Aquolina Pink Sugar : Perfume Review

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Women’s magazines often have features titled “What’s Your Type?” You’re supposed to figure out in under 60 seconds how to fit your personality into various boxes : romantic, edgy, rock-n-roll, etc. Heaven forbid that someone who likes rose printed dresses would want to listen to Massive Attack, or that a bookish, academic type might have a passion for red lipstick and frilly lingerie. In the ideal glossy world, someone who likes Chanel No. 5 would steer clear of Aquolina Pink Sugar and would never let the twain meet upon the vanity table.

Pink_Sugar

My idea of fun is to mix things up, and for this I need Pink Sugar. The gourmand fragrance style isn’t meant to be serious; it’s all about delighting the senses and teasing us with a suggestion of something mouthwatering. I’m not eating a piece of chocolate cake to get my daily intake of calcium. I’m eating it because I love chocolate. It’s the same with gourmand perfumes. I wear them when I want to smell like a piece of candy. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need to make a cold, rainy city feel warmer or to make a stressful day less so.

Pink Sugar will certainly do that. The perfume delivers on its promise of candy and more. It smells like a funfair fantasy of sticky cotton candy, chewy licorice sticks, caramel dipped strawberries and hazelnut praline filled wafers. It’s so sweet that it can make your teeth ache, but if you can’t get enough of perfumes that smell like desserts, Pink Sugar might be your holy grail.

The first time I tried Pink Sugar, I was puzzled. It didn’t even smell like a real perfume to me. A candy or a soft drink flavor, perhaps, but nothing I could imagine as a “fine fragrance”. In the 10 years since the launch of Pink Sugar in 2003, the gourmand perfume family has grown so much that we no longer bat an eyelash at fragrances smelling like cupcakes or waffles. Today, Aquolina, along with Thierry Mugler Angel, its spiritual father, seems perfectly normal. When Estée Lauder releases its top seller Pleasures as the chocolate and caramel enriched Pleasure Delight, it’s clear that we’re in a new perfume era.

On a technical level, Pink Sugar is a clever thing, and I find it impressive how its creator, Pierre Nuyens, chose to offset the dessert extravaganza with plenty of sharp citrus, tart berries and crunchy anise seeds.  The drydown of musk and sandalwood is like a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar on warm brioche. Its softness offers a respite after the burnt caramel overload. It’s a long lasting, tenacious fragrance and a little goes a long way.

Pink Sugar was an unexpected success, and many brands have followed suit. For instance, the only reason you should buy Acqua e Zucchero by Profumum ($240) and not Pink Sugar ($60) is if you have money to burn.

Pink Sugar is not one of my most worn perfumes because of its sweetness, but when I’m in the mood for a perfume dessert, it’s perfect.

Aquolina Pink Sugar includes notes of bergamot, orange, fig leaves, raspberry, lily, candy floss, licorice, strawberry, sandalwood, musk, vanilla, and caramel. 30ml/$30, 100ml/$60. Available at Sephora, Walgreens, Ulta.

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111 Comments

  • Lynne Marie: Victoria,

    Hooray for you! Thank you so much for admitting your like of Pink Sugar. It has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Not one that I wear often, but sometimes it’s the only thing that will do. Somehow, it makes me feel blissfully unworried, as though the world is one big confection and there are days when that is a very good thing. January 6, 2014 at 8:57am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s just so much fun on cold, grey days, and well, it’s not expensive and well-made. What more can one ask for? 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 11:30am Reply

      • Aisha: That’s what I used to think about Love’s Baby Soft. 😉 January 6, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

        • Victoria: Makes sense to me, especially about Love’s Baby Soft. Does anyone wear it anymore, I wonder? January 6, 2014 at 12:05pm Reply

          • Aisha: Not sure how popular it is with the pre-teen crowd these days, with all the celebrity perfumes out there. But I think I read once that it really changed and no longer smells the way it once did. I’ve been trying to find a tester, but the drug stores I’ve been to don’t have a tester for that one. January 6, 2014 at 12:09pm Reply

            • Victoria: I never see it in Europe, so if you spot a tester, please let me know what you think of it now. January 6, 2014 at 12:22pm Reply

  • rosarita: Thanks for this review, I’ve never tried Pink Sugar (yes, I don’t get out much). How does it compare to Prada Candy? And have you tried Blue Sugar? I’ve read good things about it, too, but again, haven’t tried it. January 6, 2014 at 9:07am Reply

