I'm sure I'm not the only perfumista who has noticed how much harder it is to do a quick check for new fragrances at the local mall these days. It is no longer enough to scan the counters at the department stores — just about every boutique in the mall now has its own signature scent or line of scents, and there are more on the way. Coach, the American leather goods line, is the latest to jump on the bandwagon. Their signature perfume for women, Coach The Fragrance, launched earlier this spring.
Coach's entry into the fragrance market is designed to "be all things to all people: worn on weekends, but also evenings; bright but romantic; aspirational yet approachable" (via pe.com) In other words, they'd like everybody to buy it. So how'd they do? Well, first off, I'd say they did beautifully on the packaging front (half the battle, no doubt). The Eau de Parfum bottle is classic but fun, the purse spray is cute, and that goes double for the solid perfume in the metal hangtag case (see below). Coach has also introduced a line of accessories in a "fragrance print" design with images of the bottle; there are handbags, scarves, jewelry, and even a "bowtie bikini" and "cellphone lanyard".
On the fragrance front, I'd guess they have hit their mark as well. Coach The Fragrance (notes include green mandarin, guava, violet petals, water lily, genet flower, honey, orange flower, mimosa, jasmine, sandalwood, amber wood and vanilla) is eminently wearable. The opening is fruity, and while it is rather sharp for a few minutes, once it settles it is nicely tart, and a nice break from all the fruit candy we've been subjected to over the past few years. The heart is honeyed floral notes given a slightly aquatic bent by the water lily, and the base is a pale, cool woody musk. As advertised, it is more bright than not, and it is very nearly linear once the fruity top notes evaporate, although it does get a little warmer and more vanillic as it dries down. It is sweet but not so sweet as Flowerbomb, and perky but not so perky (or young) as Juicy Couture. It is fresher and cleaner than either, but it isn't a sheer scent by any means.
It is a pretty enough fragrance if not particularly interesting (I don't suppose you can be all things to all people and interesting as well) and I'll be very surprised if it doesn't do well. The Coach boutiques, happily, don't seem to cultivate the same air of haughty exclusivity as some of their counterparts in the luxury lifestyle market, so it is easy enough to get samples. Both of the Coach stores I visited were handing them out quite happily on request.
Coach The Fragrance for women is an Eau de Parfum, and the lasting power and sillage are both quite good. It is available in 8 ml purse spray ($42), 50 ml Eau de Parfum ($68), or in the solid perfume hangtag ($40).