How Sweet!

Today I was all set to do a biased, judgmental screed on Elternhaus’ InsertAllReligionsHere (MoslBuddJewChristetc.), having prayed to all the appropriate deities that I would hate it. Because if I loved it, I’d have to throw myself in front of a bus. That’s how I feel about their blather. Instead, the combination of two different allergy medications seems to have done something to my sniffer, adding a bitter, old-vase-water note to everything I smell, including my morning coffee. While we experience technical difficulties and adjust the rabbit ears, here’s an aside, prompted by my visit with hausvonstone to Sephora, where we stared in awe at the ever-increasing “Gourmand” section. Really, a wall of shrunken heads could not have provoked more violent feeling. After some deliberation, we selected CSP Banane Vanille as the single most revolting sounding fragrance (although it was a tough choice). Hausvonstone observed, correctly, that it smells like circus peanuts. The Caramel Sunset or whatever was pretty bad. My fingers refused to pick up the CSP pineapple.

Meditating on my perfume collection (okay, right after I meditated on world peace): do I own and love any fragrances that most people might describe casually as sweet?

Sweet is my nemesis. It is the bane of my fragrance existence. I have a wicked sweet tooth, but generally not in fragrances. Too much candied fruit, or vanilla, or chocolate, or what have you, and I gag. But there are exceptions to my rule. Browsing my fragrances, I came up with a short list of things I wear to satisfy my sweet tooth:

1. Poison and Hypnotic Poison (the one with the almond. Yeah, I know. Kill. You. Now.)

2. Serge Lutens Fleurs d´Oranger (although this is mitigated both by the indoles in the orange and the cumin. But still.)

3. Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse. Go ahead, laugh. I don´t care. I wear it to bed. It´s like my summer granny gown – wildly unsexy but comforting.

4. L by Lolita de Lempicka. The sweetness of the base is offset by the immortelle, but – hey – who´s kidding whom? It´s sweet.

And that´s … about it. Now it´s your turn for your dirty little confessions. Molinard Tendre Friandise? Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum? (Kill me now.) Your wall of Comptoir Sud Pacifiques? You can tell me. What satisfies your sweet tooth, or are you untainted?

OF NOTE: PERFUME ARTICLES/VIDEO IN SEPTEMBER ALLURE. I believe it was cheesy Allure magazine awhile back that did a big spread on the new Chanel Exclusifs line, and we all scratched our heads. Allure? So far as I know, their demographic is my 13-year-old. When the September issue arrived in the mail on Saturday, with a brunette Britney Spears on the cover (“Britney: Do the Drapes Now Match The Carpet?”), I leafed through it. There are two interesting articles on fragrance, Message in a Bottle (“an unprecedented number of fashion houses are inventing new perfumes…”) and Scents of Self, written by English novelist Kate Atkinson (“from Arpege to patchouli, one woman’s sense of smell transports her to many places”), the latter article starting off with Je Reviens and touching on scent memories. In addition, flipping through the magazine I glimpsed bottles of Le Labo, Malle and Memoire Liquide, connected to other blurbs. On their website at the link above there’s also a video (scroll down the page) of random people sampling the new Tom Fords. I have no idea what’s going on with Allure and their fragrance coverage, but I’m all for it.

105 Comments
chayaruchama August 21, 2007

I'm hardly immune to sweet. KM Loukhoum Ambre Narguile SMN Ambra del Nepal YR Gardenia YR Neonatura Cocoon Muscs Maori Crime Exotique Arabie Un Lys CSP Vanille Passion, Matin Calin, Vanille Amande, Vanille Abricot, Amour de Cacao Habanita Fleur Oriental Coeur de Fleur Gourmandises I'm forgetting a LOT. Acqua di Cuba, too.

QuinnCreative August 21, 2007

Sweets don't work on me. I fall into a diabetic perfume coma. Mix them with musk, and I'll reach for a plastic bag to voluntarily put over my head and tie shut. But yet, I am weak. SL Arabie. In winter, I can't live without it. Montale Amandes Oriental. No clue, but it takes me somewhere, sits me on its strong lap and com- forts me all day long. I just sniffed L'Artisan's Ete en Douce and loved it,so I bought it without wearing it. ARGGGGH! Musk and sweet! I tried Chergui and couldn't breathe. There is an Annick Goutal, Ciel something, that I also find suffocating. Sira des Indes? Leave it in Indes. Patou Sublime? Nein. What I really want is the fresh, chilly smell that lives in a florist shop. Not flowers (and NEVER,EVER "white flowers"), but green stems and buds. Yum.Now if they bottled that, I'd stand in line.

