In the pink with CocoaPink

CocoaPink is an online seller of perfumes and bath & body products. I heard of it though a BOTO commentor who recommended their body lotion. I have explored the brand enough now to be able to share a few impressions.

The perfumes! The list is huge, and you can have any of the scents added to the b&b products or linen spray. Or you can order them as oils, or in an alcohol base in three strengths: light, medium, and ‘smell me across town’. (The 5 ml atomizers all come in the strongest concentration.) CocoaPink specialises in sweet gourmands and this is not my line of country really, but there is still enough there to keep me busy for quite a while.

Chergui-type (Honey, musk, incense, tobacco leaf, hay sugar, amber, iris rose and sandalwood)
Magnificent! Very like the original Chergui, perhaps a little sweeter, with less tobacco and hay. I can’t detect much difference myself, and after a while I stopped comparing them because I love the CocoaPink so much that comparisons don’t matter. I have had as much pleasure out of CocoaPink’s Chergui as I had from any other fragrant purchase in 2011. I do admit that the price is partly responsible for that joy – $4.50 for 5 mls, $15.50 for 30 mls. Longevity is excellent and sillage moderate to strong.

English Cathedral (resiny incense, jasmine lawns, English ivy)
I don’t get much incense from this unless it be a dry powdery aspect wrapped around the entire composition from top to bottom. On paper I get a lovely, slightly sweet jasmine top note that on skin fades quite quickly, leaving a green note as fierce as anything in the original Vent Vert, and very dominant. I’m not sure that all the elements hang together successfully but if you love greens, do give this one a try. I found that even in the strongest concentration the longevity and sillage were only moderate.

Halloween in Dublin (flake pipe tobacco, bourbon vanilla, rainier cherries)
This one is so strong that when I first spritzed it on a tissue it fair sucked the breath out of my lungs. It reminded me of cherry brandy, including that burn-in-throat quality of brandy. On skin I seem to lose a lot of the cherry note and what is left is more like burnt caramel. A pity: I want the cherries back! I need to experiment with this one. At the moment I’m finding the ‘smell me across town’ strength almost unwearable, but in winter I think Halloween in Dublin could be an absolute stunner.

Fear of cemeteries (carnation, granite (?!), autumn leaves, woodsmoke)
This is one of CocoaPink’s many fun-sounding fantasy Halloween scents. I got none of the listed notes, just earth. Well, what did I expect from a perfume called ‘Fear of Cemeteries’? But it is just a bit too one-dimensionally earthy for me. I tried it as a dry body oil; the perfume version might bring out the notes a bit more.

Winter’s Night (tangy fruits, pines, warm smoke)
A slightly sweet, tingly-spicy scent, pleasant but a bit flat. I received it as a free sample in the body butter form. Again, it might work better as a perfume. I am very keen to try its companion, Winter’s Day: bergamot, orange, lemon, geranium, lily and rose, patchouli, vetiver and tonka beans. I love all those notes, not that they sound very wintery, do they?

Goatmilk and honey unscented body lotion
This is my excuse for repeat buying from CocoaPink. Free of silicones (which in my experience give the illusion of softness without really offering much hydration), this is slightly thick for a lotion, but it spreads easily and is quickly absorbed. I wish it came in larger bottles, but hey! I don’t need any prompting to re-order because then I can grab a few more of those 5 ml perfume atomizers.

CocoaPink obviously has something in common with Demeter. Both offer novel fragrant experiences. If you have tried either or both brands, do comment. At this price, can you actually expect fine fragrance quality? Is there a tendency for the top notes to die too quickly? Are the perfumes a bit too literal, never more than the sum of their parts?

Personally I think that if English Cathedral or Halloween in Dublin had been released by a niche brand at ten times the price, people would be falling over themselves.

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15 thoughts on “In the pink with CocoaPink

  1. Sounds like a good find, annemarie. I like the fact that there is so much flexibility in the “format” you have the perfume in, plus the small atomiser sizes. I did always think that you get what you pay for with perfume (up to the point of aspirational pricing) because cheap bases are never going to give you much of a complex or long-lasting dry-down. You make me wonder though, especially with your review of the Chergui-type scent. Is it actually called that?

    • Yes, it uses Chergui in the name of the perfume. And there are one or two Jo Malone dupes that do the same thing. Odd huh?

      CP’s Chergui may not be as complex as the Lutens masterpiece, I agree. What I love is the longevity – it lasts hours and does not fall apart after 10 minutes, which is what most cheap dupes do, in my experience. It makes me wonder what we are paying for sometimes, with some of those meg-spendy bottles.

