fruity, no chouli.

    • Angela says:

      Honestly, I don’t know what the deal is. I love it that Cartier went with Baiser Volé as its major release–but then, except for variations on Eau de Cartier I can’t think of any Cartier flankers off the top of my head. Do you think it would help if we did some kind of Occupy Perfume Counter movement and declared fruit-musk-patchouli over?

      • Omega says:

        Occupy Fruitchouli Movement, haha, lol

        • Omega says:

          I may have to occupy at the counter now. lol Those silly chants they’this is why we occupy”. lol..”fruichoulimusk is why we occupy”. We may get sprayed, not with mace because of our behavior but by the biggest, fruitchoulimusk bomb they have hidden under the counter. Specifically made for a possible occupy movement. lol. And thus, we stand no chance as they have long prepared for us quite some time ago. lol. We will get spayed with what they refer to as the ‘Mega Motherload X’..and you don’t even wanna go there…lol.

          • Angela says:

            My hope is that the era is passing, and new perfumes will start to follow new trends. I know there will always be fruity orientals, and that’s how it should be, but hopefully not so many all at once.

  21. poodle says:

    I love the bottle but this scent is of no interest to me. I just got a bottle of Coco and I will happily pass on this version. I don’t like Coco Madmoiselle either. How is grapefruit noir? Chanel could have hit it out of the park with this and instead they give us another bottle of the same old junk that everyone else is making. Sad really.

    • Angela says:

      Coco Noir isn’t bad, it’s just nothing special that just happens to be well made. But still nothing special. At least we have Coco. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

      • daydreamer says:

        You know, I have a sample of CN, and if you don’t think of it as CHANEL, or “noir” it is perfectly likable, but not a great perfume. I agree it is “expensive conformism”–what a great phrase. You are correct that perfume companies don’t make perfume for “people like us”, but if you think of great perfumes like great books, it eases the onslaught of sameness. Great perfumes, like great books, don’t come along very often.

        • Angela says:

          I love that analogy, and as you point out, if Coco Noir were sold without the chic packaging and Chanel logo I wouldn’t be quite as disappointed.

  22. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    Thank you so much for this eloquent review, Angela. I adore your style of writing. The first paragraph was pure genius! DisneyLand Noir make me think of the Haunted Mansion ride…. now that would be a pretty awesome perfume :)

    While the bottle for Coco Noir is the most beautiful and lust worthy perfume bottle ever, I did not have such high hopes for the juice. I had a feeling for the start that it would be a cross between Coco and Coco Mademoiselle, minus the distinctiveness of either of them. Coco Noir was pretty and well crafted, do not get me wrong, it is just very boring. It did accomplished one thing…. it made me realize I need to buy a bottle of Coco asap for myself, now that I am 24 and feel mature enough to pull it off! I can see Coco Noir being very popular this holiday season. It is definitely better than most of the other new mainstream perfumes released this year.

    • Angela says:

      At 24, I was definitely wearing Coco and loving it. It’s a great one for cool weather–elegant but loaded with spicy texture.

      • ChocolatEyes613 says:

        I have loved Coco since I was a little girl. It was my mother’s sexy, special occasion perfume. It smelled glorious on her…. still does. Coco is the perfume I smell every time I pass the Chanel counter.

        • Angela says:

          Then it’s your family legacy to wear it!

          • ChocolatEyes613 says:

            Angela, you need to trademark Kitty Noir! Else, Katy Perry will use it for her next “perfume”.

          • Angela says:

            That’s hilarious! I bet you’re totally right, and she’ll do Kitty Noir within 18 months.

  23. mina says:

    The VANILLA ruined it….it gets too sweet.
    Do love the bottle though.

    • Angela says:

      It does get mighty sweet. I just smelled the tip of my sample vial, and Coco Noir actually smells nice from it. Almost nice enough to tempt me to spritz myself, but not quite.

  24. DIVA1947 says:

    I like all of chanel Can’t wait to try this new perfume.

    • Angela says:

      I hope you love it! It’s sounds like you’re a big Chanel fan.

  25. nozknoz says:

    “an elegant rendition of purple fruit, soap and patchouli” – SNORT!

    Let’s hope they sell thousands (to people we don’t have to hang out with) and the empty bottles start showing up on ebay soon! ;-)

    • Angela says:

      Ah, those bottles. I’ve become such a snob about perfume! When I smelled Coco Noir, I kept thinking of that foul Beckham signature thing from a few years ago. At least that one had actual purple-colored juice.

