One Thousand Scents

Monday, June 12, 2006

False Advertising: Sticky Cake by Comme des Garçons

I'll be the first to admit that I really don't get Comme des Garçons' fragrances. I've tried only seven or eight of them, but with only one exception, they all strike me, for the most part, as deliberately strange. There's nothing at all wrong with this. Not everything can, or should, be immediately accessible. In any art form, there are going to be compositions that strike the majority of people as beautiful, and there are going to be others that require thought, deep consideration, and a rejection of previously held notions; difficult art. That's true of perfumery, as well, and I think most CdG scents fall into this category. (There's one exception, but you'll have to wait until the end of the week to find out what it is.)

If you knew that a scent was called Sticky Cake, what would you think it smells like? Sugar, vanilla, butter, honey, maybe almonds or cinnamon? Sweet is the most recent of the CdG Series scents (there are seven established series--Leaves, Red, Incense, Cologne, Sherbet, Synthetic, and Sweet--with an eighth now being released), and it contains scents that are, at least nominally, meant to evoke memories of childhood sugar-rushes.

Sticky Cake, however, confounds my expectations by being a strange, hermaphroditic floral scent, certainly not like anything from my childhood. Luckyscent lists the notes as "almond, honey, dates, pistachio, iris, milk and brown sugar infusion, ambrette seeds, cereal notes, myrrh". There's a sweet almond-honey note at the top, but it's rapidly swamped by a hard-edged and cologney, rather masculine iris note that dominates the scent for hours. Little sweet notes do bob in and out; it's not one of those bone-dry irises like Hermès Hiris. But what are irises doing in my cake? And why are there so many of them? As a grace note I could have accepted it, but this is dominated, entirely controlled, by the iris note.

It's not a terrible scent (though I don't like it), but it's so misleadingly named, so wildly out of touch with what it purports to be, that I don't know how to react to it. Sticky cake? If someone handed me a sticky cake that tastes like this smells, I'd never forgive them.



  • I'm a few years late reading your review of CdG Sticky Cake and just had to tell you it's hilarious.

    Sticky cake does not smell like any sort of cake I've ever had and I'd be pretty peeved if someone gave me a cake that tasted like this smells, too!

    Loved your review.

    By Blogger Abigail, at 11:28 PM  

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