Fragrance Reviews

The Body Shop Chocomania Fragrance Review (MAINSTREAM MONDAY)

* Goes on kind of loud – with rich milk chocolate buoyed by coconut.

* Yes, I was craving a Mounds bar.

* The coconut gets stronger, making the chocolate seem like supporting player for a little.

* As the coconut recedes, a sweet vanilla joins the chocolate for a good bit.

* After about a half hour – the vanilla fades and coffee comes through.

* The cafe mocha aroma carries it into the base.

Summary: Chocomania is a fun, easy to wear gourmand. It reminds me of two of my favorite chocolate/coffee scents – Bond I Love NY for All (nearly identical) and Maison des Reves Mousse Au Cafe (very similar, just a little less milky). Initial projection is kind of strong but calms down pretty quickly, so it’s a good, fun office fragrance. Chocomania is the textbook definition of cheap thrill, retailing at $15. I also love that its available in a 30ml bottle and I wish all lines offered scents in smaller bottles – because let’s face it – who ever uses a full 100 (or even 50ml) bottle? The scent is also available in matching body products and gift sets in a heart-shaped box – making it a perfect gift for Valentine’s day. When I reviewed Montale Chocolate Greedy – I compared it to Guerlain Gourmand Coquin as being a mid-range Lexus compared to a high-end Mercedes-Benz. This would make Chocomania the fun and affordable Kia that those colorful hamsters took to the party before dancing to LMFAO and elevating our cultural discourse so.

One Girl’s Opinion (Body Butter)
Adorable on Your Vanity (Collection)
Ellelle (Body Butter)

The Body Shop Chocomania is available through their stores and website.

Disclaimer: Bottle purchased – no disclaimer needed. Image courtesy of Body Shop website.


Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Shaving Cream Review


* Taylor of Old Bond Street is a family business that has been making male grooming products since the 1850s.

* The coconut shaving cream smells really good; almost like a trip to tropics.

* The cream is very smooth and has the feel of moisturizer on your skin.

* Foam is easily mixed up when aerated with a brush and a bit of moisture.

* The resulting shave is incredibly smooth without the need of a preshave.

Summary:  I visited the Taylor of Old Bond Street store when I was in London last year at the suggestion of a wet shaving aficionado. The feel is a very old school, upperclass gentleman’s club, yet there is a friendly feel and a real focus on service.  I had tested one of the creams previously but decided to sniff all of them to see which I liked best – the decision was between almond, rose, and coconut.  Something about the coconut spoke to me and I’ve enjoyed many amazing shaves ever since.  Not only is a preshave not necessary, an aftershave balm/lotion is optional- which is saying a lot since I have extremely sensitive/reactive skin. The 150 gram/5.3 oz bowls are priced between 8 and 9 pounds in the store – which is quite reasonable for the quality and if you buy them in the US, the markup isn’t horrible considering the import fees – putting them at between $14-$16 each. A funny story, though, looking at the ingredient lists, I saw coumarin and thought to myself why would they put in the prescription drug for preventing blood clots as that didn’t seem to fit with the genteel old school natural approach.  A little bit of research proved I was being an idiot – as coumarin is a fragrance compound and is completely unrelated to Coumadin.

Taylor of Old Bond Street products are available through West Coast Shaving,
Italian Barber, and Amazon.

Disclaimer: Product purchased for review – no disclaimer need. No financial compensation is received for this review or any others. All opinions are mine. Image courtesy of West Coast Shaving.

Fragrance Reviews

United Scents of America Hawaii Fragrance Review

* Hawaii beings with sugary flowers and fruit – sweet peaches and light jasmine.

* The florals recede and the sweet fruits become the focus – pineapple, coconut, papaya, and mango.

Fragrance Reviews

Creed Virgin Island Water Fragrance Review

* Virgin Island Water is a vacation in a jar.  The long lasting top notes of coconut, lime, and orange smell like a beachside cocktail.

* Usually citrus top notes burn off really quickly, but the lime and orange last throughout most of the fragrance.

* Unless you pay attention and sniff yourself often, VIW seems very linear as in the top notes stay around for the full life of the fragrance.

* If you sniff closely, some ginger, spices and light florals enter in mid-development for a short while.

* The deep base notes of vanilla and musk join the coconut which stays around forever.

* While most vacations are over too quickly, Virgin Island Water lasts more than 8 hours.

Summary:   Virgin Island Water is strong, but not overpowering.  It makes its presence known but is not so overwhelming as to be too much for warm weather wear.   If you are a fan of the classic Creed fragrance, this may not be to your liking.  It is more similar to the fresher/fruitier Creed fragrances like Aventus.   Although I have never smelled it, several people have mentioned that Virgin Island Water is identical to Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena (which has been discontinued).  I can’t comment on that, but I can say that Virgin Island Water is one of the few fragrances that I have used up a full 4oz bottle of and went back to buy another bottle of.  For summer weather and hot climates, Virgin Island Water is an excellent choice and worth testing.

Creed fragrances are available from Neiman Marcus, select Nordstrom and the Creed Boutique.   If you live in South Florida, I strongly recommend that you reach out to Eduardo, the Creed representative at the Bal Harbour Neiman Marcus.  If you live in Nashville, Byron at Green Hills Nordstrom is quite exceptional as well.

*Disclaimer – No disclaimer needed, I own a full bottle.