Sweet things

Saturdays are the sweet/baked goods day in this household. I generally have very decent self-control, but it’s become non-existent with sweet eats over around the past six months. I can’t have them in the house because they’ll be gone. So, on Saturday, I get enough for Saturday and Sunday. That’s it. No ice cream in the freezer, no cookies in the cabinet. I don’t bake much right now (because it would be gone in a day). Of course, there are special times, like high tea with Portia in London or ice cream with my friend Alison last weekend.

Seriously, I’ve got sweet on the brain and I’m not sure why. I wonder if it’s because we had a horrible autumn into winter and I needed nice things. But it’s better now. So, really the weather isn’t an ongoing excuse. It’s a conundrum.

Anyway, this leads to Portia having gifted me with some DSH samples as I’ve moaned about not being able to access her stuff here. I expect they can be shipped but the shipping costs will be mad. Same with CB I Hate Perfume stuff and Neil Morris. I’m curious about all of them (and did buy some ‘water’ fragrance samples for CBIHP but they were all way too diluted to make much of an impression).

Most of the samples were oils that oddly disappeared on my skin after 15 minutes. Don’t get that at all. The one that lasted, Burnt Sugar Vanilla, was regular alcohol based (at least I think so). So, that starts the post today.

As I’ve noted, I like me a gourmand. Didn’t used to but do now. Over the years, there have been some faves.

Sadly, the DHS isn’t one of them. This turned out to be a very nice, soft vanilla caramel. Per the DSH website: “Just the right balance of creamy vanilla to the dark, burnt sugar note. Sweet without the toothache. Seductive, not juvenile”. Alas, no, not on me. The standout aspect was in the opening, when there was a really odd, watery mint/basil note. This disappeared fairly quickly but it didn’t make sense in the context of the perfume and it wasn’t good on me. It was one of those really perplexing happenings in a fragrance. Like, where did that come from??? In any case, once it was gone, the fragrance, as noted above, was pleasant. Soft and gentle, and not something I will pursue. There’s loads of stuff on the DSH site, some with truly great names. If you’ve got some of hers, what are your faves?

So, what are/were my big loves among sweet perfumes?

First off was the long-gone Lostmarch Lann’Ael. I’ve written about this in the past, I think. Milky vanilla cereal. Seriously, it was really good. Not tooth-achingly sweet – just sort of vanilla, milky, chewy – really comforting but not childish. And cheap as chips. Some Lostmarch bottles still seem to be floating around but not Lann’Ael. Wish I’d kept one.

Next was Ginestet Botrytis. Honey, candied fruit, quince and gingerbread. Dessert wine. Viscous, unctuous, gooey sweet. Really really good. Very adult sweet. Long-lasting too, and came in this great round bottle with a nice grapy cap.

I really enjoy the Masque Milano Madeleine which is very sweet vanilla cookies (madeleines). Very chewy feel. Very very sweet. Did I say it is sweet? Best layered with other things, like leather or Lutens Arabie to make it less sweet but still sweetly delightful.

Finally, probably one of my fave gourmands ever which it took me ages to try (still kicks self), like with Guerlain Shalimar. Dior Hypnotic Poison released in 1998 felt seriously late ‘80s/early ‘90s but I didn’t try it till mid-2000s. A spray at Sephora at Columbus Circle in NYC and less an ‘a ha’ moment than a WTF moment because I wondered what had taken me so long. Almonds. Per Fragrantica, notes are Coconut, Plum, Apricot, Brazilian Rosewood, Jasmine, Caraway, Tuberose, Rose, Lily-of-the-Valley, Vanilla, Almond, Sandalwood and Musk. Fragrantica calls it an amber/vanilla, though amber isn’t in the notes (who knows). On me, almond vanilla, with a lot more almond but still nicely nutty sweet. A chewy perfume. Stupidly, I gave my bottle away to the daughter of friends who, as she aged, turned into one of those awful self-absorbed daddy’s girls. Sadness, because I thought it was gone. But it’s not. Just fairly pricey on various sites. Definitely back on the to-buy list.

I’m sure I’ve done a sweet post before but I can’t find it.

