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.