Best in Show Best in Show: Chocolate & Roses (2017)

Best in Show: Chocolate & Roses (2017)

02/12/17 10:04:03 (31 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison, Elena Vosnaki, Rouu Abd El-Latif, John Biebel,

Roses and chocolates

What says Valentine's Day more than roses and chocolates?

Charles II of Sweden is widely considered to have introduced the idea of flowers as symbols for emotions in the 18th century, with the red rose as a symbol for love. And  back in 1861, England's Cadbury was the first chocolate company to package chocolates in a heart-shaped box; the confection had long been considered an aphrodisiac. Luckily, perfume fans worldwide now can enjoy the combination of both of these aromas in an array of modern fragrances for men and women.

Whereas last year we focused only on chocolate for our Valentine's Best in Show, this year, Fragrantica's writers share some of their favorite rose and chocolate combinations. Leave a comment below with your own Best in Show choices!

Chocolates and a red rose

Guerlain Elixir Charnel

Gourmand Coquin

By: Elena Vosnaki, editor of Fragrantica in Greek

Guerlain Elixir Charnel Gourmand Coquin

Although hardcore chocolate mysts will direct you to the bitter end Valhrona blocks of stuff for serious pastry-making, there is no doubt in my mind that the softer, milkier varieties from the lappings of flowing ganache to the more mundane Maltesers are more popular for a reason. Perhaps it is that they allow an experience that is clearly about pleasuring the sweet tooth instead of an intellectual exercise on the depths of a single nuanced "note".

The classic Valentine's Day combination of a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates works on a similar premise. The visceral reaction is "oh good, romantic, soft stuff" and the payoff is analogous. Gourman Coquin is the smell equivalent translated into perfume notes that undulate from the first whiff, that oscillates between a cotton-candy hint reminiscent of L'Artisan's Vanilla and Guerlain's own more caramel depths of Spiritueuse Double Vanille, right down to the praline effect that lurks in the drydown.

The skill of Guerlain lies in the weaving of culinary notes that both complement and clash with the chosen theme. Peppery hints provide the jolt that makes Strawberries Romanov the lovely study in contrasts that it is, while a boozy element recalls cooking with liquor; a well-established tradition.

Gourmand Coquin is exactly the smooth, satisfying blend that is bound to be very popular. It has all the Guerlain seal of excellence in execution without being maudlin. A feat for the modern era of the venerable house.

Honorable Mentions: Portrait of a Lady (Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle) for those who want a less literal chocolate, thanks to its patchouli bitter choice edge, Rose Praline (Les Parfums de Rosine), 1969 Parfum de Revolte (Histoires de Parfums)

Chocolates and a red rose

Histoires de Parfums

1969 Parfum de Revolte

By: John Biebel, co-editor of Fragrantica in English 

Histoire de Parfums 1969

Chocolate and roses, are they always about romance? History would tell us differently, and history was made in the hands of Gerald Ghislain with his perfume 1969. Subtitled "The Perfume of Revolt", this early creation from Histoires de Parfums added a new note to the famous anarchist struggle within France at the end of the 1960’s, as its populace wondered aloud what sort of a nation it wanted to be. It was torn by a difficult legacy from the second world war, colonialism, and internal strife. Histoire de Parfums' approached this directly: Chaos rewarded with the optimism of chocolate and roses.

1969 parfum arrived in 2001 as part of yet another new decade, and in this case new century, ushering in fears of new political realities. Yet, like cycles before it, history does repeat itself, and instead of dwelling in studies of a chypre-like past, this gourmand beauty of a perfume let loose a bold, sweet, indulgent festival for the senses directly on the skin. Rose and peach slam together like bright bolts of sunshine against a backdrop of dark, smooth chocolate, patchouli and coffee. This group of base notes is genius: it’s a thick, unbroken, slowly evaporating stream of delicious deep hues with velvety gourmand depth. It is oily, dense, and extremely beautiful. These notes sound as though they might turn into candy on the skin, but they retain a delicate balance of flavors and impressions. With floral flourishes, it is bright, with trickles of fruit juice and the sour cherry-like red scent of crushed rose petals.

