Well, this is an interesting idea and as far as I know, something really quite unique. Perfume maker Ayala Moriel has collaborated with Vancouver chocolatier Rachel Sawatzky (also known as the CocoaNymph) to come up with a trio of chocolate bars that are inspired by three of Moriel’s scents. In fact, these are bars where the smell is just as important as the taste, with lots of aromatic ingredients added to create what they’ve decided to call Perfume Bars.
The one that landed in my hands was Epionage, based on a perfume which is described as smelling of peaty Scotch, leather, cigar smoke and musky-vanilla. Sounds interesting. The accompanying bar, however, is a little less complex than that with smoked salt, jasmine and juniper combined with 64% dark chocolate, but it still sounds like an interesting combination.
Not surprisingly, it smells really good. The floral notes of the jasmine mixes with the fruitiness of the juniper, and that just serves to raise expectations. Unfortunately, the taste really doesn’t measure up because the chocolate is incredibly over-salted. Every single bite or even nibble is completely dominated by the large crystals of smoky salt and nothing else stands a chance. It isn’t that I’m adverse to salt in chocolate either – this is just way too much and after just eating the corner of the bar, all I could taste was salt for quite a while afterwards. Not pleasant at all.
I’m not quite ready to condemn the entire project yet. The range also includes Guilt (64% cocoa with orange blossom, blood orange and wild oranges) and Roses et Chocolat (72% cocoa with rose, saffron & chilli), both of which sound like they might have a little bit more subtlety and flavour than Espionage did. As it stands, Ayala’s Perfume Bars promise much and deliver very little, something which is quite disappointing considering their premium price tag of $12 for a 50g bar.