A forgotten gem – Chanel Coromandel

At least for me.

I bought the big bottle when I was in Paris for the first time, and since I was getting lost all the time, it took me a while to locate the Chanel boutique. Now the bottle has lingered several years in my closet until I got reminded of it through a perfumista friend a few days ago.

I still understand why I didn’t blink an eye buying that 200 ml for what was my most expensive perfume purchase up to then. Now I think about it, possibly ever.

Basically, what I think of it is that it smells like a dry, ambery pashmina bolstered by patchouli.

Now, if I concentrate, I can smell the citrusy peel note in the opening, the frankincense being hidden in profile-chanel-mademoiselle-privee-collection-_6there (that’s a good thing in my book) and the little sunshine hidden in the petals of jasmine and rose.

The longer you wear it, the more the resiny base comes through and the dryness becomes even more apparent. Incense is peeking out of its hidey-hole and the patchouli takes center stage but the resiny warmth never leaves.

And that’s it. It’s a perfect example of elegant simplicity while not being simple at all.

So, what are your forgotten gems?

 

And while on the subject of Coromandel, these days, I see Les Exclusifs everywhere. ;)

So if you haven’t already, go play the detective over at Denyse’s blog (one of those places).

 

P.S. While searching for pics, I noticed Chanel has a nail polish of the same name in red color. Is it me, or Coromandel just doesn’t smell even remotely?

 

Notes: citruses, neroli, bitter oranger, jasmine, rose, orris, patchouli, woody notes, amber, benzoin, and frankincense

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30 thoughts on “A forgotten gem – Chanel Coromandel

  1. Kafkaesque January 9, 2014 at 21:19 Reply

    I love Coromandel passionately. I’m going to get the big vat that you have because a “tiny” 2.5 oz simply won’t do! It’s at the top of my To Buy list, and I should probably do it soon. Given Chanel’s 2 recent price hikes in 8 months alone, god only knows what they will do to its cost this year. lol

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 10:55 Reply

      Oh, so there was a price hike?! A friend told me how much it costs now and I kept thinking that I don’t remember it as being so expensive when I was buying it (even for a 200 ml bottle).
      Nice to see we have some shared loves. ;)

      • Kafkaesque January 10, 2014 at 12:04 Reply

        Not one, but TWO, and in less than 7 months! Coromandel in the small size started off being $105 or so at the start of last year, then went up to something I can’t recall ($140?), and then 4 months after that went to $160. So, from January to mid-summer, about a $55 increase in what was originally a $105 perfume. That’s pretty massive. The big vat is now $280, but I think it was around $200 at the start of last year. I would not be surprised if it went to $310, in the next 6 months, in line with the new Lutens bell jar prices.

        We have a few shared loves besides this one, I think. :)

        • Ines January 10, 2014 at 15:01 Reply

          That’s basically a 50% hike in price for the small one. Who the hell does stuff like that?! I mean, really, it might make sense if you want a quick influx of money but I am not going to be spending that much money on a bottle on principle. And I wonder how soon will it backfire (because I do think it might).
          I think in Croatia the big one is almost 300 Euros. But then perfumes here generally cost more due to some internal Croatian taxes.

          Yes, I used to think we don’t share much, but the further we go, the more perfumes crop up being in common. ;)

  2. Olfactoria January 9, 2014 at 21:34 Reply

    There is a lipstick in Coromandel too! :)
    Coromandel is one of those perfumes that are simply perfect. Glad you have a big bottle to enjoy. Beautiful scent description!!!

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 10:56 Reply

      Thank you. :)
      Even though the nail polish and lipstick in Coromandel are red, I wouldn’t mind rounding up my collection with them. ;)

  3. Lavanya January 9, 2014 at 22:02 Reply

    I fell in love with with this recently at the airport of all places.. It is on top of my buy list too..so understated (by my vintage Shalimar loving standards) and elegant, yet satisfying.

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 10:58 Reply

      He, he, he, by your vintage Shalimar standards, yes, it would seem understated. ;)
      Airports are in my opinion great places for new perfume discoveries. I know I made some there (CK Secret Obsession comes to mind, my cheap guilty pleasure).

  4. theperfumeddandy January 9, 2014 at 22:21 Reply

    Dearest Ines
    Getting lost in Paris… finding Coromondel.
    Sounds like the best of times to me.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 10:59 Reply

      Oh dear Dandy, it was the best of times. :)
      It was also the time when I fell madly in love with Paris.

