Aether Arts Perfume Mayan Chocolate ©
Under the lush, rain-spattered trees with leaves as big as green umbrellas, sacred incense suspends in the heavy air. Ancient stones form an altar where something recently burned, and embers release their last curl and waver of incense. Amidst the dense foliage and unseen animals chattering in branches, the bitter, rich aroma of crushed cacao roasting on a nearby fire drifts like invisible smoke. It fills the jungle with its burnished scent, piqued by hot spice, until the flowers sway, drunk under the weight of its fragrance. Aether Arts Perfume Mayan Chocolate is the smell of cacao in a primeval time warp, consumed as it was thousands of years ago, when these ruins were majestic temples, and their environs were gold-stoned cities. It is off-the-beaten track weird enough to be intensely, wonderfully addictive, with the strange allure of unsweetened cocoa drunk with a spliff nearby.
Aether Arts Perfume Mayan Chocolate starts out compellingly askew. Unsweetened cocoa soon starts to meld with marshy scent of wild vegetation. For the first few minutes, I began to feel as though I’d wandered into a David Lynch version of Wonkaland. And, like Violet Beauregarde’s multi-course chewing gum, Mayan Chocolate comes with several distinct stages. Its opening had me lost in memories of weed brownies. The vegetation notes initially smell like ganja leaves to me – that pungent, almost henna-like odor. The opening cacao note is startlingly realistic, with the bitter green undertones of Baker’s chocolate. As the chocolate develops into the smell of baked cake where someone’s forgotten the sugar, a parallel current of wild, damp greenery develops.
Illustration courtesy of Aether Arts Perfume
Then, out comes the spices. Nothing sweet here, either. Chili pepper adds a touch of sizzle and paprika, its smoky, ochre. I am becoming just aware of something softly floral humming in the background, although it never really comes forward. This flowery dab eases the bitterness of the opening notes, giving space to the cocoa to become richer and more chocolately. Jobin’s woods and incense accords apparently contain palo santo and copal, two woods with contrasting milky-anisic and piney overtones, respectively. In concert with the green notes, the presence of the woods help create a sense of environment, of being somewhere wild and arboreal.
At first, incense seems to derive less from a specific accord and more from the smoky quality of the spices; its presence is subtle and impressionistic, more and more as the fragrance wears. As the cocoa and vegetal smells merge and separate, and the spices bubble and recede, I start to become more aware of a resinous, dry-smoke quality I associate with frankincense, particularly in its natural form. Within a few more minutes, I swear I can smell something melting – it isn’t quite the waxy-buttery smell of lit candles, but it’s close, and recognizable as incense. Its place in Mayan Chocolate is quiet but effective, bestowing a key antediluvian element that makes the fragrance so atmospheric.
Chiapas jungle, photo via pxfuel
Indie perfumer Amber Jobin is a wizard at off-kilter, memorable scents that pique the olfactory neurons. Mayan Chocolate is spicy, sultry, lip-smackingly captivating and one of the most unusual cocoa scents I’ve ever smelled. If you like your gourmands with an edge, put on some Deep Forest, pour yourself an Aether Arts Perfume Mayan Chocolate, and surrender to the throb of the jungle.
Disclaimer: Sample of Aether Arts Mayan Chocolate kindly provided by Aether Arts Perfume. My opinions, as always, are my own.
Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
Carving image courtesy of Aether Arts Perfume
Thanks to the generosity of Aether Arts Perfume, we have a 2 ml of Mayan Chocolate for one registered reader worldwide or a 5.5 ml if you are in the USA. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what strikes you about Aether Arts Perfume Mayan Chocolate based on Lauryn’s review, whether you have a favourite perfume from this house and where you live. Do chocolate scents make you jones for cookies or kill the craving? Draw closes 8/11/2021.
Amber Jobin of Aether Arts Perfume©
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