"Kevin, would you like to smell chocolaty?"
"Are you kidding? Besides onions, garlic and seafood, that's the last thing I want to smell like! I hate candy perfumes." (Insert head-toss)
It's a short walk from baked goods (I like scents with bread and cake notes), spices, and sweet "fancy" dessert aromas of violet and rose to — chocolate bars, fudge and icing. I took the necessary steps by buying a sample of Chocolate Man from Arizona-based Dame Perfumery last summer. I finally tried Chocolate Man this week, three months later, and am eating my anti-chocolate-perfume words. I can't keep my nose from my perfume-doused arms as I dream of dense brownies, a bowl of darkest chocolate (warm!) frosting or plump, creamy truffles.
Chocolate Man goes on smelling of hot (temperature) chocolate; if you cook, you'll recognize the aroma of tempering or baking chocolate (the "chocolate" is super-dark, aromatic, not too sweet). Chocolate Man retains this delicious gourmand note throughout its development. I also detect notes that smell of vanilla bean, wood — or woody patchouli — and a phase that mimics the scent of burnt sugar. My partner, who sniffed my wrist hours after I applied Chocolate Man, said it reminded him of the cotton candy sold at carnivals, where a deep aroma of hot sugar fills the air around the candy-making machines. In the extreme dry down, Chocolate Man, appropriately, smells of powdered, slightly bitter, cocoa.
If I had smelled Chocolate Man "blind" I may have thought it was a Thierry Mugler creation, maybe A*Men Pure Chocolate. It also brought to mind a few other oriental/gourmands: Chanel Coromandel, Arquiste Anima Dulcis and *a much less challenging* Serge Lutens Borneo 1834. Chocolate Man has good lasting power and sillage and it smells better than perfumes I've worn recently that cost $100 more than it does. At $65 for 100 ml, Chocolate Man's a bargain (or as we say in Perfumeland, it's basically "free").
Note: top image of Theobroma cacao [altered] from Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen in naturgetreuen Abbildungen mit kurz erläuterndem, via Wikimedia Commons.