Let them smell cake


The other day I was reading Octavian’s review of John Galliano’s new fragrance, Parlez-Moi d’Amour, when something he said struck me. To loosely quote him, he said that gourmand fragrances were popular because women want to experience things they won’t let themselves eat. An interesting idea.

I recently developed a taste for gourmand & sweeter perfumes, and hadn’t given it too much thought (our tastes change naturally over time, right?). But after reading Octavian’s theory, I now see that my “taste” changes coincide neatly with my dietary changes. Not long ago (August maybe?) I began to adjust my eating habits, and cut out all refined sugars. No more candy, no more cake, no more cookies, no more pie. The goal is to achieve maximum nutrition with minimum calories (cake doesn’t fit into this scheme, no matter how you look at it).

Within a short time after these changes, certain samples in my collection began to be emptied—specifically those with vanilla, sugar, carmel, almond, or other sweet/savory notes. I’ve been more bold with my layering experiments too… my perfume habit has become more of a three-course meal (with dessert), and I can’t blame it all on a cold-snap in the weather.

I’m certainly not suggesting that this is why everyone likes gourmand fragrances, but for me there is something about a few spritzes of Tendre Madeleine that makes Bean & Barley soup more exciting than it is on its own.

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5 thoughts on “Let them smell cake

  1. Not sure about Octavian’s theory. I eat sweet things in moderation, and wear sweet gourmands hardly ever. (Except L’Heure Bleue, if that counts; that is my enchantment, as you know!) How are you on Tocade? I wear it sometimes. Wish I had dabbed it on this morning, actually, instead of Azuree. That was a mistake.

    (I love bean and barley soup by the way.)

  2. Anne, I haven’t tried Tocade yet…. but L’HB counts! It smells like a pastry shop : )

    I never ate very much in the way of sweets: I’ve always been a whole wheat kinda gal, if you know what I mean. But something about not having *any* sweets at all has amped up my desire to smell sweet things. Or, it could just be changes in my body. I turned 30 this year (among other things), and this gourmand craving seems to have come from nowhere!

    Bean and Barley is *so* good. Tonight is Split Pea! Yum!

  3. That is quite interesting, and maybe why I’m not really into foody fragrances – I let myself eat whatever I want usually (and yeah, I’m at least 20 lbs overweight!) Maybe I should eat less and smell more!? 🙂

    Barley and split pea soups are two of my favorites!

    I’ll be chewing on this (forgive the pun) for awhile – thanks for the thoughts!

    1. Hi Frida!

      I know that opinions really vary on this topic, but I still feel like there’s some truth to it. It seems like the fewer sweets I eat, the more sweet fragrances appeal to me; and they never did previously! I remember scoffing at the supposed appeal of vanilla in fragrances… boy, have I lived to eat my smug attitude! 🙂

      Mmmm… barley and split pea. I haven’t made it in a while, and it’s a rainy day. I think I might just make that for dinner tonight!

  4. Enjoy dinner! We’re having ravioli with red sauce.

    I do like some vanilla in my perfume – but I have a difficult time with say Lutens’ creme brulee scents and those heavier type of foody things.

    A little vanilla and little pepper, a dash of cumin, and I’m fine!

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