Coco Noir… Light by Chanel


For many years Chanel and I weren’t getting along. I knew the brand had iconic perfumes. I knew it was well-loved and famous. I kept trying No. 5 and other perfumes again and again still wondering after each attempt what I couldn’t smell that others could.

A couple of years ago on my way home from a pleasant trip to Sonoma wineries I stopped by a perfume counter at Nordstrom (I’ve never been to that store before or after) where I met a sales associate who was really passionate about Chanel perfumes. I didn’t try any other brands that day but I left the store in an even better mood and with five Chanel samples. And that was how it started.

Chanel Coco

That Christmas  I bought my very first bottle of Chanel perfume. It was Coco. Since then I enriched my collection with numerous bottles and decants from Chanel including some Exclusifs. Some of them went much higher in my personal hierarchy. But Coco holds that special place by being the First one.

Coco by Chanel – created in 1984 by Jacques Polge; lists of notes are slightly different depending on the site, I’ll go with NST: jasmine, peach, frangipani, mimosa, orange blossom, cascarilla, rose, clove buds, angelica, labdanum, sandalwood, tonka bean, leather and opopanax.

If you want real reviews here is Angela’s (now smell this) and here is the most recent by Suzanna (Bois de Jasmin).

Three days ago I casually asked my friendly SA if she knew when they would be getting the new Coco Noir perfume and she very secretively handed me two samples saying that they weren’t supposed to show them yet, but for me… (She’s always good with me and I try to give her as much of my business as I can).

I do not trust my nose too much and I trust my ability to describe scents even less (not trying to be modest – just stating the fact) so these are just my impressions from testing Coco Noir in parallel with the original Coco.

Coco Noir is definitely Coco’s close relative – a younger sister maybe? She thinks she is all grown up and should be taken seriously; she tries really hard to be like her older sister who is effortlessly elegant and confident. But even through her thoroughly applied smokey eyes, dramatic lipstick and cynical gaze one can still see the freshness of the youth and innocence. But enough of the metaphor. In my opinion, the only “noir” part of this recent Coco flanker is the bottle – and what a beautiful bottle it is! I’m glad it isn’t dark blue or I wouldn’t have been able to resist.

Coco Noir by Chanel – created in 2012 by Jacques Polge; the notes include bergamot, grapefruit, orange, jasmine, rose, geranium, patchouli, tonka bean, vanilla, sandalwood, incense and white musk.

Coco Noir smells fresher then Coco; it is brighter because of a more prominent citrus note and it doesn’t last as long as the original version. Coco Noir is “younger” than Coco in modern perfumery sense as well – it’s fruitier and sweeter in the opening. A younger sister who prefers fruit punch on a sunny day to a glass of cognac next to a burning fireplace. If anything, Coco Noir is lighter than original Coco. But they couldn’t have used that beautiful bottle for Coco Light – right?

I do not think Coco’s fans will prefer Coco Noir and it’s not distinct enough to either justify the second bottle for a fan (unless you really want that bottle) or make a friend out of those who really disliked Coco. But if the original perfume was just a little too much for you Coco Noir might be an answer.

Victoria (Bois de Jasmin) today published a real review of Coco Noir.

Chanel Coco Noir

If you’d like a chance to win a sample of Coco Noir you have until 23:59 PST on Saturday, August 4th. You do not need to do anything, just mention in your comment if you want to be in the draw. The only condition: you have previously commented on this blog at least once (I’ll know, no need mentioning that).


Images: my own.


49 thoughts on “Coco Noir… Light by Chanel

  1. Aaargh! A new Coco? I would adore a sample! The original Coco was my second big-girl perfume, No.19 the first. Still wear the Coco. Thank you for the draw!


  2. By the time that sample would reach me, I’d have sniffed it here. So don’t enter me, but came on to say – lovely review! :) I loved the imagery of the girl in smokey eyes who loves fruity cocktails. So very accurate – probably – on the target market’s “look”.


    • Thank you, Melissa. I know that it will be available soon. But since I have the second sample that I won’t use (if I like it enough after the first sample I’ll go for the beautiful bottle) I decided to race against the official release – I’ll send it out to a winner next Monday.


  3. Here I am! I’d love to win this. I never ever go to The Big City in the Summer… so cool that you had the sample before the ‘official’ launch — and thanks so much for sharing with us!


  4. I might be the customer for this Coco!! It is because of you that I first gave Coco a serious chance, but something about me held back. She really makes a statement. So maybe Coco Noir will work for me. If so, I would be happy, because I adore that bottle. <3

    No need to enter me in the draw, but thanks for the review. You may not trust your nose or your descriptions, but I do!


