Coccobello by James Heeley for Heeley 2013


Post by Poodle


It’s painfully cold out. I’m not going to say its freezing because we dropped below that about 30F degrees ago. The wind is making it feel worse but by the time you read this I will be slightly warmer I hope. I’ll be heading towards spring and you folks down under will be trying to hang on to your summer.

Coccobello by Heeley 2013

Coccobello by James Heeley

Coccobello James Heeley FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Palm leaf, gardenia
Heart: Coconut, sea salt, vanilla
Base: Virginia cedar, benzoin, sandalwood

I knew nothing of this scent when I received it in the mail. I glanced at the name and gave it a spray expecting something gourmand with either cocoa or coconut, something cozy to warm my heart. What I wasn’t expecting was a blast of green and saltiness. Oh sure, there’s some sweetness in there as well but instead of a warm fuzzy blanket, Coccobello is a trip to the beach.

Coccobello Heeley palm-leaf-background PublicDomainPublicDomain

Coccobello opens with the smell of crushed palm leaves. It’s potent and a bit harsh at first. Don’t go sticking your nose into it just yet or you might go running for the sink to wash. If you hate green notes the opening might be a little difficult but it doesn’t linger here for long before some other notes shine through. The coconut starts to emerge but it is also green and unsweetened. It’s not the coconut oozing with sugar that I’m used to smelling. There’s a faint gardenia note but it’s quite subdued and never enters big white floral territory. It adds sweetness but not in a sugary way. Now drench all that with salt water. I smell a hint of cedarwood as well. At no point do I think dessert, cocktails, or anything fruity which is the usual direction of beachy tropical perfumes.

Once my initial shock of it not being a sweet gourmand wore off I enjoyed Coccobello as a beach scent. As you wear it the perfume loses the sharpness of the palm note and takes on the aroma of sun warmed skin cooled by salty water. It calls to mind Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder but Coccobello seems far more unisex to me. Guys, if you’re looking for a coconut scent that isn’t too girly this might be it. For those of you who find typical beach or tropical perfumes too sweet, fruity, flowery, or aquatic I think Coccobello might be worth a sniff. I will say again that that heavy green up front might be a deal breaker for quite a few folks. I know salt is also a love/hate note for a lot of you too. This is a grown up tropical scent and I think it deserves more attention than it gets but I can understand it will be challenging for some.

Coccobello Heeley tropical-beach skeeze PixabayPixabay

Coccobello reminds me of summer, suntan lotion, and the beach. Right now all of those things seem worlds away.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Scent for Thought
LuckyScent has $180/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $5.40/ml

What perfumes have you tried that were completely different from what you were expecting?


24 comments on “Coccobello by James Heeley for Heeley 2013

  1. cookie queen says:

    Hi Poodle. Believe it or not I love Coccobello. I have large decant from Lady Jane Grey and have used nearly all of it. I will miss it when it is gone. Hmmmmmmm. I totally agree with you it is very grown up. Waiting for it to warm up here too. Although we have not had a and winter I need the sunshine back. Hugs. xxxxx

    • poodle says:

      We didn’t have much of a winter in terms of snow but we did have some cold snaps that were a bit much. Better than last year though.
      I’m happy to know you like this one. You’ve got great taste in fragrances so I’m always happy when we agree on one.

  2. Latai says:

    I absolutely love coccobello! Sonya sent me a sample a few months back and I fell in love. It’s all my fav notes in a bottle! I haven’t finished my sample but will definitely buy FB when it finishes!
    I’m glad you like it too. I’m off to Tonga in 3 weeks and I can’t think of a more appropriate scent to take with me among others! 🙂

    • poodle says:

      Yay! Another fan of Coccobello. A trip to Tonga sounds so exotic. This perfume would be perfect for it. I hope you have a wonderful time!

  3. rickyrebarco says:

    Poodle, I love this one. I’m a big fan of Heeley perfumes anyway, but this one is a favorite. I hate sweet coconut scents, but Cocobello is just perfect for me. A grown up beach scent as you say. I need to get a bottle this summer.

    • poodle says:

      I’d never even heard of it until I got that sample. It seems to have quite a few fans. I guess I’m late to the beach party but I could see myself wanting more of this for the summer. It’s perfect when you don’t want something really sweet.

  4. Neva says:

    In my mind coconut = sweet so I avoid perfumes with prominent coconut notes, but you mentioned “green” and “salt” often enough and it sounds like a great combination. I’m running off to try it asap. What about the longevity? All Heeley’s scents I know so far are very weak.

    • poodle says:

      Longevity wasn’t anything fabulous but my skin is not a good barometer for that. I did get a few hours out of it which is pretty good for me. I didn’t find it to be too weak but I also didn’t worry about skunking anyone out of the room with a reasonable spritzing.
      It’s probably the least sweet coconut perfume I’ve tried. It’s obviously coconut but not sugary. I’d be curious to know what you think when you try it.