Anyway, I’ll just say my last ice cream from the farm shop was coffee (their coffee is awesome) and pistachio. I’ve also done hazelnut, salted caramel (when did this become a thing?), milk (yes, milk as an ice cream flavour – it’s really good) and I think I’ve also done raw honey (the farm – not the shop itself – hosts bees). The last haul from Sara’s bakery included choc chip cookies, a croissant with Portuguese cream, a brownie, custard bread pudding, a chocolate-raspberry cake, and a chocolate-pistachio Danish (no, this is not all for me). I’d already eaten the cookies by the time I took a pic.

I know not all of us can eat sweets and not everyone is into gourmands. But if you can/are, is anything jumping out at the moment? And if not, what do you prefer?

Pics are Pexels and mine


  • Musette says:

    I’m ‘iffy’ as regards gourmands but recently have taken a liking to some vanillas, chief among them Amouage Vanille Barka attar. Smoky vanilla. Lovely!

    • cinnamon says:

      I don’t consider things like Shalimar gourmands. Too much else going on and usually the vanilla is a vehicle rather than edible. I have yet to meet an Amouage that really works on me. Maybe this attar would …

  • Tom says:

    I always told myself that I didn’t like gourmands and they are kind of hit and miss. There was a weird hazelnut and funk smelling PG that I had and I think was discontinued that was great, but then there was the SL that smelled like buttered Jiffy-Pop that I hated. Laan’Ael was divine and I still have most of a bottle that I wheel out when I am (not very often, thankfully) in the serious dumps. It’s a footie-pajama sort of comfort level. I blew through a bottle of Botrytus and never got around to replacing it, for which I am sorry. I still have SL Rahat, which I adore even with the hint of celery in the cherry goodness and Guerlain Spiriteuse, which is less glottal in the newer version but still wonderful.

    I like pastries more that sweets. An almond croissant is going to make me far happier than practically anything else (although the ham and cheese ones from the bakery on the corner are a guilty pleasure as well)

    • cinnamon says:

      I have still not sampled Rahat and it’s high on the list simply because I’m hugely curious. It was a big big thing on the Makeup Alley fragrance board when I first started to read it. One day! Pastries vs sweets … I really wish a company/bakery here would get it into its head to make those luscious spiral cinnamon buns you get in the US. Most everything here is a shadow of that.

  • alityke says:

    I’m late to this bunfest but I adore sweet stuff but between genetic metabolic syndrome, genetic T2 diabetes & wheat intolerance I can rarely partake. Saying that proper dairy ice cream is a weakness. Yesterday I treated myself to dark, bitter chocolate ice cream from the outside freezer eaten slowly with a teaspoon.
    I wouldn’t say I’m a huge gourmand fan but Hypnotic Poison EdT is always in my collection. For designer scents I save my Boots points from everyday purchases & treat myself to a scent when I have enough points. I’ve noticed Dior are making bath & body products again too

    • cinnamon says:

      Gah. I keep forgetting I have Boots points.

      Ice cream … during Covid, the local farm shop decided to re-imagine itself. It ditched the children’s toys section and installed more sit-down eating plus the ice cream I mentioned. They’ve got a trained chocolatier and who knows who takes care of the ice cream flavours. I am lactose intolerant (as was my mother and grandmother) so while I do eat ice cream I can’t do it too often. So, when I do do it, I need bang for the buck.

  • March says:

    LOVE all these sweet ones, especially Hypnotic Poison. I think it’s pretty clear how much I love actual sweets as well. I bake regularly but give most of it away. I also hit up the bakeries but just buy myself one thing (which makes more sense than baking tbh, but I find baking very relaxing!)

    • cinnamon says:

      saw your thing about (I think) pecan cookies. yum.

      I miss Hypnotic Poison. Will see if I can find a bottle relatively cheap.

      I have an osteopath appt in Topsham tomorrow, where Sara’s is. Will contain myself, but might have to get a chai latte …

  • Dina C. says:

    A friend of mine says that as women lose their estrogen levels, we crave sugar and alcohol to compensate for the loss. She’s not a medical person, so I don’t know where she got her theory but it does ring true for a lot of people, doesn’t it? I don’t like gourmand scents much. My favorite sweet one is Guerlain Mademoiselle Guerlain that has iris + marshmallow. As for sweets: your weekend treats look delicious! I love soft serve ice cream and high quality bakery pastries. Tiramisu and items made with fresh raspberries are a particular temptation.

