Saturday, February 10, 2007

More Chocolate

Here are three more critiques of chocolate-based fragrances.

Ayala Moriel
Roses et Chocolat

Notes: pink pepper, nutmeg, mace, turkish rose, rose Maroc, may rose, cocoa absolute, benzoin, amber

Roses et Chocolat opens with a dry chocolate scent, like that of an ancient chocolate bar, forgotten and left to bloom. Then the spices come up and cause the chocolate to be not unlike a Necco wafer, sorta chocolate, sorta spice. The roses and benzoin dance in together, floral with a resin-y tang not unlike that of Zenadora. The resin note is very strong and not entirely pleasant, however, as it and the smell of Necco wafers don't really blend into an attractive whole. Hold back on that note, however, and this scent has real potential.

Eau de Cacao

Notes: rum, fruit, jasmine, sandalwood, chocolate, praline, tonka bean, vanilla, musk, Peru balsam

This scent reminds me of my childhood in the 70s: cocoa butter for tanning; a visit to Hersheypark (where even the mulch smells like chocolate) and a tour of the factory; Play-Doh; and white cake cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Sweet, but not cloying, Eau de Cacao is the most true chocolate scent I've smelled so far. The other notes are so subtle as to not be obvious, and I think they are good supporting players that round out the smell of the cocoa. Of course, when I say "true" chocolate, I mean as true as a fantasy version can get, as nothing compares to the natural aroma of real cacao.

Il Profumo
Chocolat Frais

Notes: cocoa, absinthe, almond tree flowers, green apple, pomegranate, carambola, white peach, woods, heliotrope

I'm not sure why this is named "Chocolat," as it's not about the chocolate at all. It opens up with tropical fruits spiked with licorice-y absinthe. Next comes a creamy vanilla floral and the tartness of green apple and pomegranate soothed with a honeyed quality. That warm sweetness may well be the cocoa, but it could be any number of similar smells.

During the drydown, the tartness and floral aromas remain, mixed with something almost masculine in quality which may be the wood note listed. Personally, I don't find Chocolate Frais to be a pleasant scent at all. A real scrubber, in fact.


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