  26. NinaraPoll says:

    *sad sigh* Businesswise, I’ll applaud Chanel for producing something they know will sell to both brand-conscious t(w)eens and the average American housewife who wants to feel daring, but artwise, I want to cry, especially since Coco is one of my lifelong loves (I think my first encounters with it were when I was 7 or 8, one of my aunts had a huge splash bottle of it and some other Chanels, and I’d sneak little sniffs and dabs). I’ll try to not pass judgment until my isolated little corner of the US gets it and I can test it for myself.


    • Angela says:

      Do try it and let me know what you think. You might love it, who knows? Like I said, I bet it sells well.

  27. thenoseknows says:

    There is it seems one essential fact that seems to kept being missed here… Chanel, God Love It, outside of Karl’s Kookiness is a BUSINESS. It’s a COMPANY ran to make as much money as it can to satisfy the demands and expectations of The Wertheimer Family! now, Saying that… the company is probably ACUTELY aware of the way the winds are blowing at any given moment in the Area of Fragrance and Beauty (for years they never had foundations suitable for Women of Colour because it was supposed not the market of HIGH END Cosmetics, but now, because there are a lot more (SCADS, Really) of women of Colour spending big bucks in that area they now have shades for them) and know that, as sad and deplorable as it may be that sticky, sweety, Patchouli Laden Fragrances are dominating the market, they’d be UTTERLY Asinine to not tap into that vein! Does Chanel as a company already have more money than they know what to do with, Well Shit Yeah! but when has that ever stopped any Business from trying to tap into the Zeitgeist?

    I think that the name is somewhat confusing to people and i have to say… i think i blame those going in because of the name expecting something that the fragrance may never ever have intended to make good on! someone mentioned how Dahlia Noir is not a “NOIR” Fragrance at all, because it’s a little too light and Fruitchouli for it’s own good to be considered… “NOIR” but in reality, it was not Tisci’s Desire to create a DARK Fragrance, only to evoke a Dark IDEA! Dahlia Noir is not as many think it, Safe and Boring and Sparkling. There is a true Undercurrent, let me say, at least to my nose, of something Less than Fruity and Sweet and Leger! there is that feeling of a something less than “RIGHT” Vein running through that scent, something just ever so Slightly…. OFF! I can’t put a finger on it. and it’s slightly heightened in the Eau De Toilette version (Perversely enough) and that’s the word i am looking for… there is a Twist of the PERVERSE in that fragrance, which in turn may not “SMELL” NOIR but does come off…. DARK!

    Sometimes, I feel, Scents are meant to EVOKE not PORTRAY Feelings, it’s all in the strange miasma that is scent that it can EVOKE certain feelings rather than outright Simulate them! I mean, Take, Shall we say, Paris by Saint Laurent…. Does it SMELL Like Paris? well… If Paris is Full of Turkish Roses and Violets… then Maybe… But Paris Evokes a FEELING of the City. Not the SMELL of the City. Not Literal, but Figurative… I mean not everyone is as Literal as Serge Lutens is, even when he is being Abstract he’s Literal! So, I think the perception of Coco Noir was that is was going to take that Dark, Shady Lady that is Coco (A Masterpiece of the Highest Caliber) and perhaps through the prism of how scent tastes are today, maybe Skankify her just a little bit to make her MORE “NOIR” (but really, does “Coco” Need to be more “NOIR”???? I think the original is quite Deliciously Dark in itself!) and that expectation has thrown the proverbial Monkey Wrench in the works… from the sound of Mon Angel’s Review the fragrance seems quite well done… which in this day and age of Slapdash Scents (Beiber, Anyone????? Aguilera…. Anyone???? Kardashian?????? ANYONE??????) seems to be High Enough Praise, but to satisfy perfumnistas tastes these days it would seem that it was more damning with faint praise than anything…. seemingly anything less than Niche Brand or Something from the Amouage Stable are thrown under the carriage wheels to be trampled by the horses! Look how Bleu De Chanel was So Evilly Maligned…??? or 19 Poudre? Or Jersey? All Beautifully Executed scents in my book, Bleu being one of the fragrances i never ever fail to get a compliment on and No.19 Poudre to me is just EXCEPTIONALLY Beautiful!

    Polge is getting torn assunder because he is making the best of the bad situation he is thrown into… he can’t calibrate some radical genius scent like Niche Brands, he has too many people to answer to. He has to Ply his Genius within specific boundaries dictated to him by Chanel Execs… and within those limitations to be producing such Outstanding work as he is, with his creativity being stifled as it is, really must be taken into account! I haven’t Smelled Noir… My Expectations are Quite High for it, and i am not looking for it to Break any new Ground, this isn’t the Climate of Age for that to happen at Chanel… the time shall return, all things are cyclical… and perhaps the Hauteur of the Perfumnista, for whom it takes something this side of Beethovinan to impress with may start the tide turning back to where the noses are Free to make Art like they once did. However, that time is not hence, so we must navigate to the Islands of Beauty where we can, and not be so…. Judgmental of These Potions… I mean, yes, Beiber’s stuff is Dreck, No two ways about it, It’s Like Candy and Soap had a baby and Kim Kardashian should be shot (Just On G.P. Really) for Aping Fracas in her signature fragrance in such a Wan, Thin, Pale, Lifeless imitation!

