“I was captivated by Prada Candy before I was even captivated by the art that is perfume…”
In reality, I was captivated by fashion much before perfume, and these two elements happen to work hand-in-hand with each other. To this day I still adore the Prada aesthetic. Clean lines and cuts, and on occasion an almost impossible sense of balance through asymmetrical patterns. Prada’s approach to female fashion is my favourite approach. A lot of it is geometric, and it is deadly; where symmetry clashes with asymmetry, and bold patterns meet conservative cuts, or vice-versa. Often the Prada aesthetic is at once angular then curved. I am captivated by Prada’s female fashions because it is the thinker’s brand – logical, genius, and sensibly wild with a colourfully conservative inflexion.
As with all brands, or fragrance houses, there are always fragrances put onto the market to cater for everyone. Prada Candy, whilst verging on flirtatious, still maintains Prada’s sensuous silhouette with a little bit more emphasis on all the pink and the sparkly.
This is the gourmand for the individual who dislikes gourmand fragrances. This is the stuff you put on top of custard and then scorch to make crème brûlée with that burn caramel topping. It is not overly sweet, as it is given a sharp bitter twinge with opulent and dark oriental ingredients added into the background.
Photo Credit to Parfemimatix
For me, Prada Candy resolves my qualms with most gourmands. Too sweet and you smell cloying; and on the other hand, too much and you smell uncomfortably like food. Regardless, this is yummy, and it is not strictly a sweet candy ‘fairy floss’ fragrance. Much like one of my favourite fragrances, Brin De Reglisse, Prada Candy is a simple creature – with a simple perceptible note structure and composition easily studied and easily broken down when worn.
Indeed, when this fragrance is worn its sweetness dissipates, leaving a fine waft of a hybrid vanilla and sugar chord as it trails. What Prada Candy presents to the gourmand sector of fragrances is discretion and subtlety – which is considerably unheard of. The perfume opens with a caramel-flavoured musk layered with a toasty vanilla note; approaching a Shalimar quality, mirrored with a rich benzoin and swayed with a good-natured incense.
This orientalist notes lift Prada Candy closer to the smokey and vanillic sphere of fragrances. These notes are imperative in achieving this fragrance’s desired affect: To remove the gourmand connotation and then indirectly and resultantly remove the girly character, through the addition of mature facets to Prada Candy, bolstering it significantly. With further inspection, what hides beneath the caramel notes is a tartness, perhaps resultant of a mellow and punchy fruit note in the composition (especially apparent in the dizzyingly good opening. Eventually propped with a resiny amber note in the dry down, presenting a quaint brooding quality, then magnified with a hyperreal and wonderfully aromatic ethyl vanillin tone glazed with smokey vanilla elements.
At best, I find Prada Candy to be eternally fluorescent throughout its lifetime, with a generous luminescence flecked with scintillating pink and yellow hues. Prada Candy moves toward a faintly kaleidoscopic complexity that in the end actually smells simpler than what it really is. Simply, it smells comfortable; but analytically it is more than just a velvety and toasty warmth. It takes a logical, genius of a house to make a gourmand smell elaborate, and it takes even more intellectual gusto to always leave a wearer wondering perpetually what else they are smelling. Focus and you will smell tropical fruits and tart citruses, focus harder and you will realise this is an elegant abstract gourmand – a carmel gourmand lifted to ethereal status.
Alternatives: Angel by Thierry Mugler; Shalimar by Guerlain; and Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens.
The mature caramel of dreams. A masterful abstract gourmand.
Subjective rating : 5/5
Objective rating: 4/5