Maison Tahite Cacao2 Eau de Parfum is a spiced, toasted cocoa that’s smooth, nutty, and luscious with vanillic and ambery sweetness that is supported by aromatic cedar. The cocoa lasts and lasts, even in the drydown where it’s more of a supportive note and the amber starts to take over.
It is described as using “cinnamon” to reveal cocoa’s “spicy side” along with toasted notes, cedar, and vetiver to evoke “biting a bar of extra dark chocolate.”
- top notes: cinnamon
- heart notes: labdanum, toasted notes
- base notes: cocoa, vanilla, cedar, vetiver, benzoin, ambery notes, amber
What does Cacao2 Smell Like?
In the first few seconds, unadulterated, dark chocolate blasted through but then it was doused with intense cinnamon–spicy and so aromatic I could almost taste it. The cocoa was there, slightly dusty and dark, and gradually warmed up, almost like it was melting, as it became somewhat nutty and toasted. The cinnamon was no longer as brash as it had been given about five minutes to settle down.
It managed to be sweet without losing its dark, chocolaty depth; it was spiced without tickling my nose; the cinnamon did, in fact, bring out the “spicy side” of chocolate. There was a vanilla veil that brought out the sweetness of the chocolate but not enough to turn it milk chocolate. There was some photorealism to the cocoa note, but there was definitely facets of cedar and amber that were mere whispers in the first hour that made the whole composition a little more surreal.
The changes from that point were slow and more minor as Cacao2 drifted into warmer, more resinous territory with the cedar becoming more aromatic and distinctive, but it remained mostly cinnamon-cocoa with vanillic sweetness. It smelled like the taste of warm, Mexican hot chocolate–thick, smooth, and spiced rich cocoa. It wasn’t until the third hour that it felt like the cocoa was drizzled with golden amber over subtle aromatic cedar.
Over the next four hours, the amber and benzoin added a more caramelized aspect, darker, gooey sweetness and made the cocoa softer, woodier without dropping its spice. The cocoa started to become a more minor player after seven hours of wear, but it lingered in the background as the amber and cedar came forward in the drydown.
It lasted for five hours until it was a skin-scent and about eight hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster than the projection within the first hour of wear.
After testing this scent, it really hit home just how much I’ve come to enjoy chocolate as a prominent note in perfume; I found the gourmand style that calls to me. Each time I try a chocolaty fragrance, I am swept up by it, so I am now having to be a little more measured about how many I purchase and have in my collection at a single point, but this is definitely one I am considering.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area . I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in February 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
Cacao2 is available for $120/100ml. If possible, I highly recommend trying a fragrance before purchasing a full bottle because fragrance can wear differently just because of skin chemistry. Skin chemistry can effect not just the longevity of a fragrance but also what notes are prominent or hidden.
We recommend the following retailers for purchasing decanted samples (typically 0.7ml to 2ml in size). This is a fuller list, so individual availability may depend on inventory.