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ClaireV's Review of Coco Blanc by House of Matriarch

The notes for this read like a wet dream for any gourmand lover: Sandalwood absolute, massoia lactone, Hawaiian vanilla, chai spices, butter, special reserve vintage musk. But this is far from a simple, creamy gourmand, and in my opinion, takes a bit of time getting used to. On my skin, Coco Blanc opens with a piercing note of raw Massoia, in all its oily, wood-alcohol splendor. It is sharp, pungent, and rather hissy – almost like hairspray. Thankfully, the sharp oiliness dissipates rather quickly, leaving behind a creamy, buttery fug of Massoia lactones – all the shades of fig and coconut in the flavor rainbow. All in all, it's an immensely cozy and inviting sort of smell.

The top part – scads of dairy-rich elements such as butter, cream, and vanilla, plus the coconut notes – kind of smell like those Ferrero Rocher chocolates called Raffaello. In particular, the part past the desiccated coconut and the crisp shell where your teeth sink into the creamy white chocolate filling. Eating this filling always feels like eating pure, raw cocoa butter. It doesn't really taste of anything – it's more of a texture than a taste.

But what makes this a clever fragrance is the fact that this Raffaello sweet is nestled within a darker, muskier layer that gives it an altogether grown-up character. The musky, woody layer feels a bit dark and gritty to me, and so stops the fragrance from tipping too far into overly rich, dopey gourmand territory. In other words, it's a proper perfume.

I don't pick up much chocolate here beyond the slight Raffaello connotation, but really, what is white chocolate except a waxy representation of milk and butter anyway? I sometimes eat the stuff, but I would be hard pressed to give you a description of what white chocolate actually tastes or smells like, beyond the general descriptor of ‘milky'. Towards the very end of the drydown, perhaps eight hours in, I do get what smells like a big old mug of hot milk, the kind you sipped as a child before bed. It is insanely comforting. For an all-natural perfume, Coco Blanc is very strong, and its longevity is incredible. I smell it on my scarves and coats for days afterwards. Out of all the chocolate perfumes I've been trying lately, this is by far the most arresting and accomplished.

  1. ClaireV

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