Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scent By the Sea: Chocolate Lover's Set

Sounds like a strange thing for a self-professed chocolate-non-lover to own, right?  But Ki sent it to me (I won her giveaway, yay!) and you know what?  They smell good.
I love Scent by the Sea's little paper beautiful.

Well, most of them do, anyway.  I've never sniffed cacao beans before, but I do not like the smell of chocolate, in general.  These don't really smell like chocolate bars - or chocolate cake, ice cream, frosting, what have you - so I was relieved.  If that's what you're looking for, this set is not going to satisfy that particular sweet tooth.  They are still a bit foodie, though, which it appears I like.  I will say that I prefer two over the other two; Ganache and Candied Violet are both a little too heady and overripe for me.  Arancia Nero and Tropic of Chocolate are more my speed.

Scent by the Sea descriptions:

I was playing in my perfume workshop this summer and thinking about how much I love the smell of chocolate/cocoa/cacao. Most of my existing chocolate blends lean toward deep/dark/hypnotic/earthy, since that's where the scent seems to "go" as I blend it. But *this* time, I challenged myself to come up with a set of scents that would express the lighter, more high-spirited side of chocolate with an emphasis on fresh/non-traditional notes. These blends are ingenues, not divas---think Mary Ann, not Ginger---and I promise you won't smell like a cupcake shop!

Candied Violet – chocolate meets violets; mad romance ensues

Tropic of Chocolate – a island paradise, with coconut, tropical fruit and cacao
Arancia Nero
– a chocolate/orange liqueur/whipped cream Italian dessert tradition
Ganache – opposites attract: creamy chocolate meets an unexpected visitor for tea

And here we go, you get to see me try to describe scents again. I included S.'s input this time as well, because as he says, he grades scents on a "pass/fail" basis, versus trying to pick out individual notes, and it gives a good idea of what the overall effect is.  Every time I bring out new perfume vials though, he regards me with a wary's quite comical, really.  He still cooperates, though - isn't he a nice boy? 

Candied Violet

My thoughts: Fruity, heady, juicy, and sweet in a luscious, promiscuous way.  I don't think I like violets.

S.'s thoughts: *wrinkles nose* "Um...what is that?" (apparently he doesn't like violets, either).

Tropic of Chocolate

My thoughts: In the vial, it smells like coconut ice cream, like Haagen Dazs Pineapple Coconut, which is absolutely divine.  On me, it still smells like coconut, with an additional richness (like coconut cake!), a slightly floral note, and - this is the important part - it manages not to smell like sunscreen.  Fantastic.  If I sniff my wrist, I can get that bit of cacao (which I almost wish wasn't there, as chocolate really isn't my favorite scent), but it's barely noticeable in the general aura smell (is there a word for that?  Bah.  My perfume ignorance is on full display, here).  This is definitely a foodie smell.

S.'s thoughts: "Approved."

Arancia Nero

My thoughts: In the vial, it smells a bit like creamsicles and a bit like chocolate dipped oranges.  The citrus note is strong but not synthetic, and stops short of smelling like cleaner.  On my skin, it warms up into something a little warmer, though it's still creamy and faithfully orange.  It's slightly spicy, but in a foodie way, rather than in a dark, incense-y manner.  Brings to mind orange soaps, but in a good way.  I can see myself bringing this one out in the autumn, because of that subtle spicy note.

S.'s thoughts: (He sniffed my hand as instructed, and just stared blankly at me.)
me: "Well?"
S.: "Yes?"
me: What does it smell like?"
S. (looking slightly panicked): "I...I don't know!"
me (frowning): "Here, smell the vial." *opens the vial and puts it under his nose*
S. (moving his head away quickly): "Nope, nope nope."
me: "What?  No?  Really?"
S.: "Nope."
me: "Why not?  Smells like cleaner?"
S.: "Yep."

(Well.  That's that, I guess.)


My thoughts: In the vial it's initially very sweet, but not in the way of cream and sugar.  It's headier, fruitier, and reminds me of tea.  If I keep smelling it, I get the chocolate coming out later, on the bottom.  On my skin, though, it's completely different - upon application, it smells kind of like Lolita (another SbtS perfume), but with a subtle creaminess, and just a hint of cocoa.  When it completely dries down, it's also much fruitier; I prefer Lolita
.  This is the kind of smell that will eventually give me a headache - too fruity and overripe. 

S.'s thoughts: *sniffs my hand, then sniffs the vial* "It's very different than the vial...but I don't know about that one." (Translation: No.)

Try it if: You like sweeter smells that are still complex and interesting.
Skip it if: Foodie smells are not your thing; while these don't all smell like chocolate, they are quite gourmand-y.

The listing is here; it's $8.00 for four samples.  SbtS's samples are generous and last me quite some time, even with daily wear.  I did receive this from Ki, but I think it's a fair price.  I don't see a full bottle listing for any of these, so I'm not sure if those are options.