sugar.jpg
"Sugar," a perfume vendor stationed at the Alderwood Mall told me last weekend. "They all smell like sugar."

Sweet notes aren't new in the fragrance

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Perfume Makers Think Women Want to Smell Like Sugar

sugar.jpg
"Sugar," a perfume vendor stationed at the Alderwood Mall told me last weekend. "They all smell like sugar."

Sweet notes aren't new in the fragrance industry - aromatic references to cuisine are officially called "gourmands" - but the market's lately been saturated by scents designed to make wearers smell like pastries in progress.

Robin Krug, editor of the perfume blog Now Smell This, is hesitant to generalize about perfume trends, since there are more than 1000 fragrances released every year. Many of them, she says, don't have a single sugar note. "But yes, lots of them smell like sugar or candy," she concedes. "There are certainly more sugary fragrances over the past few years."

Fragrance makers long ago departed from the woodsy, fruity and floral template that long ruled the perfume counter, creating products that specifically referenced gingerbread and birthday cake batter. But the high-end tilt toward sugar probably started with the 1995 release of Thierry Mugler's Angel, which was designed to evoke vanilla pralines. Fragrances issued in succeeding years were touted for their "hints of peach melba", "dark undercurrent (of) violet-scented almond macaroons" and "sugared aniseed whipped into iris and jasmine cream."

Last year, Michel Germain debuted Sexual Sugar, described as "a burst of mouthwatering, juicy wild berries and crystallized sugar." Bath & Body Works took up the sugar mantle this season, advertising its new Be Enchanted as a fragrance "sweetened with sugared pomegranate."

Krug's review of Be Enchanted provoked a bit of good-natured pushback from readers apparently tiring of the sugar trend. "Is this Bath & Body Works or Rita's Italian Ice?," a comment writer asked.

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