    • zari: I second Rosarita’s question – I’m looking for a candy-ish but not as sweet as Aquolina for the exact mood you described Victoria. And I’ve been considering Prada Candy – though I know it is not so sweet despite the name. January 6, 2014 at 9:19am Reply

      • Hannah: I tried Etro Heliotrope today and weirdly liked it, despite that I don’t like candy-ish perfumes. January 6, 2014 at 10:14am Reply

      • Victoria: Have you tried Lolita Lempicka? Or even any of Angel flankers? I’ve smelled Angel Innocent on someone the other day, and I was compelled to compliment her right away. It was so good! Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy is another very good gourmand, with a white floral twist.

        Parfums de Nicolai has three very good gourmands that are slightly more abstract–SacreBleu, Vanilla Tonka and Kiss Me Tender. And there is also Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum (not to be confused with the greener, fruitier Eau de Toilette). January 6, 2014 at 11:36am Reply

        • zari: I do own Lolita Lempicka and have loved it for years. I’ll try PdN and la petite robe edp! Thanks Victoria. January 6, 2014 at 1:08pm Reply

          • Victoria: Just thought of another one from Lolita Lempicka, L de Lolita Lempicka. It’s also more abstract and less obviously gourmand, but it’s also sweet, with an interesting maple syrup note. January 6, 2014 at 3:30pm Reply

        • Patricia: Sacrebleu and Lolita Lempicka are great favorites of mine, and my decant of Vanille Tonka is in my purse right now. Another good gourmand is Keiko Mecheri’s Loukhoum Eau Poudre. I have to be in the mood for something really sweet, but when I am, it really hits the spot! January 6, 2014 at 3:12pm Reply

          • Victoria: By the way, have you tried Sacrebleu Intense already? January 6, 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

            • Patricia: Yes, I have the Intense version in the bottle. Just pulled my sample vial of the original and on first thought find the original more gourmand and the Intense greener. Since I love green, the Intense suits me better, I think. January 7, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

              • Victoria: Thank you, Pat! I ordered a sample from Luckyscent to compare again, because when I tried it not long ago, I didn’t find too many dramatic differences. January 8, 2014 at 6:03am Reply

    • Aisha: When I tried Pink Sugar, all I could smell on me was cotton candy (which, of course, isn’t exactly a disgusting smell 😉 ). But I prefer the warm caramel of Candy — or the licorice of Lolita Lempicka. I really think it depends on what your preferences are. January 6, 2014 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Pink Sugar is much more foody than Candy. It’s really about caramel, cotton candy, burnt sugar sweets, while Candy is more abstract. If you like very sweet, gourmand perfumes, then it will hit the spot.

      I’ve tried Blue Sugar too, but I didn’t like it that much. Nothing was wrong with it, but it didn’t seem memorable. January 6, 2014 at 11:33am Reply

    • Victoria: P.S. Just checked, and Blue Sugar has been discontinued already! January 6, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

      • rosarita: Well, that was quick! Or maybe not, I didn’t know Pink Sugar has been out for ten years. Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. January 6, 2014 at 11:44am Reply

        • Victoria: They also used have a perfume called Tweety billed as a funky fruity floral. I never got to try it, although now I’m curious how a fruity floral can be funky. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

          • Jennifer Smith: I have a bottle of Tweety .I can’t say that I noticed much funkiness from it-I thought it smelled like Frozen lemonade from a fair vendor and Lemonhead hard candies . So if by funky they meant some caramel ?-then yeah ,maybe. Like most Aqualina products you really have to be in the mood or a gourmand lover to wear it. January 6, 2014 at 1:08pm Reply

            • Victoria: Hmm, sounds like a floral-fruity with a gourmand twist, but definitely not funky.

              And I just remembered another Aquolina super gourmand perfume, Chocolovers, which was a caramel and chocolate ganache overload. But it also has been discontinued. January 6, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Aisha: Wow! You definitely have more of a trained nose than I have. I only smell cotton candy when I wear it.

    Pink Sugar is a nice scent, but I gravitate toward Lolita Lempicka, Vanille Tonka, Candy or Pleasures Delight when I want something foody, but not too foody. January 6, 2014 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: For better or worse, gourmands cross my path so much that I’ve become like those makeup lovers who can tell a difference between two shades of grey, whereas to most people they look the same. 🙂 But yes, in a nutshell, it’s a cotton candy scent!