    Chanel Has A Pedigree to Uphold, Even the Execs know that, and Maybe they decided to Latch onto that Purple Fruitchouli Train at this moment to pad their coffers some more, hey if there is a market out there for it and money being spent on it, why not spend some of that money at Chanel! But I can be well assured in the Knowledge that if it is a Purply-Patchouli-Fruity Salade of a scent… it’s probably one of the best you’ll smell. And Again, Darkness through light revealed… Sounds like the scent May Just EVOKE that idea rather more so than PORTRAY it…. You Think!??!?

    • Dilana says:

      Golly, you are feeling really passionate. I’m a little confused by some of your statements. I thought Channel was an LMHV company. Is there someone else who owns it?

      As for the fragrances, I smelled it this weekend. I thought it smelled okay, a chocolately rose. (The chocolate being the “noir”), Not an immediate wow, but this was on aftternoon when I was smelling the export line for Serge Lutens.

      Remember most buyers think of Channel and the perfume counters at Macys (with all their celeb and clothing brand fragrances) as elite, with Channel as probably the most elite. When a big brand joins a trend or does something similar to what niche brands did a few years earlier, it seems new to these buyers. But then isn’t that the way the “avant gard” becomes mainstream in every field.

      So for Channel Noir, it seemed well done, and even a little elegant compared to what is often sold through this market (Maybe it was unfair to sniff a magazine strip, but La Belle En Vie, another major “class” release this month, seemed like a bad peach soda to me).
      Channel Noir struck me as a respectable valentine’s day gift etc., sort of purchase.

      And if you think Channel’s market strategy discriminates against women of color, why would you want to buy anything from this brand? There are a lot of cosmetic companies out there, and a lot of good foundations.

      • Angela says:

        Chanel is one of the few luxury companies that’s still family owned. It’s pretty amazing, really.

        Do try Coco Noir from a tester if you get the chance. Those scent strips can be misleading, I think, and there’s a lot more going on with Coco Noir than a test strip can tell. But you do get a good look at that beautiful bottle in the photo at least!

    • Angela says:

      As always, I love your passionate comments! You’ve thought about this a lot. I think human nature–my nature, at least–is to hope for magnificence. And when it’s a company like Chanel that’s putting out, I hope for the stars! I mean, if a company that specializes in drugstore “smell-alike” scents (you know, “if you like Ralph Lauren Romance, you’ll love Honeybuns”) put out something that smelled like Coco Noir, I’d faint with pleasure. Chanel is cursed by being top rung, and so I hope beyond hope my socks will be knocked off. And while Coco does that for me, Coco Noir doesn’t.

      I’m not sure Coco Noir really evokes “noir” either. Do try it and tell me what you think, though!

      • Merlin says:

        I think one thing the term ‘noir’ should imply – especially when attached to Coco – is that the scent will be even more dramatic. Yes, Coco is already dramatic, so we expect extra dramatic from Coco Noir. Otherwise they would have done better to call it L’eau de Coco/ Coco Sport/ Dolce Coco or something that just suggested an updated, modernised version.

        • Angela says:

          You know, Dolce Coco would have been absolutely perfect!

          • hollyc says:

            I have not yet smelled it, but am interested to note that it smelled “purple” which is the exact reaction I had to Narcisse Noir . . . grape Koolaid. Bleccchh! I loved that Tanya Sanchez said “how can you properly ruin a man’s life while wearing this stuff” (please forgive slight inaccuracies I am at cottage without my book. But my point is anything noir should be NOIR! Film noir is not slapstick comedy and Coco Noir should not be purple. Anything ‘noir’ should smell slightly dangerous. If we are to forgive all companies for jumping on the dumb down train, we get what we deserve. Don’t even care if I sniff it. Must run, my “niche” train is pulling out of the station and I’m jumping on . . . .

          • Angela says:

            Did you try the extrait? Because to me that one is tarry black in feel.

      • thenoseknows says:

        You’ll Be the Very FIRST To Know, Mon Angel! ;-D

        • hollyc says:

          No Angela, I didn’t and now I must. If you say it’s tarry black, then it must be. Sigh, there must be a cure for this addiction.

