Out of all of the modern CHANEL fragrances, Coco Mademoiselle is the most iconic. It is the Nº5 for the modern age and since its launch in 2001 it has been the fragrance of choice for an entire generation of women. It’s hard to top a perfume this successful and rather surprisingly, Coco Mademoiselle hasn’t been subjected to the flanker treatment in its almost 20 year life span (for contrast, Chance, which launched after Coco M, has three flankers) – that is until now. Enter Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense from stage right.
Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense is a good example of a perfume that does what it says on the bottle – it’s essentially a more intense version of the original. CHANEL calls it “naturally excessive” billing it as a “fragrance with no intention of being forgotten”. It’s a bold statement and to achieve this, CHANEL has amplified each of the key facets of the original – the juicy citrus, dark patchouli fraction, and the glowing amber – to paint a clearer picture of Coco Mademoiselle. Let’s see if it is as ‘Coco Mademoiselle’ and ‘Intense’ as it thinks it is!
Sicilian Orange, Calabrian Bergamot, Indonesian Patchouli, Rose, Jasmine, Tonka Bean and Madagascan Vanilla
Olivier Polge (CHANEL)
How Does it Smell?
‘Vivid’ – that’s how I’d describe my first impression of Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense. The citrus notes are wonderfully enveloping with a brightness that shimmers like lense flare. They glow with a greater sense of warmth but also feel juicier and fresher, with a greater sense of brilliance. The floral notes of rose and jasmine, which always felt like abstract, background adornments (as is the modus operandi at CHANEL) have greater prominence here, with the white creaminess of jasmine swirling sensually with the dewy sparkle of rose. So far, so VERY good.
The real star here is patchouli – a note that very much felt like a part of the chorus in Coco Mademoiselle becomes the starlet in the Intense. CHANEL in-house perfumer Olivier Polge (who here, is tinkering with the formula of his father’s original creation) wanted to “increase the proportion of fractioned patchouli” and “push it to the limit” without “altering the freshness of the top notes”. The result is a patchouli note that pulsates with energy and brings a lively contrast to Mademoiselle’s glowing citrus and opulent florals. As expected, it’s a clean patchouli (a la Coco Noir, which I’m obsessed with BTW) but it’s far from without character, lending a seductive darkness to the rebellious, free-spirited nature of Coco Mademoiselle.
But patchouli isn’t the only dial that has been turned way up in Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense, no, there’s also a greater emphasis placed on the signature amber accord which consists, in this case, of tonka bean and madagascan vanilla. Together, these notes lead the floriental Coco M signature away from the floral straight into the depths of the oriental. Surprisingly the fragrance is not sweeter, but thicker and softer with a more rounded texture, almost as if Coco Mademoiselle has fluffed up her cushions a little bit.
I am smitten with Coco Mademoiselle Intense. It delivers all that I wanted but never fully got from Coco Mademoiselle. This is Coco Mademoiselle in full Technicolor, IMAX, and 3D, served with a bumper size bucket of popcorn – it simply offers everything wonderful that the original had to offer, just more so. It’s bolder, more present, louder, and longer lasting. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense is, dare I say it, better than the original as it feels more fully-fleshed out with a greater sense of focus. I am here for it in a big, or should I say ‘intense’ (appalling pun, sorry) way!
Launching on 01 March, Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense will be available in 50ml (£82) and 100ml (£116) Eau de Parfum Intense
Sample, notes and quotes via CHANEL. Images are my own. Prices correct at time of publishing.