The success of Coco Mademoiselle took CHANEL by surprise when it launched in 2001. Created to rejuvenate the ageing Coco, which had launched 17 years prior but aged double in that time, Coco Mademoiselle’s purpose was to keep the Coco name on the shelves, which it more than did. In reality, Coco Mademoiselle’s popularity isn’t that surprising, after all, it plays a familiar tune (fruity patchouli a la ANGEL) and does it well, all whilst bearing the name “CHANEL” on its bottle. That’s pretty much a recipe for success, if you ask me.
Coco Mademoiselle presented a chic, yet bombastic, blend of sticky citrus (orange, bergamot, mandarin), sweet rose and contrasting patchouli. It riffed on ANGEL, of course, but pushed everything in a more luxurious, less challenging direction becoming a fruitchouli for the masses. I cannot deny that it’s a great fragrance, it’s just one that I’ve never personally gelled with, but then again, as a 33 year old, bespectacled and slightly stocky gay man (OK really stocky), I’m hardly the target market (“Mademoiselle” I am not).
So since 2001 we’ve had Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Toilette (2002) and the Eau de Parfum Intense (2018) (which I liked more than the original). Now we have Coco Mademoiselle L’Eau Privée, a lighter, more sheer fragrance that is meant to be worn at night time. The mood is very much satin sheets and silk lingerie in a blush shade of pink. Perfect for spritzing on when you’re wearing your flannel PJs and bunny slippers from Primark, I say. Let’s sniff.
Mandarin, Jasmine, Rose Petals and White Musk
How Does it Smell?
Coco Mademoiselle L’Eau Privée opens with a misty veil of sweet mandarin. It’s so soft and airy, one can almost see the gleaming droplets of juice shimmering in the air. In the background there is that familiar, steamy-plastic vibe that for me, is instantly recognisable as Coco Mademoiselle. The vibe is just much softer, almost as if we’re talking a bout a ‘Vaseline on the lense’ situation. It works nicely and smelling the top notes, I’m reminded just how luxurious and chic Coco Mademoiselle is – it’s one of those fragrances that smells expensive and leads one to imagine impeccably dressed women carrying CHANEL handbags that cost more than a monthly mortgage payment. It’s a good scent – there’s no denying it!
The softness carries on throughout, with the delicate nature of velvety smooth jasmine and rose petals bringing a clean, yet sweet floral character into the mix. The gargantuan patchouli note is all but gone, replaced by breeze upon breeze of billowing white musks, removing Coco Mademoiselle’s woody section and sense of contrast almost entirely, and leaving just a mere trail – a hint – of the fragrance in the air. Personally, they’ve kept all of the bits I enjoy about the perfume and dialled down those bits I found bothersome, so I can’t help but think it’s very pretty indeed, if not a little uninspiring.
It is hard to deny that L’Eau Privée is a lovely fragrance. I appreciate it for its sheer, silky rendition of Coco Mademoiselle, which really does benefit from a light touch of hand. I probably prefer it to the original but find it less compelling than the Intense, which seemed to get the balance right. My problem with L’Eau Privée is that it seems somewhat redundant, and if you own, and love our dear Coco M, I can’t see why you would need it. That said, if you’ve always found Coco Mademoiselle a tad too heavy then this version is worth a try – and don’t worry, you don’t have to wear it with your lingerie or in the night time exclusively, I think it’ll happily be paired with whatever you like, whenever you like.
Coco Mademoiselle L’Eau Privée is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau Pour la Nuit.
Images are my own. Sample (full bottle) sent by the brand for review. I was not paid for this review and the brand had no input in the content.