          • Angela says:

            Oh, believe me, I know! I should add that I’m not sure what the current extrait is like.

  28. sweetgrass says:

    I have a Kitty Noir.. he’s a black cat born on Friday the 13th. No joke. There’s gotta be an omen about that or something, right? lol
    It would’ve been even more perfect if it were October 13 to tie in the Halloween thing too, but it was June 13.. ah well.. can’t have it all. He does the sinister look pretty well, though.

    Anyway.. I like the original Coco, but I’ll probably give this a pass.. fruit, soap and patchouli doesn’t sound like a winner to me.

    • Angela says:

      I love animals! Give Kitty Noir a kiss for me.

      My boss, on smelling Coco Noir on me, called it “clean.” I wouldn’t go that far, but that’s how much musk is in it.

  29. annemarie says:

    I smelled this yesterday in a Chanel boutique in Brisbane (Australia). I had been perfume sniffing for about the previous hour so I could hardly smell Coco Noir. A bit of a nice citrusy opening was all I perceived.

    But I asked the SA how it differed from the original Coco. She told me that Coco is a ‘spicy oriental’ whereas Coco N. is an ‘enveloping oriental’. She used this term ‘enveloping’ a few times – as I guess she had been trained to do – until finally I asked her what she meant. ‘All perfume is “enveloping” ‘, I suggested to her.

    Ignoring my slightly sharp tone, if she had noticed it all, she went on to explain that Coco is spicy and sweet, but Coco Noir is lighter, more floral, and different because of the geranium. I like geranium, so I let her off any more cynical questions and agreed that the combination sounded nice.

    But really: ‘enveloping’? What an absurd description. How stupid do they think their customers are? Do they think that because it is Chanel we are going to bow down and worship everything they say and do?

    Thanks for the review!

    • Angela says:

      “Enveloping” huh? I think I like Chanel’s other word for it, “luminescent” better. After all, what’s the alternative for enveloping?

      • Merlin says:

        uh, ‘engulfing’! I guess that wouldn’t sell many bottles – LOL!

        • Angela says:

          Engulfing is nearly as bad as “suffocating.”

      • annemarie says:

        ‘Go no place’? No, not a good selling point.

        • Angela says:

          True! “Dormant,” “flat,” or, worse, “comatose.”

  30. solanace says:

    Thank’s for the delightful review, Angela. This one isn’t getting any skin of mine, despite of the gorgeous bottle…

    • Angela says:

      I don’t want to scare you away from trying it, though! At least on a strip.

  31. rickbr says:

    I’d say that the original Coco is already Noir even if they don’t name it this way. I wasn’t also impressed with this one either, but to be honest i find it quite good – a fragrance less to desire and buy lol
    I completely agreed with you on the purple thing, this one has that purple berrish aroma that it’s not in your face but it’s there and you can find it easily if you pay attention.

    • Angela says:

      I agree–the original Coco is wonderfully noir as it is. It’s one of my favorites. As you say, one less fragrance to buy is fine with me!

  32. Merlin says:

    I’v loved Coco for a couple of years, but not worn it for a while and have just given myself a quick spritz. I have to say it does strike me as a little on the severe side. Not quite sure what is responsible for this impression. The new one probably goes a bit too far in the other direction – but I’ll have to try it anyway!

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, you need to try it! Especially if the original is feeling too severe.

      • Merlin says:

        Although now, an hour later or so, it has softened…and I remember why I loved it so much!

  33. Abyss says:

    Tried it this afternoon and, well, Angela, you are very diplomatic :D Utterly banal and forgettable is how I would describe it. Frankly, it needs that bottle since the packaging is its only redeeming feature. Urgh.

    • Angela says:

      But it was banal in the best possible way, don’t you think?

  34. SmokeyToes says:

    Hi Angela!
    By all accounts, I should adore Coco Noir, it has all the notes I wear well, (patchouli and musk especially), but frankly, I was a bit underwhelmed. It didn’t develop well on my skin at all. I figure it’s money saved, I already have Borneo by SL and Noir de Noir and Black Violet by TF.

    • Angela says:

      You already have some winners that are particularly noir, true. Money saved!

  35. ajuarez says:

    Went by my NM over the weekend and it wasn’t out to be tested yet. I asked the sales rep and she immediately took me to the corner and “shhhh, shhh, don’t talk about it till next week, this is so secretive and we are not even suppose to talk about it until then”. that was all I got.

    • Angela says:

      They were pretty secretive about it at my Nordstrom, too. Usually there’s a tester around somewhere they’ll let me sniff, but not this time. Funny, considering that so many reviews of it were already out there!

