I’ve never referred to myself as a “chocoholic.” I enjoy chocolate, but I’m an equal-opportunity sweets lover, and I’m usually more likely to seek out cookies or ice cream or a really good piece of apple pie than a cocoa-based dessert. Today, however, I rounded off my lunch with a slab of chocolate cake. I think the last long weeks of winter have finally gotten to me. In this spirit of unexpected cravings, I’ve rounded up a handful of chocolate-fragrance body products for your delectation.
I’m fond of Villainess’ vaguely steampunk aesthetic, not to mention its range of unusual scents. Its Dulces en Fuego (“fire candies”) blend mixes cocoa with cinnamon and black pepper and a touch of musk. The dense, sugar-based Smooch! Warming Body Scrub actually does seem to give off heat when it’s first applied to the skin, and the matching Dulces en Fuego soap (shown above) looks dangerously dark before it foams. The scent of Dulces en Fuego reminds me of the tiny cups of rich, spiced "Aztec" chocolate served at Mariebelle in New York, although it probably doesn’t taste as good. (Just kidding! Needless to say, you shouldn’t taste any of these products.) ($10 for 8 oz of scrub and $5 for a 3.5 oz bar of soap at Villainess)
Oil-based products can be such a relief for skin parched by freezing wind and dry heated air. Ganache, known for its sweet-flavored lip balms, has branched out into body care with a Whisper Light Body Oil Veil (shown below, center). This blend of nourishing oils is packaged in a neat, convenient spray bottle, and it really does sink gently into the skin in record time. Its Rose de Cacao scent is a velvety blend of natural rose essence and cocoa extracts, with just enough of an earthy edge to prevent it from sliding into cupcake territory. ($10 for 1 oz and $39 for 8.5 oz at Beautyhabit)
Ikove also specializes in nature-based personal care, and its Organic Açai Chocolate Shampoo and Conditioner (shown above left) are worth seeking out if you’re fond of chocolate-fruit blends, particularly the pairing of chocolate with oranges. These formulas are free of sulfates, petrochemicals, and parabens, and they’re probably best-suited for dry or coarse hair, since their aloe and cocoa butter make them somewhat heavy. They’re fragranced with real cocoa extract and sweet orange oil; I don’t know how well your hair can absorb the health benefits of açai and chocolate, as the company suggests, but these two bottles are certainly sniff-worthy. ($9.99 and $11.99 for 8.45 oz each at Florestas and Whole Foods stores)
Chocolate and mint make a satisfying pairing in sweets, so their combination seems worth trying in body products too. EO makes a Chocolate & Mint Body Lotion (see above right); it applies easily, absorbs quickly, and moisturizes lightly. It smells exactly like an After Eight dinner mint, but the fragrance wears off after a minute or two, leaving hydration without any tell-tale sillage that would have your neighbors looking around for a candy dish. ($8.99 for 8 oz at EO Products and Smallflower)
Roxana Illuminated Perfume recently released two series of chocolate-themed solid perfumes packaged like handmade truffles. These scents include various forms of their key ingredient, including cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and actual Scharffen Berger chocolate. Each of the eleven blends is "flavored" with a distinctive botanical accord, from spicy to sweet. I expected to enjoy Cerise (chocolate with cherry) and Petales (chocolate with roses), but then I realized that the chocolate also enhanced some notes I don't usually wear, allowing me to appreciate them in a new way. Bois de Chocolat (Figure 5, from the first series) has a smoky, vetiver-like note; it's one of the most full-bodied blends of the group, but the cocoa smooths and softens the woodiness. Coeur de Jasmin (Figure 8, from the second series), a more feminine gourmand, marries the creaminess of jasmine petals with a milky swirl of chocolate. ($15 for each 5 g solid perfume, or $20 for each sampler set, at Illuminated Perfume)
Cocoa turns out to be a more versatile note than I'd realized, so I'll be giving it a more regular place on my scent "menu." Do you have a favorite chocolate-fragranced body product or chocolate-inspired perfume? Feel free to share in the comments section!