A Complete Guide To Gourmand Perfumes

Vanilla, chocolate, and salted caramel notes ahead.

Here is a guide to gourmand perfumes and the best sweet-smelling fragrances for 2023.
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In the world of perfumery, there are quite a few familiar fragrance categories that help define scent. The floral category, for one, is centered on perfumes filled with a bouquet of notes such as romantic rose, sunny honeysuckle, and elegant jasmine.

Similarly, woody fragrances often feature notes like smooth sandalwood, smoky guaiac wood, or even dry, earthy vetiver. It’s important to mention, however, that perfumes can exist in multiple categories all at once (like a scent that’s both floral and woody, for example).

While the concept of perfume creation has existed for hundreds of years, modern technology has brought with it an ability to make synthetic aromas that don’t deplete the earth’s raw materials.

Tonka and coffee beans, for example, are edible aromas found in nature, but the use of these raw materials on a mass scale could potentially be detrimental to the source of origin. The creation of the buzzy gourmand fragrance category in the early 1990s highlighted fantastical accords — think whimsical notes like red velvet cupcake, pink cotton candy, or gingersnap cookie — that smell yummy enough to eat (and are lab-made concoctions that aren’t as harmful to the planet).

What Is A Gourmand Perfume?

“Gourmand fragrances are typically found in the amber vanilla olfactive space,” a representative for Firmenich, one of the industry’s top fragrance houses, tells Bustle. “They have an edible tonality that can be sweet and yummy, [and] there is an air of warmth, indulgence, and playfulness when wearing a gourmand fragrance.”

In short, gourmand aromas are often created to smell like sugary treats — like vanilla lattes or chocolate-covered strawberries — and smell sweet and decadent on skin.

As for specific notes prominently featured in the category, Firmenich’s rep shares that vanilla, chocolate, and sugar are traditional notes to look out for.

Marshmallow, cotton candy, cream, and caramel are also quite common, and red fruits — such as sugared red berries — can also be described as gourmand.

This particular fragrance family also tends to have longer sillage, meaning that gourmands typically last longer than other aromas, like citrus notes that tend to fade more quickly.

The History Of Gourmand Fragrances

“[Mugler’s] Angel is the first scent in the gourmand category,” Firmenich’s pro explains. “[It] was designed around the perfumer’s childhood memories of a fair and [features] notes of caramel, chocolate, and its signature cotton candy.”

Angel’s release in 1992 sparked the birth of the gourmand category and countless similarly sweet scents have launched thereafter. “Other popular gourmand fragrances are Black Opium by YSL, calling out notes of coffee and vanilla, as well as Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Cheirosa ’62 with notes of almond, caramel, and vanilla.”

10 Sweet-Smelling Gourmand Perfumes

From OG creations that helped define the category to modern launches that take the gourmand trend to new heights, here are 10 perfumes that smell yummy enough to eat.

The scent that originally defined the gourmand fragrance category, Angel has garnered a cult following since its 1992 launch. As for its key notes? It offers complex sweetness by way of apricot, jasmine flower, praline, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and patchouli.

A new launch from Kayali that marries with intensity of oud with the nostalgic sweetness of vanilla, OUDGASM VANILLA OUD | 36 is made all the more powerful and seductive with the essences of spicy saffron and sugary praline.

A juicy cherry perfume that’s grounded by heated amber and rich guaiac wood, Cherry Ambition firmly stands in the gourmand fragrance category thanks to saffron-spiked vanilla, candied agave nectar, and the decadent juice of both plum and cherry.

An example of a gourmand aroma that features the juiciness of vibrant fruits, APPLE LOVE is defined by the scents of crisp red apples, rich plum blossom, ultra-sweet sugar cane, and grounding vanilla.

A PerfumeTok favorite that’s many say is irresistible, Chai Épicé embodies the decadent aroma of a warm chai latte. “What makes Chai Épicé a yummy gourmand is the combination of rich vanilla and frothy chai, contrasted with creamy violet and jeweled fruits,” Firmenich’s representative notes.

A sophisticated vanilla perfume that is beautifully crafted with a confection of three different vanilla-scented qualities, Burberry Goddess amps up the sultriness with hints of lavender and ginger.

An intensified version of the perfume that TikTok has deemed a less pricey dupe for the luxe Baccarat Rouge 540, Ariana Grande’s Cloud 2.0 Intense is a full-bodied gourmand perfume, through and through. Indulgent coconut cream, sweet praline, and smooth vanilla orchid are formulated alongside lavender, pear, and blonde woods for a truly dreamy scent.

With a name that literally translates to smelling “incredibly good and delicious” in Portuguese, Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Crush Cheirosa ’62 wraps around skin with a signature yumminess that consists of pistachio, salted caramel, and vanilla. The instantly recognizable scent has fragrance lovers and celebrities alike obsessed.

An intimate second-skin scent, Billie Eilish’s debut perfume, Eilish, features softly sweet notes of sugared flower petals, decadent cocoa, and creamy vanilla.

A beloved OG that first launched nearly a decade ago, YSL’s Black Opium is brimming with notes of lively coffee, creamy vanilla, and opulent white flower petals.