Shelley Waddington, the super talented perfumer behind En Voyage Perfumes, won many new fans last year with her stunning, vintage-inspired scent Zelda.
This year her collection of three chocolate based perfumes “Souvenir de Chocolat” has already won her a number of awards and as the nights lengthen here in the UK, it feels like the perfect time to indulge in these top quality gourmands.
Notes and accords: Sugared violet, chocolat chaud, crème douce, soft woods, vintage ambergris, vanilla alliage, tonquin musk.
This is much more about violet than chocolate or vanilla. The flowers smell as if they have been crystalised in sugar and set atop a vanilla flavoured hot chocolate. It’s as if you’re inhaling the vanilla scented milky chocolate through a bouquet of cool, sweet violets. The drydown is gently musky.
Indigo Vanilla is a violet fragrance that isn’t prim, saccharine or old-fashioned. I personally find it more lightweight and less affecting (particularly in the base) than the other two in the collection, but it’s an interesting confectionary twist on this traditional flower.
Captured in Amber
Notes and accords: Classic Persian amber accord, dark South American chocolate accord, New Zealand beach-washed ambergris and a touch of bitter orange.
Captured in Amber is salty and softly spicy with the moreish bitter edge of dark chocolate and a low, animalic purr.
It’s comforting and warm the way ambers usually are. However there’s also a sensuality to it, in the same way an exquisite taste sensation can give you an almost indecent thrill. How often do we get real ambergris in our perfume these days? Its presence here is a very rare treat.
Captured In Amber is by far the most potent and seductive of the three. I applied it at 8am one morning and could still smell it on my skin at 10pm that night. I think it’s wonderful and that’s really saying something considering ambers don’t usually work on me.
Notes and accords: Vanilla powder, rose sugar, ground cardamom, bergamot peel, Espresso cafe, steamed milk, salt, dark cacao, rich whipped cream, soft amber, Himalayan musk, New Zealand beach-combed ambergris.
I’m one of those weird people that doesn’t like the taste of coffee. Perhaps even weirder, I love the smell of it. I find that deep, dark and delicious roasted aroma very enjoyable. Café Cacao delivers all the aromatic goodness of coffee with none of the bitter taste.
However, this perfume is not a straight-up coffee fragrance. In the beginning it’s the sweetest of the three and resembles a creamy dessert with a shot of expresso thrown in.
The sugary, frothy head with accents of rose, spice and citrus peel gives a nice lift to the milky coffee beneath. But as the whipped cream melts, the powdery coffee and chocolate come through more and more, making it progressively drier.
Marie-Antoinette was no stranger to decadence and is said to have taken ambergris in her coffee. The dry down couldn’t be further from the sweet start as the swoon-inducing combination of amber, musk and ambergris, along with traces of chocolate and coffee grounds, rolls over the skin. Cafe Cacao reminds us that coffee is a grown-up drink.
Shelley has been kind to perfume lovers as well as chocoholics by making these fragrances available in 15ml EDPs (which I sampled) and 4ml extraits. You can also buy a set of all three extraits as a coffret.
While each creation is a perfume in its own right they have been designed to combine easily for layering. This way you can cook up your very own culinary inspired fragrance confections.
Do you have a love of chocolate? Are you a fan of it in fragrance?