      On the other hand, Chergui may be a relatively simple formula, easy to copy. I noticed recently that there is a brand selling on eBay – I forget the name – which also has a Chergui dupe.

  2. So glad you tried them Annemarie..I love their chergui too..I usually get that in the conditioner..Their goats milk body lotion is one of my favorites.. I find that lots of indie/green lotions don’t absorb too easily but this one does and it doesn’t leave any ‘base’ smell so it’s perfect under perfume..

  3. Oh and to answer your question, I am not a huge fan of their perfumes although I like the scents in body products/hair products. But that maybe because I haven’t found a scent I truly love. But the dupes are pretty spot on and capture the main aspects of the perfumes if not the complexity, and with their Jo Malone dupes, I don’t even think I can tell the difference.

    If you are interested in perfume, there iis another inde company called bathed and infused- they also have a pretty large scent selection and many dupes.. I really really liked their version of narcisco Rodriguez for her.. I think at some point they also had a chaos type scent..

    • Thanks for the rec. I will have a look. I am tempted by CPs Jo Malones, especially b/c in Australia JM is quite expensive.

      As Tara says above, it’s great that you can chose your own format for the scents. The choices and possible variations are vast, which means that you don’t have to just take what the brand chooses to sell you, you can ‘curate’ your own collection of their stuff.

      • That is true! And if you want a dupe that isn’t listed you can always email the owner and ask her if she has that fragrance oil- usually they have a bunch of unlisted stuff and sometimes if the ‘order rush’ isn’t too much they are willing to accomodate your request.

        The original owner of CP loved Ormonde Jayne and so she had OJ sampaquita and Tolu-type too- I don’t think I ever tried them then, though. Many of the indie bath and body sellers get their non-signature ‘dupe’ scents from online fragrance oil companies..So an option is also to buy these fragrances in concentrated form from these fragrance oil companies and then mix it with oil or alcohol or in unscented creams/lotions(but that might be too much of a hassle). Some of the B&B companies also make sure that the fragrance oils they use are phthalate free etc- which is more than most department store perfume-brands can claim to be doing..:) . The other b&B companies whose scents I like are Villainess
        and and Jojoelle though I haven’t ordered from them in a while.

        oops- sorry to hog the comments..:D

        • The variety is bewildering. I’m sure these b&b sellers will not be an assualt on the designer companies, but I’m certainly glad to take advantage of what for me is a totally noew option in fragrance buying. And the customer service is brilliant!

  4. I just ordered a few things from CP last week… It’s your fault! Lessee, what did I order? I know I got a small atomizer of the Chergui type, although I didn’t love the original (there’s a mildewy basement thing in there that bugs me).

    Oh, yes – an atomizer of Midnight Hag (why did that appeal to me? notes, I think). Also small tins of body butter for Snowflakes (almond?) and The Un-Red (hm. can’t remember what that one’s supposed to be).

    I’ll report back.

    • Okay, went and looked ‘em up: Snowflakes is almond sugar. The Un-Red is blood orange juice, vanilla, amber, and sandalwood. Midnight Hag is blackberries, vanilla, caramel, & cream. All pretty gourmand… I suppose I feel that if I’m going to go gourmand, I should go Definitively Gourmand.

      • Okay okay, blame me! I can take it!

        The list is so huge it does my mind in. Or at least it did until I did as Lavanya suggested and had a look at Bathed and Infused, where the list is even huger.

        Fortunately quite a lot of CocoaPink’s list I can ignore because I tend to run screaming from mentions of sugar and strawberries and such. I’ll be interested to hear what you make of the Chergui.

        • They just arrived yesterday! Haven’t worn all of them yet – but the Snowflakes BB is wonderful. Midnight Hag is a variation on Hanae Mori, so I like it, but it is Mondo Trashy.

          I opened up The Un-Red body butter today, and my teenage daughter *immediately* nicked it. (Her: “Can I have this? It smells like Creamsicles!” Me: “Uh, sure. If you promise to use it. No fair swiping it and leaving it on your dresser.” Her: “Okay.” Pause while she smells it again. “Now I want Creamsicles.”)

          Chergui-type is nice sniffed from the atomizer. I haven’t tried it yet, don’t know if it will develop that old-house-mildew smell that bothered me so much in the original…

          • Happiness all around! It’s fune trying new stuff, hih? Sounds from your descriptions that things are rather on the sweet side, which is useful for me to know. I don’t have a perfume sweet-tooth (although the odd dab of Tocade never did me any harm) but there are still plenty of things on CP’s scent list for me to try. Good luck with the Chergui.

  5. Pingback: Tuesday Roundup: Perfume mini-reviews, Jan. 23, 2012

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