Chocolate Days – EnVoyage Perfumes Café Cacao and Duftmanufaktur Chocolat Irisé

At the end of summer you notice the days becoming shorter, one morning there’s a chill in the air that wasn’t there before, the sky is clearer and is a deeper shade of blue which seems further away. But somehow the changing of seasons doesn’t announce the autumn itself. One day you just notice that you’ve put on the central heating, you wonder where you put your favourite jumper, or the yellow hat that you wore all of last year and you start craving chocolate again.

We perfume lovers have perhaps already retired the summer scents to the back of the cupboard and taken the autumnal orientals into rotation. But there are also the ones you didn’t have before and can now test for the first time in their perfect environment. It just so happens that I have two indie chocolate perfumes in this category, and today I’ll write about these two calorie-free delicacies.

EnVoyage perfumes’ Café Cacao starts of powdery dry and dark like being in an old spices shop full of spice jars and with cacao and coffee being weighed on old-fashioned scales. apotecary spice shopSome would say it’s salty, but what I get is just anti-saccharine, as in cacao powder drizzled with sugar rose petals on top. Now and again I get a faint whiff of something mocha-like, but as a coffee addict, I must say I don’t get an actual coffee note, more like a faint flavour to add gravitas to the chocolate. I can almost visualise the process of drying pods and beans, grounding them, turning them to powder. There is sweetness; like the sugared rose in the beginning, a tiny bit of cream in a hot chocolate or a sweet musky amber towards the end, but what I like is how all the gourmand facets, somehow manage to stay sober, there’s no Starbucks or Snickers association, this is all very tasteful (excuse the pun) perhaps with no little thanks to the real ambergris used.

Chocolat irisé by Annette Neuffer Duftmanufaktur on the other hand, starts possibly juicy by comparison. It opens on a dark chocolate orange flavour note, and if Café Cacao felt more powdery dry, the opening of Chocolat Irisé is like a baroque still life of melting orange chocolate dripping from a cacao jar. The citrus notes are quite decadent, neither tart nor candy-coated, but like rubbing tangerine peel between your fingers. However, it isn’t an actual ‘gourmand’; iris butter and a floral heart of orange flower and a tiny hint of rose keep Chocolat Irisé a very grown up guilty pleasure. still_life_with_a_bowl_of_chocolate-400Orange flower and vanilla add a touch of sweetness in the heart while the chocolate and iris keep going back and forth vying for attention. The dry-down sees a gorgeous sandalwood take over the role of the orange flower, adding that delicate touch of liquid sweetness to the dark cacao and iris.

Here are two wildly different chocolate centred perfumes created without regard for any research groups or fashionable notes. However, they have some common ground too; each has excellent longevity, I get 12+hours from them, and with that they also have a rather wonderful slow development. At several points I wondered if they were in fact linear, only to find that hours later a new facet had arrived. I admire how both manage to be adult chocolate sins rather than gourmie-teenage-sugar-bomb with glitter on top, and last but not least they both ‘bloom’ in the autumn.


Feature pic is mine,  ‘Rosalie’s spice shop’ from Grimms, Zurbaran still life. EnVoyage sample send to me by the perfumer and Duftmanufaktur sample purchased by me.

17 thoughts on “Chocolate Days – EnVoyage Perfumes Café Cacao and Duftmanufaktur Chocolat Irisé

  1. I loved both these descriptions, and agree that the En Voyage scent isn’t overtly coffee-y – otherwise I might run a mile, hehe. And I agree it has that retro feel of a spice shop which your commentary and visual perfectly capture.

    The other, orange-y perfume is a new one on me, but oh boy, it sounds amazing. I like both the feature pic and that brown-themed still life. Your posts are verily a feast for the senses in every sense!

    • Aww, thank you Vanessa, what a very sweet comment. It’s funny how both perfumes manage to be almost un-gourmand, for being so chocolate heavy, and I’m glad that you agree on CC, it truly wasn’t easy to describe a liquid as something dry, and I really love that trick it plays with your mind.
      ps I keep seeing a picture in my head of 5 year old V, listening to ‘a young persons guide’- that really is ‘A VERY young persons guide’

  2. I just wanted to tell you how much I adore your blog.

    Thank you for sharing your insight!

