WHAT I SMELL: Velvet Tonka opens with a soft and silky orange blossom that’s riding on top of a thickened wave of almond. The perfume starts off big and very rounded with what seems to be a taffy like glaze. It’s sweet, but more buttery almond sweet than sugary sweet. As the perfume begins to develop it radiates greatly and it reminds me of my mother’s confectionary kitchen cabinet where smells of vanilla, almond, paste and frosting created a veritable olfactory sugar rush. Continuing on, the addition of tobacco absolute helps to tame the perfume from growing out of control. However, the almond is still front and center and rather hard to resist. As the perfume continues on its journey, the almond melds with the tonka and vanilla. Here, the perfume softens oh so lightly along with a dash of wood just to even it out. It’s much later where I believe Velvet Tonka hits its “sweet spot” when it quiets to an ambered gourmet delight. It’s pretty, slightly sweet, lightly warmed and quite delightful.
From the BDK Parfums website:
Tonka bean is an ingredient full of contrasts, sometimes reminiscent of vanilla leather, sometimes of almonds, sometimes even revealing chocolatey facets. Velvet Tonka is characterized by its trilogy of tonka bean, orange blossom and almond. When worn on the skin, it coats it like an oriental delicacy dusted with icing sugar. The balmy tonka bean is adorned with almonds and rose petals for a velvety touch, and with a hint of tobacco absolute to give it a honeyed feel. In the base, addictive notes of milky amyris wood unfurl, enhanced by ambroxan and vanilla absolute for an unparalleled velvetiness and sensuality. Velvet Tonka is a tribute to the Moroccan origins of founder David Benedek and to the iconography associated with the region through its flavors and its landscapes, like a sweet, indulgent breeze coming straight from the Atlas Mountains.
Top notes: Orange blossom, Almond
Heart notes: Rose absolute, Tobacco absolute from the Balkans
Base notes: Tonka bean absolute, Vanilla absolute from Madagascar, Amyris wood essence, Amber woods
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Frosted almond cookies.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE VELVET TONKA: sweet, smooth, familiar
BOTTOM LINE: Velvet Tonka is a perfume where a little can go a long way. It’s confectioned almond goodness can be wonderful; just ensure that you keep your spritzing to a minimum otherwise you’ll create a sugared forcefield that will be too much to handle for you and those in your wake. However, if you love gourmand fragrances, this might be a good fit. I’m not a gourmand lover and sweet perfumes can be challenging to me. But I found a little Velvet Tonka can be quite nice and rather cheery to wear.
- Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Floral Gourmand
- Nose: Alexandra Carlin
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: Starting at $215 for 100ml eau de parfum