I’ve noticed quite a few people searching for “perfume” or “fragrance” in my logs, so I figure it’s time to deliver some reviews on the topic!
I’ll be up-front and say that I am really, really, really picky about perfume. I’ve tried probably hundreds of fragrances (yeah, I’m that type who does sample orders from Lucky Scent
and other similar outlets), but I think I can name maybe 10 perfumes that I’ve liked enough to actually buy a bottle.
Coach Poppy Flower is one of my recent favorites, and it’s also unusual in that I actually purchased a full-sized bottle, unsniffed and totally on impulse. Sephora had it discounted – it doesn’t seem to be officially discontinued as it’s still on the Coach website, so I assume that Sephora just didn’t think it moved well enough to keep it in stock – and the price plus Sephora’s rad return policy allowed me to justify taking the plunge. I’d already received a GWP mini of the original Coach Poppy and liked it, and Poppy Flower’s notes sounded even more appealing:
It opens with citrusy notes, wet ivy, black currant and litchi. Fruits serve as an introduction to the heart of jasmine, rose, water lily, peony and sugared raspberries, fading into the background of amber wood, sandalwood, apricot skin and musk.
Sound interesting? Hit the read more for the full review!
Black currant features in some of my all-time favorite perfumes – Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Mora Bella comes to mind. Citrus is nice when well-handled, same with lychee/litchi – as long as the perfumer doesn’t go too sweet, they can be very refreshing. I’ve always been a fan of peony and lily in my perfumes – they’re some of my favorite florals. Rose and jasmine I don’t have anything against – in fact, in nature, I absolutely adore their scent – but I do find they can be quite perverted and abused in some fragrances, turned into something cloying and gross. My past experience with Coach perfume lead me to believe that they could avoid that pitfall.
As for amber wood, musk and sandalwood, I love all three as base notes; and while I’d never had apricot in a fragrance before, the scent of the fruit is certainly lovely and light enough that I was willing to give it a shot. Amber in particular holds a special place in my heart as a base note: I used to wear i Profumi di Firenze’s Ambre del Nepal as my day-to-day fall/winter scent, and apparently it smelled so good with my body chemistry that the owners of the beauty salon/shop where I worked actually took me aside to ask me to help them select new boutique fragrances to stock – particularly, what was I wearing that day? So, yeah, if a base note can inspire shopkeepers to actually want to sell the perfume you’re wearing, I think you know it’s a good one!
So with a deep discount and a bevy of notes that I already knew I usually enjoyed in my perfumes, I decided to take the plunge!
On me, this perfume actually stays quite true to its first spritz. This is a good thing, both because my body chemistry has been known to do terrible, terrible things to previously lovely perfumes (certain aquatic notes smell fantastic in the bottle, but on me they turn into weird celery; some roses can end up smelling like bug repellent after a few minutes on my skin – it’s all very tragic) and because that initial spray is perfectly lovely as-is.
For me, this is a fresh, fruity-floral, but it’s not what you may expect when you hear that description. The florals and fruits are true to their source, this isn’t some overly-sweetened department store mess. Do you know what I mean when I say that? There’s something that a lot of big-name perfumers do to floral and fruit notes that kind of makes them all smell the same and way, way too sickly sweet for my tastes. Coach Poppy Flower manages to completely avoid that – the notes remain individual yet well-married, and they don’t devolve into a headache-inducing mess of synthetic sweetness.
The strongest notes, to my nose, are grapefruit, muguet, peony, and apricot, with just a touch of woodiness from the amber and sandalwoods, and a slight creaminess from the musk at the base. It’s very light and sparkling, absolutely perfect for spring and more temperate summer days. It’s not offensive or overly strong – even my perfume-hating mother likes it and doesn’t find it intrusive when I wear it. I wish I could convey how abnormal that is – this is a woman who hates 99.99% of fragrances. Even scents that most would consider light and unobtrustive, to her, will be cloying and gross. Yet with Coach Poppy Flower, she actually asked me what I was wearing and told me that it was fantastic. Seriously, my jaw dropped since I’d long before accepted that any perfume I asked her about would be met with that same mild grimace and “eh… I’d rather not smell that” response. Coach, give your perfumers a raise because I think they performed a miracle here!
The lasting power is excellent, which means that I can spritz once or twice and still be catching whiffs after as long as eight hours. Sillage is medium to light – you won’t leave a strong trail of fragrance wherever you go, which in my opinion is a good thing. People need to be somewhat close to you to be able to smell this perfume. It’s not a close-to-the-skin scent by any means, but people will not smell you before they see you or anything. They’ll just realize that you smell good while they’re talking to you, which – after all – isn’t that the intent here?
Overall, my Coach Poppy Flower review is clearly a positive one. It’s a light, airy, sunny-and-fresh fragrance that has incredible staying power without being cloying, overly sweet, or obnoxiously strong. If you’re a fan of true citrus, light florals, and mild creaminess from woods and musks, I would absolutely encourage you to give this gorgeous bloom of a fragrance a try!
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