I recently received my order from Eden Botanicals, containing Cocao Absolute. Origin France, Theobroma cacao; plant part: seeds. It is very thick and dark and does smell intensely of very good chocolate that is so rich it is perfume like already. I am not exactly sure what I will do with it, but I presumed I really needed it, and I am sure I will figure something out fairly soon. I also ordered some of their "amber essence" which does in fact have a very nice, warm, rubbed leather dark scent to it, which is what I suppose amber would smell like if you could get more than the most subtle whiff of it from the real thing, and I think putting the chocolate together with it in some way will be a start. Chocolate being one of the most essential elements associated with female desires, I have been planning on a visit to a local place called Cocoabar, which offers nothing but chocolate, coffee and wine. Now coffee and wine might be two other elements that would exactly complement the fragrance of chocolate itself, so I expect to be inspired from by experience there. A good place to read. I have noticed it is also a spot that has lent itself to a "books released into the wild" program run by a local bookswapping group. Title and description are listed online and the members can go and pick them up behind the counter, if they so wish. Now that could be another element, the scent of paper that books have. Newer ones, that is, sometimes the old have that funny mold smell which can't be eradicated no matter what. But I am not really sure what the scent of paper might be comprised of. An inky element from the Sunday New York Times edition.
I think composing scents based on reality experiences can work. Some things just obviously go together, and create very pleasant sense memories. Chocolate, coffee, wine, books, and actually, tobacco (fresh, not the smoke). Just stepping back from trying to compose, and just appreciating what is really there already, in our environment can be inspirational. It's a rainy late summer weekend, so that rain smell would be a good element too, to add freshness. I think of chocolate ice cream, hot cocoa, mousse, but those contain a sugary element to balance the bitterness of true chocolate. There needs to be a balance and opposition to the sugar sweetness. There's the bitterness of unsugared coffee, and the edge of a dry wine. Also perhaps an sobering element provided by the tragedy I will no doubt be reading of in the nineteenth century Russian or French literature I expect to bring with me there. Anna Karinina, Madame Bovary, The Red and the Black. What does tragedy smell like? Very mineral, I think, like the saltiness of tears, the iron of blood, the powdery calcium softness of dust. I think every sensory experience is heightened and informed by the memory of its opposite. The pleasurable memory of chocolate and the danger we sense from the of the bite of iron in blood. As taught in art schools, opposites in color heighten the effect of each one, and in experience and memory, the same rule applies.
As Paul Klee said: war is temporary, drawings (and chocolate) are eternal...
Illustration above: Femme Elegante I by Andrea Laliberte