Prada Candy, 2011

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Perfumer Daniela Andrier.

Caveat: While I love drag queens, I tend not to like dessert-like gourmands. Just not my thing.

Prada’s Candy is in many respects a super-gourmand. It’s cotton-candyish, it’s caramellic, it’s vanillic, and it gains sweetness as it goes. Much seems to have come out of Prada’s PR about the benzoin and therefore the oriental genre. Yes, there’s benzoin, but the name of the perfume tells you about the perfume’s true affiliation: the dessert/gourmand category.

I see people referring to Candy as complex, the complexity implying a big, successful outcome. I find Candy more of a kitchen sink gourmand. It’s a busting-at-the-seems stuffed perfume. It hits the prominent notes of the big players in the gourmand game from the past few years.

But if you’re trying to capture Candy by describing its scent, you run the risk of giving a description that might apply to any other dessert perfume.

Here’s how I see it: If you liken a sweet gourmand perfume to a straight, femme women, then Candy is the glam drag queen. The femme gives a certain portrayal of gender. The drag queen and Candy both take that same femininity as a starting place, then turn up the volume until the distortion sets in.


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