      • hollyc says:

        Oooooh, oooooh, betcha they’re already reformulating it to be cheaper, um I mean broadly appealing to the masses, er . . . . have a higher profit margin . . . .Better stock up before Chanel hires Richard Fraysse.

        • Angela says:

          I was thinking it was some kind of PR thing–you know, keep this fragrance Top Secret until the release date…

          • hollyc says:

            Sorry for the horrid cynicism. I promise not to post at least until I’ve had my second cup of coffee. I think I get extra cranky at the thought of my favorite fragrance house abandoning its impeccable standards. I should go a little easier on them just because of the exclusifs. . .

          • Angela says:

            I like it that you’re passionate about it! I still have a lot of faith in Chanel, and Polge and Sheldrake are pretty great. It’s Coco Noir that doesn’t excite me a lot, but at least it doesn’t irritate me. When I get testy, I remember Coco (Polge’s work), Sycomore (Polge/Sheldrake I think), and some of the others I love, and I feel better.

  36. OperaFan says:

    I’ve never been a fan of black (or opaque) bottles in general because it’s hard to assess how much is left inside. Shaking is not helpful because the glass is usually too heavy. That said, I think that because black bottles are so popular (and I still believe Coco is a viable fragrance for this day and age), Chanel really missed the opportunity to re-promote the original perfume, packaged in this, perhaps “limited edition” bottle. Maybe it’s a fantasy, but I really think they would have been on to something.

    I will admit that I’ve refused to try Coco Mademoiselle because the list of notes have always held me at bay, especially when the SAs promote it as the “world’s best seller.” I’m not likely to try this so-called “Noir” version either. It sounds like part of the mass effort to dumb down the consumers.

    Loved what you wrote: “I’ll take the original Coco and get my noir elsewhere.” Think I’ll do the same….


    • Angela says:

      One thing I like about dark bottles is that I don’t worry so much about the fragrance spoiling from light. But you have a good point! I agree, too, that “this is our most popular seller” has never been a big selling point for me.

  37. Owen says:

    I sniffed this today. and I knew it wasn’t a proper Chanel-like perfume because I actually like it! and I’m not a fan of most of Chanel’s fragrances. I love the bottle too!

    it reminds me a little bit of Illamasqua Freak, though Coco Noir has more body and dimension. but it isn’t very strong and it’s been on my skin less than 3 hours and it has nearly faded. but that was just one spray.

    it’s also think it’s ridiculously expensive! it costs more than other Chanel perfumes. I was going to buy it before I saw the price. I don’t think it smells very feminine either, but it would make a great night time perfume for going out! something I’ve been looking for, now I have 2 to choose from – Coco Noir and Freak :)

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you like it! I love your comment that you knew it wasn’t a proper Chanel because you liked it. I haven’t tried Freak yet, but you’ve made me curious.

      • Owen says:

        I couldn’t believe it, I thought “wow! this doesn’t smell like a Chanel at all, but I like it”! but then again, most Chanels are too old for me, which is why I’m not keen on them. you can tell it is has been created very well though. I might have to buy the 50ml of this, maybe find it cheaper on eBay. I can still smell the tiniest trace on my wrist after 10 hours. so it has lasting power.

        I do like some Chanels though: I like bleu de Chanel, after I got over that it isn’t anything out of the ordinary or unexpected. I like Allure Homme Sport and Platinum Egoiste(?) the Chance range is nice and my mum likes it, but they are like many other perfumes out there. she also like Coco Mademoiselle, which suits her.

        I will try Freak and Coco Noir next to each tomorrow and let you know if they merge ;)

        I just thought I’d add – I ordered Lady Gaga’s Fame today after looking round Leeds and not finding it anywhere. it must be online exclusive. so I haven’t sniffed it yet, my first un-sniffed purchase. I’m a huge fan of her so I hope it smells good. I know it won’t be something spectacular, but I heard it smells nice. I got free body lotion with it too! :D

        • Angela says:

          I’m really curious about the Lady Gaga fragrance! I like her ethic, and I defy anyone not to dance to her music. I’ve been following the Born This Way foundation, too, and have a lot of admiration for her work there.

          As one of the other commenters noted, Coco Noir is likely to be around for a while, so at least there’s no rush to get a bottle if the money isn’t readily available!

  38. AnnS says:

    Angela: Thank you so much for this review. Since I am a die hard Coco fan, I have been so curious about this, even to the point of nearly ording a bottle unsniffed. But I saw such mediocre reviews around the internets…. (even comparing it to TF Black Orchid, which is a real doozie!, and JS Fancy Nights, which I have.) So I am disappointed, but it only makes me love my Coco more. If I want “noir” I’ll just save up for a bottle of FM Noir Epices, which is so much like Coco. Or spend the extra few dollars and buy another bottle of Coco parfum. And, you know that Bottega Veneta from last year was so well done with fruits and patchouli…. I can see why Chanel needs to compete on this level, but it is rather disappointing for us serious Chanel fans.

