I don't get it. Based on the notes (musk, vanilla, benzoin and caramel) and the rich gourmand vibe I was supposed to love Candy by Prada. Robin of NST and Victoria of Bois de Jasmin wrote very positive reviews and I know many in my fragonerd circles liked it enough to spring for a bottle. But I've gone through several samples and, as I said above, I just don't get it.
Yes, it's sweet and musky. It has some of the sweet and fuzzy characteristics I enjoy in comfort scents such as Kate Walsh Boyfriend (many thanks to JoeyBunny for putting her finger on the similarities) and Kenzo Amour. I even get that dulce de leche whiff from the caramel that makes me see why Victoria mentioned Uncle Serge's Un Bois Vanille, which I love dearly. It's all there, yet it doesn't come as well together on my skin until the very late dry-down, where the caramel-benzoin composition really reminds me of Un Bois Vanille with a fruity gummy bear twist. Until Candy reaches that point there's just some cheap sugared nothing with a side of a plastic doll and and/or scented ink in bright colors. And maybe vintage Strawberry Shortcake stickers (yes, I was a fourth grader in 1979). None of the above is bad, but it's really not how I prefer to smell.
I could probably write a thing or two about the difference between the smoky animalic vanilla of Shalimar and how sexy it was considered once upon a time; obviously, it is now replaced by this Lolita stuff. But I'll refrain because you've heard it all before. The bottom line is that Prada Candy smells to me like an almost-perfume, and not necessarily a stellar one. On the right skin it can probably be the cutest guilty pleasure. I just don't do cute.
Prada Candy ($80, 1.7 oz EDP) is available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks 5th Avenue.
Strawberry Shortcake in all her cute glory from strawberryshortcakelane.com