Sweet things: Prada “Candy” and “Serendipitous” by Serendipity 3

“Are you finding everything you need?” The grocery clerk asked me with a look of concern.  I had my nose pressed up against a bag of cat litter.   “Oh yes, I’m fine” I replied. “Thank you.”

I guess it did look a little weird, but anymore a person has to smell almost everything before buying it.  Even cat litter. And I do make an effort to smell nearly everything that goes in the cart:  apples, strawberries, flowers, pineapple, fish, lotion, deodorant, dryer sheets, tp, coffee and soaps.  I get a wiff  of things to make sure they’re ripe (or not), to make sure it’s not nasty or ridiculous (such as lavender scented cat litter) and I’ll revisit it afew times before committing  if something seems a little off or needs further investigation.  Which reminds me of my most recent foray to the fragrance counter to try Prada’s fragrance Candy. I tried it on several times, not sure of what I was experiencing and thinking that I must be missing something big. 

The first visit produced a “definitely no” response:  too simple, sweet and not really interesting. The second time was pretty much a repeat of the first time, not a lot of depth, sugary with musk notes but overall it didn’t do anything for me, again.  It didn’t change much over time and it didn’t last very long.  Undaunted I went back again, sure that I was missing something. Maybe I had an olfactory blank spot I hadn’t known about?

But by my third and fourth try I was beginning to wonder what all the ruckus was about.  No I didn’t have a blind spot.  It wasn’t me, it was the perfume.  Why were people going bonkers over this?   Not that it’s bad; it just doesn’t make me want to stick around and pay attention.  But while I love a simple, clean line I also want it to be beautiful, too and this just comes across as a fragrance that is, like old art teacher once said about an unfinished painting,  “getting there but not quite there yet.”   Overall it’s sweet and caramelly with a background wash of musk.  Some investigating also revealed that it contains “a sensual balsamic  vanillic accord of benzoin.”  Gads, I thought, I should love this one with these ingredients but alas, no.  It needs a little more to take it from being a nice, little bonbon to an inviting confection. 

I really wanted this to work, and I’d certainly given it a go. On the other hand, a very exciting find was   Serendipitous by Serendipity 3.  This lovely creation is described as an oriental vanilla and its notes have been given in various sources as containing either some or all of the following:  cocoa, coconut, Tahitian vanilla and bitter orange.  It’s a gourmand scent; the cocoa is there but doesn’t make you feel like a candy bar, there seems to be musk somewhere too, giving it depth and fullness.  The floral notes, maybe the bitter orange, provide a higher note that sails above the warmth of the sweet.  And it has good staying power, I’ve noticed it on my skin several hours later.  So after a liberal dose of Serendipitous all I can think of is “Oh yes, I’m fine, thank you very much!”

Do you have a favorite sweet gourmand fragrance?

  • Susan says:

    Completely, completely agree with you about the Prada Candy.

    For something in a vaguely similar vein, I by far prefer By Kilian Love.

  • Sam says:

    I’m with you on smelling everything before I bring it home. Things are so over-scented these days, and not in interesting ways, that you really have to be careful. I gave up on a type of cat litter because it was too strongly scented. And TP and tissues are real offenders, too. Glad to know I’m not the only one snuffling my way through the grocery store!

  • Patty says:

    I love me some Prada Candy, seriously. But I get why it may not be all that for everyone. 😉

  • maggiecat says:

    I sniff things too – deodorant, hand soap, fabric softener (I’m especially picky with the latter as so many of them are awful!) And BTW, lavender is a very nice thing to have in kitty litter – it’s a natural antibacterial agent and covers the smell of cat urine better than most things. Don’t buy the already scented litter though as it’s too expensive. Just add a few drops of essential oil to whatever litter you already use. As a bonue, most cats like lavender!
    I thought Prada Candy was well-done though I have no desire to own it. Diptyque’s Eau Duelle is my go-to gourmand, thought I enjoy other vanilla-based scents as well, especially in cooler weather (defi itely not what’s going on here right now!)

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Kay, and welcome! Your grocery story adventure had me chuckling. I like Prada Candy OK, but there are other gourmands I enjoy more: L de Lolita Lempicka, Organza Indecence, Indult Tihota, Diptyque’s Eau Duelle, etc.

    • Kay says:

      Oh yes, there are more to love! I think L by Lolita Lempicka is one my all time favorites.

  • Musette says:

    I tend to avoid the Pradas – don’t know why except I think I get tired of seeing it everywhere – also I got mad when I realized I couldn’t smell Infusion d’Iris. So maybe that’s it – anyhoo….doesn’t matter. You had me at ‘lavender-scented cat litter’. The mind boggles.

    xo :Devil:

  • ROFL on the kitty litter thing!! Hope you made that clerk smile! I (and probably a lot of us) do that all the time. It takes me forever to pick a new shampoo, deodorant, floor cleaner, whatever, though I confess I haven’t yet sniffed lavender kitty litter (really?!).

    I love gourmands in general. My favorites are Gourmand Coquin, Iris Ganache (anything w/ that Guerlain vanilla, really), Confetto (almost anything almond, really), Love By Kilian, L’Heure Defendue (love that bitter chocolate note), SDV, Vaniglia Madagascar, Cara, Dolce Acqua, Acqua y Zucchero (& about a half dozen other Profumums), Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, Lemon Cloud and so many more! Oooh, and Parfumerie Generale Musc Maori and Dhzari (sorry, okay, I’ll stop now!) 🙂

    No surprise I loved Prada Candy! It was more sophisticated than I expected, in fact, it seems to me to have similarities to Safran Troublant–spray them side by side if you can sometime. Of course I do spend a lot of time around teens who smell Kool-Aid sweet, so maybe my point of reference is skewed. My girls think it smells like flowers on me…lol,and it was a sample my husband loved. Can definitely see Candy being a winner with the opposite sex. Serendipitous is nice but smell more like vanilla than chocolate on me. Both drew compliments.

    Thaks for a great topic! Love your writing!

  • Hester says:

    Ooooh I can’t agree – I adore Candy! Am I insane or influenced by their other scents to think I smell Iris? Something is calming the sweetness, to my nose, and making it grown-up, subtle and gorgeous. Easily my favourite new-ish release. And yes, there’s a plastic touch to the opening, but I even love that, a touch of humour is how I experience it. It also, along with the ‘iris’ or whatever I’m smelling, prevents Candy from being a real gourmand, I think – if food smelled this way, it would be dangerous to eat it. Looooove!

  • DinaC says:

    I had a very similar reaction to Prada Candy. I didn’t get much from it except the sweet benzoin note. Sweet notes, and gourmands as a category, are kind of the opposite of my thing. So far. I’ve learned that taste can change dramatically over time, but so far, I’ve never wanted to sniff foody vanilla, frosting, cupcake batter, cotton candy, cocoa, or caramel on myself. The closest I get to liking a gourmand is Kenzo Amour which has rice steam and vanilla. That’s my idea of a cozy comfort scent. 🙂

  • dremybluz says:

    I love Serendipitous but it is becoming hard to find. Most of my on line sources have been sold out for some time. Another favorite is Hard Candy by HARD CANDY PERFUMES