When I got to Boston and was looking for the places I could find perfume; I asked around. One place which was on everyone’s list was a tiny storefront in Harvard Sq. called Colonial Drug. The owner, Cathy, would stand behind the counter explaining these European brands she had exclusively. If there was any single place I visited, in my early days, which was responsible for putting many brands on my radar it was Cathy. Those were the days when Harvard Sq. hadn’t been converted into an outdoor version of a suburban mall. (Don’t get me started) I could even say she is the inspiration behind the existence of this column. This month I’m going to focus on a release from one of the brands I discovered at Colonial Drug; Comptoir Sud Pacifique Coco Figue.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique was founded in 1975 and has gone through several different creative directors and owners. Despite all that turnover there has been an intent to retain that “South Pacific” tropical attitude to their perfumes. This kind of exuberance is not for everyone. It also can be a bit of a variation on a theme. Coco Figue is a slight variation on Coco Extreme; which came first. If there is something which permeates the aesthetic it is a sense of beach holiday to many of the releases. Which is part of why I enjoy Coco Figue this time of year. If I can’t be on a beach, I want to smell like I am.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique asked Pierre Bourdon to compose Coco Figue. If there is something that is missing from that name it is the French word for milk; “lait”. This is a milky style of perfume mostly around aromatic coconut milk.
The coconut milk accord is what comes first. M. Bourdon takes coconut milk sweetening it with vanilla and fig. This is a classic suntan lotion accord when it comes together. What M. Bourdon does next is to up the milkiness while adding in a slight dusting of cocoa powder. Fig leaves provide some green to pick up on those aspects of the coconut milk while almond adds a nutty piece to it all. There are moments in the middle of this like I feel like I’m drinking hot chocolate made with coconut milk. It sounds delightful to me which is why I enjoy Coco Figue.
Coco Figue has 6-9 hour longevity and average sillage.
If the idea of coconut milk and vanilla without the cocoa and fig sounds more appealing, then Coco Extreme might be a better choice from the brand. In the last couple years select Comptoir Sud Pacifique have turned up at the mall fragrance counters. They have become easier to put on your radar if you’re wanting to find that vacation state of mind while sitting at home.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.