My sample box was raided with a purpose this time – find all the gourmands lingering in there. I once won a seven sample set of super-gourmands on First in Fragrance, that have been ignored so far. But there is a time and place for everything it seems. Parfumerie Générale and its gorgeous inedible gourmands brought me on this particular path, so here is a slew of gustatory delights without the calories.
Montale Chocolate Greedy: starts out amazing, a creamy, dreamy ganache of purest chocolat au lait, the perfume equivalent of Lindt (the real Swiss one, not the American version, sorry). Sadly that stage is very fleeting and I am left with a very vague and sheer veil of powdery, slightly cocoa-y nothingness. But it is better to smell this from the bottle and move on with my day, since I am not sure I’d like to smell like something so realistically edible myself.
Montale Vanille Absolu: with notes including vanilla, cinnamon, clove and woods, Vanille Absolu is an elegant and unsweet, un-confectionary kind of vanilla scent that actually manages to smell fresh in the first stages and never goes near cloying territory. Very long lasting as we are used to from this house. A vanilla to recommend, although my favorite vanilla is Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée that really nails the concept of “fresh vanilla”.
Montale White Musk: a nice scent through and through. It is not really a gourmand, but it fits in this post anyway, if only in mind maybe. Pure white musk with soft flowery wisps surrounding it, it is quite strong (I don’t think Montale is capable of producing something truly light and sheer) and seeming to gain strength over time instead of fading. I can see it getting on my nerves after a few hours, but it has its moments. If you are looking for a high quality white musk, this is a great option along with Serge Lutens Clair de Musc.
Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Intense: this starts out lovely, a spicy, orange vanilla mix that is interesting and unexpected (notes include orange, orange blossoms, immortelle, cinnamon, woods, patchouli, amber and musk). The drydown strangely, turns somewhat cardboard-y on me, and I usually avoid resembling inanimate objects in every way possible.
Annick Goutal Petite Chèrie: notes include pear, peach, rose musk, cut grass and vanilla. I am always baffled by Petite Chérie, generally Goutal perfumes are well-made and made with high quality ingredients, so I have no reason to assume it would be different here, but…since this is the favorite of the husband of a real life Perfumista friend, I’m trying to put it mildly – this smells like super-synthetic fake pear on me every time I try it, moving on. (Yes, that was mild.)
Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot: I did not expect much of this, I use Vanille Amande of the same line as a room spray in my kitchen after all, to great effect I might add. But Vanille Abricot is actually a pleasant and quite tenacious scent, that doesn’t fall apart on skin, like many such fragrances can. Also the name is very accurate, Vanilla and Apricot is exactly what you get, along with a bit of sugar.
Guerlain Gourmand Coquin: I like that upon first spritz, a chocolate indulgence if there ever was one (with notes of black pepper, rose, rum, chocolate), but it turns heavily treacly-fruity later on and is just too, too, too much. I lose appetite when smelling this (wait, that could actually be a good thing! *scrambles for the sample*)
Profumum Dulcis in Fundo: this sample is very old, therefore I am not sure whether it is still okay. I was expecting something über-sweet, but it is actually very subtle and pleasant. A vanilla-citrus combination, simple and subtle. (Take this with a grain of salt, I am really not sure my sample is what it says, since I have heard from many how overly sweet and heavy this is supposed to be, which my sample is simply not. 😉 )
Nez a Nez Bouche Baie: Fruit-compote disaster alert! (Includes notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, maracuja, orange blossom, jasmine, cherry, peach, coconut, vanilla, almond and honey) Did I say über-sweet before? Well, now, here we have the real deal. THAT is über-sweet! A hyperglycemic, synthetic, not even pleasant concoction to kill Diabetics in a spritz and bring people with regular metabolisms to their knees in under three minutes. Avoid!
Nez a Nez Marron Chic: Sadly this is not much better (notes: kumquat, orange blossom, iris, karo karoundé, violet, cocoa flower, benzoin, labdanum, vetiver and cocoa beans) or that much different from its brother above. Sugar with a slight chestnut touch, dominated by very fake smelling vanilla and cocoa. This line did not yet surprise me in a good way. See here my review of Figues et Garcons.
There are lovely gourmand perfumes out there, I adore most of what Pierre Guillaume does, like Musc Maori, Aomassai, Praliné de Santal, Tonkamande. From other lines I enjoy Jo Malone Sweet Milk, Odin 01, Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, Lutens Jeux de Peau and Un Bois Vanille, Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille and Iris Ganache – all gorgeous gourmands.
What are your favorite “inedible, but I want to anyway” perfumes?
Hello and thanks for this great round up of yummies!
One of my favourites on the gourmand shelf is Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Amour de Cacao, which you might want to try as I find it similar to Montale’s Chocolate Greedy, but more complex and with a better dry-down. From the same brand, I second your take on Vanille Abricot and also quite enjoy their Coco Extreme and Matin Calin (sweetened condensed milk!).
From Montale I quite like Amandes Orientales, which smells pretty much like the name implies 😉
SL Un Bois Vanille has been a firm favourite for a long time, along with Thierry Mugler’s Angel and Angel Liqueur de Parfum.
And for a touch of liquorice, you can’t beat Lolita Lempicka’s Minuit Noir, or Hermessence Brin de Reglisse on a lighter note.
Oh, and coming back to the lovely house of Nicolai, I find their Vanille Tonka an absolute masterpiece (by the way, I was also disappointed by Vanille Intense after trying it on skin). See also their Kiss Me Tender for a delicious and subtle take on heliothrope.
