When I was in my teens, my beauty routine was an ode to early-onset diabetes. I had cookie-scented body lotion, shampoo that smelled like grape bubble gum and enough chocolate- flavoured lipgloss to last until retirement. My tastes have evolved; I no longer smell like a box of sugar cereal. Now, most of my favourite moisturizers, lipsticks and skin creams are unscented or unisex in tone—that is, until winter rolls around. Then I suddenly find myself reverting back to childhood, finding solace in dessert-inspired delights.

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The recent change in the weather sent me straight to our beauty closet for a seasonal switch. M.A.C lipsticks, which are all scented with vanilla, are my go-to for day or evening. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer that smells like fudge? It has a new home: my face. And then I discovered the motherlode: Fresh Beauty Cocoa Body Exfoliant, a skin-smoothing, antioxidant-rich body scrub containing cocoa and coconut shells that looks—and smells—like chocolate-cake batter.

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It’s not the first time that Fresh founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg have gone gourmand when creating skin­care and body products. The late ’90s saw the launch of their trail-blazing Sugar collection, which was inspired by childhood memories of their respective grandmothers, who used the sweet stuff as a natural antiseptic to heal cuts and scratches. The cult favourite Crème Ancienne Honey Mask is made up of nearly 40-percent honey­—21/2 tablespoons’ worth in each jar. (Honey is a moisture-retaining humectant with natural enzymes that gently exfoliate the skin.)

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My fascination with Fresh’s dessert-like cocoa scrub isn’t completely unfounded. Studies have shown that cocoa is an ingredient with major mood-boosting effects, so I have science to justify my lifelong chocolate connection. Glazman calls the endorphins released when we ingest cocoa “pleasure molecules,” which are otherwise known as beta-endorphins. “It gives you a sense of well-being,” he says. “When you have a bite of chocolate, it’s not just the flavour you love; it’s the effect it has on you.”

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