indi chocolate sent us a five pack of their "Chocolate Lips" -- lip balms made with chocolate and cocoa absolute with added flavors for the different varieties as well as coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, bees wax, and vitamin A. As you can see these were cutely wrapped so they'd make a lovely gift to give as is from the box. The box also was not over packed so there as little to throw away. Let's see how this lip balm works and if I or those who got to kiss me while I tried this out could tell the difference between the types.
So next I tried the "Chocolate Vanilla Temptation." First difference from the pure variety was that now when I opened it I could smell vanilla but also cocoa. In fact the vanilla and cocoa scent was noticeably by my kissing partner but neither of us could taste chocolate. Everything else was the same as with the first lip balm.
The third lip balm I tried was "Chocolate Mint Devine" -- yes, that is what the label says. Once more the mint scent brought out the chocolate scent as well as a slight tingle though that might have been more mental than real since mint is not listed on the ingredients. My partner also could smell the mint and since chocolate mint is one of his favorite combination we did a bit more "testing" also known as kissing but we never tasted chocolate or mint.
The final balm I tried was "Chocolate Orange Smooth," and it confirmed my theory that the added flavors and scents are what is allowing the chocolate to come through the other ingredients, primarily oils. The chocolate is there but something is blocking the cocoa scent that the vanilla, the mint, or the orange is helping cut through. All of these were easy to use but I did notice that the paper wrapper started to come loose once I started handling them to just apply it.
The "Mocha Madness" I actually gave to one of our mocha Acolytes to try out with his boyfriend to see if they liked it. Yes, men do wear lip balm and since I'm not a fan of coffee nor is anyone I'd kiss a fan, this seemed only fair. This is what he thought of this variety and as you'll read, it is very much in line with my own experiences so I'm going to let his words add to my specific variety comments above: Mocha Madness Lip Balm looks rather mocha-colored and like normal lip balm. It has a strong mocha scent that is composed of chocolate, cocoa absolute and flavored oil, from which the coffee part is derived. The lip balm feels no different than other lip balms when applied, though it may be a little lighter in density, the feeling on one's lips is the same. Oddly, when tasting the lip balm, there is not real flavor to it. After applying, I kissed my intimate other and neither of tasted mocha. We could definitely smell it, but could not taste it, which is a bit of a failing since that is the premise of putting on the lip balm.
No one can claim that the "Chocolate Lips" from indi chocolate isn't made from chocolate, it clearly goes well beyond what most companies would in terms of using real chocolate for anything they label chocolate that isn't food or drink. Sadly we've encountered many companies who don't even use chocolate in their "chocolaty" products at all. In the past we've had a lip balm we've featured on The Chocolate Cult that both smelled and tasted like dark chocolate; the down side was the application required. In comparison, these balms are easy to apply but miss the mark when it comes to flavor and fragrance and that's sad to say because I know that indi chocolate is promoting fair trade, making products from bean to consumer, and using real chocolate to make everything. I don't know if the oils and fats being used are blocking the chocolate's taste and scent but I hope they re-work their formulas and make a better product so we can fully support them.
Update January 2014 --
Finally used the last of the lip balm and I can say that my earlier critique still applies but that this was the longest lasting and most effective balm I have ever used. These lasted two full years which means that each lasted just under five months of daily use. If you want to support a fair trade company and get a very, very high quality lip balm you need to check these out but don't expect this to have the flavor and fragrance you might expect from lower quality lip balms in "chocolate" varieties.