  5. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey there Poodle,
    I haven’t had much luck with Heeley fragrances but maybe this could be the one?
    Portia xx

    • poodle says:

      There’s a first time for everything. I could see myself wanting more of this one since I don’t really have many beachy perfumes in the cabinet. It might be worth a sniff for you.

  6. Holly says:

    I’m rarely a fan of coconut scents, but this one sounds intriguing! However … gardenia. I hate gardenia. Worth sampling, anyway!
    Unexpected scents? Misia. Sounds like it would be perfect for me, but was a total scrubber.

    Holly xo

    • poodle says:

      Hmmm…the gardenia is faint but if you hate gardenia then maybe this might not work. It a cruel trick when our skin amplifies the parts of a scent we don’t want to smell.
      Oh no! Misia was a scrubber? I kinda like that one but I could see it being a love/hate type of perfume. At least there are plenty of other perfumes to love.

  7. Maya says:

    Oh, Coccobello – I could not decide whether to try it or not. Except for Sel Marin, I love all the Heeley line that I have tried. Hippie Rose 🙂 Iris de Nuit 🙂 Cuir Pleine Fleur :)and others. I have not found any beach scents that I like but if this one can remind me of tropical waters vs the dark, brooding, New England Atlantic, I’m in!

    To answer your question: 1000 Flowers Narcotic Flowers. I expected a pretty floral, nothing exciting, despite the name. Instead, on my skin, it was the attack of the indoles!!! After I got over the shock, I fell in love.

    • poodle says:

      Being a New Englander I can assure you that this does not in any way smell like an east coast beach trip.
      Attack of the indoles. Lol. That just put Narcotic Flowers on my must try list.

  8. Azar says:

    Hi Poodle,

    The perfume I tried that was completely different from what I expecting was Vero Parfumo Rozy VdE. From the reviews and the listed notes I expected roses, tuberose and honey. On me it was straight up coriander and nutmeg for a long time without stopping, then finally some labdanum/sandalwood and just a little of that honey. I can’t make up my mind if I like the VdE or prefer the fruitier EdP.

    Re Coccobello – I have not tried this one or any of the Heeley line. So many perfumes, so little time 😉 Loved your review, though, and may have to find a sample to help warm up our dreary weather. I could use a trip to a sunny beach!

    Azar xx

    • poodle says:

      I didn’t get much floral in Rozy either. I like it but my favorites are still Rubj and Onda in that line. Rozy was like Onda’s little sister on me.
      I’ve liked the few Heeley perfumes I’ve tried. This one might end up being a FB one day.

  9. Sandra says:

    Hi Poodle. I have yet to try this and by the sound of it I really should. I miss my warm sunny days and could use a menatl trip to the beach. Sandra

    • poodle says:

      I need some sunshine too. We just had the stupid time change over the weekend and that lost hour is kicking my butt this year. I’m sure a few rainy days didn’t help either. I’m hoping for an early spring and then I can start complaining about it being too hot.

  10. Sun Mi says:

    Hi Poodle! I have a small decant of this, which I received with Memoire Liquide: Soleil Liquide, Laboratorio Olfattivo: Salina. They all struck me as kind of salty. Right now they all blur together, but I’ll have to give this one another go…
    Sun Mi recently posted…Seattle Series: Olympic Orchids – Blackbird (perfume review)My Profile

    • poodle says:

      Soleil Liquide was salty on you? On me it was just very floral. No salt that I could smell but now I’m going to try and find my sample and try it again.

  11. Undina says:

    I haven’t tried this perfume but it sounds really appealing… I have a beach on my mind recently 🙂 I should find and try it!

    I usually do not have any specific expectations from perfumes. Maybe sometimes I expect them to be better than they prove to be or, on the contrary, do not expect much but then I liked it. But it’s never anything specific.
    Undina recently posted…In the Search for the Perfect Mimosa, Take 3My Profile

    • poodle says:

      I know what you mean sometimes the name, note list, or reviews create a scent in my mind that is far different from the reality. Sometimes it’s a good thing, At other times, not so much.
      I think a lot of us are thinking beachy thoughts lately. I just saw the weather and we could get a foot of snow Monday. 🙁

  12. Steve says:

    Great review my dear. Thoughts of lounging on the beach sound very nice right now. Even though Spring is around the corner, the warm weather can’t get here fast enough for me.

    As for expectations?? I was expecting that Shalimar would be too womanly for me, but found that I was presently surprised by it’s rather masculine beauty. Other than that, I find that if I have low expectations (which I have consistently), then I find I’m pretty much always pleasantly surprised 🙂
    Steve recently posted…La Chasse aux Papillons by L’Artisan ParfumeurMy Profile

    • poodle says:

      So true! Always expect the worst and then when the worst doesn’t happen you’re always pleasantly surprised. Words to live by.
      It’s pretty chilly outside right now. I did notice crocus blooms today in the yard from the few bulbs the squirrels and chipmunks didn’t eat. Spring is coming. I hope.

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