What determines which mundane detail of your life at any given time will become an anchor to that time after it’s gone?
As I’ve mentioned a few times, The Body Shop Amorito marked a transitional—and happy—period of my life, during which I visited Japan for the first time and then started a new chapter of student life in the United States. I wasn’t particularly attached to any fragrance and while I really liked Amorito, I also didn’t mind moving on to the next thing when I finished my bottle.
Only in retrospect did I realize how precious that span of time and its associated emotions were. Also, from a more technical standpoint, I never encountered another chocolate fragrance that lived up to Amorito. Having accomplished most of the task of finding and buying the old perfumes that have written my olfactory autobiography so far, my desire to fill in this blank grew stronger.
Earlier this year, I looked again on eBay and someone had a 30-mL bottle for sale, noting that they had stored it in a cool, dark place. It was priced like a niche perfume, but not totally unreasonable. I bought it without hesitation.
When I received it, I thought at first that I’d been scammed, because the wrapped object was so small. I tore the wrapping off and was relieved—and perplexed—when I recognized the bottle. Even though I knew it was 30 mL, in my imagination from distant memory it was much larger. I’d forgotten the detail of the groove on the side, presumably a clever design to save space when stacking bottles side by side? (If so, why not use rectangular bottles instead?)
It sat on my desk for weeks because I wanted to wait until I was in the right mindset to revisit it. Yesterday, I suppose I unintentionally “primed” myself by wearing my new bottle of Atelier Materi Cacao Porcelana, which is the first chocolatey fragrance (can I say that? or would that offend the refined and delicious white cacao?) that I have really appreciated since Amorito. It was richer in the warmer weather than when I first tried it in December and January, affirming my choice to add it to my collection.
With some apprehension, I gave Amorito a spritz on my wrist. Reassuringly, the first press on the nozzle did not yield any liquid, indicating that the bottle had indeed never been used. My first thought: “There it is!” Just as I remembered it. The chocolate. The floral note, jasmine.
I had anticipated (with some nervousness) that a flood of forgotten memories might come back upon smelling Amorito again. This did not happen, perhaps because I never lost them in the first place.
Mere seconds later, the fragrance collapsed into vanilla; not in a bad way. The notes must have lost some of their structure over the last almost 2 decades. Amorito was launched in 2004, which makes it almost vintage now, and I cannot find who the perfumer was. If anyone knows, please tell me.
I sprayed more generously and the first few moments were chaos—there was a hint of amaretto before the fragrance seemed to separate from the alcohol solvent. At this point it smelled like a fragmented mosaic of a few aromachemicals. As this settled into some sort of organization, Hershey’s chocolate syrup became apparent—an unabashed, warm, caramellic, familiar, comforting chocolate. The accompanying vanilla was toasty and round as well. We are in baked chocolate chip cookie territory for a while.
Perhaps because the perfume has aged, it doesn’t have an overt floral aspect; rather, the ghost of jasmine may be adding “lift” to the gourmand notes so they never feel too sweet. The composition warms with body heat to become a sort of spiced chocolate on an ambery base built mostly on vanilla.
Amorito is neither complex nor complicated. To me, it is the scent of happy simplicity.
13 thoughts on “Revisiting an old perfume love: Amorito by The Body Shop”
What a wonderful story, with the prospect of so much disappointment. I lapped up every detail.
Thanks! I suppose revisiting old perfume loves is always risky, and maybe the simplest ones have more chance of not disappointing.
Thank you! Are there perfumes that remind you of a simple, happy time?
Definitely! The scents of my childhood would be most of the Estee Lauders
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You write so beautifully about Amorito. Sometimes I think we are so focused on dissecting fragrances & trying to describe them, that we lose out on allowing a scent to simply make us happy.
Thank you. I’m not sure one could dissect Amorito if one tried… it really is a pretty simple fragrance. After writing this post, I found a website called Savour Experience with which I wasn’t familiar, and it suggested that Amorito had a top note of myrrh; mid notes of vetiver, rose, dark chocolate, and jasmine; and base notes of cedar wood, patchouli, agarwood (oud), amber, and vanilla. This is the most comprehensive notes list that I’ve found. While none of these are verified, I can believe this list, although I can’t pick out many of them and find it hard to imagine that The Body Shop would have been trying for an oud note circa 2004.
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That’s an interesting list of notes for the Body Shop. Saying that M7 had been around a while so Oud notes were out there. Body Shop perfumery is always underestimated, largely cos it’s cheap to buy & their market sector isn’t particularly fragrance focused. I wonder what Lush were doing at the time?
I’d like to know who their perfumers are & have been.
Have you seen their new floral range? I will be testing them when I’m next near a Body Shoo
Maybe I was underestimating them for those reasons, without thinking too much about it. I just contacted the website to ask how they got those notes, but don’t have high hopes of hearing back.
The last time I explored The Body Shop fragrances was probably 2015 when I bought Red Musk, but now that you mention it, I might check them out again.
Great post! Sounds like this one holds some wonderful memories. Terre d’ Hermes and Dior Homme (though they were not the first scents I purchased) bring back similar fond memories for me. They marked a time in my life (2005/06) where I had just started a new job that I loved, and when I think back marked a period where I got into perfumes on a more serious level.
We happen to be talking about the same time period! That’s great that your fragrances are still available, too – do you notice a lot of difference between the current formulations and your memory of the old ones?
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Oh certainly with Dior Homme. It’s been redone quite a few times, by different perfumers. Olivier Polge composed the original from 2005, which I found to be heavier on the iris. Francois Demachy’s version from 2011 went a little heavier on the leather accord. However, the recent version from Demachy is a generic mess – a shell of what it once was. And as for the Hermes, I think the current version is pretty similar to the original – still as great as ever.
That’s a shame about Dior Homme. Glad the Terre d’Hermès still works for you though!
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