Valentine’s Day Beauties from Roxana Villa + Giveaway!

This Valentine’s Day, Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes has created the perfect gift, a beautiful set of solid fragrances. Chocolate is the unifying note of this solid perfume series and is presented in adorable truffle boxes as a duo or quartet, as well as a complete sample set of all six. Roxana works only with pure botanical essences including the chocolate aroma for her new series. The solid perfumes are made with Scharffen Berger 99% cacao, cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder and theobroma cacao extract from South America. Beeswax, and jojoba seed oil comprise the base of the solids, making them creamy and luxurious to apply.

Noir is dark and bitter with a richness only high quality chocolate can impart. But as the darkness of the chocolate opening faded, the darkness of moist earth began. Patchouli became the prominent note in Noir’s heart, and remained so until the drydown. This patchouli doesn’t have the fecund mintiness that I have grown to prefer, but it nevertheless is a superb patchouli that gets your hands dirty in rich, warm soil.

Cerise is a cherry truffle scent. I am not a cherry/chocolate person when it comes to my preferred candy choices and I probably would have passed it by if it weren’t for this review. Turns out, Cerise is one of my favorites of the six. Its cherry was like a sweet port rather than a cloying syrup and was very well-balanced against the intensity of Scharffen Berger’s 99% cacao. The cherries morphed into blackberries on my skin, recalling the dog days of summer. Yet, as those last summer days are a reminder that time is fleeting, Cerise was fleeting too. It didn’t last nearly as long as Noir, but because I adore Cerise I would not hesitate to buy the compact and I do hope that Roxana makes this into a body butter.

La Forêt is probably the least chocolatey of the six, but nevertheless, my favorite of the bunch. It’s a “dense conifer forest” as Roxana describes, and indeed the aroma of pine, spruce, and fir welled up when applied.La Forêt is reminiscent of Mandy Aftel’s Fig which has an equally sophisticated and dense piney scent. But whereas Fig is jammy and teeming with jasmine’s floral intensity, La Forêt’s greenness is augmented by unsweetened chocolate. Winter holidays come to mind whenever I smell such a lovely pine scent, but keep in mind, this scent is used in aromatherapy to refresh and revitalize any time of year.

L’Orangerie took me by surprise. I thought it would smell just like those chocolate covered orange sticks that are scrumptuous, but I wasn’t sure I would want to wear that scent on my skin. Well, I was right and wrong. They do smell like those candies, and I love smelling like a box of them!  The orange is radiant, and more like a ripe juicy tangerine with its sweetness. The chocolate in L’Orangerie seems sweeter because of this, never overwhelming the bright citrus.

Bois de Chocolat is the solid I have worn the most, and after wearing it again last night, I might have to rethink claiming La Forêt as my favorite. “Smokey woods and chocolate” is the scent description from Roxana, and it is indeed smoky. My impression of the woods in Bois de Chocolat is that of Agarwood (oud). It’s got the tangy, freshly chopped wood quality that I associate with Agarwood. Bois de Chocolat is a gentler version of Oudh Lacquer, another smoky/chocolate/agarwood scent that Liz Zorn created last year. Oudh Lacquer is a gorgeous perfume, but might be too intense for some tastes. Bois de Chocolat is the Yin to Oudh Lacquer’s Yang. So give Bois de Chocolate a go if you’re looking for a more subdued yet equally enticing experience.

L‘epice is a spicy mix of cloves, cinnamon and bitter orange rind. Are you familiar with Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea? I drink that brew frequently, and L’epice is reminiscent of its spicy goodness. Roxana doesn’t list the specific notes for her chocolate fragrances, but states that L’epice is: “Spice, hint of vanilla and chocolate”. The vanilla and chocolate escaped me, and I would love to smell more of those notes in L’epice. Regardless, it’s a lovely mulled spice perfume that hastens comfort and a touch of sensuality.

Now for the giveaway info! Go to Roxana’s Etsy site to check out the 5gm jar and pick the one from the Chocolate Series you would like to win. Leave a comment telling me which one you want and you will be entered. You are eligible for extra entries, one each, by following Roxana on Twitter and/or her Blog. You can get can also get extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. (Check the right sidebar for the Scent Hive links). Please let me know in your comments what you did so you can get the entries you deserve!

Update: Because of the amazing response I need to pick the winner sooner than I thought!  You can enter until Friday January 29th at 9pm PST. Comments closed, I’ll announce the winner soon!

And just for fun, two extra entries if you Tweet about this giveaway. Use this short link (http://bit.ly/5SIuAx) within your tweet. You can let me know by posting the Twitter link in your comment.

Disclosure: Samples from Roxana Illuminated Perfume were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Illustration by Greg Spalenka at Spalenka.com

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