Looking for a chocolate gourmand that ISN'T overly sweet?
I consider myself a gourmand enthusiast, and yet some fragrances like Montale's Chocolate Greedy go too far for me - it's literally freshly baked chocolate cake and after 10 mins I get tired of the smell and need to wash it off. Personally, I want to play in the world of gourmand yet keep it grounded in the reality of perfumery.
I am not a chocolate man. I'm a man who smells of chocolate. lol
Forbidden starts off very bright and a bit raspy. It's not so much of a chocolate piece with orange filling as much as it is you squeezing half an orange and some of the rind-y mist squirting into your nose. For my nose, I definitely have to let this air dry for about 30 seconds before truly putting my nose to the skin. Nothing against the fragrance, and honestly you'd be doing yourself a disservice to judge a fragrance by the first 10 seconds.
Moving on, you start to get the chocolate vibes. Except for me it's more of cocoa powder than milk or dark chocolate. The orangy vibes are rounder by now and give way for a toasted coconut note. In Peru, there are these pastries of balls of coconut flakes that have been toasted. That's what I get. As the fragrance continues to move through it's lifespan, you'll get the sandalwood base and some oud. But they're very....playful? Like it's not serious, strong nor stanky oud. It's like the nicest parts of oud. So if you're an oud enthusiast, this may not do it for you if you need that strong, oudy backbone in your fragrances.
Speaking of which - I feel like this fragrance has a very light base. It's top heavy, if that makes sense. Linear like a good RPG that doesn't railroad you but also isn't an open world. This IS a cocoa, toasted coco, tonka bean with orange filling fragrance in an airy presentation. It's not heavy - there is very little "bass" to this song.
Which brings me to my next point, I don't get a lot of rum from this. This isn't boozy to me. It could conjure images of a cocktail with Bailey's or some other Irish cream, some Grand Marnier or a touch of Cointreau if I really looked for it, but honestly this has a more "light, airy dessert" vibe to it for me. Still, the more I smell this fragrance and keep the "cocktail" vibes in mind, it starts becoming clearer. So I guess in that sense it can be boozy.
Final thoughts: This is a gourmand that doesn't get too heavy or too "real" for me. I don't get tired of smelling myself or nauseated by an overly sweet perfume. It walks the line of conjuring real dessert accords without being too heavy or sweet, and without being photorealistic to the point of exhaustion, and the dessert notes in question are fairly unique to me. This blend of Cointreau and toasted coconut with a chocolatey touch is not something i've experienced before, and as a gourmand lover that's exactly what I look for.