Coconut: 3 posts

Coconut Notes: 21 Perfumes that Take You to the Beach

Elisa explains how coconut is used in perfumes and offers 21 examples with 5 different themes. Summer fun begins here. 

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a cultural coconut renaissance. First came coconut water, touted to be a low-sugar super-hydrator, like nature’s Gatorade. (I think it’s gross; with the high potassium content, it feels like I’m drinking soup.) Then, widespread reports of the virtual all-purposeness of coconut oil: Clean your house! Remove your eye makeup! Moisturize your body! (Again, I haven’t succumbed. But if you don’t mind glistening all over and smelling like a Mounds bar at all times, more power to you.)

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If I’m skeptical of the head-to-tail approach to coconuts, I am a longtime lover of coconut scents and of coconut flesh and milk in food. It’s one of those magical ingredients, like lime or cilantro, that can completely make a dish. I love it in desserts – I still think about a bite of exceptionally moist coconut cake I had when I was 17, and Caramel Delites were always my favorite Girl Scout Cookie – but I think I love it even more in savory applications, for the unctuousness it adds to dishes like Thai curry.

In perfume, coconut is usually represented by one or more lactones – from the Latin root lact- meaning milk, lactones give a fruity, fatty creaminess to compositions. Coconut lactones can range from fresh and milky to peachy to waxy to toasted and nutty (with an almondy coumarin facet) to downright buttery, like coconut oil with butter flavoring.

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By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses : Fragrance Review

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Elisa on a surprising marriage of rose and coconut.

By Kilian, founded in 2007 by cognac heir Kilian Hennessey, is a luxury brand whose perfumes are organized into several concept collections: L’Oeuvre Noire, or Black Masterpiece, with 11 fragrances including gorgeous florals like Beyond Love and Sweet Redemption; Arabian Nights, with five variations on oud; Asian Tales, featuring lighter, more aquatic scents; and In the Garden of Good and Evil, a more feminine collection bottled in white flacons.

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Both Victoria and I have found several scents to love in these collections. But for all its attractive qualities, By Kilian could perhaps be accused of playing it safe. Without exception, the line is thoughtfully composed (by perfumer Calice Becker) of high-quality materials. What they are not, for the most part, is weird. The goal of these fragrances is to provide a very beautiful, well-made rendition of a familiar idea – the rose oud, the lavender vanilla – not to shock or surprise. (See Etat Libre d’Orange for an example of a line that sometimes favors shock value over beauty.)

But Liaisons Dangereuses  (part of the L’Oeuvre Noire collection) breaks the pattern, and “dangerous liaison,” or dangerous affair, is a useful metaphor, as it combines two notes that in theory could be disastrous: rose and coconut. It’s surprising because it’s so unexpected, and even more surprising because it works.

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Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum : Perfume Review

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Whenever I see a product described as a cult favorite, I’m instantly skeptical. The pink and green Maybelline mascara is the worst thing I’ve put on my lashes. Rosebud salve in its pretty retro tin dries out my lips. Nars Orgasm blush is just OK. The exception for me is Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil from French skincare & cosmetics firm Nuxe, and it fully lives up to its “cult favorite” label. It’s a seaside vacation in a bottle. The oil leaves skin soft and shimmering, not at all greasy, and applying the golden liquid feels like a luxury spa treatment.

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Besides the nourishing and moisturizing benefits, fans of Nuxe oil adore its frangipani and coconut perfume. It’s sophisticated and rich, a tangle of white petals and coconut flakes. I’ve always thought that it’s good enough to be in a perfume bottle, and a couple of years ago Nuxe decided to do just that. The company turned to the same perfumer who created the beloved Nuxe oil scent, Serge Majoullier, and asked him to blend Prodigieux, Le Parfum*.

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