      The other perfumes you mentioned are much more nuanced by comparison. Besides the gourmand part, they have other twists. I don’t have Pleasures Delight right now, but the other two are my winter staples. January 6, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

      • Aisha: Well, I can tell the difference between two shades of gray eyeshadow. But when it comes to fragrances, sometimes they all smell the same. Well, not all. LOL! For instance, I’m testing a sample of Candy L’eau today. It starts off smelling like Pink Sugar, but now it smells like an extremely powdery Candy. It’s comforting, but not my cup of tea. January 6, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

        • Victoria: If you have your Pink Sugar, try them side by side like this–smell Candy (take a good inhale of it) and then go to Pink Sugar. I’m sure that you will now see the other notes in Pink Sugar like licorice, nutty accents, etc. You can go back and forth. You can try this game with other gourmands too, especially the one that have lots of similar cotton candy notes. January 6, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

          • Aisha: Great idea! I do have samples of Pink Sugar! I might also try this with Lolita Lempicka because the powder of Candy L’eau just settled down and I’m detecting a hint of that now. This is so exciting! 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 11:58am Reply

            • Victoria: Oh, that would be a fun comparison too. If you have Coco Mademoiselle or Angel, for instance, they would be interesting against Pink Sugar as well. Not to say that they will show it off in the best light (theirs are more expensive formulas), but at least you might notice some other facets in PS. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 12:21pm Reply

              • Aisha: Yup, I have those too. I don’t think of Coco Mademoiselle as a gourmand though. Maybe I will after testing it against Pink Sugar. January 6, 2014 at 12:28pm Reply

                • Victoria: No, you’re right, it’s not quite gourmand, and definitely less so than either Angel (by which it was inspired) or Pink Sugar. Pink Sugar will seem like something suitable for a kitchen cupboard next to Coco Mad. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

          • Aisha: Well, I’ll be darned. Just tried this with Pink Sugar on one wrist and Candy on the other. I’m picking up subtle hints of caramel and good quality vanilla — similar to my bottle of Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract from Nielsen-Massey — in Pink Sugar. I still don’t smell the fruit, though.

            You’re right about Pink Sugar being powerful. When I put my arms down at my sides, I smell PS more than I smell Candy. I think Candy, Lolita Lempicka and Vanille Tonka are more my style, but I appreciate PS much more now. January 7, 2014 at 10:56am Reply

            • Victoria: I’m very happy that the little game worked. The red fruits in this context may be tricky to pick out at first, because berries like strawberries have naturally occurring caramel-like notes, and in perfumery, the manmade ingredients meant to mimic strawberry amp up the caramel part.

              Does Candy last well on you? I always wish that it lasted better, but then I suppose, it might lose its ethereal character and end up more like Pink Sugar. 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

              • Aisha: Yes, Candy does last all day on me. The scent stays very close, which is fine because I mostly wear fragrances for me. 🙂 If I want something others can smell (i.e. my hubby), I wear Paris. Come to think of it, even Cuir de Russie stays pretty close to my skin.

                The one thing about gourmands is that they are definitely cold-weather fragrances, for me anyway. They are cozy, comfort scents for me, which make them perfect for our subzero temps. January 7, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

                • Victoria: Agreed! For instance, Pink Sugar on a hot summer day would be a recipe for disaster (and migraine). January 7, 2014 at 11:59am Reply

  • ralu: Even though it’s not my type of perfume I own a bottle and wear it with great pleasure. It is perfect for cold, rainy/snowy days but it works well in the summer as this fragrance says “FUN”. You can also find it at discount retailers such as TJ maxx, marshalls, etc. I think it’s a great perfume. A friend owns a factory that makes candy and he said that it smells just like his factory.
    Thank you for reviewing this fragrance, Victoria! 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 9:38am Reply

    • Victoria: A comment by your friend made me smile! Yes, it does smell like a candy factory, and there are times when you need this kind of lighthearted perfume fun. January 6, 2014 at 11:43am Reply

