Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
As much as I like Parfums de Nicolaï fragrances, from the vanilla turned into sultry darkness that is SacreBleu to the warm mulled wine tartness of Pour Homme, I have to admit that a few pose a frustrating dilemma—they smell far better on paper than they do on skin. The issue is not so much a matter of body chemistry, but rather that the warmth of the skin accelerates their development, forcing evaporation to occur quicker than one would have wished. My biggest disappointment of late is Mimosaïque—on the blotter, it opens up with a green milky almond tinged mimosa that recalls vintage Caron Farnesiana. On the skin, one enjoys fifteen minutes of mimosa glory before one is left with a sharp, thin musk redolent of inexpensive shampoo. The fact that the bottle resembles a hair care container does not help matters much. …
Unfortunately, the newest fragrance from Nicolaï, Cococabana, falls into the same category as Mimosaïque. On the blotter, it is a composition that manages to balance the overly rich elements such as the heft of coconut, the creamy opulence of tuberose, the sweetness of jasmine and ylang ylang with a transparent green note that cuts through the richness. On skin, it is a greasy smear of coconut over white flower petals.
The only way to prevent the harmony of the heart from unraveling is to spray the fragrance on fabric or a clean handkerchief. Since I do not tend to carry handkerchiefs and I fear perfume stains on my clothes, I simply keep a small vial on hand and dip a blotter into it from time to time to enjoy the transition of accords. If on the other hand, I feel like wearing a sultry summer fragrance, Juste Un Rêve never fails the skin test.
Cococabana features notes of coconut, bitter oranges, ylang-ylang, tuberose, cedar wood and palm. The house has several boutiques, the locations of which can be discovered directly from Parfums de Nicolaï. Fragrances and ancillary products are available online at Beautyhabit and New London Pharmacy. European online stores that carry the line include First-in-Frangrance and Senteurs d’Ailleurs.
Update: Cococabana has been discontinued.
Coconut from kurma.net. Whatever one thinks about coconut notes in perfume, one cannot deny the beauty of coconut as a flavor. Especially when it is turned into the base of a green Thai curry or a cilantro tinged South Indian chutney.