By Chere Di Boscio
You may not be friends with Argentine model, landscape architect and hotelier Nicolas Malleville, but by exploring his Coqui Coqui perfume collection, you’ll feel like you’ve got to know him a little bit.
The collection traces the story of Nicolas’ life—from his childhood holidays in the Argentine countryside, which inspired both the Eucated scent–combining the oils of Eucalyptus and Cedar trees so prevalent in parts of the Argentina– to Coqui Coqui’s best selling Tobaco Eau de Cologne, a sheer tobacco leaf perfume diluted with tart citrus notes, reminiscent of how adults smelled in Argentina at the time of Nicolas’ youth. The divine Rosas Secas, a favourite with Michelle Pfeiffer, apparently, is the female version of this: dark red roses blend with light tobacco flowers to create a seductive rose scent, perfect for evenings.
As a working model, Nicolas travelled the world for shoots, often ending up in exotic locales like Tulum, Mexico, where one of his chic Coqui Coqui Spa & Residence Resorts is located (the others are in Mérida, Valladolid, and Cobá).
Here, the fragrances of the ubiquitous limonada (a refreshing Mexican drink), Orange Blossoms, exotic Flores de Mayo, Agave cactuses and Coconuts inspired new scents: Menli (mint and lime); Orange Blossom Eau de Cologne (a dry, rather than sweet, orange blossom aroma), Floplum (with light touches of jasmine), Agave (a slightly smoky scent) and Coco Coco (cool, milky and green). I’ve heard Orange Blossom is a favourite of Sienna Miller’s—who happens to be one of Nicolas’s ex-girlfriends.
What we also learn about Nicolas from his range of perfumes is that he’s crazy about nature and preserving the planet—not only are his hotels all based on eco-friendly principles, but the entire range of scented massage and bath oils, hand soaps, shampoos/conditioners, body creams, linen sprays, diffuser oils and candles produced by Coqui Coqui are 100% natural, with organic essential oils being used whenever possible. There’s even an all-natural sunblock, which, while not as strong as commercial, chemical blocks (it does need frequent re-application), managed to keep me burn-free for the three glorious weeks I spend in Tulum.
There are currently 11 scents in total (Rosas Frescas is my personal favourite), and according to Maga, the amicable shop assistant in Tulum’s Coqui Coqui shop, many clients enjoy layering these simple fragrances to create their own unique perfumes. They’re perfectly light, ideal for tropical climates where heat intensifies smells, but are also available in colder climates: Coqui Coqui perfume is carried by a few department stores in New York, Liberty in London, Colette in Paris and can also be bought online here or here.
But of course it’s a much better idea to seek out these gorgeous scents–and their equally gorgeous creator–in sunny, spicy Mexico.