Gina August 20, 2007

Ha. I have a subscription to Allure. Why? Because it's good to keep up with what's happening in make-up, as that's what I do. But truly, some of the articles I could give two sh*ts about. They've run interesting articles on fragrances from time to time, I will admit. Guilty sweet pleasures in perfumes? Well...I used to really like the gourmand, until I discovered the incense, the wood, the smoke. Now they all seem too sickly sweet for me. But, I have a full bottle of Loukoum by Keiko Mecheri. It's a great comforting winter scent! Then there's the Borneo 1834, which smells like chocolate patchouli on me, I love it. I also own a full bottle of Serge's Un Bois Vanille. It doesn't seem as sweet as some vanillas. I have a friend who LOVES anything vanilla, but it works on her.

Tigs August 20, 2007

I do have sweetness amplification powers, so I am quite wary about certain lines. The Art et Matiere, Parfumerie Generale and Givenchy scents have just freaked me out lately. But I like Hypntoic Poison. My husband just bought me Boucheron Jaipur PH, another Annick Menardo, and it's got this enormous pong of heliotrope. When I first smelled it I thought "What on earth was he thinking?!" but it's actually really great once it settles a bit. Different for the XY set, anyway. Right at this moment I am wearing Kenzo Jungle Elephant and it is divine and cavity-inducing. Many of the Kenzo scents are sweet actually, as are many of the ones you have introduced to me: Courtesan, L, MoSaso. And, of course, there is Apres L'Ondee, Tocade (you like that one, don't you?) and just about any Serge. And I like Angel and Sira des Indes. Oh, and Rumba. I think almost all of these balance the sweetness out with: a) a sense of humour (i.e. Angel, which I always think is a very funny perfume); b) exoticism (Jaipur); or c) both (Kenzo Elephant).

rosarita August 20, 2007

Ok, fine, I love both Hypnotic Poison AND Allure. There, I said it. I'm even a subscriber, mainly because of some excellent essays and even better photography, and their fragrance coverage gets better every month (an interview with Aerin Lauder, and a column written by Frederic Malle, no less, over the summer.) There is the matter of annoying and whiny celebrity teenagers on the cover, but Malle trumps Britney anyday.

Robin August 20, 2007

I have a decent sized stack of unread Allure magazines, and will have to start flipping through them. Unfortunately, September's issue isn't here yet. And yes to Tendre Friandise!

sybil August 20, 2007

Hmmm... sweet 'fumes that I actually like, own and wear--not too many, as I seem to sweetify perfume. The list of stuff I've tried and can't wear due to excessive sweetness is vast. But Arabie and Chergui I like, most of the time. And Slatkin Black Fig and Absinthe, too. And I just put on some Botrytis, a few minutes ago, because I was hoping against hope my first impression (a few months ago) was uhm, mistaken. It's so wrong on me! Viola (DD1) said (w/ appropriate teenage grimace) "It smells like plastic and Cheerios!" She's right, there is a bizarre cereal note in there. It also reminds me a bit of PG's Coze, which was not fabulous on me, to say the least.

Patty August 20, 2007

I hate sweet! The only thing that comes close that I feel drawn to is that darn Indult Tihota. Super-sweet Vanilla, but in all the best ways.

Teri August 20, 2007

(Stands up next to sweetlife and declares that she, too, is a Botrytis-ite). It's funny. I don't ordinarily like oh-so-sweet frags, but the two I DO like, I absolutely adore. Botrytis is one and Ciel Mon Jardin is the other. I know exactly what sweetlife means about 'the glow' that Botrytis produces. I feel exactly the same way. And no other scent does the same thing for me. In Ciel, it's the rhubarb note that drew me in. Who knew I'd want to smell like rhubarb? But I do! I do! I'm almost embarassed to admit it! lol :">

