My backyard smells like a gourmet chocolate shop.

We have a small garden bed with small plants in it, and it needed mulching. We wanted a mulch made up of small-sized “kibble” so that it wouldn’t overwhelm the scale of the bed, so when we saw a new mulch at the garden center made up of cocoa-bean husks, it seemed ideal. It’s a very pretty mulch, sort of rosy-tan in color, and fine and flaky.

The thing is, you would not believe how much cocoa aroma these husks retain. First it smelled up the interior of our car to the point that we were slavering for some chocolate by the time we got home. Then we mulched our bed, watered it in, and the moisture brought out even more chocolate smell. Our entire backyard smells like the Scharffenberger chocolate factory - it’s an intense, pure chocolate aroma.

I can imagine the neighbors sitting in their backyard, sniffing the air and wondering where the yummy chocolate smell is coming from. It’s hell on a diet - I’ve been craving chocolate for 48 hours now. Hopefully it fades with time!

It could be worse… you could live within smelling range of a sewage-treatment plant and a large commercial bakery that makes chocolate-chip cookies. Some days I step outside my apartment and get a smell surprise…

It does fade with time, altho when it gets wet it comes back a little. I got it because I was told that cats don’t like to walk on it (the husks are kind of sharp) and I thought it might keep them from using my garden as a toilet. (It does not work for that purpose, BTW.)

I hope you don’t have dogs.

Nope, no doggies, and our back yard is surrounded by a high fence. This isn’t a guarantee that I won’t start snarfing the stuff, though.

After watering, it becomes a pretty dark chocolate brown in color, which only makes it more attractive. It looks and smells like our garden bed is a big fudge brownie.