    I will add here, that if there is ONE good thing that I believe emerged from the Coco Noir launch, it is that the Coco bath bar soap is back on the market. It disappered for well over a year, et voila, suddenly it’s around again. Or, I suppose, someone at Nordstrom found a box of them in a corner of the warehouse. Either way, I’m happy to see it back at Nordstrom dot com…

    • Angela says:

      I used to have one of those soaps! That’s great.

      I’m glad you didn’t order this one unsniffed. Have you been able to smell it yet?

      • AnnS says:

        I probably won’t get to sniff until Xmas time if they have it at our local small Macy’s, or I get lucky and receive a sample in a package from Nordies…. I’m not agonizing about it though. With Chanel, I can trust it will be around for a while, so eventually I’ll get to it.

        • Angela says:

          You must be in a tiny town! Well, I look forward to hearing what you think once you do get the chance to sniff it.

  39. Omega says:

    Someone bring back the era of 80’s /90’s bombs:). I am seeking older scents more and more. I loved those more complex scents of those times. And weren’t afraid to be bombastic either.

    At least I have gotten to try a few older ones and really have found some I liked as a result of this fruity musk madness goin on.

    • ChocolatEyes613 says:

      I agree, wholeheartedly…. bring back the 80’s/90’s era bombs! If one finds them “overpowering”, use less spays. Everything is always better in moderation.

      • Angela says:

        Just a dab is perfect with lots of them!

    • Angela says:

      There are lots 1980s, here-I-am, ta-da! fragrances out there, too. Besides Poison, Giorgio, and Opium, don’t forget Boucheron, Mainboucher, Rumba (a good one), Samsara, and–oh, I know I’m forgetting lots.

  40. eminere says:

    So disappointing.

    • Angela says:

      I admit I’d hoped for something a little different…

      • eminere says:

        The bottle was a little plasticky in real life too.

        • Angela says:

          Probably the cap was the weak point for me. I like the shape but wanted something heavier.

  41. TwoPeasInAPod says:

    I am so disappointed. I, too, love Coco and was really hoping for something dangerous out of Noir.

    • Angela says:

      We still have the original Coco–that one has some mystery about it.

  42. Chloie9 says:

    Reading this review and comments has only served to solidify my belief that I actually just need to break down and get a bottle of Coco already….though I would like to at least give Coco Noir a try.

    • Angela says:

      You might as well try Coco Noir–who knows? You might end up preferring it. But if you don’t you can write it off and go for the original (my choice).

  43. kikiduck says:

    I am soooo disappointed in this re-interpretation (flanker) of Coco. I had hoped for darker, richer, sultrier and I got a dumbing down of CM, which I’ve never loved as much as Coco. I am sorry to be so negative, but I had really high hopes for this frag and it just didn’t work for me. I’ve neve been much for flankers (there is the rare exception – I kind of like Eau Premiere), but I’m not feeling the love here. I hope this one works for others.

    • Angela says:

      I don’t know why I keep forgetting about Eau Premiere. It’s a good one, and, like you, I don’t usually hold out much hope for flankers, either.

  44. MoodScent says:

    I love the bottle of Coco Noir! But unfortunately I am also disappointed by the scent… It has no staying power on me at all! Somehow it reminds me of Dior’s Midnight Poison but CN being lighter… I used Coco Chanel many years ago and I think I will buy that one instead of Noir… What a shame. I was really looking forward to this one!

    • Angela says:

      I think you echo the opinion of lots of the commenters here! Oh well, the original Coco is wonderful enough.

      • MoodScent says:

        Don’t you think it’s like Midnight Poison by Dior, but maybe less sweet?

        • Angela says:

          In my mind’s eye, I definitely see the comparison, but I need to smell Midnight Poison again–it’s been too long!

          • Barbara says:

            I actually gave Noir a 2nd chance… In the shop I sprayed a generous amount around my neck and on my wrists and on the way home I really liked it on myself! I must say it’s not a typical Chanel scent, it’s different, but I like it as a modern and warmer winter version of Mademoiselle… The staying power is, however, not very good on me. Still, I might end up buying Noir after all…

          • Angela says:

            I’m glad it’s working well on you! Sometimes it’s really worth giving something a second–or third–chance.

  45. ami says:

    ‘teddy bear noir’ : )))))
    made my month Angela : )

    • Angela says:

      Kind of a creepy image, huh?