      • theperfumeddandy January 10, 2014 at 11:34 Reply

        Dearest Ines
        Who couldn’t fall in love with Paris… I do at least every six months!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

        • Ines January 10, 2014 at 14:55 Reply

          Smart thinking. :)
          I don’t do it as often, but as long as I do it every once in a while, it’s fine.

  5. bloodyfrida January 10, 2014 at 00:13 Reply

    It’s a beauty!

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 11:00 Reply

      Yes, isn’t it? :) I’m so glad I decided to write about it – I didn’t realize so many people loved it. And it is very deserving of that love.

  6. Jennie January 10, 2014 at 00:14 Reply

    I love my Coromandel…it took me ages to finally buy my bottle, as it isn’t available here. It is my most prized perfume! I feel honored having this lovely fragrance!

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 11:12 Reply

      Jennie, it took me a day to decide to buy it.
      Well, if I hadn’t bought it then, I wouldn’t have been able to buy it for years to come (as it wasn’t available here).
      But I basically knew it wouldn’t be much of a struggle to convince myself to buy as soon as I left the Chanel boutique. ;)

  7. Suzanne January 10, 2014 at 01:07 Reply

    Great description, Ines! When I was still decanting, Coromandel was quite requested, more so than any other perfume, I think. I agree with you that it smells simple and complex both … or maybe I should say that I find it effortless to wear, yet it’s incredibly arresting. I love that the patchouli in it smells different in summer than it does in winter. In humidity, the patchouli is more chocolate-like, and in winter, more dry and amber-y.

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 11:14 Reply

      Actually Suzanne, you summed it up very well – “effortless to wear, yet it’s incredibly arresting”. Probably the reason it was so well requested.
      I never wear it in the summer but now I will definitely try it – you convinced me. :)

      • Kafkaesque January 10, 2014 at 12:07 Reply

        It’s gorgeous in summer, I can attest to that. The patchouli blooms beautifully, and it positively smolders. I had to stop myself from wearing out my large decant, because I think I prefer Coromandel in summer than in winter. It is so much more opulently oriental for me in summer.

        • Ines January 10, 2014 at 15:02 Reply

          Smolders you say? Hmmmm…. ;)

  8. australianperfumejunkies January 10, 2014 at 10:30 Reply

    Whenever I smell Coromandel I think of being in Vienna January 2013 and meeting Val the Cookie Queen who bought a bottle while we were there. I can see myself following suit this year. MMMMMM Coromandel.
    Portia xx

    • Ines January 10, 2014 at 11:15 Reply

      That’s such a great memory to have! :)
      And I agree, one should have some Coromandel for oneself. ;)

  9. Tara January 12, 2014 at 16:24 Reply

    This is very timely, Ines, because I’ve had a hankering for Coromandel lately. Your wonderful, evocative review will keep me going until I get to sniff it again at the shops next Saturday.

    • Ines January 14, 2014 at 12:08 Reply

      Let us know how it went! :)
      Now I feel everyone should love it, after seeing this outpouring of love.

  10. flittersniffer January 13, 2014 at 14:59 Reply

    I tried this too early in my perfume hobby, and was put off by the (to my nose back then) heavy patchouli and general spiciness. Five years on, now that I am so drawn to spicy / woody orientals, I must be ready – and due – for a retrial!

    • Ines January 13, 2014 at 21:59 Reply

      Oh definitely! I can’t wait to hear what you will think of it now. :-) I’m thinking you might be coming to my (dark) side. ;-)

  11. Undina January 25, 2014 at 10:36 Reply

    I like Coromandel and wear it from time to time from a small decant that I bought a couple of years ago. I’m sorry that I’m that late to the post but I have to ask (since nobody else did): how did you manage to “lose” it? It’s a huge bottle! :)
    No hidden jems in my collection since everything’s cataloged in the database – I’m boring, I know ;)

    • Ines January 27, 2014 at 11:17 Reply

      He, he, I didn’t actually lose it, I always knew where it was (if I stopped to think about it). as it’s such a huge bottle, I decided to share it with my mother so I left it in her bathroom cabinet where it lingered in the back for years, until I got reminded of it.

      I was getting lost in Paris a lot though… :)

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