Cocoa Sandalwood (2013)
    by Sonoma Scent Studio

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    Cocoa Sandalwood Fragrance notes

    Cocoa, Coffee, Ginger, Cinnamon, Clove, Peach, Rose, Virginia cedar, New caledonia sandalwood, Ambrette seed, Vanilla

    Cocoa Sandalwood information

    Cocoa Sandalwood is a unisex fragrance by Sonoma Scent Studio. The scent was launched in 2013

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    deadidol's avatar

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    At first sniff, this seems like a no-frills composition that strikes a nice harmony between creamy sandalwood and cocoa without going too far into nightmarish uber-sweet territories. The two main players of the title are the most prominent facets, but there are a host of other notes lurking around to add to the mood and to keep the scent from lapsing into predictable hi-calorie / low-IQ drivel. The most identifiable of these “other notes” is the peach, which you’d have to strain your nose to identify as such. Here, it adds a slight buttery effect that shades the cocoa rather than flavoring it. A cedar note helps to define the sandalwood amongst the lactonic components, and there are some spices (nutmeg, I’m thinking) that add drama to the overall mix. This scent is essentially an exercise in subtlety and acuity.

    For fans of saccharine bag-of-donuts-type scents, this might veer too far from sugar-land as it holds balsamic similarities to Slumberhouse’s Ore (but its less vegetal / unusual than that one) and it has some of the musky characteristics of the early Parfumerie Generale gourmands (Aomassai and Coze). In other words, it’s a good gourmand—far more of a composed and briany perfume than one that’s just trying to replicate gateaux. The closest this gets to something genuinely edible might be an exotic drink of some kind. In sum, this is a less fussy Ore merged with Tam Dao EdP.

    This one’s all natural (do with that what you will), and therefore it’ll wear a bit differently to some of the others in the line, sitting close to the skin as well as thinning out faster than the more structured SSS scents. What that means is that you get a richness and full-depth that lends itself well to these ingredients, but you’re not going to be able to foghorn a room with it. While I’m not a huge fan of gourmands in general (okay, I *hate* gourmands if that wasn’t clear already), I appreciate the ones that attempt to inject something novel or can at least say something that sounds intelligent. Here, it’s the peach and the excellent balance between the two central players that offers something worthwhile. The coffee is subtle, and, for me, that works as I find too much coffee in perfume to be as problematic as perfumes with diabetic aspirations. For fans of scents that smell like a bag of donuts—or screechy Mugler type chemico-chocolate patchouli bombs—this will probably feel too subtle and reserved. But for those of you who crave a gourmand without having to resort to the kind of scents mentioned above, this does a great job of bringing soft, woody notes together with a tasteful dusting of sweetness that won’t require a trip to the dentist.

    16th May, 2014

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