    • I’m really curious to hear what you think about Coco Noir after you try it. I like all Chanel bottles (ok, almost all – Chance leaves me cold) and this one is even better!


  5. My husband loves Coco and so I still wear it. It is the only full bottle of any Chanel I have ever owned and one of the few perfumes I have ever used up and replaced . Would love to try the Noir..

    Have only tried Coco Mademoiselle once and did not like it. Have you tried it?


    • I tried it once after smelling on somebody else and liking it a lot. It’s not for me, I didn’t like how it smelled on my skin so I decided not to test Coco Noir against it. But it will be interesting to hear from those who like Coco Mademoiselle what they think.


  6. I’d really love to win this sample- It may be just for me
    I can’t “get” regular Chanel ( except no 19 and some exclusifs ) and I think I prefer “younger sisters” with “smoky eyes” so…voila
    thanks for an inspiring review


  7. It’s strange– “Coco Noir” makes me expect some kind of bitter dark chocolate scent worlds away from grapefruit and geranium. The bottle design just reinforces it. But I’m curious nonetheless. Count me in, and thank you for both the draw and a dreamy review!


  8. By the way, Undina, have you tried Egoiste? Male-marketed one from Chanel, but when I was going through the line, I was quite excited about trying it side by side with Coco.


  9. I asked one of the Chanel sales associates at a store close by if she knew when Coco Noir would be coming into the store. She looked at me like I was an idiot then said that perfume was released years ago and tried to sell me a bottle of Coco Mademoiselle *facepalm*. Anyway, this is my way of saying I’d love to be entered into the draw.


    • Oh well, uninformed and arrogant SAs – what else is new? Usually I don’t even get upset about “regular” SAs but those from “more prestige” brands who for whatever reason look down to customers seriously annoy me.

      You are in the draw.


  10. You told me everything I need to know about Coco Noir, Undina. Thank you for the excellent review.

    I’ll be sticking with the original Coco edp … and I have you to thank for reacquainting me with it. Merci beaucoup!!


    • I’ll enter you into the draw – just for the consistency ;) but I doubt you’ll like Coco Noir enough to go beyond testing.

      After testing these two in parallel I appreciate the original one even more.


    • Victoria, thank you for commenting. I really wished they’d have saved this bottle for some type of a limited/anniversary/etc. edition of the original Coco.

      By the time I came to your review everybody else said everything already and in addition to just writing a whole post on the same subject it felt somehow redundant to comment there.

      I’m guessing you do not want to be entered into the draw ;)


  11. Katie Puckrik reports that a lot of younger women (20-somethings) write in about their passionate love for Coco. So I think you’re dead on with the marketing for this: I think it’s for the FRIENDS of the women who love Coco, the friends who say “This is too much for me.” Coco Light might be a better description, but for this tattooed generation that unironically loves Goth, Noir is a better marketing name. I will be interested to see how this one does! (I have a bit coming to me already but haven’t sniffed it yet…)


    • I like Chanel, I like Coco so, in general, I wish them all the success they can get and, frankly speaking, I’d rather smell around me Coco Noir than new Miss Dior ;)

      I will be interested to hear your opinion once you try it.


  12. I’m so looking forward to trying Coco Noir myself. It still hasn’t arrive to the shelves of Poland.
    That sample looks very pretty too! Simple and elegant, like a Les Exclusif


  13. Pingback: Coco Noir « another perfume blog

  14. After reading your post, I headed straight to the dept. store I knew might have some on hand. My favorite SA gave me a sample. She says she’ll be selling it on Aug 17 and is taking pre-orders.

    I agree with everything you said about Coco noir. I was surprised at the grapefruit opening and enduring fruitiness, but I like the drydown. Next to Coco, it it less spicy with more tonka on my skin. Next to Coco Mademoiselle, it takes on a different sort of complexity, seems less bright (that’s a good thing for me) and I get a nice ashy something in the base.

    It’s a “gift-worthy” for me. I don’t want to tun out and buy it, but I”d love to receive it as gift.

    Speaking of light–it doesn’t have much sillage or longevity on my skin. But that bottle puts in a forgiving mood.


    • I would’t turn down a gifted bottle of this one! :) But yes, it disappears from my skin much faster than the original Coco.

      Isn’t that great – to have those friendly SAs who help us in our obsession? ;)


  15. Pingback: Chanel Coco Noir | The Scented Hound

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