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Coach Love Eau de Parfum Spray — Getting to the Heart of the Matter

By his own admission, my boyfriend has a terrible sense of smell — in fact, he says there was a year-long span in which he essentially detected no odors whatsoever (a phenomenon that had its unexpected benefits, such as being able to sit peacefully in offensively stinky subway cars, blissfully unaware of the smell that had other strap-hangers covering their noses with scarves and coat lapels). Though he can now detect some smells, it’s still hardly the most reliable of his five senses — and that is why, folks, I knew we had a problem when he turned to me one night and politely asked me if I could wash off the perfume I was wearing since it was giving him a pounding headache. The fragrance in question: Coach Love Eau de Parfum Spray ($72 for 1.7 oz. at Sephora.com and Coach.com).

Now, I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly keen on the scent myself but, after several wears, I was hoping I’d somehow discover what had other bloggers raving about the fragrance. Still, I can’t say I   accomplished that goal. Though Coach Love was pleasant enough, the fragrance composition felt extremely generic so that there was nothing that made this scent feel novel in any conceivable way. It also didn’t successfully conjure up any mood for me — I wouldn’t bill it as romantic, erotic, free-spirited, adventurous, classic, dreamy, mysterious, playful, sporty, exotic, clean, powdery, or ephemeral. Literally, whenever I smelled it, the only image dancing in my head was department store workers accosting me with their bottles, trying to spritz me as I darted away like a character in a video game fleeing to a safe zone.

As its name implies Coach Love is meant to capture the exhilaration of being in love, that elation you feel as endorphins are released whenever you encounter, touch, or speak to your beloved. In truth, however, the scent is so saccharine and the floral notes so overpowering that there’s no sense of romance or sensuality. It’s not demure or dreamy, nor is it charming and playful.

Described as a floral woody fragrance, the Coach Love EDP features top notes of dewberry, green violet, sparkling mandarin, and freesia that usher the way to the floral heart, which features notes of magnolia, jasmine, and gardenia. The base, meanwhile, consists of sandalwood, vanilla, caramel, musk, and patchouli. Whenever I spritzed it onto my pulse points, I could only detect the floral notes (especially the freesia, magnolia, and jasmine) and the gourmand caramel and vanilla notes but, again, the combination feels artificial and synthetic for a mix that’s pungent rather than pretty.

Bottom line: when a fragrance triggers sneezing fits or has your significant other begging for you to take a shower to eliminate any trace of that scent, it’s not exactly an aromatic triumph. Frankly, Coach Love is a bit of misnomer since, all I can think when I smell it is, “What’s love got to do with it?”

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