Sugar and Spice: Fun Holiday Perfumes Part 1 - Sugar
Nope this is not a post about food! Sorry!
If you’re like me, and the influence of your sweet tooth extends to more than just your taste in food, you might also enjoy candy-colored makeup, clothes, accessories AND scents.
With the creation of more and more aromachemicals, perfumers have been able to capture an expanding range of smells and experiences that previous generations wouldn’t have ever been able to. Brands like Demeter have turned it into a huge business, and increasingly, modern fragrances have started to incorporate food-like accords, from the caramel popcorn in Miss Dior Cherie to Turkish Delight in niche brands like Keiko Mecheri and Serge Lutens.
Here are a list of the more unmistakably food-like and a little more accessible options for the girly-girls among us who love teasing the boys by smelling like a piece of walking confectionary.
P.S. If you’re testing in the shops, remember sweet scents smell sweeter on paper, so always test on your skin and let it settle for a bit before buying!
This very simple and linear scent is centered around one main thing. Caramel. But it’s not a super-sugary version. The musk and benzoin pull it away from outright edible territory, and it’s really more refined than anything else.
L’occitane Delice des Fleurs
I mentioned this in a previous post, and those of you who enjoy the slightly more exotic and old-school European treats would recognize the powdery-sweet crystallized violets and roses from French confectionaries. This scent is feminine and delicious but not too sugary, so if you happen to like florals this is a good starter scent for getting into the gourmand game.
Fresh Brown Sugar
This citrus scent starts off bright as a glass of sweet, ice-cold lemonade and then warms up into lemon candy as caramel and brown sugar tones start coming in. If you love lemon-tarts or just sparkling citruses, this is a PERFECT scent for getting into the sweeter side of things. The added bonus is that it lasts longer than the typical aquatic fresh citrus fragrance.
Katy Perry Meow
Sweet, warm, creamy, Meow is like a pear cobbler that’s still slightly warm. Heavy on the vanilla and creamy to the point of smelling almost like coconut, I once had a colleague exclaim “OMG something smells REALLY good” when I walked past.
If you’re used to celeb fragrances, this isn’t going to be a big change because a lot of them fall right into this category and share the same level of sweetness.
Britney Spears Fantasy
How can we list foody fragrances and not name this magenta gem? This is white chocolate buttercream frosting with a spritz of fruit juice over the top and a single fresh-cut orchid by the plate. I don’t actually find it all that sweet once the fruits at the top fade off. Just buttery and smooth, with a strong orchid tone so it’s not 100% food-like.
Britney Spears In Control Curious
Do NOT like the name and I prefer a bottle that’s easier to hold and use, BUT this is a soft, dark creme brulee scent that’s really pretty and surprisingly soft. The kind of creme brulee that’s not sickly sweet, but made with real fresh vanilla bean scraped from the pod.
Sweet, but it won’t be likely to make your teeth ache.
Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy
I think I’m getting tired of listing Britney scents, but this is a fragrance that my MOM, of all people, raved about when I wore it. It’s intensely berry-like and creamy-sweet. EXTREMELY fun to smell.
If you’re from Asia, you will know what I mean when I say “Grape Hi-Chew Candy” and “Grape Yakult”. Take a sniff next time you get a chance. This doesn’t contain any grape; OR blueberries as so many people like to imagine.
It’s actually made of black cherries and framboise (Belgian raspberry beer), but the combination of musky sweet notes at the base turn the whole thing into a darker, more blueberry-like scent.
Parfums de Coeur Cotton Candy Fantasy
Image by Asher Socrate
This is what this body splash makes me think of. Floating in cotton candy land. Cotton Candy splash is VERY affordable (you can get it from Fragrancex.com at around $6+ for a whopping 8oz and DOUSE yourself in it), and accessible if you’re in the US.
Totally a cheap-thrill.
Tip for body splashes: They don’t last as long as perfume on the skin, but spray on your clothes, and you’ll smell it well into the next day.
L de Lolita Lempicka
This is an interesting one. This blue oceanic gem is a very rich, very sweet, very natural vanilla, tinged with a little bitter orange zest, a hint of cinnamony spice, a buttery almost-saltiness, and an underlying vein of woody-muskiness that keeps it “adult”. Think of an orange cupcake from an expensive French patisserie. It’s not just sugar and flour and fats. It’s flavorful, exotic, slightly spicy.
Created by (AND resembling) the very niche, very expensive Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle because it was created by the same legendary perfumer, Maurice Roucel, L is a much more affordable way to enjoy this bitter-sweet treat.
It can border on too sweet for many people or too musky, though I know guys who collect niche gourmand scents wear it too.
Jessica Simpson Fancy
Apricot-almond tart all the way. This is one of my favorites because the apricot is strong and almost smells juicy. It’s not completely caramelized and mushy yet.
Unlike Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot, this is also a lot more complex, with some soft florals, woods and musks to keep it from being too flat and syrupy. I especially love the rich toasted almond note.
VERY delicious, even for someone like me who doesn’t usually like fruity-sweet scents. (I can’t stand most Escadas for some odd reason.)
Only one scent takes the crown for this.
Pink Sugar by Aquolina.
Sure, they market themselves as cotton candy, and you DEFINITELY smell that. But that’s on top of the caramel fudge, the rainbow sprinkles, the toasted marshmallows, strawberry pancake syrup, graham crackers AND the layer-cake. (At least that’s what it smells like to me.)
It’s also insanely popular in the US. Very much an acquired taste for anyone who doesn’t have a well-honed sweet tooth, and a potential bio-weapon in the heat. I felt like I would put on 10 pounds just smelling it the other day. BUT - I’m up for the challenge as soon as my bottle arrives.
Plus, it’s so sweet and so strong it pretty much kills any sugar craving I might have, so who knows if that might turn out to be a good thing in the end?
Note: I did not list other gourmands like Thierry Mugler Angel, Paco Rabanne Black XS etc because they contain strong notes of woods, florals, or herbs that add up to something that isn’t straight-up edible smelling (to me).
Definitely let me know what YOUR favorites are!