Maison Tahite Vicious Cacao is a well-blended mix of gourmand, chocolate, booze, and sugar that evokes warm, boozy cake, then caramel-drizzled cake, and then something slightly fruity and floral, not quite so photo-realistic, and sweeter from benzoin than pure sugar. The cocoa was the star throughout the different phases of the perfume, and while there were parts that were sort of cake-like, it did feel more like a perfume inspired by cocoa than literal cocoa (which may or may not be what you’re looking for).
Vicious Cacao Notes
It is described as a being reminiscent of “cake” that is “enhanced by noble flowers and enveloping resins.” These are the listed notes:
- top notes: raspberry, rose pepper, rum
- heart notes: amber, narcissus, cocoa absolute, jasmine
- base notes: salty caramel, sandalwood, saffron, oak moss, benzoin
What does Vicious Cacao Smell Like?
It opened with a soupcon of vanilla cake, pepper, boozy rum, and cocoa. It soon became salty, chewy, and darkly sweet with less noticeable vanillic tones. There were subtle hints of florals, possibly jasmine within the first 15 minutes. I was taken aback by how multi-faceted the structure was; it was sweet and gourmand, boozy and chocolaty, but it was also subtly floral and had a jam-like sweetness (perhaps the raspberry and narcissus coming together). The salty caramel note seemed to tie everything together and kept the perfume from being overly sweet.
The composition got ore gourmand after the first hour of wear; the salty-sweet, dark caramel mixed with smooth cocoa was full of depth and richness, still alluding to a booziness, though the rum had dissipated for sure by this point. It had a more linear progression until nearer to the drydown (about six hours in), which was when it was slightly woodier, smoother, and less caramel and more resinous but the cocoa remained a star even in the drydown.
It lasted for 10 hours until it was a skin-scent and about 16 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate and dropped closer after three hours of wear.
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.
Vicious 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.
Vicious 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.