Sweet/Tart Part Two- Roxana Illuminated Perfume Chocolate Natural Perfumes ..and a draw
Previously I had covered Blossom, Roxana Villa delightful ode to the Eau de Cologne. This time I'm talking about her new line of solid perfumes based on chocolate, "the food of the gods"
My personal journey with perfume with chocolate notes started of course with Angel, which I instantly loathed. Like "get that s&(t away from me" loathed. Then I smelled in on a co-worker on whom it was a total delight. Still is ghastly on me, but a gateway drug is a gateway drug. Then there was Borneo 1834, which was an instant love and my first Bell Jar. There have been others, but I do have to write that Chocolate (or Cacoa more accurately) isn't the first thing I think of when I think of perfumes. When Roxana told me that her new line was all Cocoa, all the time I thought "Hmmm" Then she explained that while they're solid perfumes that stand alone, they're almost to be used as body butters, to be layered with themselves and other Illuminated Perfumes.
Figure 1: Noir is pretty Noir: dark woods, dark spices (I smell cinnamon bark and patchouli?) and dark chocolate. The chocolate is the hero ingredient for only about 50% of the time. The other 50% is the woods and musk. I'd love to see a perfume version of this with say 80% woods and 20% Cacao to layer it.
Figure 2: Cerise is described as cherry and chocolate. It's not. Which is my opinion is no bad thing: I;m not sure that a literal interpretation is something I'd like. It does suggest cherries, but in a whisper, as is the chocolate.
Figure 3: La Forêt is a "dense conifer forest meets and ocean of chocolate". It's definitely dense conifer but the chocolate is more like a pond, and arrives late to the party. It also arrives with a bit of saltiness that's not only fascinating but works extremely well with the piney opening.
Figure 4: L'Orangerie is not immediately choco-tastic. It opens bright with citrus peel, sort of like ripping into a fresh mandarin. The Cacao is never intrusive, it seems like a base to the citrus. She writes that "this perfume is VERY fleeting", but I got a decent lasting power out of it and think it would be great with a citrus scent on top.
Figure 5: Bois de Chocolat is "smokey woods and chocolate". First, I think that there is nobody who does smoke better than Roxana Villa and this is a wonderful example of it: it has the smokiness of her Chaparral supplanted with the smoky sweetness of the cocao bean. Of any of these this is the one I'd like to own, hands down.
Figure 6: Épices is spices, vanilla and chocolate. To me it smells sort of like a chai latte with a hit of Sharffen Berger (the brand she uses to make the line). It's the one that I find the least interesting in the line. But having written that, I have a feeling that a little of this rubbed behind your ears and you'll have boys eating out of your hand.
I have a sampler of all six available for one reader, if you wish to be included in the draw please leave a comment.
Available at her Etsy shop, in various combinations. She provided me with my small samples and the samples for the draw.