The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Chocolate

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Perfume can be used to evoke a variety of emotions; joy, lust, sadness and love but perhaps the strongest emotion perfume can instil is a sense of comfort. At times when the weather or life is cruel a warm, enveloping perfume can shroud the wearer in layers of liquid armour that fights off the world’s negative elements.

When thinking of comforting perfumes one’s mind drifts easily in to the world of the gourmand, whose inhabitants are olfactory dinners, puddings and treats for those that wish to take comfort in food without the calories. They are comfort on a plate or in a bottle.

Perhaps the most comforting gourmand notes of all is chocolate and it is very much an accord that can go either way with a tendency to be cloying and sickly if used incorrectly. If you are a chocoholic like I am then this guide to the fragrant delights of the genre should serve as a delicious tour of pure delight.

Cocoa Beans

Cocoa Beans

Chocolate

Normally in one of these guides I would give a brief description of the note, it’s origin and uses, however as we are all familiar with chocolate and its odour I thought it would be more pertinent to share with you the following extract (and recipe) from olfactory wizard Jean-Claude Ellena’s book ‘The Diary of a Nose’:

“The aroma of cocoa beans alone is made up of hundreds of molecules, but, by roasting the beans, man has given this distinctive flavour a very human complexity because he has tripled the number of odorous components. This juxtaposition of smells demonstrates that perfumers are above all illusionists.

isobutyl phenyl acetate

vanillin

To ‘make’ plain chocolate, I recommend adding patchouli; for a ganache, a trace of civet; for ‘orangette’, orange zest; for an After Eight, spearmint; and for the smell of cocoa powder, concrete of iris” [1]

Angel

The Original Chocolate: Angel EDP by Thierry Mugler

It would be rude to start a guide into the world of chocolate perfumes with a fragrance that wasn’t Angel, for it isn’t only the most successful choco-based fragrance around but it is also the fragrance that put chocolate notes on the map.

Angel is a fragrance of contrasts, juxtaposing the intensely sweet and sickly notes of berries, white flowers, caramel and candy floss (there’s a metric ton of ethyl maltol in there) against bitter dark chocolate and a noir monolith of patchouli.

In theory it shouldn’t work but the best things in life very often don’t sound good on paper and Angel very much deserves its spot as one of the most novel and beautiful fragrances of all time.

Angel Le Goût du Parfum takes Angel’s chocolate accord to the next level, emphasising its darker, more roasted qualities and giving the impression of ganache freshly rolled in bitter cocoa powder.

This one is for those that want something a bit deeper and richer than the original Angel. It has hints of cooking chocolate and loses a lot of the sweetness that makes the original cloying to the more discerning palettes.

Also worth trying is Mugler’s quadrilogy ‘Les Jardins Etoiles’ (The Garden of Stars) that consists of Angel plus a variety of flowers, specifically Lily, Peony, Violet and Rose.

Chocolate Greedy

The Gluttonous: Chocolate Greedy by Montale

If you ever thought that Angel was difficult to stomach then you’re in for a treat with Chocolate Greedy. Never has a perfume been more aptly named than with this calorific rendition of death by chocolate.

Chocolate Greedy is the smell of hot butter stirred in to melted chocolate. It has hints of orange essence and chocolate cookies as well as oodles and oodles of vanilla cream. Its as fun as it is delicious but whether it is entirely wearable I am unsure, it certainly requires a careful trigger finger, spray just a bit too much and you’re in for a serious bought of indigestion.

This is the last Angel on the list I promise! Despite the fact that the combination of chilli and chocolate is well-known and equally well-respected A*Men Le Goût du Parfum is perhaps one of the weirdest scents around.

The piquant note of hot chilli oil really adds a kick to A*Men’s melting pot of god-knows-what (seriously A*Men has just about everything you can think of inside it) and the overall impression is a stark contrast of black and red. Fabulous stuff!

Iris Ganache

The White Chocolate: Iris Ganache by Guerlain

If there’s one thing Guerlain knows how to do properly it’s a floral gourmand and Iris Ganache is one of their most unique and striking, which is why it is so distressing that the house has made the decision to discontinue it.

