Derby's Great Aunt
Coque d'Or represents for me, some of Jacques Guerlain's most underappreciated work... it is a sensuous leathery fragrance that I feel might have been a pre-cursor to another much-loved men's Guerlain fragrance; but more on that later.
My vintage Coque d'Or eau de toilette reveals a citrus opening over an aromatic floral heart. I detect rose and something like soft iris or violets and a piquancy furnished by slightly peppery carnations and notes of nutmeg or mace. However, there is a beguiling buttery leather accord that features, and it is one that I've smelled before... it reminds me of paper-thin hand-made antique gloves of the most exceptional quality. As the perfume evolves further, curls of creamy sandalwood appear and an ambery facet (labdanum and vanilla?) brings with it a glowing sense of warmth. The whole composition rests on a glorious oakmoss base that rivals the best of other Guerlain greats. Coque d'Or is a sultry skinscent that gets better and better the longer it rests on the skin.
I would not be surprised if Jacques Guerlain's grandson Jean-Paul Guerlain perhaps drew upon the aromatic leather/oakmoss marriage of Coque d'Or as inspiration behind the mens aromatic leather fougère Derby. Whilst the two have topnotes that diverge in style and composition (florals in the former vs peppermint in the latter), their heart and basenotes run somewhat parallel. Derby is heralded as Guerlain's most revered male leather scent, and has qualities I find comparable to his Great Aunt.
I think many would welcome the return of Coque d'Or in the permanent perfume portfolio at 68 Champs Elysées. For my money, I find it a must-try for each and every Guerlainophile.