Culinary Adventures
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Fragrances for Foodies

Was duty free shopping an all-ages field trip in your family?

As a kid, I spent a lot of time at duty free stores. My uncle worked in duty free and we always had family or friends going to or coming back from Hong Kong.

My sister, cousin and I spent hours browsing the displays, snacking on beef jerky or kiwifruit lolly samples, and reviewing all the perfumes. We collected all the paper test strips in our teeny-tiny handbags to enjoy later. We never noted the names of the perfumes and of course, the strips marinaded together in our bags and smelled sickly sweet, but it kept us amused.

Gourmand fragrances

I have always been always drawn to gourmand fragrances. A gourmand fragrance has notes like candy/fruit, honey, chocolate or vanilla and are also known as foodie fragrances. Gourmand fragrances appeared in the early ‘90s and were descendants of Oriental fragrances which were made with exotic notes from the Middle East and India. There are gourmand fragrances for both women and men.

Sugary sweet

The earliest ones I remember owning were Escada’s tropical vacation limited edition perfumes. I had a few of them. If you liked one Escada summer perfume, you probably liked them all. They released a different version each summer with cute packaging and colourful bottles. The range shared fruity tropical notes like coconut, guava, mango, pineapple, watermelon, green apple cranberry, lychee, passionfruit, lime, banana, black currant, peach and pear. They were tropical and delicious.

The next sweet gourmand perfume I had was Fantasy by Britney Spears and Elizabeth Arden. I can’t say I am/was a huge fan of Britney, but her perfume was delicious. With quince, kiwifruit, lychee, white chocolate, cupcake notes, it was a delicious dessert.

20 Foodie fragrances

10 years later, I still like gourmand perfumes, but I’m hoping to find one that doesn’t smell so young. I did a little research on fragrance notes and compiled a list of 20 gourmand scents and their top notes, middle notes and base notes. This list covers a range of brands from Yves Saint Laurent to Justin Bieber (yes, he has a perfume). I’ve even included a 3 men’s gourmand fragrances at the end of this list. This list does by no means represent all gourmand scents. It barely scratches the surface!

All of these scents can be found at Duty Free Stores and you can browse their entire range of fragrances here.


1. Honey, Marc Jacobs

  • TOP NOTES: pear, mandarin, punch
  • MIDDLE NOTES: honeysuckle, orange blossom, peach
  • BASE NOTES: honey, vanilla


2. Daisy Dream, Marc Jacobs

  • TOP NOTES: blackberry, grapefruit, pear
  • MIDDLE NOTES: jasmine, lychee, wisteria
  • BASE NOTES: coconut water, musk, white wood


3. Dot, Marc Jacobs

  • TOP NOTES: pitaya (dragon fruit), red berries, honeysuckle
  • MIDDLE NOTES: coconut, orange blossom, jasmine
  • BASE NOTES: musk, vanilla, driftwood, coconut water


4. Golden Delicious, DKNY

  • TOP NOTES: red apple, plum, African orange flower
  • MIDDLE NOTES: rose, lily of the valley, orchid, lily
  • BASE NOTES: teak, sandalwood, musk


5. Be Delicious, DKNY

  • TOP NOTES: grapefruit, cucumber, magnolia
  • MIDDLE: NOTES tuberose, rose, lily of the valley, violet, green apple
  • BASE NOTES: wood, amber, sandalwood


6. Untold, Elizabeth Arden

  • TOP NOTES: pink pepper, pear, ginger, bergamot
  • MID NOTES: Egyptian jasmine, rose water, French narcissus
  • BASE NOTES: Brazilian tonka, cashmere wood, Tahitian vanilla, bourbon, benzoin resinoid


7. Green Tea Honeysuckle, Elizabeth Arden

  • TOP NOTES: bergamot, lemon, green tea, tangerine and boysenberry
  • MIDDLE NOTES: honeysuckle, jasmine, green tea
  • BASE NOTES: peach, musk, birch and ambrette (musk mallow).


8. Viva la Juicy, Juicy Couture

  • TOP NOTES: wild berries, mandarin
  • MIDDLE NOTES: honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine
  • BASE NOTES: amber, caramel, vanilla, sandalwood, pralines


9. Black Opium, Yves Saint Laurent

  • TOP NOTES: pear, orange blossom, pink pepper
  • MIDDLE NOTES: coffee, jasmine
  • BASE NOTES: vanilla, patchouli, cedar


10. Jeu d’Amour, Kenzo

  • TOP NOTES: tea, mandarin, pomegranate
  • MIDDLE NOTES: tuberose, freesia
  • BASE NOTES: sandalwood, musk


11. La Vie Est Belle, Lancome

  • TOP NOTES: black currant, pear
  • MIDDLE NOTES: iris, jasmine, orange blossom
  • BASE NOTES: tonka bean, praline, patchouli, vanilla.


12. Signorina, Salvatore Ferragamo

  • TOP NOTES: pink pepper, red currant
  • MIDDLE NOTES: jasmine, rose, peony
  • BASE NOTES: musk, patchouli, panna cotta


13. Baby Doll, Yves Saint Laurent

  • TOP NOTES: blackcurrant, orange, apple, pineapple.
  • MIDDLE NOTES: rose, freesia, lily of the valley, heliotrope
  • BASE NOTES: cedar, sandalwood, tonka beans, vanilla


14. Someday, Justin Bieber

  • TOP NOTES: mandarin, pear, red berries
  • MIDDLE NOTES: jasmine, floral
  • BASE NOTES: musk, vanilla


15. Pleats Please 2013, Issey Miyake

  • TOP NOTES: violet macarons
  • MIDDLE NOTES: peony, sweet pea
  • BASE NOTES: patchouli, vanilla


16. Loverdose, Diesel

  • TOP NOTES: mandarin, star anise
  • MIDDLE NOTES: jasmine, gardenia, licorice
  • BASE NOTES: amber, vanilla, wood


17. Just Cavalli Gold for Her, Robert Cavalli

  • TOP NOTES: hazelnut, mandarin
  • MIDDLE NOTES: jasmine, marshmallow
  • BASE NOTES: leather, rosewood


18. Just Cavalli Gold for Him, Robert Cavalli

  • TOP NOTES: hazelnut, nutmeg, black pepper, cardamom
  • MIDDLE NOTES: coffee
  • BASE NOTES: leather


19. The One For Men, Dolce & Gabbana

  • TOP NOTES: grapefruit, coriander, basil
  • MIDDLE NOTES: ginger, orange blossom, cardamom
  • BASE NOTES: amber, cedar, tobacco


20. Spicebomb, Viktor & Rolf

  • TOP NOTES: bergamot, grapefruit, pink pepper, elemi
  • MIDDLE NOTES: saffron, cinnamon, pink pepper
  • BASE NOTES: vetiver, leather, tabacco

I’d love to know if you like gourmand fragrances and if you have any suggestions? I’m a sucker for a beautiful bottle but this doesn’t usually work out well for me.

Notes on fragrances from

This entry was posted in: Culinary Adventures


I am Genie, a graphic designer/photographer obsessed with food and bunnies. I live in Whanganui, New Zealand with my husband, The Koala and our two rabbits, Kobe and Bento. I write about my hedonistic ways and I love the mantra "Eat well, travel often". I prefer not to write about myself in third person.

1 Comment

  1. Hey I wasn’t aware of the spicebomb! The flower bomb is too sweet for me, this might be better. I’ve been quite drawn to gourmet fragrances lately!

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