Taking the rooty, powdery and violet notes of iris and swirling them into a warm pot of white chocolate, Iris Ganache caresses you in a cloud of edible velvet that is light, fluffy and seriously addictive.

It’s quite easy to refer to a chocolate accord as ‘novel’, after all the idea of the familiar odour of cocoa as a perfume is a pretty funny one, but none are more so than Musc Maori, which is so instantly recognisable it cannot fail to encourage a smile.

Musc Maori is spray-on chocolate milkshake, Nesquik chocolate milkshake to be precise, and it most definitely pushes the novelty factor to the limit. That said, it is very easy to wear with a gorgeous texture of almond milk and chocolate powder. As with all Parfumerie Générale scents the quality is unarguably good and Musc Maori is definitely worth a sniff if you’re looking for a bit fun with your chocolate.

Kokorico

The Fig Chocolate: Kokorico by Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier’s Kokorico has received mixed reactions since its release in 2011 and as far as I am aware it hasn’t made a massive splash in the department stores. Personally I love it, it’s a real mishmash of themes – fresh green fig, warm cocoa and plush woods – that seem to pull together to create an extremely friendly and wearable masculine.

The chocolate is relatively subdued in comparison to some of the other scents in this guide and that’s what makes it unique, it is much more of an abstract fragrance that uses foody notes without smelling redolent of anything remotely edible.

Petit Fracas

The Weight Watcher’s Chocolate: Petit Fracas by Robert Piguet

Last but not least in this ode to chocolate is a fragrance that uses bitter cocoa as a base note rather than a central theme. As you would expect from a perfume that is intended to be a youthful interpretation of the original party girl of fragrance – Fracas – Petit is a big sweet bomb of white flowers and fruit accented by a creamy delicious base of dark chocolate ganache for those that do not believe in behaving.

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Join the Discussion!

What are your favourite choco-scents?
Do you agree with my choices?
What would you add?
Do you like chocolate fragrances?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!

Other Guides in This Series

Tuberose
Lavender
Oud
Orange Blossom

Disclaimer
Image 1 fanpop.com. Image 2 tumblr.com. Image 3 theperfumeshop.com. Image 4 & 7 osmoz.com. Image 5 basenotes.net. Image 6 esun.ro. Image 8 osmoz.fr. Image 9 douglas.de. Image 10 via press release. [1] Ellena, JC. 2011. The Diary of a Nose. Particular Books.

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40 thoughts on “The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Chocolate

  1. Ooh, yum. I love Annick Goutal’s Eau de Charlotte – it has this amazing blend of blackcurrant, mimosa and cocoa and is my ‘chocolate’ of choice. The notes work really well together and make for a fresh, warm, romantic scent. Haven’t owned a bottle in years, but the smell still haunts me, in a vivid longing kind of way 🙂

  2. Lovely! The interesting thing with Musc Maori (have a little bottle) is that I pretty much always considered it a straightforward, heavily lactonic chocolate, now I get a lot of wierd white florals in there too – the creamy cheesy kind of gardenia that was recently done in Une Voix Noire – it’s definitely in there mixed with the cocoa. It reminds me of the taste of chocolate Philadelphia cheese (yes they did that, and yes it was pretty gross). Still love it! 😀

    • Oooh I can see where you’re coming from with that, there is definitely something akin to creamy white flowers in the background that I hadn’t noticed before.

      Did they REALLY do chocolate Philadelphia? *vom*

      • Yeh it took me ages (until I sprayed some on my bed sheets… don’t ask) to find it in there, and I thought I’d sprayed a gardenia.
        They did 😦 It was…. a failure.
        Great post by the way – I’m always getting the chocolate cravings recently!

  3. Agree- Angel and its flanker friends definitely put chocolate on the map. I do like chocolate notes, but not all the time. Lea St. Barth (vanilla, almond & musk) used to come in an Extreme version (sadly disco-ed) where the vanilla note came off more like milk chocolate. If you can ever get your hands on it, it’s delicious. The regular Lea is a very nice gourmand musk as well. Now I’m kind of interested in that Musc Maori…sounds like it may be in similar style.