The noticeable addition of cardamom pulls together these elements which are widely spaced apart, tying together the fruit-rose opening to the much darker base. It lends the perfume an oriental character, still refreshing and light but well-grounded. It looks back at the actual 1969 in Paris with some sentimentality, but celebrates the decadence of a bygone age by indulging in the most passionate of aphrodisiacs. It’s no wonder that many say 1969 is an addictive perfume - can we possibly have enough chocolate or roses in our lives?

Honorable Mentions: Solstice Scents: Heart of the Night, Missoni: Missoni for Women, Orto Parisi: Boccanera, Confit de Rose: Kyse Perfumes

Chocolates and a red rose

Mancera Roses & Chocolate

By: Rouu Abd El-Latif editor of Fragrantica in Arabic

Mancera Roses & Chocolate

Nothing would make it more Valentine ’s Day than roses and chocolate. Classics never fail; and Mancera perfumes knows this. It’s the most loved-up time of the year and though the name “Roses & Chocolate” might seem a bit cliché at first impression, it's worth your attention.

For a gourmand lover this is nothing like any other chocolate fragrance, nonetheless it tends to be fresh over being yummy. Upon application, it is peppery, sour and vibrant/syrupy. It leisurely develops into a melted cherry dark chocolate kind of dessert and although an aphrodisiac it is never savory. For that matter there are other Chocolate/Rose compositions which might be stronger, capturing the direct vibe of a mingled dirty accord such as Tom Ford’s Noir de Noir , dark and deep as Black Orchid’s collection or convenient oriental as Thierry Mugler The Taste of Fragrance Angel; here Mancera Roses & Chocolate keeps the balance without playing the accords of coffee or oriental/ambery dreams - stamped with a unique yet glorious solid rose touch. Going the distance through the drydown it turns to dulcet roses snippets, violet dusting the rose and preserving a powdery cocoon of violet/musky basenotes.

Mancera Roses & Chocolate is a demurely sweet/fresh rose scent that keeps loyal to the name - a modern French perfumery vision of balanced gourmand scents. Whether you’re into fruity/gourmand scents or not, this deserves a try!

"Is that you who smells yummy?!" a complete stranger asks while Lionel Richie gleefully sings “Endless Love”.

Honorable Mentions: Dame Perfumery Chocolate Man, Montale Chocolate Greedy, Tom Ford Black Orchid, Tom Ford Velvet Orchid, Yves Rocher Neonatura Cocoon, Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire Orchidee Vanille

Chocolates and a red rose

Thierry Mugler Angel

La Rose

By: Marlen Elliot Harrison, co-editor of Fragrantica in English

Angel La Rose

For those of us who have appreciated three decades of Thierry Mugler Angel, we have come to expect our beloved fruitchouli sundae regularly paired with an array of other accents. Back in 2006, one of my favorite versions of Angel was launched as part of the Garden of Stars quartet, aromas that paired Angel with florals such as violet, peony and lily. While theses three were all pleasant, Angel La Rose by Olivier Cresp made the biggest impact. It brought forth the rich bitter chocolate notes typically found in Angel's basenotes and blossomed with a touch of Bulgarian rose.

The rose of Angel's La Rose is neither jammy nor heady but rather a fresh, tender rose. Likewise the chocolate is not quite the Hershey's powder of Taste of Angel but somewhat darker, and somehow these two aspects change Angel just enough to tone down the patchouli and make Angel, dare I say it, more accessible?

Though La Rose is by no means the most rosey and chocolatey of all of this week's choices, it offers just enough of both the notes to quench someone's floral sweet tooth. La Rose can still be found online but a word of warning, the color of the juice has changed a bit towards brown. Speaking for my own bottle, this hasn't done anything to the actual aroma, however.

