‘Gourmand’ is an appropriate name for one of the most enduringly popular categories of fragrance ingredients, as it translates from French literally as ‘Greedy’.
In common French usage, the word means a food-lover, or the kind of person who will happily leave some of their main meal so that they have room for dessert, and it crosses into the realm of fragrance ingredients in much the same way.
Think candy scents – chocolate, honey, vanilla and other sweet treats – as top and middle notes, often blended with a full-bodied or spicy base note like musk or patchouli to create an overall aroma to delight the senses and make the mouth water.
We all respond to food in different ways, and aroma is a huge part of that, which is why for anyone with a sweet tooth, Gourmand scents can be all but irresistible.
As a society, we have loved the smell of lollipops and candy floss and all things sweet for generations, which has seen Gourmand fragrance ingredients rank as one of the top categories consistently since the mid-20th century.
Yet in recent years there has been a resurgence in demand for sweet scent ingredients once again, as NPD Group’s Mathilde Lion recently told L’Oreal’s ‘The Monthly Digest’.
“Gourmand scents are becoming more popular, especially on the French and UK markets, where they account for 68% and 74% of the market respectively,” she said.
One suggestion is that the youthful candy and dessert aromas found in the Gourmand category help us to reconnect with our inner child in a similar way to the more cartoony Snapchat and Instagram filters that are popular online.
We may want to look like a puppy and smell like a popsicle, rather than the other way around, but these are components of the same overall trend, and help to inject some much-needed fun and frivolity into some otherwise stressful days.
Aroma ingredients have the added advantage that they can combine to create much more complex scents with those musky and woody base notes, allowing adults to wear Gourmand fragrances without smelling directly of bubblegum and milkshakes.
This means they remain popular all year round, from the familiarity of coconut and vanilla in summer scents, to comforting cake and candy cane aromas in the colder months, and even the sensuality of complex cocoa perfumes to rival floral fragrances for Valentine’s Day.