The New Raft of Sweet-Smelling Perfumes Are Far From Sickly

I love it when a once-maligned fragrance trend comes back into fashion. I called out the return of floral fragrances a few months ago, and I've had Aerin Hibiscus Palm (£96) and Byredo La Tulipe (£160) on rotation ever since. But more recently, I've watched the pendulum swing back toward an area of the perfume arena I've always steered well clear of: sweet, gourmand scents.

According to recent research of Fragrantica's review data conducted by OnBuy, 70% of perfumes released so far this year have sweet accords; in 2017, they accounted for only 50% of the new perfume launches. Perfumers are clearly beginning to play with sugary notes once more, and consumers are seemingly lapping it up. The list of the most positively reviewed scents of the year wasn't just peppered with a few sweet-smelling scents, either. It was practically overwhelmed by them.

I had written sweet perfumes off, believing that a single spritz guaranteed a pounding headache and a churning stomach. But I took a deep breath, opened all the windows and decided to give the genre a second chance.

Seemingly so, sweet perfumes have had a complete overhaul since the "birthday cake in a bottle" scents I would love as a teen. Rather than eau de Pick 'n' Mix, I found a flurry of gentle, refined and completely wearable fragrances that hinted at a little bit of sugar (rather than dousing you in gloopy syrup).

I fully understand if you're a little trepidatious, but here are six sweet perfumes that aren't in the least bit nauseating—I swear.