    • Thank you very much Samuel, and thank you for reading along 🙂

  3. What a wonderful description of Envoyage Café Cacoa, Asali ! Really enjoyed Reading it and your own painting with THE Droste tin. Duftmanufactur is new to me, it sounds delicious with THE orange note. I really like THE Envoyage Cacoa series and look forward to try them now with colder weather.

    • Thank you E., the Droste tin for me is synonyme with cacao, I’m glad you obviously know it too. And yes, the Chocolate series is definitely for cooler weather. I thought the two others were sweeter, so I was saving them for later 🙂 Duftmanufaktur really has some great fragrances, at some point I’ll get on to writing about my favourite Divincarnation, which is a great carnation fragrance.

  4. How love grown-up chocolate scents like these. There’s something oh so chic about them when done right. I keep meaning to re-try Cartier’s L’Heure Defendue though these would be ones I could actually afford to purchase 🙂

    This is a hilariously brilliant description of the opposite type of choc frags – “gourmie-teenage-sugar-bomb with glitter on top”.

    • Absolutely Tara, I love adult chocolates as well. They are so rare though, and when I think of it, it must be hard to achieve to do a real chocolate fragrance, not just a faint shimmer of the stuff, and still not make it into ‘gourmie-hell/heaven’ depending which side you’re on 😉 I’m not sure I ever tried L’Heure Defendue, it get a bit mixed up in the Cartier L’Heure-names, perhaps I have a sample somewhere??? I think because I adore Attrape Coeur, anything Mathilde Laurent has made since has never quite done it for me, that airy skin scent style that she uses in the L’Heure Cartiers will probably never quite be me. I like a few, but as you mention; the price tag!

  5. Asali, I really love the still-life painting you did (and I love it that the chocolate bar you featured in it is from Lindt, as I fell in love with their chocolates many years ago when I visited Switzerland). Both chocolate perfumes described here sound marvelous, but especially the Chocolat irisé with it combo of orange and chocolate. Mmmmm!

    • Thank you dear Suzanne, and yes Lindt does fine chocolates indeed. I think I’ve mentioned the ‘Lindor’ truffles a few times 😉 Yes, again, I can see you wearing Chocolat irisé… Hm, if only I was not so slow these day… Someday I’ll try and get a few things underway to you.

  6. Cafe Cacao sounds wonderful – I love the sound of a very classic, nostalgic, romantic type of chocolate!

    • Hi Nutmeg Lady, thanks for commenting 🙂 both perfumes are indeed very classic, and so different from what one usually associates with chocolate perfumes.

  7. Every time you manage to create a perfect illustration for the topic of your post and it sets the right mood for reading. But today the effect was unexpected: I started craving hot chocolate (because the one I like comes in a box that looks similar to the one on your picture).

    The only chocolate in perfume that worked for me so far was Angel Taste of Fragrance. I tried several others but without success. I think I prefer my chocolate in an edible form 🙂

    • Wow, that’s flattering- you craving chocolate from just looking at the picture <3 Thank you.
      I understand how you feel about chocolate, I prefer the edible variety too. But I felt these two stood out, in that they are real perfumes and don't really feel like they should have been consumed but somehow landed on the skin instead.

  8. Dear Asali,

    thank you so much for your lovely review once again on your wonderful blog! I really like the “adult chocolate sins” and you certainly got me curious for Café Cacao. Unfortunately I haven’t samples Shelley’s great work so far, but I know she’s great! And how I looooooooove your illustration, I must look out for that cocoa tin now…

    Big hug, Annette

    • Dear Annette, it’s my pleasure, I have still to write about The divine Divincarnation, and funnily I did write about Shelley’s Bellagio which also features carnation, and which I think you might like. Thank you for the compliment, and let me know how you get on with the tin search, I’d be happy to help. Hugs

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