The Basenotes Questionnaire: The Candy Perfume Boy

14th May, 2014

To kick off our brand new series, ‘The Basenotes Questionnaire’, we have the lovely Thomas Dunckley, aka Jasmine Award-winning perfume blogger, The Candy Perfume Boy.

As well as writing his popular blog, Thomas contributes to Fragrant Reviews on Twitter (‘short, snappy fragrance reviews in under 140 characters’); he is also, of course, a contributor to Basenotes and the Fragrance Expert at

1. ‘Scent’, ‘fragrance’, ‘perfume’ – which term do you prefer and why? Which do you think sounds the naffest?

I like all three to be honest and will use them all just for the sake of variety. The naffest perfumery term however, is ‘perfumista’. Whoever coined that one has a lot to answer for. I also loathe the use of ‘cologne’ or ‘aftershave’ to refer to a masculine fragrance that is neither of these things.

2. Have you ever complained about someone’s fragrance in a restaurant? More to the point, has anyone ever complained about *you*?

I’ve complained about the food in a restaurant but never a person’s fragrance. I do moan at my friends for wearing naff stuff though and if I even get a hint of Flowerbomb in the wild I am likely to make a sarcastic remark about how it is basically expensive candy floss.

As for complaints about my perfume, I’ve rarely had any. I have had the occasional dramatic coughs from coworkers when I’ve walked into a room amidst a cloud of Angel on a couple of occasions. Nobody dare argue with Angel though...

3. You must get a lot of fragrance samples. Have any been relegated to ‘bathroom freshener’ status and would you care to divulge which one(s)?

The worst sample I ever received was a bottle of Escada’s Taj Sunset. That was so awful I wouldn’t even inflict it upon on my bathroom.

4. You are given access to a Big Red Button which will zap all versions of Thierry Mugler’s Alien, both past and present, into oblivion – bar one. Which one do you choose to save? Why?

Why does this big red button exist? Why would you do this to me?! What happens if I don’t press the button? Who is going to force me? I wouldn’t want to do it but if I absolutely had to I’d choose to keep the original because I think it’s the most unusual and also because it was one of my first perfumes so I hold it in high esteem for sentimental reasons. You’re mean though, Basenotes. VERY mean.

5. Best Spring fragrance you’ve ever tried please, to recommend to our readers?

You know, I like so many spring florals it’s hard to choose. I would recommend Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia though, it’s such a light and sunny take on lilies with a hint of delicious Guerlain vanilla that is difficult not to love. Get it whilst it’s still about.

6. The Queen announces that no one person is allowed to own more than fifty fragrance bottles. Does this create a serious problem for you? Would it involve becoming a fugitive from the law?

Oh gurrl, Liz and I would throw down over this one. I’d spray her in the face with Sécrétions Magnifiques until she backed down. I’m sure Charles would help with overthrowing her...

7. What is, hands down, the weirdest fragrance in your collection?

It’s a toss up between Mugler’s Womanity and Dalí’s Laguna. The former is an odd and incredibly diffusive concoction of salty/sweet fig and shortbread, whilst the latter is iris powder and calone. Both are bizarrely beautiful if you ask me.

8. Fragrance for cats? Yes or no?

As if cats need anything to make them feel even more pampered and important! My cats smell lovely as they are, like soft musk and warm butter. If they did wear scent though, they’d be just as snobby as I am, I know that for sure.

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Basenotes would like to thank Thomas for being our first 'Basenotes Questionnaire' guinea pig, and for providing us with his entertaining and informative responses.

Look out over the next few months as we track down and subject more of the Great and the Good of the perfume world to inane, and yet profound, questioning.

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About the author: Judith Brockless

As well as working tirelessly behind the scenes at Basenotes, Judith Brockless is a Jasmine Award shortlisted writer.

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    • Jonty Coppersmith | 14th May 2014 21:50

      What in the world does "naff" mean? I didn't even know that was a word.

    • Vancini | 15th May 2014 07:21

      We 'Downunders' are led to believe that this is a term used by Britishers, made famous by Princess Anne, in the 1970s, to denote vulgarity. This means ubiquitous or slightly vulgar,dear.

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 16th May 2014 07:24

      Nice interview! And just the thought of Candy Perfume Boy going mano-a-mano with HER HIGHNESS in defense of wardrobe freedom - well - it was worth it! :evil:

    • Primrose | 20th May 2014 06:48

      Great interview! I love Candy Perfume's blog and like his articles.

    • Get Lippie | 21st May 2014 14:07

      Oh Thomas, that Alien response did make me laugh. Basenotes are indeed EVIL BARSTEWARDS.