Helen T August 20, 2007

Bianca, that's really interesting about Black Orchid on you. I love it, but it never goes overly sweet on me, gets rapidly through the top notes and the base goes pretty soft spicy wood on me, with just a hint of vanilla to soften it. If it had gone sweet, it would not be on my shelf. Well, it could be on my shelf, but it wouldn't move onto my skin very much :d

sweetlife August 20, 2007

I cherish a tender passion for Ginestet's Botrytis (funny name, fine 'fume to steal from Nancy). It's just melts into my skin and makes me feel like a golden glowing minor fall goddess of some kind...and it's one of the only ones I wear that makes my sweetie take notice. I found it very early on in my perfume obsession, in the first collection of samps I ever ordered. It got such dismissive reviews on the blogs that for a long time I assumed I'd grow out of my love. While I waited for my taste to mature, I collected other scents with honey in them--I have a good collection of samples, most with more booze, spice or tobacco (Escada Collection, Frapin 1270, L'Artisan Tea for Two among others) -- but I finally had to admit that nothing else produced that glow. Then (hold on to your stomach March) I discovered I could layer it with Songes EDP for some serious heady white-flower/raw honey/spicy vanilla romance. It makes me go weak in the knees -- in a *good* way (I hear you snickering) and has the same effect on my beloved, and then it quiets and melds and just glows for hours...I'll be wearing it for my wedding this fall. I say all this knowing that a few years from now I might be blushing in shame. :"> But for know, I'm out and proud >:d<

Bianca August 20, 2007

hmm the sweetest thing I own is probably L'Artisan Vanilia (which isn't really that sweet) and Nuits de Noho by Bond no. 9 (slightly mitigated by the patchouli). I find that my skin magnifies sweet notes to a somewhat unbearable level (eg: Tom Ford Black Orchid)....so CSP-ish fragrances are like death by candy on me. The only kind of candy that smells good on me...is the kind thats wrapped in leather w/ some gasoline dribbled over it....like Dzing or dry-sweet frags like L'Artisan Ambre Extreme.

Gaia August 20, 2007

I have no business snickering at your Hypnotic Poison, seeing as about third of my collection is going to turn your stomach. At least I've never owned any of the CSP line. But what I do have (brace yourself): Luctor et Emergo, both Lei and Lui (Mazzolari), Quel Amour, Dzing, Kenzo Elephant, New Haarlem, Mechant Loup, most of Serge's sweet ones, Lea Extreme, Andy's Le Maroc... I probably forgot some. Does my love for incense and all things wood and dry make up for this? By the way, I thought you also had a bottle of Elide. That's quite a candy scent, isn't it?

Helen T August 20, 2007

I've been lurking for a long time and today has been my day to post, following on from my trip to Les Senteurs, so just wanted to say thank you for all I have learnt from you so far. My bank manager will no doubt not thank you! My sweetest fragrance is Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pampelune. I wanted something light, fresh, summery, and was sure a citrus burst should do the trick. Instead, its like I've tangled with the wrong end of a cheap orange ice lolly. I use it as air freshner now, along with a Korres citrus body water, that I bought in a sale, probably with a similar desire to what led me to the Guerlain. And with the same result. And probably why I am wearing Musc Ravageur from my Les Senteurs samples today and absolutely loving it. Not a sticky lolly in sight!

Flor August 20, 2007

The only sweet scents I have are Poison (the original good one), and Samsara, I wear them both happily. I used to wear LouLou in moderation, but I don't and haven't for a long time now. I don't actually like sweet scents anymore, but in the 80's I used to. The only ones that have stuck with me from that crazy era are the two I still use.

Marina August 20, 2007

I think my sweetest scents are Lalique Le Parfum and L de Lempicka. But as I don't wear them anymore, I don't think they even count.

Divalano August 20, 2007

Ohhh yes sweet = evil. Sweet scents (Chypre Rose, Daim Blond) go right to cough syrup on me. Yet I adore vanillas & ambers, just must choose carefully. Think my sweetest is L'Artisan Premier Figiuer Extreme & I have samples of Jour de Fete, SMN Vaniglia & Un Bois Vanille which I also love. Funny you mention Hypnotic. My friend says there's a note in it that revolts her & gags at the mere whiff of it. Last night I was experimenting w Dior Bois d'Argent (which I think smells like Cuir Ottoman's twisted, sinister cousin) & she swore it had the same note. I can't find ANY similarity & there are no shared notes listed. She thinks it's something about the Dior base. Who has an idea what it could be?

carlene August 20, 2007

Nor carpet.

carlene August 20, 2007

Poison, the original. Escada Collection. Casmir by Chopard. p.s. As I recall, there were no drapes.

