Considering that it hasn't been pushed in any significant way by Chanel's daunting marketing machine, Coco Noir has won an impressive number of followers. The general consensus amongst critics was that it failed to come anywhere near the standard set by the likes of No. 5, No. 19 or Antaeus, but it clearly struck a chord with a sector of the buying public and its performance has reportedly been healthy. Now we have the extrait and although it is unquestionably richer and denser than the eau de parfum, I doubt it'll persuade many scentusiasts to part with their pennies. The scent is essentially the same - a musky, patchouli oriental - but the fruit note of the edp has been toned down and replaced with a stronger floral facet, composed mainly of rose and jasmine. It smells as familiar as it sounds, but that's not to say it is anything less than pleasant. The press info insists that this iteration is even more baroque and Venetian than the eau de parfum. I could argue this wouldn't be hard to achieve, as I found almost nothing baroque about the edp. However, it cannot be denied that the extrait displays the odd hint of an introspective darkness. That said, it is ultimately a fearful piece of work. Like so much of Chanel's current, non-exclusive output, it interacts with the world like a trepidatious tourist: it's happy to dip into Byzantine mysteries, but before things get too serious, it withdraws and scurries away.
[Review based on a sample of extrait provided by Chanel in 2014; please click here for my review of the eau de parfum]