How To Smell Like A Cake

As much as I would love to be one of those super-sophisticated girls who calls a bun a "chignon" and wears Chanel No. 5, it's never going to happen.
Publish date:
August 10, 2012
fragrance, perfume, vanilla, shoppable, cake

All I really want is a perfume that makes me smell like a cake. As much as I would love to be one of those super-sophisticated girls who calls a bun a "chignon" and wears Chanel No. 5, it's never going to happen.

I don't just think smelling like a cake would be nice -- I actively seek it out. I think about it at length. If I were a talking head on a television show, the little caption underneath my face could say "Smelllikeacakeologist." In general, am obsessed with scent and fragrance, and I browse for fun.

All of this became even more pronounced when I quit smoking several years ago. (I started smoking when I was about 13 years old, and decided, way back then, that I would quit when I was 26. It's bizarre, I know.) An unexpected bonus? These days, I can actually smell things!

So the search for the perfect cake perfume was on. And it's not just me who wants to smell this way. How else can you explain the overwhelming success of perfumes like Pink Sugar? Also, Emily has the exact same problem.

More good news: Perfume isn't your only option for sweet candy-scented skin. You can layer a combination of scents, from soap to body lotion, hair products to moisturizer, all resulting in a gooey mix of cakey goodness.

Here are some of my favorite products to transform myself into a walking gâteau. (I love a word with a circumflex!)

Pink Cotton Confection by Philosophy

This is one of those limited releases (boo, hiss!) that is worth hunting all over the place for. This body wash is the best possible interpretation of cotton candy: It's sweet but light, and not cloying at all. They make a body lotion in the same scent and it is glorious.

Another one of Philosophy's products worth keeping an eye out for is their Hop Into Spring set. It has 3 body washes: Sugar Chick, Chocolate Bunny and Frosted Cookie. If you don't want to smell like a chocolate bunny, you're not invited to my birthday party.

Vanille Abricot, Amour de Cacao and Vanille Extreme by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

I finally wrapped my nostrils around some of Comptoir Sud Pacifique's legendary perfumes when I was in the Lucky Scent Scent Bar in Los Angeles.

Side note: This place is worth a visit if you're in the area. It's a wonderful experience, and not just because of the infinite bottles of perfume all around you. (Hello, tattooed mustachioed shop assistant.)

Comptoir Sud Pacifique specialize in vanilla, and not that cheap, phony-smelling vanilla, either. They got the good stuff. I ended up purchasing Vanille Abricot, which smells like eating a cookie while you play with a My Little Pony.

Amour de Cacao is a rich, deep chocolate: quite sophisticated, but still delicious enough to make you want to gnaw at your arm. I still haven't managed to sniff Vanille Extreme, but everything I've heard makes it sound like the atom bomb of all vanilla perfumes.

Tigi Bed Head Candy Fixation

This entire range of hair products by Tigi Bed Head smells like candy (hence the name). I picked up Totally Baked Volumizing and Prepping Hair Meringue -- which is a fancy way of saying "mousse" -- but it really does smell like lemon meringue pie, and that's exactly how I want my hair to smell. I'd probably score it a 5/10 on the effectiveness scale, it is certainly not the most volumizing product I have ever used, but the SCENT!

In the same range, they also have Sugar Shock Hair Bodifying Sugar Spray and Mega Whipped Marshmallow Hair Texturizer. Honestly, "Sugar Shock"? Sign me up!

I took a photo of this mixer at Georgetown Cupcakes. That shit could make me start baking.

Let Them Eat Cake perfume by Tokyo Milk

Tokyo Milk's perfume range is relatively new and it's all quite "foody." Perfume snobs call these "gourmand" scents, but that just means it smells like something you want to eat. Let Them Eat Cake doesn't just have a fabulous name, it smells jolly good too: a mix of sugar cane, coconut milk, vanilla orchid and white musk. I Want Candy is another of their perfumes, and it's a bit lighter, smacking of apples, peaches, violets and roses.

Coconut Cream lip balm and Whipped Coconut Tahitian Vanilla organic body cream by Treat

Treat is a little company based in Oregon who make incredible products. They're all paraben-free and even better, they actually do what they say they'll do on the label.

I am a complete lip balm junkie, and even though I have tried EVERYTHING that gets touted as "the best," from paw-paw ointment to rosebud salve to Carmex to Fresh Sugar lip treatment, none of it really makes a difference. Treat's Coconut Cream lip balm is a legit MIRACLE.

It comes in a jumbo tube -- hey, more bang for your buck -- and applying just a bit at night will result in PERFECTLY smooth and lovely lips come morning-time. In fact, you'll still have some balm left on your mouth.

I always always always use their lip balm before applying any lipstick or lip color. Put it on and leave it five or 10 minutes while you do something else, then blot and put your lipstick over the top. The result? No flakes and beautifully even lip color.

Of course, lip balm is a two-way street: It can only do its job if you do yours. This means exfoliate your lips! I use my Clarisonic but a wash cloth or a sugar scrub (yum) will do the trick too.

Treat's Whipped Coconut Tahitian Vanilla organic body cream, if you're not already exhausted from simply reading the name, is my go-to hand lotion. I keep it on my desk and rub it into my dry little paws whenever I need to, and it instantly softens 'em up.

From the label: "What makes it so delicious? Tamanu oil deep conditions the skin, organic whipped coconut soothes and calms inflammation, phytonutrient rich kiwi seed oil helps to heal dry, damaged skin."

In short: both products work and both products smell incredible, like taking a tropical holiday.

Vanillary perfume, Honey I Washed The Kids soap, and Rock Star soap by Lush Cosmetics

Vanillary is one of my favorite vanilla perfumes of all time. It's deep and complicated but also really easy to wear. I think it can be a little heavy when it's really hot outside, but it's perfect in winter. It somehow manages to smell incredible on pretty much everybody, too.

Vanillary has great staying power and it also comes in small sizes: great for the indecisive or if you don't feel like making a massive investment. In fact, even the huge bottles aren't very expensive. Love that.

Honey I Washed The Kids soap smells like honey and caramel and all good sweet things. I used to manage a Lush Cosmetics shop in a past life, and customers always said they wanted to eat a piece of this! Not something I would advise unless you're going for Rabid Chic, but that should give you an impression of just how sweet it is.

Rock Star soap gives a major dose of vanilla, though I would swear there is a teeny bit of raspberry -- or something -- in there, too. This soap is bright pink, which of course makes me love it even more, and the smell will permeate your entire bathroom. Insanely good.

If you're a fan of Rock Star, Lush's Creamy Candy bubble bar smells exactly the same. It makes a killer bubble bath, or you can break off chunks of it and throw it into the washing machine! I used to use it instead of detergent. (What can I say? I had a house full of bubble bars and no bathtub.) Bonus: candy-scented knickers.