It’s been 20 years since French designer Thierry Mugler launched his seminal perfume, Angel. The fragrance’s rich praline, vanilla and caramel notes (it makes you feel like “eating up” the wearer, Mugler once said) were a revelation in 1992, inspiring sweet-flavoured, delectable scents to become a keystone of mainstream perfume. However, our love of foodie fragrances was realised long before Mugler made the connection.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
Edible ingredients such as dried fruits and honey were used in the first perfumes of ancient Egypt, while coriander, almond, and parsley were also among the more palatable elements used in fragrance some 4,000 years ago. “Taste and smell are most definitely linked,” confirms Rhydian Gwynn Jones, a perfumer at London’s incredibly chic Illuminum Fragrance Lounge. “Smell is the keenest of our senses. It’s connected to emotion: when you smell something for the first time, the experience is locked in the limbic system [upper part of the brain] and you go back immediately to that experience when you smell it again. It can be very comforting if the memory is your mother’s kitchen or a chocolate shop in Paris,” he adds.