Exploring the Polynesia Fragrance Collection at Coqui Coqui Bora Bora
“I wanted to make perfumes in a simplistic way, to regenerate original scents, not create something that was intangible or untouchable. My perfumes are simple, naive, stripped back; so that my children, my grandfather, a Mayan, or a Parisian can wear them. Scents that can be appreciated by everyone.”
Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memory, which is why certain scents can conjure up memories, emotions, and feelings—instantly transporting one back to a certain moment in time, as if it were just yesterday. One of the main reasons we wear perfume (aside from wanting to smell good) is because the chosen fragrance can enhance our mood, invoke specific memories and thoughts, and provide a feeling of escape. Quite powerful, indeed.
I have worn many fragrances throughout my life, but the moment I discovered Coqui Coqui Perfumeria during a visit to The Now Massage a few years ago, it felt as if I had met my fragrance soulmate. Founded in 2003 by French contemporary landscape architect and perfumer Nicolas Malleville, who was captivated by Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the Spanish monks that originally founded it, the line of scents and products is crafted on the belief of creating the ultimate sensory experience inspired by travel, lifestyle and exploration. Or as I like to call it, daydreams in a bottle.
“The perfumes represent the flora, the earth, the fruit, the woods, the flower and the landscape; the folklore and the traditions of the Yucatan culture,” says Malleville via his website. “These root elements are found all around the world; somewhere close to you there will be a rose, or woods, it reminds you of something in your past—your grandmother, your family’s garden, an era, even. They are all fantasies, memories; simple cocktails of fragrances.”
Recently I was in Bora Bora, where as fate would have it, Coqui Coqui has expanded their portfolio by opening their newest boutique on the French Polynesian island in 2017. This also marks the first time the brand has ventured outside of its native Mexico. Needless to say, I decided to venture out one afternoon and make the trip to Coqui Coqui Bora Bora—which was worth every minute and I would highly recommend to anyone visiting the island.
Upon my arrival by boat at the main pier in Vaitape, the main city on Bora Bora, Malleville picked me up himself in a stylish Coqui Coqui-themed Land Rover and drove me to the boutique. Located directly across the road from Matira Beach, the largest public access beach in Bora Bora with crystal-clear water and soft sand, Coqui Coqui Bora Bora sits at the foot of a lush, majestic hill filled with botanical delights that include traditional Polynesian plants, as well as curated fruits and trees.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the property is also home to Le Petit Spa Matira, an intimate and relaxing day spa that has a Zen garden and incorporates Coqui Coqui products into its services. In fact, I was so enchanted by the spa that I actually came back on a different day to try their Earth Ritual Treatment.
The storefront is stylishly decorated in the spirit of traditional Polynesia combined with elements of the Yucatan, and retails the brand’s original Yucatan collection as well as the new Polynesian collection, which can be experienced in the form of unique fragrances, oils, beauty products, and scents for the home and body.
Also available for purchase is a range of timeless and handcrafted clothing curated by Francesca Bonato, who is Malleville’s wife and fellow Coqui Coqui Co-Founder. The boutique also sells beautifully displayed jewelry, traditional Polynesian handcraft items, straw hats, beach wares, and more.
During my visit, store associate Francesca guided me through a scent journey of Coqui Coqui’s brand-new Polynesian collection, which will be available next winter in the United States. Featuring eight intoxicating scents, filled with Pacific island fragrance notes such as coconut, tiare, sandalwood, vanilla, and grapefruit, the new line was designed to create a sensory experience reminiscent of beautiful French Polynesia. It also is a counterpart to the original Yucatan collection, which is comprised of 13 intoxicating fragrances including tobacco, coconut, cedar, and tropical agave.
The Polynesia Collection:
Fleurs Des Iles (Tiare, Pitate, Plumeria) “A vibrant tribute to Polynesia and its flowers.”
Pamplylan (Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang) “Bright and refreshing.”
Pamsavai (Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Vanilla) “Balanced, this scent captures and surrounds like a cocoon.”
Vancopam (Vanilla, Coconut, Grapefruit) “Sensual, brilliant, and sharp.”
Ylacoco (Ylang Ylang, Coconut) “A pleasant sweetness.”
Sancoco (Sandalwood, Coconut) “Warm and witty.'“
Santylan (Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang) “Smooth and velvety.”
Saylti (Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Plumeria) “Refined fragrance, fine tone.”
The Coqui Coqui Perfumeria products are unisex and available as individual parfums, as well as distilled into the following:
Eau de Cologne
Eau de Perfume
The brand also has luxury beauty amenities that include shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste, as well as an exclusive sampler of all 13 Yucatan collection scents as miniature fragrances.
What I love most about Coqui Coqui Perfumeria’s scents is that they are transportive, simple, and timeless—encouraging my imagination to be free and creative. They remind me of my childhood, much of which was spent traveling from country to country as the daughter of a linguist. I still experience global wanderlust to this day, which I satisfy by embarking on a trip every now and then to a foreign land.
As I sit on my couch at home in Los Angeles, whenever I find my mind wandering or my heart longing for Tahiti, all I have to do is open up one of my bottles of Coqui Coqui fragrance, and with a quick spritz or two—I’m instantly transported back to Bora Bora, where the adventure began.
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily
Address: Coqui Coqui Bora Bora, Plage de Matira, Boite Postale 420, CP 98730. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Phone: (+689) 4067-7092 or (+689) 8720-1628
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk
[Photos by Kamala Kirk]