  • Merlin: Well I’ll then represent the anti pink sugar brigade:) It’s not that I’m particularly high-minded; I think I prefer Juicy Coutre Viva to Number 5, but I only sniffed P.S. once and was instantly repulsed. My first judgment would be to say that it’s too sweet, but it seems to me that whenever people say a scent is too sweet I will later see that they love a scent just as sweet, but in a different flavor, if that makes sense. There are many sweet scents that I adore but they just smell different and much more appealing. Right now I’m testing again Calligraphy Rose which smells like rose petal Turkish delight, sweet as anything but whenever I smell it it seems everything is right in the world… January 6, 2014 at 10:15am Reply

    • Aisha: Calligraphy Rose sounds like an exquisite fragrance. I love Turkish Delight (a little too much, I’m afraid). I’m going to need to test this one. January 6, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

      • Merlin: I haven’t heard anyone else describe it this way, but rather as an amber or perhaps woody rose. Also, I have to admit I don’t usually like scents that are said to smell like Turkish delight, but this one (by Aramis) has me hooked:) But it does make me puzzle – again – over the question of sweetness. January 6, 2014 at 10:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, please do! A different opinion is always helpful, and it’s not like Pink Sugar is the gourmand to topple all gourmands. 🙂 It’s just exactly what it promises–sugar rush of a perfume, and I don’t think that this sort of thing appeals to everyone. It’s not my most worn perfume, but when I want sweet, sweet, and more sweet, it’s just so satisfying.

      But one can find more complex and nuanced gourmands, of course, like Lolita Lempicka or Prada Candy. January 6, 2014 at 11:54am Reply

    • Ann: Oh dear. I will have to try CR! A billion years ago I was an exchange student in Tunisia and the rose water and powdered sugar scents of Turkish Delight and some Arab pastries are like an electric current of happiness for me! (Ditto on your reaction to PS… But V’s blog has inspired me to sniff it again, just in case…) January 6, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

      • Merlin: Lol! Yes, I now mean to retest it too! There are very few reviews of C.R. so it didn’t make much of a splash in the blogosphere, but I will need a bottle soon:) January 6, 2014 at 12:19pm Reply

        • Ann: Sigh! It looks like it is not readily available in the US. Too bad! I wonder if it would play as a “niche” fragrance here–as it steps out of the regular fragrance formulas for a major US brand? I just checked whether Aramis is still owned by Estee Lauder (it is), but so is Jo Malone and Tom Ford… curiouser and curiouser.. ! I’ll bide my time… January 6, 2014 at 1:56pm Reply

          • Merlin: Well that would explain why there are so few reviews of it. At least one person on Fragrantica claims that it reminds him/her of a fragrance called Arabian Rose by Bella Bellissima. Do you get that one there?

            None of the reviews describe it as a very original perfume – and I also don’t find it notably ‘different’, but more a variation on a theme. I haven’t done side by sides but it may be close to Dior’s Mitzah or perhaps Jo Malone’s Rose and Vanilla? January 6, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

  • Solanace: I so enjoy your writing, V! Gotta try pink sugar. I have a big decant of Rahat Loukhoum I wear when I want to shush melancholy away. It’s a pink lollipop, but I’m big enough a girl to own it! January 6, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Rahat Loukoum is probably Chanel No 5 next to Pink Sugar, so you’ve been worn! 🙂

      I admit that I don’t care much for that Lutens (too musky, I think). I like Louve, but it lasts for only 10 minutes on me. January 6, 2014 at 11:57am Reply

  • G: Pink Sugar is not my personal favourite because it becomes sour on my skin. However I have smelled it quite frequently where I live and it has a nice projection… like a nice billowy cloud of scent from a sweets factory.

    I do love gourmand fragrances though – my favourite at the moment is Acqua di Parma’s Mandorlo di Sicilia, it smells like root beer and citrus-flavored marzipan. I just wish it lasted longer! Lolita Lempicka is another favorite. I really should get around to buying a bottle. Then there is SL’s 5 o’clock au gingembre when I want to smell like Christmas desserts… January 6, 2014 at 10:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, so happy that someone else like Mandorlo di Sicilia. It seems to be such an underrated gourmand, but it’s really well crafted and has a lovely sillage (while it lasts). It layers really well with orange scents too. January 6, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

  • Mary K: I do reach for Pink Sugar when I want something fun and it’s a scent that does put me in a happy mood. This one and Confetto (which costs considerably more) are the best sweet fragrances on me. January 6, 2014 at 10:43am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Confetto, but it’s mentioned often whenever people ask here about gourmand recommendations. Onto my list it goes. Thank you, Mary. January 6, 2014 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Yelena: You’ve really surprised me with this review. What a delight to read. In your honor, I am going to revel in my own guilty scent pleasure tomorrow- Paris Hilton:) January 6, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