Judith August 20, 2007

Aomassai. Also, I used to like HP--and I can still wear it if I layer it with 10 CC: Voila! Hypnotic Corso Como. Finally, I admit to reading Allure> :">

sariah August 20, 2007

Hi March - got to agree with the poster above who can't buy this issue of Allure because Britney is on the cover - may drop by the Barnes and Noble to read these articles though. I have a sweet tooth in both food and fragrance - you would probably run away screaming from my collection - but I don't have anything with Banana or Pineapple in the name. Current sweet faves are Shalimar Light (creamy lemon vanilla), Musc Maouri (chocolaty buttery sweetness), Velvet Rope (vanilla overdose), and my SL's - Chergui especially. I kindof like the new SJP too - it's got that creamy sweet thing going on, but it's not very interesting.

Lee August 20, 2007

Being across the pond and totally the wrong demographic anyway (I don't know the first thing about make-up or shoes), I've never seen Allure. I will refrain from commentary. Many argue that the SLs are sweet and they're probably as sweet as I go. Massive Arabie fan here. In fact, I think I often need a bit of sweet in fragrance as my skin eats up the sugar and dries out a scent no end (hence the Acqua di Cuba honey to mildew effect). Dry scents like Gucci pour Homme end up making me feel like I'm dehydrating in the desert. Ooooh, and of course the Nazgul loves me! however, I've never even sniffed a CSP scent, beyond the 'safe to try' range: Governeur, Bois de Filao, Aqua Motu (blech). I'm feeling a little end of summery today - I just wish we could all hang out and do the perfume thing irl (savvy, aren't I?) rather than online... Good luck back at work, lovely Louise!

Suzanne August 20, 2007

I'm with Tom in that I luurrve Aomassai! On evenings when I'm especially tired, I like to take a hot peppermint bath and then dab a little Aomassai on before I go to bed. It sounds like an odd combo, but it somehow works; the bracing effect of the peppermint is softened by the woody, burnt caramel perfume. Other favorite sweets are Ambre Narguile and Chergui, where the sweetness is tempered by smoky tobacco.

Louise August 20, 2007

For my sweet tooth? Any cheap vanilla. In a brown paper bag, of course. High-brow sweet---Arabie. OK, I admit to liking Hypnotic Poison. Not much on me, but there's a Nordies SA who smells really yummy wearing it. Hey-and stop bashing my favorite junk-food magazine. I think the demographic for Allure is any female who wants a dose of makeup lite review, with a dash of tongue-in-cheek. Hah!

Gail S August 20, 2007

Well, the sweetest perfume I've ever loved was a dc'd L'Artisan whose name completely escapes me at the moment (something like dans le grand sierre?). It was almost a crystalline sweetness, really bright and if I could find it again, I'd still wear it! Defiantly :d And I will also admit to kind of liking Allure, because they have always had more beauty coverage than any other "women's" magazine and perfume and makeup always fit! But I'm not about to buy any magazine with Britney Spears on the front so I will have to forgo this month's issue.

tmp00 August 20, 2007

letsannoyannoyallthereligions was okaym but I felt I was paying for a hunk of concrete. I LOVE Rahat Loukoum. I even love Louve. Both are saved for me by skank. Oh, and Aoumassai. Yum.

Miranda August 20, 2007

Hermes Elixir des Merveilles totally satisfies my sweet tooth--and when I layer it with Parfum des Merveilles it satisfies my soul. In fact, I love it so much I've almost abandoned my all-time favorite--Mitsouko.

Veronica August 20, 2007

Cafe Noir by Ava Luxe and Musk Maori by PG, that's about as sweet as it gets for me! There's a gorgeous new one from Liz Zorn called Chrysalis that's pretty sweet but it has a lot of spice to redeem it for me, I'm getting a bottle of that as soon as the cold weather hits.

luv_bug August 20, 2007

I truly love Guerlain's Angelique Noir when I'm in the mood for something by way of sticky-sweet vanilla. I know some people turn up their noses at it, because it's more gourmand than most Guerlain, but it just strikes the right note for me. And I've been digging Allure in a major way the past year or so. The articles are a lot more interesting than of late, and although I'm snickering over their choice of covergirl, I generally look forward to new issues. Come on! Frederick Malle is a contributer!