Many thanks to everyone who listed their favorite chocolates* in the comments to yesterday's post about Sonoma Scent Studio's Bois Épicés. I ate a lot of chocolate last night while reading the recommendations, and I figured I might as well do a chocolate perfume today. Chocolate is used as an accent note in any number of fragrances, but chocolate "soliflores" (solifoods?) are relatively scarce. There is Aquolina Chocolovers, also Aftelier Cacao, the Temperare Chocolate trio by Yosh, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Amour de Cacao, and a handful of others. Serendipitous by Serendipity 3 is today's subject; it features notes of cocoa, Tahitian vanilla and blood orange.
The ice cream parlour Serendipity 3 is something of a New York institution. It was one of Andy Warhol's hangouts, and was used as a location in the films Serendipity and One Fine Day. One of their best known treats is the Frozen Hot Chocolate, a (huge) milkshake made from a blend of cocoas and melted chocolate and topped with a (huge) mound of whipped cream; you can find the recipe here, or buy the mix at La Creme Beauty. They began introducing chocolate beauty products in 2000 with their Chocolate Body Icing lotion, followed by Chocolate Bubble Bath, Chocolate Peppermint Foot Cream, and Chocolatress Shampoo.
Serendipitous is their perfume entry. Like the Frozen Hot Chocolate, it will disappoint the serious chocoholic looking for something dark and rich and sophisticated — in my own idiosyncratic system of fragrance families, Serendipitous gets filed under "fun". It opens with a burst of orange and lots of almost-dusty cocoa. The orange hangs around a few minutes, but no more; the dry down is hot cocoa with a good dose of vanilla extract, liberally sprinkled with marshmallows. It is thankfully not overly rich or strong, in fact, it stays relatively close to the skin. The lasting power is a bit under average for an Eau de Parfum (probably closer to what you'd expect from an Eau de Toilette) but that is just as well for me: a few hours is just about how long I want to smell like chocolate.
Serendipitous by Serendipity 3 is sold in 50 ml for around $37. For buying information, see the listing for Serendipity 3 under Perfume Houses.
A side note: the chocolate beauty products connoisseur in our household is my 8 year old son. His favorites: L'Oreal Kids Cocoa Carousel Smoothie Shampoo (distressingly hard to find!), Philosophy 3-in-1 in Chocolate Ice Cream, and Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion.
* And a note for anyone looking for obscure chocolate brands in the United States: try Chocosphere; the selection is impressive.