As I’ve been reviewing the new sweet gourmands targeting the millennials, supposedly. I have been reflecting back to the earliest successes in this genre. By 2003 the gourmand wave was well underway with many of them working on variations of Thierry Mugler Angel. There was room for originality but too many decided a big dose of the cotton candy-like ethyl maltol plus a few other things was enough. It wasn’t.They mostly came off as a cloying mess which is the hazard when trying to work this style of fragrance. Finding the line between sugary fun and overbearing treacle is not easy and there is a graveyard of attempts. Then Aquolina Pink Sugar arrived and showed how to do it.
Pink Sugar was as calculated a perfume as there ever was. Perfumer Pierre Nuyens was asked to provide the same cotton candy and caramel core of Angel with berries added in. Now that might sound terrible and on paper I might agree. M. Nuyens delivered on this brief. What is funny to me when I wear Pink Sugar it reminds me of a summer night at the local fairground. As you stroll the midway smelling all the different confections; candy apples, cotton candy, caramel apples, and orange soda. This is what Pink Sugar takes me back to.
M. Nuyens opens with a juicy orange soda accord as if I’ve just picked up a Fanta. In the heart comes that cotton candy and the berries. The note list lists them as strawberry and raspberry. I encounter them as the sweet sugary coating of a candy apple. I can recognize both of them when focused on picking the threads of ingredients apart. When I am just enjoying wearing Pink Sugar I think candy apple every time. Caramel comes next and it is made sweeter with vanilla added. This is a gooey chewy accord which always makes me wonder if my skin is sticky where I sprayed it. The final notes are sandalwood and musks. The sandalwood has an effect of making some of the sweet notes seem a bit overdone, almost burnt. I think of standing outside the fairground as the lights are being shut off and the last bit of the scents of carnival are caught by the breeze.
Pink Sugar has 14-16 hour longevity and prodigious sillage.
Pink Sugar has been a bestseller since its release. In my mind it stands next to Angel as one of the innovators within the gourmand sector. It can be found for less than $20 almost everywhere.
Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle I purchased.