Maison Tahite Carnal Cacao Perfume Review
Maison Tahite Carnal Cacao Eau de Parfum is a more floral fragrance with a gourmand leaning, but it was significantly less cocoa-driven compared to other scents from the brand that focus on this note. For me, it was largely floral with tuberose amplifying the strength and longevity of neroli but between mandarine and neroli, the florals seemed more orange blossom-like overall. The drydown saw slight spiced, warmer woodiness but it was still fairly floral and didn’t have massive shifts from opening to drydown.
Carnal Cacao Notes
It is described as “tuberose meets the gourmand sensuality of cocoa.” It includes the notes:
- top notes: mandarine, CO2 LMR Red Pepper
- heart notes: tuberose absolute (India), neroli essential oil (Tunisia)
- base notes: cocoa absolute, ambroxan, mosses
What does Carnal Cacao Smell Like?
It opened with a ripe, juicy burst of mandarin orange, dripping in the heat of late spring with sweet orange blossoms dancing in the background. After 10 minutes, soft tuberose added hazy, diffused white floral facets with the sweetened neroli blossoms. It remained linear from here through the next two hours. The cocoa absolute seemed to add some body and depth but wasn’t really detectable as “cocoa” to my nose.
While the tuberose was clearly there, it worked to support the intensity of the overall floral facets of neroli, which can often weaken over time, but instead, Carnal Cacao’s neroli blossom lingered and lingered, well past the four-hour mark. There was a subtle, darker sweetness–maybe amber, maybe cocoa, too blended for me to pick apart–that weighed down the florals slightly.
After seven hours, the base notes seemed to strengthen and led to a drydown that was lightly spiced, resinous, and woody with more blurred and blended tuberose and neroli floral facets.
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.
I was surprised at how the cocoa note translated in this scent, whether it was weak or more supportive, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I definitely expected more of it to come through. Given that I am not drawn to highly floral scents, particularly white florals, this didn’t end up being a winner for me, but it was no hardship to wear by any means.
These are more subjective feelings based on what I like (or don’t like) in a perfume as well as considering the fragrance against other perfumes I own and love.
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 January 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.
Carnal Cacao 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.
Carnal Cacao Samples
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.