I just got back from Tulum, Mexico. One of the few things I wanted to do other than sitting on the beach watching the waves was visit the local outpost of Coqui Coqui.
I was introduced to Coqui Coqui perfume by Ariane Prewitt, who carries some of them at her seasonal AP shop in Lakeside, Michigan (her store will have to be another post sometime!). The company is based in the Yucatan peninsula and its scents are inspired by and reflect the lush environment. Here’s a great overview and lovely photos. Warning: may cause immediate travel plans.
In Tulum, the Coqui Coqui boutique and residence is right on the beach, naturally. It’s all very “beautiful people,” but everyone is very friendly and down-to-earth–this is Mexico, not Paris, after all! You can shop in your bare feet. (I never stopped being amused by that.) They also sell some accessories like woven bags and leather jewelry, but I was there for the scents. (Hint: there are some excellent boutiques right next door on the beach road, including the beautiful Caravana. Owned by the same people, it has a similar bohemian-luxe aesthetic.)
All of the perfumes are on display, and you can try them out to your heart’s content, without anyone hovering over you offering to “help” (a major pet peeve of mine). Each fragrance is unisex, although some may be more traditionally “feminine” or “masculine” than others. Scents are generally one main note with some secondary elements, such as Tabaco (you can guess what that is), Rosas Fresas, Rosas Secas, and Orange Blossom–but they are incredibly complex and deep. And they’re pretty affordable.
You can buy some of the perfumes online, but for the whole line (which includes body and massage oils, candles, and the like), you have to go to Mexico. After sniffing them all, I narrowed my choices to two: Maderas, redolent of tropical woods, and Eucated, a blend of eucalyptus and cedar. I sprayed one on either arm and decided to take a day to decide, as I was staying just down the beach.
Originally I was leaning toward the Eucated–it was really arresting and I couldn’t stop smelling it–but unusually for me, I ended up not going with my first choice and decided on the Maderas. While striking, the Eucated was too vegetal for me. I love woodsy smells, and the Maderas grew on me more and more. It’s been about a week since I got back, and I still adore this spicy scent. I was even wearing it to sleep! I think it may even be my new signature fragrance. And since smells are so intimately tied to memory and experience, it will always bring back my getaway to the exotic beach-jungle environment of Tulum.