    • Victoria: The original one that smells like peach marshmallows and caramels? You also surprised me, because I never took you for a gourmand lover. On the other hand, hey, one needs to have fun with perfume. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Ann: So true that we choose fragrances…not so much to fit our mood, but the mood we want to be in. Fun, peppy and alert anyone? Bijou Romantique or LouLou. Casual elegant? A Hermes cologne. Mature sexy? Definitely a Guerlain–Mitsouko or Shalimar or L’Heure Bleue… Victoria, it is so totally great to hear you sing the praises of PS for those bleak moments when a fragrance confection is just what is needed to shout from the rooftops “I play with kittens!” and toss the metaphorical (or literal!) feather-light pale pink mohair scarf around your neck. For me, the fragrance that falls into that camp most often is the honey-filled Elie Saab Le Parfum, seconded by Lolita Lempicka. January 6, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

    • Victoria: You made me laugh out loud! Yes, that’s just it. The best part about perfume (even more so than with clothes or some other accessories) is that you really can create your own fantasy and you can keep it personal. For instance, today is the Ukrainian Christmas Eve, a holiday that’s quiet, serene, introspective, and I feel like wearing something that fits this mood. So, it shall be Serge Lutens’s La Myrrhe (and myrrh also fits the Christmas theme well). January 6, 2014 at 12:18pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Love the kittens comment! January 6, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Kate: Fantastic analogy! I often feel the need to shout from the rooftops “I play with kittens.” January 7, 2014 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Nancy: As with so many fragrances, my advice with this one is to be patient and wait for the drydown. Yes, Pink Sugar starts out as pure cotton candy, which I find slightly sickening. But after 20 minutes or so it develops into crème brûlée, which I find utterly delicious. January 6, 2014 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for this reminder, Nancy. I also find that the sweetest, sharpest part comes right up front, but the drydown is more mellow. Pink Sugar smells so delicious on my scarf a day after. January 6, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

      • Nancy: You have inspired me to wear it tomorrow, Victoria. Pink Sugar should be just the thing for the ridiculously cold weather we’re expecting here! January 6, 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: My mom filled me in about the weather and sent photos of the snow covered backyard. Cold weather is the perfect time to break out these kind of sweet oriental and gourmand perfumes, because they bloom differently than they do in warm air. So, hope that it will help you stay warm. January 6, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Lovely post ( yet again :)). It is so true about being labelled as a certain type, esp. in magazines, which ought to make it almost illegal to wear something that might be considered out of character.
    I love sweet fragrances. Although even I do find the CSP vanillas just a tad to much. I use my Vanille abricot and Vanille canelle in my bath where they work just fine. I have somehow never come across a bottle of this one, but based on this review I will clearly need to try it. January 6, 2014 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t know if you would like it if you find CSP Vanille too sugary, but I would be curious to hear what you think. It’s sold at Sephora and I see it at various Ici Paris XL type of perfumeries here, so I bet that you can find it easily.

      But CSP Vanille in a bath sounds so good to me right now! January 6, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

      • Austenfan: You know, I have such bad luck with testers. I was in Lille a couple of weeks ago and was so pleased to find a tester of Repetto (the dream ballerina fragrance), as luck would have it, it was empty and they didn’t have another one.
        However I did try all the Hermès colognes the other day; the only one that didn’t quite win me over on the spot was the Mandarine Ambrée, the others are gorgeous, I think Orange Verte is my favourite still.

        And I will look out for Pink Sugar! I tend to avoid overly pink fragrances (although I actually rather like pink as a colour). January 6, 2014 at 4:15pm Reply

        • Victoria: Mandarine Ambree was also my least favorite, and it didn’t stand out among the great cologne line up that Hermes has. Eau de Narcisse Bleu was much more interesting. Did you get to smell that one? January 7, 2014 at 10:09am Reply

          • Austenfan: I did. I loved the opening, but am in 2 minds about the later stages. I didn’t skin test it as my wrists and lower arms were occupied by Bottega Veneta and BV légère. January 7, 2014 at 2:35pm Reply