  4. Your Guides should be required reading for anyone interested in perfume. They are SO good.

    I love the way you sum up each choco fragrance with a title that is absolutely spot-on. You have really found the individual qualities/types of chocolate that are found in each perfume.

    Very interesting, informative quote from JCE, thanks for including that.

    I like chocolate in perfume to be a facet of the composition rather than the main event, like in Equistrius. I’m such a perfume chicken! I need to try Cartier’s L’Heure Defendue again because I really liked the sophisticated dark chocolate the one time I tried it. I’m not paying £205 for 75ml though. I wish I got chocolate from Coromandel like others do but it’s just patchouli with a capital P for me.

    Are the Mugler Le Gout du Parfum editions hard to find?

    • Thanks Tara!

      £205 for 75ml is VERY pricey! I’ve kind of set an unofficial limit of £200 in my head, I think I’d find it hard to shell out more than that for any perfume.

      The Le Gout du Parfum editions can be found relatively easily on eBay and Cheapsmells etc. They’re all good.

  5. Thanks for the great list, I need to try that Musc Maori! the only chocolate I currently like it Bvlgari Omnia. It has a “white chocolate” note, but it’s mostly about the spices and wood.

  6. Great guide, I think I may need some chocolate now, yum! Will have to try Kokorico next time I’m near a tester bottle. I would like to add Borneo and Vetiver Oriental, both Serge Lutens. I love how chocolate is used in a less gourmand way in these fragrances, but is still very recognisable as chocolate.

  7. Iris Ganache is really delicious (own a sample but not a FB), on the other end of the spectrum so to speak I have Andy Tauer’s Dark Passage with lots of patchouli and cocoa…

  8. Great descriptions, Candy Boy! I think you’re absolutely spot on when you describe Musc Maori as Nesquik Chocolate Shake and Chocolate Greedy as ‘calorific!’ Isn’t it strange – I absolutely can’t cope with milk chocolate in perfume. Musc Maori, Chocolate Greedy, Angel, all of them just make me turn away. I was adamant that I couldn’t stand any form of chocolate in perfume, but then I tried Lutens Borneo 1834 and it blew me away both on the cocoa and the patchouli fronts. I liked Kokorico when I tried it – I’m a figgy girl though – and the idea of ‘a little fracas’ makes me giggle.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever tried Molinard’s Nirmala? There was some debate online about whether Angel was a copy of it.

  9. yum! My favorite among those you listed is Iris Ganache…and my new favorite with a chocolate note is Anima Dulcis by Arquiste – dark cocoa powder and hot red chile pepper – so balanced, and so good!

  10. Reneetamara beat me to it, I love Anima Dulcis by Arquiste for its spicy chocolate. It reminds me of Mexican Hot Chocolate with bitter dark chocolate, a little spice and a hint of coffee beans. Iris Ganache is another one of my favorites though, had to get a bottle for my mom before it was gone forever. The JPG fig and chocolate sounds very interesting, I need to look for that one to try!

  11. I cant stop laughing about the weight watchers perfume! I must get a bottle of Petit Fracas and incorporate into my diet. Your too adorable, Shame about Iris ganache, One of Wasser’s best fragrances for Guerlain, cest la vie x x

  12. Amour de cacao by Comptoir Sud Pacifique is a definite milk chocolate scent. To me it smells like Ferrero Rocher, complete with the wafer shell and everything!

  13. I recently retried – and discounted – Angel from any list of possible chocolate scents I like. : – ( My favourite would have to be PG Brulure de Rose I think. Meanwhile, I am intrigued to learn that Petit Fracas has a chocolate base – I thought it was just a more demure version of its louder older sister!

  14. Pingback: The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Violet | The Candy Perfume Boy

  15. I am enjoying Bond No 9 “I love New York for All”. It is really warm and cozy as a winter scent. I also like Tom Ford “Black Orchid” because it is just sexy.

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