Egypt, August 1990, somewhere between Luxor and Aswan along the Nile river. It was my second day of sailing in a felluca with a crew of three locals. I expected my trip from Luxor to Aswan to take three days and so far we had covered barely one third of the voyage.
The felucca was gently sailing up the river close to the left bank. i was slowly savouring a french "Gitanes", never tired of admiring the golden yellow banks with a strip of green bordering the river. Even today egyptian sailors prefer to border the river in the eastern side, the land of the living, the left bank for the boats going sout. "Rive Gauche" I thought looking at the river sandy left banks. Too floral for this damn hot weather. I must think of something else for Giovanna. As the cigarette was about to come to an end, I started singing "Cielito Lindo" interrupting the omnipresent monumental desert silence. I really must get a birthday present to Giovanna.
We had a fresher northern breeze till two hours earlier. Now there was no wind whatsoever and the temperature was rising. The felucca was still sailing south due to the well engineered triangular sails, but moving at a very slow pace. We still had some thirty miles before reaching Edfu, the home of the crocodile god sanctuary. Edfu does recall to all the travelers about the huge Nile crocodiles that existed in this section of the Nile. Currently only a few crocodile mummies are on display at the temple. Nowadays only after the Aswan dam lake one may see a living crocodile. Yes, lots of crocodiles, lots of croc... a Lacoste?,... a Lacoste Original! It's green and fresh but I would prefer it to be mint green. Well, if I don't come out with something more appropriated, Lacoste will be.'
Giovanna should already be waiting for me in Aswan. I really expected to arrive before her, but nobody could preview this wind lull. I grabbed another Gitanes. The strong french cigarette only made the desert seem more hot and dry, and the journey, slower. I should have rented a speed boat instead of a Felucca. I wish I could have guessed it. 'Guess... Guess Eau de Parfum... it may be an option as well.' I remembered it spicy and sweet, as well the face of Claudia Schiffer in the advertising campaign. I'll better not mix Claudia Schiffer and Giovanna in the same thought. So let's forget about Guess l'Eau de Parfum.
Another village ... in the central minaret, an Imam called the faithful to pray at the end of the day. That cry echoed over the waters of the Nile, reminding me of the Nubian smiles always on the faces of the locals who, behind us, hid behind the blue doors and white walls, whether out of inocent shame or to avoid the burning sun rays. Almost two thousand years after the ancient Egypt last active pharaoh, Ra the sun god and king of the firmament continued to dictate the movements and habits of the present subjects. Now in my mind I had the face of an imaginary Cleopatra with the face of Elizabeth Taylor. "Passion" l'Eau de Parfum by Elizabeth Taylor could be an option as well. Quite oriental and spicy,.. but also to floral. I must keep searching still.
Giovanna insisted on us meeting in Aswan for us to proceed by speed boat to Abu-Simbel. The cool waters of the Nasser lake would be a lot cooler than journeying through the desert. I just could not avoid spending some days in Kairo. But Kairo was just to hot and full of traffic for her. So she decided to fly directly to Aswan, departing from Paris and changing plane in Rome. Yes, Paris and Rome instead of Kayro... 'YSL Paris should be ok. But it has even more flowers than Rive Gauche... and Roma... Biagiotti's Roma!... full of myrrh and amber, a bit fresh, some civet, awsome flask... yeah! It could be Roma." No way! I already had given Giovanna a flask of Roma two year before. I cannot give her a repeated flask here in Nubia.
- 'Aashad Allaha! Alrba! Alrb!' ('Allah be praised! Sir! Sir!') - 'We can save some time through the juz al hind al jamal'... 'it is open despite the dry weather. You know... qanat jamal juz alhind'?
'Juz al hind al jamal', I mumbled the words slowly. My arabic was a bit rusty, or should I say, very rusty. Well "jamal" has always meant "camel"... but "al hind"? If I remember well it means "poop"... camel poop? what the hell am I going to do with camel poop?
- 'Yes! yes! 'al hind'... 'kuhkuh'... repeated Achmed pointing to his back side as trying to confirm that "kuhkuh" stands also for "poop" as in baby's poop. - 'qanat jamal kuhkuh'... 'the channel of jamal kuhkuh'...
Suddenly it made a lot of sense! Ou course!... there is an artificial chanel there, and the locals really call it "al hind channel" or "kuhkuh channel". We can save an entire day using than damn channel. I just looked at Achmed and said:
- 'Come on lads! let's use the side road! all the way to kuhkuh channel...'
My god! I should have remembered it before... Coco Chanel!... balsamic, ambery, sweet, spicy, rosy, some civet... it's perfect. It's probably the perfume she likes the best. Now, where in hell am I going to find a Coco Chanel flask in Aswan?
Scoring "kuhkuh channel":
Scent opening............10.0 ( cloves, coriander and rose - divine!)
Scent Dry Down.........10.0 ( balsamic sandalwood, resinous labdanum & amber and some hints of swetness and animalic civet - long hours of a perfect scent)
Longevity (h) ..............9.0 (up to 9~10 hours with 3 sprays on skin)
Sillage (ft)....................9.0 (6~7 ft with 2.5 h of good projection)
Versatility....................9.0 (Above average pending for colder temperatures)
Usability......................9.0 (High; Not suitable for any hot temperature event)
Compliments.............10.0 (Elegant, alluring, classy, a compliment champion)
Uniqueness.................9.5 (almost unique not considering other Coco Chanel concentrations; some other perfumes sometimes have a Coco similar vibe like Dali's La Belle et L'Ocelot)
Quality.........................10.0 (well above average quality)
Presentation................8.0 (a matter of opinion)
Price..............................5.0 (€ 116 for a 100 ml EDP tester; excelence but at a cost)
between 7 and 8 => above average;
between 8 and 9 => recommended;
equal or bigger than 9 => don't miss it;
Opinion on this admirable perfume:
High quality standard and overall very pleasant scent, elegant, making a nice choice for being so seductive, and with a lot of class! Well above average performance. Pricing a bit expensive but that's what you pay for a true landmark. It's a lot better than many more expensive niche perfumes. It has virtually no clones and remains as an unique Chanel choice. Needless to say that I consider it as unisex!
Blind purchase worthy? Yes, but it won't be cheap.
Music: Ed Sheeran - "Perfect"