Much ado was recently made about Prada’s new fragrance, “Candy,” which launched in August. With its bright pink packaging and youthful, flirtatious name, many wondered whether this was Prada’s nod to the tween daughters of the 1%, who in their 13-year-old glory would be looking for a sweet, vanilla smell, but wouldn’t think to spend less than $60 on it.
I was among the skeptics, but I also enjoy smelling like a cookie, so I was up for trying Candy out.
Walking into Nordstrom, I figured I would leave smelling one of two ways: sweet and delicious, but without that lingering sticky saccharine of cheaper gourmand* fragrances, or like some combination of a gum-smacking, sexting teenager, a really high-paid stripper, and Courtney Stodden.
It’s impossible to miss Candy, being decked out, as it is, in the brightest packaging on the otherwise understated department store shelves. So I took one off the rack, and I spritzed.
Prada’s ad campaign for Candy involves a short video which states, “It’s a tale of seduction. It’s always the men who are leading the women, never the women. Well, this time it’s the contrary.” Melodrama aside, that’s not the reality of Candy. Candy is not aggressive. It’s inviting, and asking to be seduced, not doing the seducing. Candy is all made up and wearing pink lingerie, lying on a pink puffy bed made of pink ostrich feathers and down, waiting to be discovered, ravished, and then possibly paid in bonbons.
It doesn’t smell anything like what I expected — I was prepared to be bombarded with sugary goodness, as if I had just walked into the kitchen of Carlo’s Bakery. Instead, it smells warm and sweet without being at all overbearing, like caramel sprinkled with baby powder. After a few minutes of standing around the perfume department sniffing my own wrist and pretending I had some other, relevant, purchasing-related reason to be there, I caught the whiff of vanilla, but with a welcome subtlety.
As far as staying power, it’s been about three hours now, and it’s still staunchly affixed to my wrists. The scent hasn’t changed much, although I will say that it doesn’t blend perfectly with my skin, so I’m now feeling a bit like there are two of us in the room: me, and my delicious friend Candy.
But I’m not mad at Candy. I’d definitely buy it, it just wouldn’t be my daily scent. It would be for special occasions, like Valentine’s Day, or Christmas, or That One Day When I Wake Up Feeling Depressed And Want To Pretend I’m Reese Witherspoon In “Legally Blonde.”
*Gourmand fragrances are exactly what they sound like: fragrances that smell like food.