I knew months ago what image I was going to use for the review of Aftelier Cacao perfume. This photo of fifteen year old Olivia Hussey from the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet, photographed by Norman Parkinson, has that feeling of sweet innocence and an a barely aware raw sensuality I find in Cacao.
Natural perfumer Mandy Aftel created a tempting blend that translates on my skin to a foody experience and then morphs into heady florals. As I apply Cacao it smells like orange-flavored chocolate, rich and dark. It's scrumptious and sumptuous. I'd love a box of chocolate truffles that smell and taste like Mandy Aftel's creation (now that I think of it, Mandy offers a range of Chef's Essential Oils and Absolutes. It gives me some ideas).
The transition from chocolate petit fours to the sensuality of a summer night of one's younger days happens almost suddenly. One minute you're all cozy and dreamy and the next the citrus notes are more prominent, almost like orange blossom--- no! it's jasmine, and a very fine one. The luscious air of the night caresses the skin, but upon closer inspection you smell warm vanilla mixed with all of the above. It's as beautiful as it's sexy and stays this way for about four hours on my skin before I rush to reapply another drop (that's all you need initially).
Notes (from Aftelier website):
Top - blood orange, pink grapefruit
Heart - jasmine sambac & grandiflorum
Base - chocolate, vanilla
Cacao by Aftelier ($150, 1/4oz parfum extrait) is available from aftelier.com. The site also offers samples, and best of all, a trio of 2ml mini extraits for $125. It sounds like a teeny tiny amount, but the intensity and high concentration keep me entertained and perfumed for a very long time.
Olivia Hussey photographed by Norman Parkinson, 1967, via suicideblonde.tumblr.com