In Pursuit of Perfume: Coco Mademoiselle

Today when I skimmed by the deserted perfume counter at Macy’s, I didn’t have any specific perfume in mind. I cruised around, sniffing bottles until one caught my fancy. I’ve always  been intrigued with the Chanel family of perfumes; my mom said she used to wear No. 5 in college, and the branding is so glamorous. But every time I smell No. 5, it doesn’t seem right. Instead I tried Coco Mademoiselle.

I’ve been wearing it for over eight hours now, and I’m still not sure if I like it or not. It’s definitely growing on me. When it first hit my skin, it seemed really overpowering and almost masculine. Over time, though, it mellowed out, and I can smell more soft, floral notes. It’s so complex–I can’t really pinpoint what I like about it, or what I dislike. I suspect that the Patchouli has something to do with why it jars my nose, but that seems to be part of why I like it–the balance between toughness and femininity. I didn’t know perfume could be this complicated!

I imagine that the woman who wears this scent on a regular basis has a take-no-prisoners approach to life. She’s a tough businesswoman and a harsh critic, but has the heart of a saint. This scent doesn’t feel right for the life of a college student. It would be better for days in an office, with suits and heels and pearls.

» Breakdown: Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit. Litchi, Rose, Italian Jasmine. Indonesian Patchouli, Haitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk.

» Does it pass the brother test? Yes. The diffusion radius is pretty small, so it doesn’t invade a room.

» Verdict: Tentative thumbs up. Maybe when I have a ‘real’ job.

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