Honorable Mentions: PG 13, Brûlure de Rose, Worth Courtesan (2006), A Lab on Fire Rose Rebelle, Ayala Moriel Roses et Chocolat, Smell Bent Cocoa Rose, Montblanc Femme de Montblanc, Hanae Mori HM

Chocolates and a red rose

What are your favorite Rose & Chocolate aromas?

 



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FeltFace
FeltFace

I may never get to try most of these. But I'm delighted to see Angel Rose on the list. It's a real gem. By process of elimination I've established that neither plain florals, even less plain gourmands work for me. But of course Mugler is the one mainstream brand to get the balance just so.

Feb
21
2017
Tamirah
Tamirah

This is one of my very favourite fragrance combinations for romantic dates. It's nice to see a collection of chocolate and rose offerings. Persian Rose by Pacifica and Mugler's Angel - Taste of Fragrance layered together is like a dream come true for me, but it would be nice to have one bottle of the perfect balance of both straight-ahead dark chocolate and pure, fresh rose, and nothing else. One day I will find it! And some of these are now on my sample list as I continue my search. Thanks to the fine editors and co-editors for such a comprehensive list!

Feb
20
2017
kapted
kapted

No one added Nahema EdP. To me, it is roses and chocolate; almost smelling like the Australian chocolate bar, Turkish Delight.

Feb
19
2017
WildDove
WildDove

Montale Intense Café - roses & chocolate.

Feb
19
2017
sweaterfreak
sweaterfreak

Clear Day Etienne Aigner and in small doses, Angel Les Parfums de Cuir Thierry Mugler

Feb
19
2017
TillyWave
TillyWave

So lucky that I randomly choose Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule as my perfume of the day. I have always had trouble with this one but today it is finally perfect.

Feb
14
2017
KajiraSuzanne
KajiraSuzanne

What about Ultra Sexy Heart from Avon? This is a lovely blend of rose petals, maraschino cherries, and chocolate covered marshmallows.

Feb
14
2017
BloomPerfume
BloomPerfume

well well well, how about Rouge Avignion by Phaedon which includes notes of rose and chocolate truffles.

Feb
13
2017
Raquel73
Raquel73

The best is Stendhal Noir Divin , so sensual! super fragance for me.

Feb
13
2017
Helenalena
Helenalena

Even its Valentine, i just dont like perfumes ala chocolate & rose and i think it smells awfull if someone near me wears it. nothing sensual and sexy about it. Only one from those i can think of wearable would be Thierry Mugler.

Feb
13
2017
blake.lee
blake.lee

Club de Nuit Intense Armaf, dark rose and chocolate in the same vein as Tom Ford NdN and only $25 or so. It's sexy on women and men!

Feb
13
2017
Whit
Whit

I have TM's La Rose Angel and it smells like chocolate dipped roses on me. It's really lovely! The Guerlain one has caught my eye as I always see it suggested on the forums.

Thanks for the article; I really enjoyed reading it and I think I might add some of these to the test! ;)

Feb
13
2017
OneDay
OneDay

4160 Tuesdays Silk, Lace & Chocolate is my favourite Valentines fragrance. Imagine juicy, ripe strawberries dipped in dark chocolate - it's delicious but never overly sweet. It's a must try for lovers of gourmand chocolate fragrances.

Feb
13
2017
nezzabel
nezzabel

Trussardi Python. All about chocolate and a pinch of rose.

Feb
13
2017
ellebelle84
ellebelle84

I'm currently wearing Chocolate by Gayle Hayman. I wear it with a gingerbread lotion and I smell divine.

