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The Resurgence of Childhood Memories in Gourmand Perfumes
In recent years, the world of feminine perfumery has seen a significant trend: the resurgence of sweet, fruity, and most notably, gourmand fragrances. These perfumes often evoke childhood memories and transport wearers back to simpler times.
Thierry Mugler's Angel, launched in 1992, was the trailblazer for this trend, capturing the hearts of consumers with its delectable scent. More than 15 years later, its popularity remains strong, inspiring other fragrance creators to explore the realm of gourmand notes, such as candy-like sugars, chocolate, and warm milk. These fragrances evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia, as Yvette Moretti, a perfume designer, explains: "Perfume is the strongest link with emotion."
Warm Milk: The Lactonic Effect in Sweet Florals and Oriental Scents
The warm milk note, characterized by sweet vanilla, milky, and velvety scents, complements both floral and oriental fragrances. Its lactonic effect, achieved through the use of lactones, creates a comforting and reassuring undertone reminiscent of childhood treats.
Issey Miyaké's "Le Feu d'Issey," launched in 1998, was one of the first fragrances to incorporate the warm milk note. This powerful oriental fragrance blends aromatic spices with a comforting and enveloping base of guaiac wood and warm milk. Similarly, Lancôme's "La vie est belle" and Viktor & Rolf's "Bonbon" combine spicy oriental elements with the nostalgic scents of hot milk, caramel, and chocolate.
In floral fragrances, warm milk notes harmonize with white musk, smooth white flowers, and clean, delicate scents to create tender, comforting fragrances. Examples include Issey Miyaké's Pleats Please in Bloom and Zadig & Voltaire's Tome 1: La Purity for Her. Fruity and sweet notes can also be combined with warm milk to produce indulgent, gourmand fragrances, such as Escada's Born In Paradise.
While the warm milk note is predominantly found in women's fragrances, it is rarely featured in men's perfumery. This is likely due to the association of milk with nurturing and comfort rather than virility or freshness. However, in the ever-evolving world of perfumery, anything is possible, and it will be interesting to see how the warm milk note continues to make its mark on the industry.