Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review: Heeley Coccobello EDP

A sleepy coast is gently blanketed by the dark of night as the sun and moon trade places. The shadowy profiles of rustling coconut palms grow taller, stretching across the sand before they disappear into an inky, navy blue twilight. Waves roll inland with a drowsy temperament, preparing the sea for a good night's rest. Salty-sweet, damp breezes latch onto any substantial surface that they come in contact with, while ivory-colored crabs sneak out of their sandy, burrowed homes for a midnight show. A glowing, full moon reflects across whispering waves, keeping watch until the sun is fit to greet the morning. Coccobello is the scent that accompanies the well rested, dewy light of dawn.


palm leaves, gardenia, coconut, sea salt, vanilla bourbon, virginia cedarwood, sandalwood, and benzoin

"Set along the shores of a sun-drenched island, fresh morning dew settles on green palm leaves. Light notes of Tahitian gardenia come and go with the rhythm of a transparent, silent sea. Bountiful and bronzed, a warm body bathed in coconut stretches out over fine white sand, shaded by notes of Virginian cedar wood."

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Coccobello provides an undeniable, constant coconut note throughout the duration of its wear, but it is a more unique interpretation of the tropics than I'm used to. It begins with a convincingly organic and very vegetal palm leaf...and while I appreciate its quirkiness and creativity, it is my least favorite part of this brew. The verdurous intensity is nearly unsettling. But wait. Once fifteen to thirty minutes pass, I'm reassured by the presence of a quiet, pretty gardenia. When I say quiet, I mean it. I'm surprised by how indiscernible it actually is in the grand scheme of Coccobello, because I consider gardenia to be a promiscuous and showy floral note. In any case, it's mingling in the background, giving a sexy side-eye.

Soon, a feeble vanilla meanders in, and a teensy spray of salty air adds a subtle freshness. Coccobello certainly isn't a candied coconut, but manages to have a notable weight and density to it. The inclusion of vanilla and benzoin (with the coconut base) are likely to be blamed for the feeling of heaviness. Fortunately for the eventual involvement of woody notes, any inkling of sweetness is mitigated to ensure that the instant formation of dental caries can be avoided (your dentist will be so proud!). However, due to the perceived density of this mixture, I find it cumbrous in the sweltering, sticky, thick of summer. Coccobello would be favored by a cool summer evening, with relatively low humidity. 

All in all, this is an offbeat, realistically leafy coconut, including an iota of gardenia, a salty baby-breeze, an undercurrent of sweetness, with a woody framework. It manages to start a little strange and end quite lovely. If you've recently found yourself with a velleity for something a little different in the liquid tropics department, Coccobello just might satiate your craving. 

Coccobello retails at $180 for a 100ml bottle, the creator of this fragrance is James Heeley

Longevity: 3/5 
Projection: 2/5

WEAR THIS: on a cool summer evening, the earliest sign of autumn crispy coolness, for a chilly beach bonfire, rooftop drinks, to take on the persona of a whimsical and adventurous mermaid/merman, while taking a nostalgic listen of Weezer's 'Island in the Sun' 

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