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Monday, March 06, 2006

Perfume Review: Parfums de Nicolai Cococabana

Cococabana is the latest scent to be released by Parfums de Nicolai; it is a tropical perfume with notes of coconut, bitter oranges, ylang ylang, tuberose, cedar and palm. Its release is certainly timely in a sense that rarely does one crave an olfactory retreat to a land of eternal summer as much as in the midst of winter gloom. And yet, unluckily for Cococabana, it reached our shores more or less at the same time as Annick Goutal’s Songes. Though not exactly alike (for one, Cococabana is a sweeter, fruitier centered around a coconut accord), both paint a fragrant picture of a romantic, exotic place redolent with the smell of sultry tropical flowers, and, in my opinion, Goutal’s portrayal is more sumptuous and yet more subtle, and has more of that certain indefinable something that I can only describe as “charm”. Having said that, I do not want this to be considered a negative review. I like Cococabana. If I haven’t already fallen in love with Songes, I probably would have been much more enthusiastic about it.

The bright citrus note in the beginning of the scent is very pleasing; when the coconut note appears, the non-sweet citrus accord balances it perfectly. Cococabana becomes increasingly sweater as tuberose joins the blend; with the arrival of tuberose, the fragrance also acquires a wonderful creamy quality. It becomes sultry and languid and oh so feminine. The fragrance reaches its apogee of tropical intensity when ylang ylang comes into a play. Personally, I would have been happier without ylang ylang in the blend, but it does add an exotic touch, and, fortunately for me, does not stay too long. The drydown of Cococabana is warm and sweet and somehow very “de Nicolai”. Vanilla and Tonka bean here are whipped into the same golden creaminess as in her Sacreblue or Vanille Tonka.

Cococabana might not be as irresistibly appealing to me as Songes, but I do think it is a beautiful scent that certainly puts me in a summery mood, making me want to sing at the top of my voice:

At the Copa, Copacabana
The hottest spot north of Havana
At the Copa, Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa....they fell in looooooooove.

Cococabana is available at Beautyhabit, $70.00 for 50ml of Eau de Toilette.

Tomorrow - Pure Purple by Hugo Boss.


Blogger Trina said...

I need to try this one! The tuberose scares me, but the coconut... Luckily this is cheap enough that I don't think I'd lose *my* Tony over it :~D

2:38 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I just tried this recently, and found it nice, but a bit sweet for my taste. And I agree that it is completely eclipsed by Songes. Have a great week!

7:32 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

And even cheaper with the BH code :-)
Tuberose is not very scary here, ylang is scarier (for me).

8:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It was a little on the sweet side even for my taste. Beautiful scent, but as you said- eclipsed...

8:21 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Ah, thank you for writing about something I don't have to run out and find now! ;-) Coconut is not my thing unless it's in that cheesy tanning oil, which I like to put on at the pool on top of my SPF 50 (covers up the smell of the zinc oxide.)

9:30 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am uneasy about the coconut note myself. Usually it smells of wet cardboard one me. Here however, it is quite nice.

9:41 AM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

I am simply relieved that I am not the only one who associates this scent with Barry Manilow. If for no other reason, I could never wear this, or else I'd be torturing everyone around me with a badly rendered personal medley of Manilow songs. Because once I make it through Copacabana, it's like I'm compelled to move on to others from his oevre. Shoot, now I want to go pull out my Manilow 8-track...

3:31 PM EST  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I even had trouble wearing Just un reve due to the fact that the tiare macerated in coconut oil was too toothachingly sweet for me. So, I figured this one wouldn't be up my alley. We shall see. I also had a perhaps irrational dislike for the name, having visited the real neighborhood of Copacabana in Brazil. Call me grouchy and coconut-averse. Thanks for the review though! I love many of the less sweet Nicolais.

3:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, but that's better than the song stuck in my head, the theme from DD's favorite Dora the Explorer *moan* :-)

4:36 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You are compelled to move on to his other songs, because...:

"All, or nothing at all
half a love, never appeal to me
if your heart never could heal to me
then I rather have nothing at all
all, or nothing at all
if it's love, there is no in between ..."


4:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If you found Juste Un Reve sweet, you will most probably think Cocobana is *too* sweet. Coconut note is lovely here, but Sweet.

4:41 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Songes is so lovely. Cococaba is very nice too, but...not quite the same, right?

4:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they both sound great!I really must try Songes. I haven't found a Goutal that appeals to me yet.

5:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, maybe Songes will be the one! It is such a beautiful scent.

5:16 PM EST  
Blogger Jenny said...

I love Tuberose and in perfumes it's often combined with coconut but also with seleryseed.

By the way did anyone reed the book "Perfume a story of a murderer"? This year there will be a movie of that book. One of the cast is Dustin Hofman. Here you can find a trial of the movie

6:52 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Have only tried it once very briefly, but would agree that it is not PdN's best effort. Liked last year's Eau Exotique much better...

6:58 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The book is amazing, I hope the movie is up to the challenge! :-)

7:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't tried Eau Exotique yet. Will beg Beautyhabit for a sample with my next order :-)

7:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm... I MUST order this!! With the code, I'd be stupid to resist right???Right???? lol

12:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Right!!!! Go for it. $15 off is a good deal. And Cococabana will be lovely in spring!

12:47 PM EST  

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