            • Victoria: I wonder what the new perfumer at Hermes, Christine Nagel, will offer. Something totally different from the current ethereal aesthetic would be great. January 7, 2014 at 3:05pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Wouldn’t Hermès be careful though, not to make too many changes too quickly? It will be interesting what she will do at Hermès. She must be thrilled to get that position as I think it is probably one of the better places to be in perfumeland. January 7, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

                • Victoria: I wonder too. A good strong feminine fragrance is what Hermes needs desperately. Jour d’Hermes is lovely, but it won’t rival Terre d’Hermes in popularity. January 8, 2014 at 5:59am Reply

                  • Austenfan: She has done these fantastic orientals in the past. Biblically rich as Luca Turin once described both Theorema and Mauboussin’s Histoire d’Eau Topaze. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens there. January 8, 2014 at 7:03am Reply

                    • Victoria: Just yesterday Elisa and I were exchanging emails mourning Theorema. It was the first fragrance that made me love spicy orientals and orientals in general, so even my affection for Pink Sugar owes something to Theorema (not that they are in any way identical, of course). Theorema was special to me, because it was rich, spicy, but not sticky-cloying. Very few spicy orientals manage that. January 8, 2014 at 8:06am

                    • Cornelia Blimber: Let’s hope then that Christine Nagel will rescue Hermès! (Happy, oh, thrice happy me! I own a full bottle of Theorema).
                      I wear First today and regret the fact that Ellena changed his style….I love it so much better than Un Jour! January 8, 2014 at 8:20am

                    • Austenfan: Remember this quote?

                      “The reason for my new-found optimism lies in the work of Christine Nagel.Her Teorema (Fendi 1998) was already a remarkable thing: a sober hippy fragrance. But her somber masterpiece, Mauboussin’s Histoire d’Eau Topaze(2002), does for spices what Kind of Blue did for jazz: no more smiles, no morewarmth, just a menacing, dusky miracle: the tropics in winter.”

                      (I copied it from Luca Turin’s old blog. If that should be illegal or impolite, please feel free to remove it.)

                      Both those fragrances are BIG orientals but they still leave you room to breathe. For all their richness I find them quite dry. January 8, 2014 at 6:03pm

                    • Victoria: Thank you! I didn’t remember that passage, so it was good to read it again. January 9, 2014 at 12:14pm

    • Merlin: I find CSP’s Vanille Abricot a little too brash, but I have been considering their Amour de Cacao for some time. It smells like chocolate-malt breakfast cereal in milk. Very nice! January 6, 2014 at 4:30pm Reply

      • Jennifer C: I didn’t care for Vanille Abricot either, but your description of Amour de Cacao made me think of Cocoa Puffs, which is kind of making me want to smell it. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Elisa: I love that you gave this 4 stars! I’ve always felt Pink Sugar would have a better reputation if it was part of, say, the L’Artisan lineup. 🙂

    Victoria Jent at EauMG also reviewed this recently and her review is great. January 6, 2014 at 1:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think so too. After all, look at the number of positive reviews Acqua e Zucchero from Profumum has gotten, and it’s really very very close to Pink Sugar.

      Off to read Victoria’s review! Thank you. January 6, 2014 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Andy: Admittedly, after our words on Pink Sugar the other day, I’m considering a bottle all the more now. Some days I feel as if I need something that smells sweet and princessy because it forces me to smile! How can you take anything too seriously when you smell like a run-in with a 6-year old’s dream birthday party? January 6, 2014 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 What a great (and spot on) way to describe it! January 6, 2014 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Ari: My nemesis!!! I’m not sure why I hate Pink Sugar so much, because I like burnt sugar fragrances and I like licorice notes. The proportions are just not right for me. January 6, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Which are your favorite burnt sugar perfumes, Ari? A few people were looking for recommendations on other gourmand but less sweet options. January 6, 2014 at 3:35pm Reply

