The eternal question: Which perfume to choose? Ever considered a yummy gourmand fragrance with a mix of rich florals? Gourmand fragrance notes read like a pastry chef’s shopping list: honey, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, saffron. Yes, when they first hit the scene, gourmand fragrances were sweet and had decadent dessert-like qualities.
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Today they’re a tad different. Perfumers are marrying sweet notes, like vanilla, with woods, florals and spices. But they’re also playing with more well-rounded sugars, like salt-tinged caramel and coffee. So even if sugary isn’t your jam, we have a hunch you’ll submit to at least one of these.
Sweet + Woods Or Herbs
It’s all about the base. Smoky woods and smooth ambers are bottom-heavy, tend to linger and bring confectionery notes down to earth. The latest blends are like treating yourself to tiramisu in front of a bonfire. Earthy botanicals, like patchouli, work in the same way. TRY: Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Femme EDP (from R1 005), which marries woody, fruity and sweet amber notes. Available at .
Sweet + Liqueur
Booze “ages” candy, essentially heating it until the scent swells and gets nice and lush. (Think of berries simmering in a pot.) TRY: Valentino Donna Noir Absolu EDP (from R2 450 EDP). It’s a cocktail of peppers, saffron and plum liquor. Available at
Sweet + Rich Florals
White florals, like magnolia and jasmine, impart sensuality to sweet notes. This combo gives a carnal quality to any scent. TRY: Bvlgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel EDP (from R1 515). This scent combines three flowers: magnolia, jasmine and orange blossom. The wood and almost vanilla-ice-cream notes add richness and depth. Available at
Sweet + Honey
You would think that this would be too much sweetness. But honeycomb paired with fruits, vanilla and neroli accords make for a soft, non-invasive scent. TRY DKNY Nectar Love EDP (from R790). The oh-so-cute bottle will make you happy… And so will the juice inside – it smells like the perfect day. Available at
Sweet + Mocha
Mocha with a bit of sweetness = instant power couple. Rich coffee-bean notes jolt senses with a high dose of energy, while the sweetness of vanilla beans makes for a gourmand signature scent. TRY: YSL Black Opium EDT (from R950). You won’t be able to resist the iconic black coffee, floral and vanilla notes. Citrus enhances the energising radiance of the pear tones. Available at
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Sweet + Citrus
Back in the day, perfumers would blend sugary notes with fruits like melons. (Flashback to grade-six sleepovers.) Now they’re reaching for the sour produce and it smells like a much-needed holiday. They’re tangier, so they balance out the sugar and they add a fun, tropical feel too. TRY: Elie Saab Girl Of Now EDP (from R845) – it’s laced with top notes of mandarin, orange, pear and pistachio. Available at
Sweet + Fresh
Green notes are perceived as fresh. Blend some green with a few fruity notes and you’ve got yourself a fragrance that’s light and crisp. TRY: Montblanc Lady Emblem L’Eau EDT (R1205). It gives off top notes of fresh mandarin leaf, fruity peach and litchi. Middle notes of rose and magnolia and base notes of cedar, musk and resin will have you spraying all day. Available at
The Classic Gourmand
Thierry Mugler Angel EDP (from R1 005). This was the first scent to make people really go gaga over gourmand. It’s a cross between confectionery and perfumery, with notes of honey, fruit, vanilla, chocolate, caramel and patchouli. Available at
This article was originally published in the May issue of Karomazaalth South Africa – on sale now.
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