Monday, February 13, 2012

Cherries and Chocolate

So tomorrow is the day before Cheap Chocolate Day, otherwise known as St. Valentine's Day, where we celebrate the torture and murder of some old Roman guy by passing out little heart shaped pieces of paper. Or by shooting mobsters, but only if you live in Chicago.

Winter and Valentine's is probably my least favourite smell season, as I'm not crazy about fir and piney scents, and far too many Valentine scents overdo the rose base. Too much mint, too much pine and too much chocolate rose for my taste. Well, for my sense of smell that is. 

Anyway, I'm hesitant to admit to this, for fear of having my second X chromosome revoked, but I'm not actually that crazy about chocolate. I'm good with a chocolate/other flavour combos, like filled chocolates, or chocolate drizzle on a cheesecake, but as far as eating just plain chocolate, not so much. I prefer white chocolate, which isn't chocolate at all, or caramel, or toffee. I do like the smell of chocolate, though. Like coffee, it's one of those things that I prefer as an aromatic over a flavour. 

Sadly, not too many companies do a decent chocolate fragrance. Most of them smell like cheap chocolate flavouring, as opposed to the scent of genuine cacau products. Solstice Scents is one to the exceptions. Last year, I picked up two of her V-Day fragrances, Violet Truffle and Cherry Vanilla Amberosia.
from Solstice

Violet Truffle is, obviously, chocolate based. The official description is: "Dark Chocolate, Violet, Violet Leaf & Vanilla Absolute"  Now, in my book, you can't go wrong with violets. They're my favourite flower and one of my favourite smells. I don't think I would ever have thought of pairing it with chocolate. It works, though. The initial burst is a deep, powdery dark chocolate smell with just a hint of sweet violets. In fact, if I didn't know it was violet, I might not have been able to pick it out, it blends that well.  It stays like that for quite a while then slowly morphs, as the chocolate fades into the background and the warm, creamy vanilla scent picks up, with just the faintest earthy edge of violet leaf. By this time, the violet is clearly identifiable, but muted, so it fits smoothly into the undertones. This particular blend is sweet, but not unbearably so, as the additions of dark chocolate and violet leaf give the mixture a nice, earthy bottom note. It's odd, but quite wonderful in its own way. I've never had an actual violet truffle, that is, a chocolate with a either a candied violet on top or with violet syrup* inside, so I can't say if this is how it would smell, but it is nice, sweet, and feminine, but not in a little girl way. Something like a box of expensive Petit Fours, or a really high-end chocolate candy, the kind served on a silver tray with a real lace doily. You might like this scent even if you don't care for violet, but you definitely need to like the smell of chocolate. If you love the smell of chocolate, you should absolutely check out this perfume. Solstice Scents is one of the few parfumiers that can truly capture the scent of chocolate in all it's complexity.

The second fragrance I got was Cherry Vanilla Amberosia and it is, indeed, very ambrosial. "Sweet Cherries, Rich Vanilla, Amber & Mandarin Orange Slices".  The vanilla and ambers make up the base of the scent, like a rich, creamy custard, while the maraschino and black cherry add a tangy punch to the mix. The scent maintains itself for quite a while, just until you think you've gotten everything it has to offer, then the orange sneaks in for a last minute twist. It's a warm, buttery-luscious scent with a dark, sexy fruit edge to it, like a puddle of golden velvet dripping with pearls and sprinkled with rubies. It's intense and exotic and sweet and not at all child-like. It's sexy and dangerous and delectable all at once. It smells delicious without smelling like a candy shop or a dessert tray. Wearing this on a frosty-cold night out would be amazing. Wear a dark red dress with it.

Both of these fragrances are wonderfully indulgent and rich, just the thing for when February has you curled up in the fetal position begging for something not covered in snow. Currently, Violet Truffle is available in rollerball perfume and 4 oz. body ganache, and Cherry Vanilla Amberosia is available as rollerball, 4 oz. burnishing glace and 4 oz. body ganache. Both scents are available as perfumes in the general catalogue, but were originally released for Valentine's Day last year, so they are listed along with the other Valentine's releases this year.

* sells them, but I'm not that adventurous.


  1. Yay! I love SS! Violet Truffle is one of my faves! I should go pull out my sample of Cherry Vanilla Amberosia again. I remember it not being a huge hit with me at first, but I should give it a second chance! Happy Valentines Day!

  2. I have a little vial of Cherry Vanilla Ambrosia and I really liked it. Violet Truffle sounds really really gorgeous! I have a long due SS order to place, will include Violet Truffle for sure! Great reviews :)

  3. I also was surprised by how much I liked the Valentine's Day scents! They were not at all immature-smelling, achingly candy sweet, or flower overload. Just a hint of sweetness with hearts of darkness. But with SS, I really shouldn't be surprised :)

  4. This was a really nice batch. I still have to try Black Forest.