Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Coconut Lover’s Summer

I have been on a coconut bender for a while now. Even though I adore coconut, I never get the urge to actually smell of it during the colder months of the year. My love for it remains dormant all through winter, forgetting all about it. Come summertime though, my desire for its summery scent is instantly rekindled and I once again begin craving it, finding myself looking for the perfect coconut fragrance with which to scent my body with. I must admit, I have not found The One yet. Embarrassingly, my ideal coconut scent would smell like.... Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil. There, I said it. I can’t help it; I have been lusting after its concentrated pungency for years! No, it would not be a refined smell, nor one I associate with elegance. But then again I simply cannot associate coconut with high perfumery anyway. To be frank, I am even loath to use the word ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ in the same sentence as coconut. But there you have it: It is summertime again and as I am getting ready for my vacation in August, I am stocking up on all those favorite blends with which I can make myself smell coconut-fabulous once more. All to the chagrin of my boyfriend I might add, Coconut-Hater Extraordinaire. So far, I have settled on three very different renditions of this tropical seed to take with me on holiday, making my suitcase completely summer-ready.

Azurée Soleil by Estée Lauder: This is undoubtedly my favorite of the three suitcase essentials I am taking with me this summer. A true coconut-lover’s dream, Azurée Soleil is much more complex than any other coconut scent I have tried. It is, a tropical fantasy bottled. It starts out quite fruity, with what I perceive as ripe peach. The ripeness of fruit blends beautifully with heady white florals, but while the overall impression is sweet, it manages to abstain from being syrupy or overwhelming. Instead, once again despite the sweetness, one gets the sense of a salty breeze, carrying with it the aromas of a tropical coast. Needless to say, coconut is an ever-present, prominent figure in Azurée Soleil, but not one full of supercilious, impertinent conceit that would overshadow everything else with its presence. No, despite its strong character and the central position it has been awarded in this blend, it still gallantly allows the rest of the notes to shine and charm the wearer with their own distinctiveness. Perhaps most importantly for me, there is the merest hint of something slightly animalic hidden in the depths of this blend. It is this quality that truly seduces me. Lastly, before I get carried away with what I intended to be a tiny review, I have to say that I prefer the Body Oil Spray to the atomizer. I find that is has more tenacity as well as being more sensual.

Vanille Coco by Comtoir Sud Pacifique: Vanille Coco was an impulse buy, but not one I regret. I really surprised myself with this one I have to admit, because I usually have to smell something over and over again (if I have the luxury to of course) before I buy it. One sniff was enough though, to make me rush over to the register with a big smile on my face. I wanted it. I had to have it. Why? Because it is the closest thing I have ever smelled to that elusive Hawaiian Tropic smell. Vanille Coco positively screams “Sun, Sun, Sun!” and hot, island-air on the skin. It makes me feel like I am lying on a beach, completely covered in suntan oil. (which is a good thing, because I unfortunately no longer partake in the actual, extremely pleasurable activity of sun-tanning with oil or without...It is now SPF 50+ for me and always under a huge umbrella. Who wants wrinkles?) The intense suntan-oil scent lasts for hours, I am very happy to report. But even after some hours of wear, after what initially drew me to Vanille Coco fades, I am still a happy customer. What is left, is a foody, scrumptuous smell that makes me feel positively edible. Like Amour Cacao, I find the drydown of Vanille Coco to be very reminiscent of delicious baked goods. This time around it is a crunchy vanilla cookie with chewy, grated coconut. Or perhaps a yummy coconut macaroon. Mmmmm...

Coconut Dry Oil Mist by The Body Shop: Not truly a fragrance, Coconut Dry Oil Mist from The Body Shop is still an old favorite that I simply can’t leave out. The texture itself is wonderful: It glides on the skin with slippery silkiness and leaves it soft, moisturized and shining with a beautiful soft sheen to boot. The coconut scent is not as concentrated and strong as I would have liked it to be, but subtler and perhaps a little murky. It does lightly scent the whole body though and the staying power is great, unlike other body-mists that become imperceptible ten minutes after application. Also, the fact that it is subtle, allows me to wear it all over the body – something I could never do with Azurée Soleil which would be too strong for this purpose. To this extent, it covers the body with its soft coconut scented film and makes every inch of my skin appear polished and well groomed. I also love layering it with tiny sprays of other Body Shop scents. For this purpose I use the ones specifically created as a palette to mix and match together and use up to two, over the body oil. The ones I prefer are: Citrella, Aztique, Amorito, Minteva and Beleaf. Unfortunately, from those mentioned, only Aztique and Amorito are still in production. The other three have been discontinued.

Having expressed my love for coconut I also have to add that personally, I do not really view coconut scents as appropriate for city-wear. (with the possible exception of extremely casual occasions in hot weather, but even then, I excercise caution.) They are not the height of chic, no matter which way you look at it. They are on the other hand, perfectly suited to an island getaway. My own island-getaway? I finally managed to find tickets for the island I chose to visit this year just yesterday, after a long wait. Now I am counting the days till August, discreetly smelling of coconut already. While in the house, natch.

Images courtesy of: www.deliciousorganics.com, http://fashiontribes.typepad.com and http://ile-tropicale.com


Unknown said...

So far Azuree Soleil in atominizer format is the only coconut scent I have and on me the vetiver is very prominent, making the scent very gingery on my skin and well similar a little to the scent of green curry (which i love). Have you tried Sage Machado's Onyx? I hear it is supposed to be a dark tobaccoy coconut.

Divina said...

Sage's Onyx and CSP's Coco Extreme are the next coconut scents I wanna try! They are on my 'to sample' list.

helg said...

I am averse to coconut myself (it mostly smells yucky and like synethtic "pine-trees" in taxis to me)I have to recommend Onyx highly. It's mostly tobacco, rather than coconut, though.
You might also want to try Ipanema by Satellite.

The CSPs although popular are not something I enjoy usually: too much money for what they are, somehow plastic.
And Aztique was kryptonite to me.

But the rest...I like them.
Have a great holiday!

Divina said...

I didn't think the CSPs were so expensive...?? I bought my 100ml bottle for 59 euro. It hardly broke the bank :P They certainly don't smell plastic to me either. But tastes differ :)

helg said...

Re: the price of the CSPs> that's because they're seriously marked down now, honey; about to be phased out.
They used to go for 75 a piece, IFIC, comparable to higher end quality frags.
By all means, enjoy what you like :-)

Divina said...

Sounds a little bit contradictory, for the line to be both popular and phased out. You know best apparently, I haven't really bothered with what they are doing on the market. What grabbed me was that I found another coconut to satisfy my cravings ;) I'll leave the marketing to them.

Gail S said...

If you like some alcohol mixed with your coconut (for your island getaway!), you should try Creed's Virgin Island Water. I find it completely wrong on me in the city, but I might really like it on an actual beach!

Anonymous said...

I wear & love the VIW, but my favorite coconut has to be from the coconut hut - tahitian black coconut and it's not expensive at all (not affiliated)and they have quite the assortment from which to choose !