  46. Subhuman says:

    If nothing else, Sheldrake’s quote about Chanel scents “represent(ing) an era” seems accurate. Regardless of Coco Noir’s artistic value, it is entirely of this era – that of the soapy fruitchouli – and arguably represents it to the nth degree.

    The current version of Coco is a shade too polite and floral for Mata Hari, I think, and I’ve discovered that Coco Mademoiselle smells better on other people than on me, where it’s all fruity shampoo with a dash of musk. (On others it’s an austere, yet warm, slice of floral chypre heaven. Screw you, others.) I hold out little hope for Noir after reading these advance reviews…but then, Jaques Polge’s Chanel creations have done little to nothing for me, and they seem to be getting more milquetoast with each passing year. (Time for a personnel shuffle in the venerable House, methinks.) The idea of Coco Noir appeals immensely – and that bottle! My gah! – but I can no longer count on Chanel to deliver the goods.

    • Angela says:

      I think Les Exclusifs are worth knowing, and I like Eau Premiere a lot, but Chanel hasn’t had a straight line of recent hits for me, either.

  47. ggperfume says:

    I’ve just been re-reading your pearls, Angela, and I must say – someone needs to make a Disneyland Noir perfume. Better yet, you can write a Disneyland Noir novel, then issue the eponymous perfume!

    • Angela says:

      I can see it now–Mickey goes wild and robs Fort Knox to try to impress Minnie, who has taken a recent shine to Goofy. One dark night….

    • Nile Goddess says:

      Hehehe hold on to that idea until the next Eaux Faux competition … :-D

  48. longlegs2 says:

    I finally tried this at Bloomingdales last night. I asked for a sample, but they did not have one. I love Coco and was really looking forward to trying Coco Noir. Well, I sprayed 4 sprays, neck and arms. It was nice, but not Coco. I dab that on pulse points and my eyes roll back in my head. It dissappeared in less than 3 hours on me. Kind of dissappointed. Maybe I will try again if I can get a sample.

    • Angela says:

      What a drag that it disappeared so fast on you! It lasted a long time on my skin, but I truly think that was because of one of the unwritten laws of perfumery–that is, if you’re not wild about a perfume, it was adhere to your skin like epoxy.

  49. Nile Goddess says:

    I’ve tried it many times and it seems to be haunting every fragrance shop in every mall. And considering “noir” is now the trend (Hugo Boss Minuit, Lady Gaga Fame with the black juice) the concept is hardly groung-breaking.

    Whatever the ad says, this is a mix of Coco Mademoiselle the screechy opening) and Chanel Allure Sensuelle (in the drydown) If this was a vodka martini, it would be the James Bond version, shaken not stirred. And a lot more boring.

    Am now on the look for an autumn fragrance and have tried the original Coco versus Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant but what ‘m after is something the way Opium used to be … wish me luck eh :-)

    • Angela says:

      I know just the sultry, spicy goodness you’re lucking for–Good luck! DSH did a recreation of the original Opium for the YSL retrospective in Denver. That might be one to try.

  50. Total bummer. Coco is one of my favorites, and I haven’t looked forward to a flanker this much in years. I was hoping for a gothic night in a bottle…perhaps a refined TF Black Orchid…sigh…

    • Angela says:

      My reaction exactly.

  51. JCline says:

    This makes me sad, I love Coco and was quite excited about this. Noir seems to be the buzz word in fragrances right now. Will any of them live up to the name?

    • Angela says:

      That’s such a good question! I guess time will tell, but I’m not holding my breath.

  52. Andreea says:

    So this was for me also disappointing – no soap, but a mixture of Coco Mademoiselle Extrait (top notes) and a very deffensive Coco EdP.

    Nice and wearable – but with a hefty price tag. I rather buy a Extrait at the same price (Allure oder Coco Mademoiselle) – also nice, but at least a bit more special.

    I am afraid Chnael will not bring anything new in the future either, they badly need commercial successes to finance Lagerfelds afshion shows ;-)

    • Angela says:

      Maybe it’s Choupette’s (Lagerfeld’s cat) fancy care that’s eating up the money!

  53. kate says:

    I made a special journey to try this new one from Chanel and after reading the reviews I was hoping to contradict most of them. So it was with an open mind that I sprayed from that delicious black bottle and then I waited a second or two before inhaling this controversial perfume and its……………………………FLAT!!! I get a top edge of Coco Mademoisells only slightly more sharp and then nothing – just general semi-floral. Its boring, overpriced and such a disappointment. I’ve been wearing Chanel’s of various types for about 30 years and this is a non – starter for me. SUCH a waste of a massive opportunity for Chanel with an iconic bottle and name. I could have done better myself with a few essential oils and some vodka. I think Chanel has gone astray and are selling out to cash in. Well I won’t be buying this one.

