It has been widely demonstrated that our sense of taste relies on the olfactory in order to fully express itself. Vice versa, many terms used for taste are “loaned” to the olfactory in order to describe an odour. In fact we talk about sweet, sugary, acid, sharp, peppery hot, sparkling and many other types of odours which our olfactory and taste experiences suggest to us. With the arrival of the cold season and the nearing of the Christmas festivities, we feel a more intense need to be “pampered” and we therefore happily allow ourselves to eat one or two more sweets than usual. Why not achieve the same gratifying sensations with our olfactory with a short exploration of the gourmand facets?
“Gourmand” (or greedy) notes in the perfumery are defined as the olfactory evocation of all that can be eaten or drunk (excluding fruit). From those which have been used for a long time, such as vanilla, cocoa, honey, bee’s wax, to those which are used more recently, coffee, cappuccino, liquorice, rum, praline, chocolate…, the “gourmand” raw materials whether natural or synthetic (such as aromatic aldehyde known as vanillin and its recent derivatives) offer an infinite range of shades. They stimulate the playful fantasy of fragrance creators: a greedy touch is capable of giving a fragrance some saucy sensuality with a pinch of transgression which takes us back to memories of our childhood thus giving an immediate friendly impulse. It is translated in olfactory notes with a sugary taste which evokes the confectionery universe leading us into a world of make-believe.
The term gourmand entered into the descriptive language of fragrances with Angel by Thierry Mugler in 1992, one of the first fragrances to blend together opulent oriental notes, full of charm and mystery with chocolate, caramel and honey which sweeten its seductive power softening it into a magical and fairytale atmosphere. In spite of its very particular character, since the time of its launch it is still one of the most successful women’s fragrances. Following on from this masterpiece a whole storm of fragrances followed where the gourmand facet is linked to various different personalities, in a true kaleidoscope of fragrances for “all tastes + 1”: a mix of violets for fragrances by Lolita Lempicka, all the declinations of vanilla for the creations by Comptoir Sud Pacifique and Hypnotic Poison by Dior, honey notes in Miel de Bois by Lutens and infinite shades play in Miss Dior Chérie by Dior, Délices by Cartier, Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf and in the whole range of Aquolina...a trend which isn’t limited to the women’s universe but is beginning to enhance the fantasy of some men’s fragrances.