Fans of Vosges chocolate bars will feel right at home with Anima Dulcis from Arquisite (but no, there's no bacon in this one). It's the same idea: take the best dark chocolate and infuse it with all that's exquisite and spicy, just like Vosges Red Fire bar. Both the chocolate and the fragrance combine top quality ingredients and an almost decadent richness. It's too good to be considered a sin.
There's no fruit listed among the notes of Anima Dulcis on Arquiste's site, but there must be some. I smell something red, reminiscent of a thick jammy confection made of sweet red peppers. It obviously goes well with the spicy chili note and a smoky chipotle. I'm also reminded of a spicy black fig confiture with whole black peppercorns one might be served with a wonderfully stinky cheese. Yes, we're almost in full gourmand territory here. The cinnamon, vanilla and dark chocolate are warm and inviting, but there's also something behind them, an animalic quality that I find irresistible.
I've been thinking of other cocoa perfumes I love: Musc Maori from Parfumerie Generale and Mazzolari's Lei. I'd say that both have a sweeter milk chocolate quality and a smooth musk dry-down, while Anima Dulcis is darker and a tad dirtier, more of a grownup indulgence than a guilty pleasure. Musc Maori is probably the easiest to wear of the three, Lei the most decadent, while Anima Dulcis is perhaps more sophisticated and urban.
Notes: cocoa absolute, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon, chili infusion.
Read other reviews of Anima Dulcis on Bois de Jasmin and NST.
Anima Dulcis by Arquiste ($155, 55ml EDP) is available from Aedes, Barneys, and arquiste.com. The samples for this review were provided by the brand's PR.