    • Angela says:

      I really have to wonder if Chanel bent to what it thought the market wanted–when in fact the market often doesn’t know what it will love until it comes to them. Where is the focus-group-busting artistry that brought us No. 5?

  54. kate says:

    I agree Angela. The iconic perfumes of the latter half of the 20th Century changed the direction of the market and what we bought. Think of Opium, Issy Mayake, Angel and then Coco Mademoiselle which was originally brought out as a flanker to Coco. No-one can predict the way something will sell or appeal and I think an iconic perfume succeeds because it reflects back to us something that is IN that time or just out of reach. So now is a time of recession and thrift for most of us and looking back to the early part of the 20th century, which was a time of huge poverty and depression – that was when some of the greats of the perfume world were first marketed and are still standing today. Mitsouko, 1919 L’heure Bleu 1912, No5 1921 to name but a few. So maybe the focus-group-artists at Chanel should come up with something that is total luxury that reflects a longing for better times – something that embodies hope and honour amidst the falling standards. Basically most of the reivews above (and I’ve read them all) are disappointed in the LACK of depth and “darkness” that emanated from that delicious black bottle. I think the ingredients that were used for this perfume are cheaper than something that required a little more thought and care and maybe Chanel thought they could get away with another Mademoiselle type fragrance. To me it smells of deceit. A promise that was broken. Like a lover who looked great but was rather a let down. Oh dear!

    • Angela says:

      This is such a fascinating comment–thank you! Maybe today the grand old names are mall-fare, and it’s now the niche houses that took on the goal of bringing us luxury and something new. At least we have Vero Profumo, Ormonde Jayne, Frederic Malle, Tauer, etc. to bring us something intriguing to smell, whether we end up loving it or not.

  55. Mihaela says:

    I’m coming late to this party, but this is my 2 cents: Coco Noir is a perfume made for people who have absolutely no idea or knowledge on perfumes. People who don’t know what a chypre, patchouly or middle note is. This kind of people looove Coco Noir ( I’m not implying people should have deeper knowledge in parfumery, I’m just stating the target market for this noir thing.). I’m sure it will sell well, because I’ve seen lots of women raving about it. Not parfumistas but nevertheless, perfume buyers. They type of client who has on average one or 2 perfumes only, and uses tem on rotation, who does not test new releases and does not care much for the perfume world. This type of client loves Coco Noir a lot and even thinks of it as the new “signature” ( that means they will stop buying Angel or Gaultier Classique and the’ll get Coco Noir instead). Coco Noir smells like a smoother, better blended Allure Sensuelle XXI century style. To me it gave a massive headache and an urge to wash my wrists with loads of hot water and plain soap. My husband told me it smelled like a rich burgeois lady in an old black&white French movie. “Is this wrong? ” I asked him. He said: ” Yes, because it lacks imagination. It’s expensive conformism in a bottle”.

    I tried Coco Noir 3 times. Apart from the scrubbing fantasy and the headahe I was touched by the complete lack of subtlety in its compositions. We could all call ourselves “noir” if we clad in all-black and dye our hair black , but it wouldn’t really made us “noir”, only delusional…

    • Angela says:

      You’ve made a very perceptive comment about perfume and marketing. In my enthusiasm for perfume, I’ve almost come to resent companies that let me down with “expensive conformism,” as you write. But I guess those perfume companies aren’t making product for me, anyway! The larger market is the less knowledgeable and less experienced consumer. It’s a shame, but I guess it’s business.

  56. kate says:

    I’ve heard thro the grapevine and other perfume sites that the sillage has been overhauled and Coco Noir is in fact slightly altered – already! Maybe after all the negative press the powers that be at Chanel decided that they’d better do a quick re-vamp. I havn’t tried it yet as I’ve only just found out but I’d be interested to know if anyone else has recently tried Coco Noir and spotted a difference??

    • Angela says:

      How interesting! I’d assumed it was selling like hotcakes. I smell it all over.

  57. knightswhosaybeep says:

    “Menace” and “seduction” are definitely two words that I would associate with the word “noir” or anything labeled as such.

    Granted, I was a bit tired the night that I tried it, but to me it had an aquatic vibe, and was very fresh – to me that doesn’t translate as “noir.”

    • Angela says:

      Coco Noir is one of those fragrances I respect but am not drawn to wear. Still, I’ve smelled it on others and loved it. I suppose I’d wear it if it magically appeared on my dresser, but I wouldn’t shell out for it.

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