Chanel Coco Noir

(Scene opens with three Chanel executives sitting around a conference table. Or maybe being all shadowy like the fashion coalition in Zoolander. I don’t know. I’ll get back to you on this part.)

Exec 1: As you both know, Chanel has asked us for a new flanker to Coco. They want a “luminous oriental”. It’s going to be called Coco Noir. They’re giving us this gorgeous black-and-gold bottle. We’ll have access to Chanel’s exclusive supply of Grasse jasmine and rose. We’ll also be working with Jacques Polge, the perfumer who created the original Coco. I think that we can really knock this one out of the park. What have you got for me?

Exec 2: Well, we already have an excellent oriental in our Les Exclusifs line, Coromandel. We could transfer it to the mainstream line. Even though it’s a niche perfume, it’s definitely not too weird or inaccessible for mainstream tastes.

Exec 3: Ooh, we could do one of those rose-oud perfumes. Those are really popular right now.

Exec 2: No, no, we need something innovative! Something original! Something even richer and more luxurious than the original Coco! We need something that will stand the test of time against all of the disposable perfumes on the market today. We need a true fragrance masterpiece!

(The executives stare intently at each other.)

Exec 1: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Execs 2 and 3: HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

Exec 1: OH MAN YOU ALMOST HAD ME GOING THERE EXEC 2

Exec 3: I’M GONNA HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT JOKE FOR THE OFFICE PARTY BWAHAHAHAHAHA

(The executives slowly regain their composure.)

Exec 1: Eh, let’s just tell Polge to add some more patchouli to Coco Mademoiselle.

(End scene!)

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Chanel No 22

Start with the golden elegance and sparkling aldehydes of Chanel No. 5. Strip away some of its aloofness and add a seamless blend of non-sweet orange blossom, jasmine and tuberose. No. 22’s best quality is a stunning streak of incense that lends gravity to what otherwise could have been essentially a No. 5 flanker. The end result is a beautiful scent heady with mystery and glamour. Chanel No. 5 is often paired with pearls; Chanel No. 22 would go better with diamonds. No. 22 adds a touch of khol to No. 5’s mascara and red lipstick. It is the scent that Marilyn Monroe, a dazzling but not particularly classical beauty, probably should have worn.

No. 22 is part of the Le Exclusifs collection, which can be found at select Chanel boutiques, select Saks Fifth Avenues, and Bergdorf Goodman. It is only available in the EDT formulation at $200 for 6.8 ounces. The official notes from the Chanel website are: lily of the valley, neroli, aldehydes, tuberose, oriental jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, haitian vetiver and bourbon vanilla. One word of caution: as an EDT, No. 22 is not particularly strong or long-lasting.

Disclaimer: I was given a sample of No 22 by an SA at the Chevy Chase Saks Fifth Avenue, aka best Saks ever.