quinta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2016

Best in Show: Chocolate Fragrances (2016)

by: Miguel Matos, Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison, Jodi Battershell, Yi Shang, Stefanie Jähn

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, five Fragrantica writers from around the globe enjoyed the opportunity to discuss their favorite chocolate-themed aromas. A wide array of scents including niche, designer and mass market offerings from past and present were noted as Best in Show: Chocolate Fragrances (2016).
Vote for the nomination that you most enjoy by visiting our Best in Show Discussion Forum, Chocolate thread HERE. Don't see your own favorite listed? Tell us about it in a comment below!

MIGUEL MATOS: Chocolate in fragrances is not really my thing, but Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier instantly seduced me when I first smelled it back in 2011. This a dusty bitter cocoa powder scent and the spices make the cocoa explode. I feel something like cardamom or black pepper, even though the listed notes don't refer to that.
This is a creation typical of co-perfumer Olivier Cresp, since he is the father of gourmands and he likes to surprise us from time to time with a twist on the genre. After all he was the one who created Angel!
The dusty bitter vibe is extended with earthy patchouli. The sillage is sexy and assertive, but still elegant and not sweet and overwhelming or even cloying like chocolate usually seems to be for me regarding perfume. It is indeed a bit niche, and maybe that's the reason it was not a sales success and sooner or later I suspect it will be discontinued and hard to find.
Runners up: Guerlain L'Instant Pour Homme Extreme, M. Micallef Akowa, Tom Ford Black Orchid, Valentino Uomo, Sarah Jessica Parker Covet
MARLEN HARRISONComptoir Sud Pacifique, a niche fragrance house founded in the 1970's, became well known for their gourmand fragrance blends, especially their vanillas. However, it was their 1993 Amour de Cacao that truly stole my heart, er, nose. This was the first chocolate-themed scent I had ever (knowingly) tested (back in 1999) and it started my quest for additional chocolatey goodness; almost twenty years later I still keep a bottle in my collection.
Though neither as rich nor dark as some others in the category (e.g. Bond 9 New Haarlem), Amour de Cacao is like a light dusting of chocolate powder; it is more of a breeze than a storm. And because the longevity and sillage are also quite modest, I find Amour de Cacao a perfect warm weather gourmand that never overwhelms. With a rather straightforward composition of cacao, orange, carambola & vanilla, Amour is like a delicious, crisp, chocolate dessert cookie with a topping of exotic fruit.
Runners up: Dior Homme Intense, Givenchy Very Irresistible for Men, Mugler Angel Taste of Fragrance, Yves Rocher Neonatura Cocoon, and Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon
JODI BATTERSHELL: Axe (or outside the US, Lynx) Dark Temptation by nose Ann Gottlieb is like one of those exotic artisan-made chocolate truffles that pairs delicious dark chocolate with an unexpected, possibly even savory, ingredient. It's a remarkably complex and long-lasting spicy chocolate scent in the form of a body spray that typically retails for less than $5.
My first encounter with this fragrance was on an older male co-worker who smelled absolutely wonderful in it. Despite my genuine interest and praise, it took a fair amount of coaxing before he rather shamefacedly confessed to wearing an Axe body spray marketed to men 40 years his junior.
I say there's no shame in wanting to smell great, whatever your age, and no shame in admitting you enjoy a very inexpensive mass market fragrance! It's all about the smell and Dark Temptation smells great!
Runners up: House of Matriarch Coco Blanc (White Chocolate), En Voyage Indigo Vanilla (White Chocolate), Andy Kaufman Milk & Cookies, Olympic Orchids Seattle Chocolate, any of the Demeter chocolate scents
YI SHANG: When it comes to dessert-inspired gourmand perfume, we can easily find a lovely monologue of cocoa, or a touching duet sung by vanilla and chocolate. Rarely do I come cross a big number musical like 1969 Parfum de Revolte fromHistoire de Parfums.
There is a bit of a femme-fatale-in-casual-chic hidden in the core. Composed by Gerald Ghislain, 1969 wakes up the senses with lovely dark spicy savoury rose jam on peach cobbler served with Mexican chocolate garnish. What lingers around for days, is the warmth from musk and patchouli, with a hint of cool chocolate powder, of the type you can find lingering on the packaging foil after the chocolate inside is long gone.
1969 has the magic, which has intrigued me to splurge on this much pricier special chocolate, save up for consumption over special occasions. Oh, sans the calorie of course.
Runners up: Bittersweet by Tokyo Milk Parfumarie Curiosite, Vanille Noire du Mexique by La Maison de la Vanille, Angel by Thierry Mugler, Elixir Charnel Gourmand Coquin by Guerlain, Brazil Nut by The Body Shop
STEFANIE JÄHN: Very recently I learned to truly appreciate gourmand fragrances, but yet I prefer them with a little twist. Orchidee Vanille from the Collection Extraordinaire of Van Cleef & Arpels implements that by blending dark and rich chocolate with a hint of fruity, zingy orange and glazed almonds. It is delicious and satisfyingly sweet but simultaneously sophisticated and elegant with a soft musk that adds a certain warmth and wraps the other notes in a cashmere sweater feel.
Composed by Randa Hammami, the sillage and longevity are good. Three sprays generate a lovely cloud of scent for about 8hours; which is something I expect given the price tag. The packaging corresponds perfectly to the jeweler's heritage and could as easily contain a fine necklace as this flacon of massive glas.
Runners up: Perfumes by Terri (now Kyse Perfumes) Mandorlo Cioccolato, Perfumes by Terri (now Kyse Perfumes) Elegance Sombre, Guerlain L'Instant Pour Homme, Yves Rocher Neonatura Cocoon