Cocoa butter is neither cocoa nor butter. It's the fat from cacao beans, which are the seeds contained in pods from the cacao tree. Once these beans are harvested, dried, and fermented properly, they're on their way to becoming chocolate -- and once they're ground up, cocoa butter is released.
Cocoa butter has a wonderful chocolate scent, but is pale yellow in color. It is pure fat, which would be quite enough reason not to eat it -- but it's also tasteless. (Should you ever be tempted to sample it, be sure and buy cocoa butter that is intended for culinary, rather than cosmetic, purposes.)
Although it may not be much of a treat for the tongue, cocoa butter can be a wonderful beauty aid. It's found in many cosmetics, especially lotions, because it's an incredibly effective moisturizer.
If you skin is painfully dry, you can get some quick relief -- and save a lot of money -- by using plain, pure cocoa butter. Rub it directly onto rough heels or the balls of your feet (put on thick socks right after, of course). For your hands, put a small quantity in a microwaveable bowl and heat it gently, at half-power. Soften or melt it completely, then rub on your hands.
I don't recommend using cocoa butter on your face except under and at the corners of your eyes. Be very sparing!
I have parched hair that enjoys drinking anything I put on it, and I like to smell like chocolate. All this inspired me, one bored winter evening, to try using cocoa butter as a hot oil treatment. I had a great time, though having the scent of chocolate so near my nose for so long made it difficult for me to think about anything else. Then again, when am I not thinking about chocolate?
My hair is very long, so I melted a generous jot of cocoa butter in a glass custard cup. Better melt a little more than you'll need -- you can always use it on your skin. When melted, cocoa butter is clear, with just a hint of yellow. Work it into your hair thoroughly, and cover it with a shower cap or plastic bag.
Leave it in for as long as you like, anywhere from two minutes to twenty. I learned the hard way that cocoa butter tends toward its solid state as it settles back down to room temperature. You'll want to rinse it out before it has a chance to harden on your head. And, sadly, you can't use it as a leave-in conditioner.
Use this before you wash your hair. Rinse with warm water, shampoo, and style as usual; and when everyone remarks on how great you look, you can tell them that chocolate is your beauty secret.