One Thousand Scents

Saturday, June 14, 2008

30 Demeters in 30 Days: Day 14, Tootsie Roll

Today's review, by an unfortunate coincidence, sounds kind of like yesterday's review. Both candy; neither smelling like its namesake. But at least this one smells awesome.

Tootsie Rolls are evil. They're made with hydrogenated fat, which, as you know, will coagulate in your coronary arteries and kill you within days, if you believe the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which famously and stupidly called fettuccine Alfredo a "heart attack on a plate", which makes me wonder why I'm not dead a few hundred times over. (I used to subscribe to their newsletter until I got good and tired of their panicky attitude--"Everything is going to kill you!"--and sometimes terrible writing.)

Tootsie Rolls taste pretty good, though (it's been a few years, but they used to taste good, for whatever that's worth). In flavour they're a cross between chocolate fudge and caramels, with a fairly tough bite that softens as the heat of your mouth makes short work of the hydrogenated fat (solid at room temperature, creamy-smooth at body temperature).

The trouble with Demeter's Tootsie Roll is that it smells too much like chocolate; the scent is more intense than the candy, which is actually a bit muted, as I recall it. The Demeter website says their scent is a "luscious and delectable combination of fudge, caramel, chocolate and vanilla", but it doesn't smell at all like caramel. What it smells exactly like instead is chocolate buttercream frosting: the slight bitterness of the chocolate or cocoa powder, overmatched by huge quantities of icing sugar; the creaminess of the butter; and a halo of vanilla. Tootsie Roll hangs around, too; after an hour, it's not strong, but it's still there, and completely unchanged. Smelling like unadorned chocolate frosting is extremely pleasant.

Before Angel in 1992, did it even occur to anyone that people might want to smell like chocolate? Comptoir Sud Pacifique's 1993 Amour de Cacao was next in the docket, as far as I know, and it raised the stakes with a scent that was hardly anything except chocolate (whereas in Angel it was just a part of the whole candy-shop buffet). Now there are plenty of chocolate-based scents: Demeter has seven that I know of (I might have missed one or two), and Bulgari put white chocolate into Omnia. Basenotes lists 31 scents containing chocolate and another 11 with cocoa, and they're missing a bunch. But if what you want is inexpensive but pleasurable chocolate scent, then Demeter has two I can recommend, Brownie and Tootsie Roll. Oh, and maybe tomorrow's, which you'll just have to wait for.

It only just occurred to me that Brownie plus Tootsie Roll ought to smell like chocolate-frosted chocolate brownies. A new experiment to try!



  • Have you tried the Hot Fudge Sundae scent? I wonder how it differs from the Tootsie roll. It's hard to pick out which chocolate scent to order, considering how many there are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:36 AM  

  • No, I haven't tried Hot Fudge Sundae. There are so many to choose from! I counted seven, as I said: Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Chocolate Mint, Hot Fudge Sundae, Junior Mints, and Tootsie Roll.

    Brownie is pretty wonderful, and of course Junior Mint and Tootsie Roll rock. I've tried Chocolate Chip Cookie and found it kind of synthetic on my skin, and Chocolate Mint isn't the candy but a hybridized mint plant with a chocolate overtone, so I didn't think that sounded very interesting. (If you have a garden or even a window box, you could probably grow the real thing yourself: mints are very hardy and will grow in nearly the entirety of the populated areas of North America.)

    The Jelly Belly version of Hot Fudge Sundae didn't really appeal to me, because of the cherry note; they may say it's subtle, but it worries me.

    By Blogger pyramus, at 7:19 AM  

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