    • cinnamon says:

      Love tiramisu. Will need to try the Guerlain.

      Interesting thought on lack of oestrogen. This craving arose in the autumn. As I noted elsewhere, we had an awful autumn into winter this year. Very cold, grey, very very wet, very windy. It’s only really gotten nice in the past couple of weeks. I am hoping the better weather, all the flowers coming out, and sunshine might positively affect things. I know I’ll still want sweets, but maybe the focus will recede. Please.

  • Neva says:

    I’m not really into edible gourmand fragrances with vanilla, coffee and tonka bean being among my less favourite notes. But there are two perfumes with cookie qualities that I really like:
    Atelier des Ors Choeur des Anges – nice orange cookies with a touch of honey
    Nobile 1942 La Danza delle Libellule – apple pie with cinnamon
    …and now just remembering these scents makes my mouth water 😀

    • cinnamon says:

      The Nobile 1942 sounds interesting. Like apple notes in perfumery. Will have to have a look.

  • rosarita says:

    I love Hypnotic Poison. When it first came out, I was constantly taking my adolescent daughter to the mall and we entered through the cosmetic department of what’s now Macy’s. We’d sample a couple of scents and I vividly recall sniffing HP and thinking “…what on earth?….” It just smelled so unique to me and I couldn’t tell if I loved it or hated it. It was compelling enough that I came to relish that trip to the mall just so I could smell it, and I finally bought a bottle.
    I like some Mugler gourmand, esp Angel Muse and Aura, which I love. It’s a neon vanilla in a gorgeous bottle.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, exactly: What on earth? It’s like nothing else I’ve smelled. And the bottle was just really nice.

  • AnnnieA says:

    Didn’t bring much perfume on my travels but have some Prada Candy….

    • cinnamon says:

      I don’t think I’ve smelled any of the Prada’s. Maybe the iris when it first came out. Need to fix that.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    Bummer about the DSH frags. Can’t win em all.
    I’ve been wearing Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens today. An excellent vanilla/caramel/coconut baked goods meets almond biscuit base and then some interesting woods. It felt simple but also tapestried.
    Also I like Lolita Lempicka EdP and Cacharel Liberté, though they are both much more candied and less sensual.
    Sweet stuff? Yep, how else would I get this stinking great case of Type 2 Diabetes.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      It’s really weird about the oils. You’d think they’d smell stronger. I haven’t smelled UBV for a long while. Need to remedy that — probably when I get to smell the new Lutens on skin.

      It sucks getting older in some ways. Certainly, the body rebelling is one.

      • ElizaC says:

        Un Bois Vanille was my first Serge Lutens perfume and it is the perfect vanilla. If I could only have one bottle of perfume, it would be a contest between Un Bois Vanille and Del Rae Amoureuse.

        • cinnamon says:

          Del Rae Amoureuse is one I wish had worked on me, but no Del Raes really did. I gifted away my bottle. I don’t think at this stage I could ‘do’ just one perfume. Years past, yes — always only wore one thing at a time.

  • Kathleen says:

    You’ve listed some of my favorite perfumes. I am actually wearing Hypnotic Poison this morning! I still have a bottle as it is a special scent memory for me, and my sister gifted me a roller pearl bottle for my birthday this month. A coincidence to read a love for you as well!
    I have a bottle of Lostmarch Lann’Ael as well as Ginestet Botrytis purchased years ago. I haven’t worn them for awhile, thank you for the reminder! I don’t eat sweets, but love sweet vanilla based gourmand perfumes.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s!

    • cinnamon says:

      I really miss Lann’Ael every time I think about it. I thought Lostmarch had mostly disappeared but in fact it’s still running in France and Lann’Ael is still on the fragrance list. Somewhat more expensive but still there …

      • Millicent says:

        Yes, it is! Though not easy to find. I was in Brittany last October and asked about Lostmarch in every town we went, using my phone and broken French. No one had heard of it, even in actual perfume stores. I finally found an adorable little bath & cosmetics shop in St. Malo that sells all the Lostmarch fragrances. The shop is called L’Apothicaire: https://lapothicaireparfumerie.jimdosite.com/ Good luck!

        • cinnamon says:

          The line seems to be available in rather obscure places. I found one outlet in Paris, but most are, as you say regarding St Malo, in more obscure, coastal locations.