13 Sweet, Sexy Scents That Will Have You Smelling Like a Snack This Summer
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Miss your bottle of Impulse Vanilla Kisses? Never stopped wearing Britney Spears Fantasy? Consider yourself vindicated. In 2022, we’ve been craving sweeter perfumes, with notes like vanilla, cinnamon and pineapple dominating Gen Z shopping lists, according to a report released by Gen Z media company Kyra, and hashtags like #smelllikeasnack generating 39 million views on TikTok.
That’s right, the Gen Z-spearheaded revival of everything cringingly millennial — from blue eyeshadow, to baby braids, to exposed g-strings, to nameplate necklaces and beyond — sweet, sexy fragrances are back in the limelight and are set to trend for 2023. And, they’re all grown up and perfect for your “White Lotus”-inspired summer beauty routine.
Is There a Fancy Word For “Sweet Perfume”? We’re So Glad You Asked
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Many of the sweet scents that have launched this year fall into the “gourmand” category. Michael Marzano, national education manager at Agence de Parfum, says gourmands encompass a wide range of scents, but all have one thing in common.
“Gourmand fragrances utilise notes like praline, vanilla, and cacao to divulge a ‘food-like’ sense of comfort and sensuality,” he explains.
While food notes from fruit, to spices and even confectionary (“cupcake” is one of the iconic notes found in Britney Spears Fantasy), vanilla is often a centrepiece of the gourmand fragrance. According to Marzano, it’s also scientifically nostalgic, so there’s a good reason we never got over the scents of our tweens.
“Vanilla delivers a reassuring sense of the past,” he explains, “from early positive childhood experiences of special occasions like birthdays, to our favourite pastries and comfort foods.”
Vanilla is also one of the first scents we come into contact with as infants, as it’s a compound found in breast milk and breast milk formula. Which is… really nostalgic.
Why are we into this now? Marsano believes the rise in sweet-smelling, vanilla-laced fragrances can be attributed to a post-COVID yearning for comfort.
“Fragrance customers are wanting to experience a sense of cocooning and intimate certainty that vanilla offers,” he posits.
Personally? We feel like the fun, carefree vibes of these sweet, sexy scents are absolutely perfect for our hot-girl-summer, take three.
So, whether it’s a mojito-inspired beachside favourite, or a decadent date night addition to your fragrance wardrobe, we’ve rounded up the top sweet-smelling perfumes you should be wearing this summer.
Sweet and Fruity:
Ellis Brooklyn, Sun Fruit Eau De Parfum
Ellis Brooklyn, Sun Fruit ($158) is a little like a Splice ice cream. Once the sweet scents of sumptuous pear, full-bodied fig, and zesty orange blossom dissolve, you’ll find a creamy dry down of coconut, vanilla, amber, and musk. Sweet and satisfying, it’s the kind of scent that warms up as it melts onto the skin, making it both delectable and addictive.
Fresh, Sugar Lychee
Viscerally sweet, Fresh, Sugar Lychee ($72) is more complex than it first appears (or smells). Opening with an excitable and sugary blast of zesty lemon, lime, grapefruit and juicy lychee, this scent has a comforting, balanced dry down, thanks to the presence of amber, sandalwood and slightly nutty tonka bean.
Kayali, Juicy Apple 01
Kayali, Eden Juicy Apple ($185) is as playful and seductive as the name suggests. Opening with mouthwatering notes of crisp apple, lychee, and pink grapefruit, the scent leaves behind silky floral notes of raspberry blossom, jasmine, vanilla, amber, and musk.
Vilhelm Parfumerie, Mango Skin
Mango notes have been an unexpected viral sensation this year, with juicy drugstore body products and fine fragrances blowing up on TikTok. Vilhelm Parfumerie, Mango Skin ($224) is one of the best examples of why. Inspired by South Africa, this fragrance will be nostalgic for anyone who spent their summer breaks eating Weiss bars on the beach as a kid. This tropical cocktail features syrupy mango, violet, and frangipani notes that settle to a musky and faintly animalic creme de cassis and civet dry down.
