Chocolate: 24 posts

Cacharel Anais Anais Premier Delice : Perfume Review

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No perfume families are as vast as the fruity-floral and gourmand families. It seems that you can get any dessert in perfume form, from crème brûlée to cupcakes. There are also many fragrances that smell like clones of each other, which is why after you smell one too many variations of Angel, you start giving up on the whole lot. On the other hand, if you want lighthearted and fun, then nothing can beat a well-crafted gourmand blend. From time to time, I canvas perfume store shelves for such contenders, and my latest search turned up Cacharel’s Anais Anais Premier Délice.

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Premier Délice is one of several variations on the classical green floral Anais Anais, but it’s the first major departure from the original. Instead of accenting the floral notes, perfumers Olivier Cresp and Dora Baghriche took a different route. They’ve laced it with chocolate! If you’re familiar with the original, you’re probably skeptical right now, but if you like gourmand and fruity notes you’ll like Premier Délice. It is moderately sweet on the contemporary gourmand spectrum, and it has some interesting elements.

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A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle Respawn : Perfume Review

Patricia on rebellious (or not so rebellious) roses.

I approached Rose Rebelle Respawn by A Lab on Fire with some trepidation, since its older sister, perfumer Sophia Grojsman’s 100% Love by S-Perfume, was the only perfume to date that made me gasp for air. I wondered how the masterful Grojsman, creator of many of my favorites including Yves Saint Laurent Paris, a beautiful violet rose that I wore throughout the 80s, Boucheron Jaipur, Bvlgari Pour Femme, Estée Lauder White Linen, and Prescriptives Calyx could have created this monster? 100% Love is deeply polarizing, with many fans and many detractors. Its supporters praised its originality, while its naysayers found it unwearable.  If I tell you that I referred to it as 100% Nasty in my perfume notes, you’ll guess in which camp I belonged.

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But I needn’t have worried about Rose Rebelle Respawn. Although it contains many of the same notes as 100% Love, such as rose, cacao, and musks, it handles these elements in a completely different way. Where 100% Love has a sour, fermented note, Rose Rebelle eschews it in favor of softness and warmth. It’s blended with a lighter touch and from top to bottom it’s a cozy, powdery confection.

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Pacifica Mexican Cocoa : Perfume Review

Today Andy takes a break from tea and talks  about the aromas of hot chocolate.

With whimsical packaging and fragrances inspired by exotic locales, Pacifica is a brand that makes it easy to fall in love with their perfumes. After all, with such a low price point ($22 for 30ml), the fragrances are hard to resist. The line offers a selection of simple, clean fragrances that are all easy to wear and layer, with generously scented soaps and body butters. There are also solid and rollerball versions of their perfumes, plus scented candles and diffusers for the home. The brand’s aesthetic shies away from being too serious, keeping their scents fresh and fun, lively and bright.

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Even though the fragrances aren’t profound or challenging, I’ve found that Pacifica’s scents are worth trying, because several are of outstanding quality, given the price. My first foray into Pacifica was with Mediterranean Fig, which continues to be one of my favorites from the line. It is a well-made, transparent fig scent that follows a nicely developed progression through all the fragrant elements of the fig tree: leaves, fruit, and branches. Another scent worth trying is Pacifica’s French Lilac, which captures an extremely realistic lilac note with a gentle, milky touch. Nerola Orange Blossom offers a simple, refreshing neroli and orange blossom cologne that smells surprisingly heady and sophisticated. Their Mexican Cocoa is addictive and comforting.

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Aftelier Perfumes Sepia : Fragrance Review

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Natural perfumer Mandy Aftel created Sepia out of an exchange with fellow California perfumer Laurie Erickson of Sonoma Scent Studio.  This, the third installment of Nathan Branch’s Letters to a Fellow Perfumer project, involved each of the perfumers working with a material they had not used before.  Erickson chose black and blue hemlock spruce absolutes for a perfume that became Forest Walk.

Aftel originally selected natural alpha ionone (a violet-like smell) and a fire tree absolute for an idea she had to depict her feelings about California’s Gold Country and its ghost towns, of “the beauty of what remains after something is ravaged by time.”  Shortly into the project, Aftel abandoned both of these original materials, replacing them with flowering tobacco absolute and blond cedarwood and from this built her fragrant tone poem of both an imaginary past and a present reality.

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Annick Goutal Eau de Charlotte : Fragrance Review

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by Suzanna

In the early 1980s, the late Annick Goutal created two fragrances for her young daughters, Camille and Charlotte.  Ivy and honeysuckle inspired Camille’s scent (Eau de Camille, 1983) while Charlotte’s scent (Eau de Charlotte, 1982) described a young girl smitten by blackcurrant jam and cocoa. Despite the foodie nomenclature of the notes, Eau de Charlotte is not a gourmand scent. The blackcurrant and cocoa notes belie Charlotte’s true nature as a lily of the valley scent.

I discovered Charlotte, or she me, on a scent strip in a magazine. It smelled so different—this was the mid-nineties—to anything else I’d smelled until that time.  I was a Jean Patou Joy wearer, and Eau de Charlotte seemed less mainstream and more creative. I wore it through a couple of bottles before finding Gardenia Passion from the same Goutal line (by way of the incredible soap, but that’s another story!)

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Elize in Revolutionary Perfume : A Brief History of Chypre: i never knew Chanel no. 19 was a Chypre! Frankly, I have no idea what oakmoss smells like, so I’m not able to identify Chypres from other fragrances. As a… June 4, 2020 at 12:15am

  • Peter in Recommend Me a Perfume : May 2020: Hello Lainey. I got a little lost on the Deanna thread, but my response to her (Oriza L Legrand “Oeillet XI”) could also apply to you. You’re the Bellodgia Lover! June 3, 2020 at 9:26pm

  • Peter in Recommend Me a Perfume : May 2020: Hello Deanna. I’ve never smelled Bellodgia, but I do like the scent of carnation. The vintage quest is tough. For a contemporary take you could try Oriza L Legrand “Oeillet… June 3, 2020 at 9:15pm

  • Peter in Recommend Me a Perfume : May 2020: Hello Ugo. VC&A First is an elegant “Lady that Lunches”. Hermes 24 Faubourg is another Lady with a waft of orange blossom (and jasmine). Of course, there’s Annick Goutal Songes,… June 3, 2020 at 8:56pm

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