Feb
13
2017
StellaDiverFlynn
StellaDiverFlynn

My favourite is probably Confit de Rose by Kyse. Rose + chocolate usually turn too sweet for my taste. While Confit de Rose is unapologetically sweet, it has a kind of cereal dry note that grounds it nicelym

Feb
12
2017
guynspfld
guynspfld

Cannabis Rose by Fresh

Feb
12
2017
johngreenink
johngreenink

Tandaina and Amv10, those are both excellent suggestions! The Il Profvmo I have a sample of and really do love. Intense Cafe is a great example of the form as well - thanks you two.

Feb
12
2017
Amv10
Amv10

Chocolat by Il Profvmo.

Feb
12
2017
Danina_Musawi
Danina_Musawi

I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Kemi Aurum, at youtube review it was called Valentine's Day in a bottle.

Feb
12
2017
Erinbath22
Erinbath22

Just a layering thing, but al rehab Choco musk+red rose=yummy powdery milk chocolate roses.

Feb
12
2017
tandaina
tandaina

I'm a little surprised that no one here mentioned Montale Intense Cafe as even a runner up? Straight roses and chocolate for me (no coffee, sadly).

Feb
12
2017
rickyrebarco
rickyrebarco

Guerlain's Elixirs Gourmand Coquin, gorgeous chocolate and rose

Feb
12
2017
perfumecritic
perfumecritic

Actually, I've never had the pleasure of trying Santal Majuscule : ( Our reviews are always limited by our experiences and access to fragrances.

Feb
12
2017
Adelaide Rocks
Adelaide Rocks

Santal Majuscule by Lutens +1 I'm surprised none of the authors mentioned it at least as an honorable mention.

Feb
12
2017
sistermoon
sistermoon

I've been wearing Comme une Evidence L'Eau de Parfum Intense (Yves Rocher) non - stop lately. It's my favourite version of this line. It contains among other notes roses and praline. It's an absolutely delicious yet sophisticated scent. A gourmand floral that is not too sweet, yet indulgent, comforting and warm. I appreciate the original Comme une Evidence but to me the praline note takes the familiar airiness and effortlessness of the original to the next level. This has a safe spot on my vanity. Whoever came up with the chocolate + roses combination is a (fragrant) genius. And what a lovely idea for an article on Fragrantica - so close to Valentines day too. :)

Feb
12
2017
popsiclepout
popsiclepout

While I love the smell (and taste, of course...) of the real thing; I'm not too fond of chocolate/cocoa notes in perfume. Any choco note mostly ends up an artificial, dry, outdated, glucose-filled, low-quality praline both in the bottle and on my skin; and never a delicious piece of artisanal chocolate (same goes for chocolate-flavored shower gels and body lotions). Or alternatively, when paired with other sweet and gourmand elements (a la Thierry Mugler's Angel ) it turns into a slimey, overbearing shitshow. Also, it has heavy connotations of the dreaded celebrity perfume genre on my mind, and I can't get rid of that feeling even when the perfume is not one.

I'm sure there has been one niche house or two who have just nailed the whole choco deal, I think I'll pass on the olfactory choco quest and stick to just eating it for this Valentine's.

Feb
12
2017
Vegas Pauli
Vegas Pauli

Hands down Noir de Noir by Tom Ford. Dark wet roses with dark chocolate. Im hungry for it just by typing this...

Feb
12
2017
Magdalena23
Magdalena23

Roses and chocolate... What more does a girl need? ;-)

Lovely article! You've made me crave ALL OF THEM! My personal favorite is Gourmand Coquin,but I also love Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidee Vanille. The rose note is not voted high in the pyramid,but I get mesmerizing whiffs of dark red rose petals from the opening to the delicious dry down...

Feb
12
2017
raw umber
raw umber

Santal Majuscule! Lutens is my favorite of this category.

Feb
12
2017
smellagent
smellagent

I hadn't really thought about it but I love Muglers La Rose and Revolte 1969. One chocolate and Roses not mentioned is 100% Love, that polarizing fragrance that Luca Turin gave 5 stars.

Feb
12
2017

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