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Chocolat Amère – Not what I was expecting…. – November 24, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

I am thinking about the man at the Royal Opera house who turned to me, a glass of bubbly in each hand, and said, “Meet me on the terrace”. Another time, a different man at a Christmas party, me putting my boots on to leave, he touching my hair gently and asking “Do you have to go now?” A man at a café in Paris asking to join me at my table. “A woman should never sit alone at a café in Paris.” he said. My mind is travelling down long, lost corridors of memory, opening long forgotten doors, prompted as such memories often are, by fragrance, in this case it’s Chocolat Amère by Il Profvmo.

Il Profvmo is the Italian niche perfume house founded by aroma therapist Silvana Casoli. It seems to me that being an aroma therapist, or aromatologist, can give a perfumer a deeper understanding of the effect of scent on mood or cognitive processes when creating a perfume. I certainly get that feeling with Chocolate Amère. Casoli has forty-six fragrances in her line and four are based on dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate, that rich, brown, candy that melts in your mouth, is good for your heart, reduces your blood pressure, boosts cognitive abilities and serotonin levels – no wonder I feel good when I eat it.

Chocolate Amère is part of Il Profvmo’s the Classic collection and is one of the most evocative scents I have ever smelled – not because it smells like the chocolate I’ve been eating in some form my whole life, but because it doesn’t. You might expect a fragrance with ‘chocolate’ its name to be a gourmand, but Chocolate Amère is an oriental woody. That’s because the Chocolate note in perfume, comes from patchouli essence, so it doesn’t smell chocolate-candy sweet, but rich, deep, dark and bitter with a dusty feel.

Chocolate Amère opens with a note of rich, dark chocolate, its bitterness heightened by bitter, earthy, green galbanum. There is no chocolate sweetness here. The opening is pungent, venal and carnal. The first time I smelled it, blood rushed to my cheeks. As the galbanum recedes, Chocolate Amère gets spicy and earthy from nutmeg and warm from ginger. I get whiffs of the patchouli, that the chocolate note is derived from, heer and there. I also smell flowers softly fluttering in the background. They temper and balance the darkness by adding a gentle floral dimension. As it evolves, the bitterness stays and develops a dustiness that I just love. Sandalwood makes it dry and woody, while a note of smoky incense weaves through it.

The drydown is smooth, dry, woody and a little dirty. The chocolate is still there, and so are at the nutmeg and ginger, but Chocolate Amère is so beautifully crafted that no one note dominates.

Chocolate Amère is a definitely a masculine fragrance but I can’t stop wearing it.

Nothing ever came of any of those unexpected encounters mentioned earlier, just some sweet memories, but something unexpected sure came out of my encounter with Chocolate Amère: a new fragrance love.

Chocolate Amère is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.