I love hearing about new fragrances. Even more, I like to try new scents. It’s one of those topics/subjects that always captures my attention. Hopefully, it is something you like to read about- if only to find something new to wear. Fragrance can make a bad day better, and a good day blissful. LA-Story.com Contributor, Jessa Moore is the perfect person – and writer- to find an elusive artisanal brand of fragrant gems! She manages to suss out the defining qualities of fragrances that are new and often harder to describe. She and I both share that “addiction” to scents and she willingly “volunteered” for the arduous work of reviewing Christi Meshell’s latest fragrance!
Coco Blanc is the Opposite of Expectations
I first became curious about House of Matriarch, a dark horse fragrance house much discussed on a fragrance forum I frequent on Facebook. The perfume world of true perfume-heads is a strange & wonderful collection of people who obsessively talk about, collect, and critique fragrance. It goes well beyond the average fragrance wearer who wants to smell good. It is a subculture which is actually very valuable to niche perfumers– and in the age of guerrilla marketing– an indie brand can compete with the heavy hitters of the fragrance world. The online forum, Fragrance Facebook Friends, has tens of thousands of members, as well as friendly relationships with fragrance creators, many of whom achieve almost celebrity status. (This Facebook group is a closed group. You must know someone to gain membership!)
One such creator is House of Matriarch’s Christi Meshell, who believes in the magic of natural fragrances in an increasingly technical world. Natural fragrances are both grounding -and mystical- in nature. The package I received from Christi Meshell contained a smudge stick, which I used enthusiastically to demolish the negative energy of writer’s block. Even more importantly, the fragrance calmed me and was extremely wearable for a fragrance that is called “weird” on reviews on the internet. It isn’t at all weird to me! It is a smoky, almost incense-like vanilla, which is so dry, there is no sugar.
I like a frosting like a gourmand and love vanilla in all its incarnations, but while this is a gourmand scent, it is nothing like the mainstream vanillas that crowd Sephora’s shelves. I am a proponent of accessibility in perfume, and this is a very wearable, unisex sex bomb of a fragrance. It smells earthy, and sexy, and expensive, in a way mainstream fragrances don’t. I find many niches pretty unwearable if they are too out there. Yet this scent also reminds me of home.
I grew up in a wooded area, where people routinely bought crystals, and read Tarot. Essential oils were worn instead of perfume. Patchouli was a favorite. This fragrance is not like that, despite the branding. It reads more like a mystical Tom Ford; it is not the usual fragrance featured by QVC, who has named House of Matriarch’s CoCo Blanc as September 2017’s featured fragrance. It is a weird, moody dry vanilla with woody undercurrents. It smells expensive, and sexy, and like seduction. When I wore it, my companion ended up huffing my neck. It easily competes with niche fragrances from large houses like Tom Ford. I have been wearing a lot of white musks this summer, but this fulfills my need for warmth as the weather cools down.
How the Scent Unfolds:
The first spritz goes on strong-a layered blast of strong woods with a lingering undercurrent of vanillic amber. As it settles down, rather quickly it becomes more comforting, almost an intimate scent. It is for lovers, not the ones ‘hunting’. In an era of very strong sillage, this has a medium projection and turns into a much longer-lasting skin scent. I think that anything too much is, well, too much-but this can go head to head with Tom Ford’s Tabac Vanille. I find it feminine enough to wear easily. While oud is a note I strongly hate, this is not a fearsome Arabic Oud. The layers play, enveloping the wearer in a veil of mystery. It is hard to pick out the coconut proper since this is the opposite of tanning oil. This is very sophisticated- a perfect fit for winter. Gourmand can be sugary, but in this case, the ‘foodie’ aspect is a bit hidden. I wouldn’t exactly say the wearer smells edible. It is a highly unusual perfume to be featured on a mainstream site like QVC; this speaks to the power of quality. The public is rarely offered the choice to choose what a master perfumer blends. It is also not usually as accessible because most niche fragrances are found in out-of-the-way boutiques. This is an excellent opportunity to try a true niche house at the top of the Indie game.
Available on QVC.com
Bio for Jessa Moore:
Photography by Kevin Rendon
Jessa Moore is the founder of Jessa Moore Media, where she specializes in Beauty/Lifestyle. She loves fragrance and beauty with a passion that has led her into a career where she marries her eye for taste with her love of people. She lives in NYC, and consults with startups, as well as lifestyle. An actress, she prides herself on connecting with people so that their vision becomes a reality. She also is an expert in the media landscape, and reads 12 papers a day.
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Thanks to Jessa Moore for this great piece on House of Matriarch’s new Coco Blanc being featured on QVC. This is such a interesting (and unique!) fragrance that has been getting a lot of attention from “fragrance junkies” as well as the general public! Do realize that fragrances smell different on each person and that fragrances evolve over the wearing time. What works for your best friend might not work on you and vice versa!
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