  • Bee: There’s room in every fragrance for a gourmand – probably. Sadly I have never experienced this famous love/hate fragrance in the UK but I do believe they have produced an oud version which sounds bizarre – I believe it’s called Black Sugar I must confess it makes me curious….in a car crash sort of way… January 6, 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried it, but when I read the press release for Black Sugar, something about the cuteness of Pink Sugar meeting the dark and exotic oud, I could only think of Sex and the City taking on Dubai in the Sex and the City movie sequel. 🙂
      Seems morbidly fascinating, but I haven’t seen it anywhere. January 6, 2014 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Az: Your comment about pink sugar and no 5 coexisting made me laugh, because both are in my perfume drawer. 🙂 the thing about pink sugar is I have to really be in the mood for it or it is headache-ville for a day. But when i am in the mood for muchness, pink sugar fits the bill! January 6, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: I feel pretty much the same way about it. It’s definitely a “special mood” perfume for me. Or if I’m feeling grouchy and irritated, it works as well as a piece of chocolate. 🙂 January 6, 2014 at 3:41pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: As the first gourmands appeared on the market – the concept was quite a novelty back then – I was smitten and bought a bottle of Angel straight away. I hadn’t enjoyed it for long, though – I had to give it away after the first wearing. The scent made me sick after half an hour. A few other negative experiences followed (Acqua e Zucchero, Vanitas, Loukhoum Eau Poudrée), so I had to accept the fact that gourmands obviously weren’t made for me. As much as I love to take a sniff every now and then, I can’t wear them for a longer time 🙁
    The only gourmands in my collection are Traversée du Bosphore (I have to be in the mood, though), Silver Iris, Equistrius (do they count as gourmands?) and Fils de Dieu, du Riz et des Argumes. When I need fragrant comfort on cold and rainy days, a drop of Anima Dulcis or Vanille Absolument works wonders! January 6, 2014 at 4:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: It doesn’t sound like you enjoy the overly edible scents, and yes, you’re right, the perfumes you mentioned aren’t really gourmands. I think that you probably enjoy perfumes with a more abstract twist of something mouthwatering.

      The gourmand perfumes caught up with me at one point. I started out as a white floral and iris gal, so my affection for Pink Sugar took me by surprise. I’ll add Chopard Casmir to this group as well. January 7, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

  • Steph: I must sniff this one again because when I did it smelled like chemicals, burnt plastic and really artificial sugar. Must have been a bad bottle! I actually do like gourmand scents so this is worth another try. January 6, 2014 at 4:58pm Reply

    • Merlin: This is what my sample smelled like…

      The artificial sugar being the worst note! (I’m quite keen on cocoa, honey or fruity sweetness) January 6, 2014 at 5:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Steph, to be honest, it sounds exactly like Pink Sugar! 🙂 If you don’t like this kind of obvious, in your face gourmand, it can smell exactly how you’ve described. January 7, 2014 at 10:21am Reply

  • Jennifer C: I confess I haven’t tried Pink Sugar, but your description is making me want to. I think a stop by Sephora is in order.

    I need to revisit Lolita Lempicka. The first time I tried it, I remember getting nothing but a giant honking violet, and at the time I hadn’t come around on violet yet. But I have now, and I like licorice notes, so I need to try it again. I’ve also been thinking about it because I recently got a bottle of L de Lolita Lempicka for really cheap at Marshall’s, and I’ve really been enjoying it.

    I finally tried Prada Candy after a time of assuming it would be too sweet for me. I liked it more than I thought I would, but it seemed like it didn’t last long on me. January 6, 2014 at 6:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sephora always included samples of it with my orders, so maybe it was all a ploy to get me to like it.

      While Pink Sugar is definitely a fun perfume, Lolita Lempicka is a gem and is worth trying again. If you’ve started to enjoy some of the sweeter floral notes like violet, then you might enjoy it more. Plus, that bottle is too pretty! January 7, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

      • Patricia: I think that next to my vintage bottle of Narcisse Noir, Lolita Lempicka is my favorite! Just adorable. January 7, 2014 at 4:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: Caron had so many great bottles for their extraits! I also love the packaging for Nuit de Noel. January 8, 2014 at 6:04am Reply

  • Cyndi: I would love to try Pink Sugar. I have Prada Candy, and I love that, as well as Lolita Lempicka. I agree with Jennifer. A stop by Sephora is in order! January 6, 2014 at 7:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: As I mentioned to someone earlier, Candy is really much more complex than Pink Sugar, but what PS has over Candy is a superb lasting power. So, the first time you try it, be careful not to overapply, or else you will smell of cotton candy for the whole day, if not longer. 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 10:24am Reply