Loewe, Paula’s Ibiza Eclectic
The best branding of 2022 goes to Loewe for Paula’s Ibiza Eclectic ($98), and we just know Daphne and Cameron would be sharing this bottle while sojourning at The White Lotus. One reason? It matches Cameron’s shirts. Second reason? It features sparkling, mischevious notes of black pepper, mandarin, and orange flower perfectly balanced with smooth, and sweet Daphne-esque ylang-ylang, coconut, and vanilla. Spicy frankincense holds these competing accords together in a scent that may last longer than Daphne and Cameron’s relationship.
Sweet and Floral:
Lancôme, Idôle Nectar
Not your grandmother’s rose, this soft, candied floral scent opens with a fresh, dewy bouquet of Turkish and Grasse rose, but has popcorn and caramel accords to thank for its dry warmth and honeyed finish. Lancôme, Idôle Nectar ($110) is sweet as its namesake and as sparkling and fresh as sunrise in a rose garden.
Giorgio Armani, My Way
Fresh bergamot and orange blossom give Giorgio Armani, My Way ($235) a garden fresh olfactory feel, while velvety tuberose and jasmine give it a caressingly sensual feel. While unlisted, the fruitiness of this fragrance, along with creamy base notes of vanilla and musk, gives this fresh scent a strawberry-milkshake smoothness. Delish.
Sweet and Sexy:
Paco Rabanne, Olympéa Solar Intense Eau De Parfum
Consider Paco Rabanne, Olympéa Solar Intense Eau De Parfum ($150) golden hour captured in a bottle. With sun-drenched citrus accords, dreamy florals, and a simmering benzoin base, this scent is redolent of hazy summer afternoons. One for long lunches and early Aperol Spritz breaks.
Eau D’Italie, Mystic Sunset
If Loewe have Daphne and Cameron covered, we’d definitely find a bottle of Eau D’Italie, Mystic Sunset ($248) tucked in a supremely salty Harper’s Bottega Veneta handbag. She’d deem Bacarrat Rouge too ubiquitous, but appreciate the more subtle, but no less sweet notes of Mystic Sunset, which include osmanthus and cassis, along with warming caramelised sugar cane, saffron, and cedar dry down. On point for summer, this is the perfect comfort scent for when you’re raging at your husband, while being sexy enough for when you inevitably make up with him. Truly a scent for all occasions.
YSL Black Opium, Illicit Green
Cocktail-inspired YSL Black Opium, Illicit Green ($200) will take you for a walk on the wild side with its blend of bitter black coffee notes, pulpy fig and mandarin, succulent pear, and silky vanilla bourbon. Seductive and surprising, this is the perfect syrupy accompaniment to an all-nighter.
An OG gourmand, Prada Candy was the melt-in-your-mouth fragrance we ripped off magazines at the hairdresser and rubbed on our wrists in 2011.
In 2023, turns out we still want Candy. Deliciously sweet and treacly with brash caramel top notes and comforting fluffy musk, Prada, Candy ($220) has just enough simmering sophistication, thanks to resinous benzoin, to pull off at our grown-up jobs. Think of it as the caramel kiss you keep in your desk drawer for a 3pm sugar hit.
Sweet and Sophisticated:
For a boozy and quintessentially French sensory experience, reach for Frapin, 1270 ($259). The Frapin family founded their cognac distillery in the Cognac region of France in, you guessed it, 1270.
This scent touches on the history of the fragrance house, masterfully blending bitter and syrupy notes in a way that makes you feel like you are standing in a 13th-century French distillery, and it turns out, that smells good. Essentially a spicy, woody unisex scent, in 1270 there is an intriguingly sweet undercurrent thanks to candied pineapple, dried plum, spiced honey and orange notes that mingle with chocolate, coffee and guaiac wood. A bitter-sweet brew you won’t be able to stop sniffing.
Maison Tahite, Vicious Cacao
Like a fluffy chocolate cake fresh out of the oven, then decked out with raspberry compote and vanilla ice cream, there is nothing “vicious” about Maison Tahite, Vicious Cacao ($239), a sweet and sophisticated snack for the senses. Benzoin and saffron give this scent serious heat, while salted caramel, cacao absolute, rum, and raspberry give it a ‘fresh out of Nigella Lawson’s kitchen’ sweetness.