And a couple of pick-me-ups from Demeter for their fun notes and portable format (Sugar Addict, Almond, Chocolate Covered Cherries…)
Bon appetit! ^_^
Thank you for your great suggestions, Laura, Bon Appetit, indeed! 😉
I was trying Matin Calin recently in the hope it would be like Sweet Milk, but I almost couldn’t smell anything. Maybe it was a very old tester though…
ALWAYS love your mini reviews and this was no exception. Vanille Absolu sounds the most interesting to me though like you, I think I’d prefer Vanille Insensee. It’s the funniest thing with the Parfums de Nicolai base. I’ve tried about three by the line but each time that signature base kicks in I’m totally turned off. I was all ready to buy a full bottle of Le Temps d’Une Fete right until the drydown. Weird.
Anyway my favourite gourmands are Aomassai and Ambre Narguile. The one I keep considering making an unsniffed purchase of L de Lempicka.
I did not have much luck with Nicolai so far either, the new Weekend at Deauville gets rave reviews, but I’m not sure about it yet.
Aomassai must be mine some day, love the burnt sugar note. 🙂
I have always loved gourmand perfumes for comfort. Tara mentions L de Lempicka and beat me to it. It was one of my many perfumes as I have gone through two bottles already. Another great comfort scent was my bottle of VCA Feerie. Favorites in my collection are Iris Ganache, Une Bois Vanille and Sweet Milk. Thanks to you I have discovered Pierre Guillaume and love Praline de Santal. Curiosity is brimming over Aomassai which is on my ever growing to sniff list.
Thanks for reminding me of Iris Ganache, it is so good. I have the original Lolita Lempicka, which is quite good, if one likes licorice.
I’d love to find my Gourmand Scent, something like a s o p h i s t i c a t e d cocoa/chocolate – but I had not much luck with that so far. I love, love, love Guerlain’s Double Vanille – probably becasue it’s not gourmand, but an earthy boozy gourgeousness. Hermessence Vetiver Tonka is lovely – but hey, that’s not a real gourmand one either. Well, Guerlain’s Tonka Imperiale comes nearest to gourmand… But I want my bitter chocolate !
Why 1697 is not a gourmand ???
Try PG Musc Maori! Wonderfully sophisticated chocolate. Review will be up soon. 🙂
Today my thoughts lean towards my new favorite: Vetiver Tonka. SOTD!! 😉
I am so glad you are enjoying VT so much. 🙂
That Chocolate Greedy sounds intriguing – what’s not to like about the perfume equivalent of Lindt!
Some of the other scents you mention have me scurrying meanwhile for a nice slice of plain Ryvita.
Though I love the photo!
Yeah, that bunch was a bit much! But better olfactory sugar overload than the actual thing. Or else I’ll get a little too bonny. 😉
Now I thought we had settled that particular semantic point with the help of some Scottish readers… : – )
And in the sense I meant at the time, you are already at the peak of bonniness! Optimally bonny. Ne plus ultra bonny, and other phrases in that vein. And would probably remain so even if you OD’ed on those cup cakes.
I am like an elephant, if not yet in size, then in the sense that I never forget (imagined) slights. 😉 Thank you very much for your lovely compliments though. 🙂
I really need to try the PGs- they sound delightful..One of my favorite inedible gourmands would be Anya’s Starflower- I didn’t expect to like it (because I didn’t think I was a fan of gourmands) but boy was it addictive! I also find Ormone Jayne Woman vaguely edible (it reminds of pesto and paper thin fluffy sweets). Caron Poivre (atleast the pre-reformulation one) reminds me of a spicy peppery drink that I just want to gulp down- so does that count as a gourmand?- if so, that would be my favorite!
Very interesting suggestions, Lavanya.
I think PG is the King of Gourmand! 🙂
I don’t care for gourmands at all, the closest I get is Fleur du Male. I think I may be the Mean Green Queen.
I make my own gourmand room spray for Xmas, frankincense, cacao, cinnamon bark, and oranges. The living room smells yummy, and I love it during the winter, but I pack it away in February….
But your goats love it so!!! 😉
I wore Fleur du Male yesterday, it has quite a sweet base indeed. I needed to seek it out after your review on PST.
I’m with you on the Petite Cherie. It just gags me every time I try to wear it. I just traded away my bottle in the Swapmania on Pefume Posse last weekend…
Love these mini reviews, BTW!
Hi Alice, how are you?
Petite Cherie is beloved by many we are certainly in the minority. 😉
I love gourmands. But, I typically like those that are sweet but not edible.
I’ve tried most of the Montales you mentioned, really like them but they are too literal for me to wear.
AG Petite Cherie – I can’t stand it. One of the only AGs that I dislike. Reminds me of baby shampoo.
Comptoir Sud Pacifique – All of them are glorified room sprays IMO.
The rest you mentioned, I like, but don’t own.
We are on the same page it seems. Especially the Comptoir Sud Pacicfique – roomsprays. 😉
I’ve been helping a friend navigate the perfume world, which has been a lot of fun – her enthusiasm reminds me of what it was like to first fall down the rabbit hole. She has “sniffing assignments” organized by category, and organizing her samples made me realize that I like a lot more gourmands than I initially thought. My loves include Traversée du Bosphore, Like This, Réglisse Noir, Tokyomilk Bittersweet, Prada Candy, Ava Luxe’s Café Noir, Slumberhouse Pear+Olive and Vanille Insensée.
Such a lovely list, Dionne. Traversée du Bosphore is a fantastic perfume, the more I smell it the better it becomes.