  • Lynley: I have a sample of this from Merlin (thanks Merlin!) but it’s been too hot to test properly. I find I do like pink and fluffy fragrances in winter much more than I ever thought I would, and I often wear them to bed. My favorites so far are Love by Kilian, Divin’ Enfant by ELd’O, and Marshmallow by MOR- cheap and cheerful and I admit I have all the body products to go with the roll-on perfume oil 😮 lol January 7, 2014 at 1:21am Reply

    • Merlin: Admirable that you keep a track of where your samples are from! I do hope you like it more than I did. January 7, 2014 at 6:23am Reply

    • Victoria: I wear some of these gourmands to bed too for this same reason. They’re so relaxing. 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 10:25am Reply

  • maja: Merry Christmas, Christ is born! I was wearing Ambre Sultan yesterday evening, it has that churchy feeling. 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried Pink Sugar but the comment about kittens is so inspiring that now I feel I must. 🙂 I love Lolita but recently find myself using more LPRN edp when I want careless sweetness in my afternoons. January 7, 2014 at 2:43am Reply

    • Victoria: Merry Christmas! My other choice would have been Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche, which is a cousin of Ambre Sultan, so we’re on the same wavelength. I might wear it today, because it’s just so festive because of its sweet incense notes. It does remind me of a Christmas Mass.

      Loved that comment too. I mean, who can resist kittens? 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 10:28am Reply

  • Figuier: Great review, Victoria! Though call me a snob, but I’m not sure I could bear to purchase a perfume called “Pink Sugar”! I guess I could cover up the label with a sticker & re-name it something “classier” – Sucre rose, Carmine nectar or similar…

    I used to be utterly anti-gourmand – and loathe those sweet modern Guerlains, Angel, Candy, etc. But now I own Traversee so maybe I should reassess. If anyone can sell me cotton candy then you’re the one to do it 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

    • Victoria: On the other hand, it’s kind of fun to keep a bottle of something so pink and frilly next to the austere elegance of Chanel or Caron. 🙂

      I also didn’t use to like gourmands, but it changed little by little. Interestingly enough, the more I smell, the more eclectic my tastes get. I used to dislike so many things, I would lose count. Now, I’m more open-minded to different styles, as long as they’re well-crafted, priced fairly and live up to their promises. January 7, 2014 at 10:35am Reply

      • Figuier: You’re totally right – it really doesn’t make sense to outlaw entire categories of perfume when each ‘family’ is so varied…and I love that mysterious development of taste whereby things that used to be beyond the pale suddenly appear attractive. January 7, 2014 at 11:00am Reply

        • Victoria: How nicely and poetically you put it! It’s such a beautiful image, and yes, the way our tastes in perfume (and many other things) evolve is fascinating and slightly mysterious. January 7, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

  • Kate: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille is a favorite of mine. When I was researching it before I bought it, I read a review that described it as “grown up Pink Sugar.” Now having smelled both I would agree. I think it is more mysterious and somehow ancient or ceremonial smelling, with more of a scent of raw materials… but Pink Sugar is probably more fun! January 7, 2014 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your comment inspired me to take my sample of Un Bois Vanille and compare it against Pink Sugar. You’re so right, Kate. Serge Lutens’s vanilla is definitely much more adult and darker, but Pink Sugar is more exhilarating and lighthearted. Or maybe, I’m just in a mood for something not so serious. 🙂 January 7, 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

  • Nora Sz.: I read Suzanna’s article on BDJ about how to choose perfume for first date and tried Pink sugar last year. I love more sophisticated scents (Coco or Shalimar Parfum Initial are among my favourites) but I got hooked. Cotton candy and licorice are prominent to my nose, yet the perfume is put together so well that it’s not too sweet despite of all the toothattacking ingredients. My boyfriend also liked it so I bought a bottle. It’s really cheap especially if you consider that one spray is enough for a day. It is for sure a fun, girly scent, maybe men like it because it (like it’s wearer) doesn’t take herself too serioulsly? January 14, 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Or because it smells so delicious! 🙂 I agree that it’s one of those compliment magnet perfumes. January 14, 2014 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Scented Salon: How to get an achingly-sweet craving satisfied? By perusing the seldom-sought isles of the beauty store. Even though I did not have high expectations, Pink Sugar shocked me. It repulsed me. There is the overly sweet tang that is expected but the horrible part of the whole experience is the synthetic screeching spice that made me long for some soap and water. It is rare that a perfume gets such a reaction from me (another being Cabochard). January 3, 2016 at 9:19pm Reply

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