I wasn't very impressed with Ari (my sister wears it and it smells amazing on her, but it doesn't play well with my body chemistry), but now Ariana Grande has a new perfume... And my Mum has just bought it. Yes, you read that right. My Mum was shopping with me, when she saw the bottle for this with it's cute pom pom, tested it, apparently went back to Boots a few more times to test it, then ended up buying herself a bottle.
Of course I then had to test it, to see if plays well on me. I've tested it instore multiple times now, and have also filled one of those travel-sized atomizers from my Mum's bottle, to determine if this will be another frustrating failure, or a surprising win...
To my nose this new fragrance isn't as sugared vanilla sweet as Ari, despite show of the key scent notes being the same and just what the name of the new perfume made me think; Sweet Like Candy is more fruity sweet, and it has generally more of a livelier energy to it. On me the strongest note smells like apple, even though that's not listed amongst the official key notes. The bergamot is fairly developed too and adds a bit of a zest to the fragrance, and the blackberry doesn't seem overly sweet either even though it's described as being 'sugar frosted'.
The first half-hour was pretty good, but from there on out Sweet Like Candy takes a turn for the "meh"; I do find that I can't separate any floral notes at all from the fruity and 'marshmallow' [sugared vanilla] mix - there's just the same kind of powdery background to the fruits and vanilla that was in Ari, maybe I'd place a safe bet and suggest that there's some rose here? The strong fruit notes give the fragrance a fresh vibe, and prevent the lingering marshmallow, cream and vanilla base from becoming overpowering - it is sweet, but not cloyingly so.
Official scent notes: sugar frosted blackberries, pear, Italian bergamot, jasmine, cassis cream, fluffy marshmallow accord, vanilla and precious woods.
Sweet Like Candy certainly isn't anything I think of as being 'bad' and I do think it is better than Ari as it is livelier, but it still isn't even slightly original, and I do find it rather linear - all the scent notes run into each other after 20 minutes or so. Also; the longevity & sillage aren't anything to shout about [quiet and lasts around 5 hours], so I don't think it's anything to get excited over. I don't get how both of the Ariana Grande perfumes can be both so nice and clean/floraly with a sweet undertone on people like my sister and mother, but then be so very different on me - I expect them to differ a bit based on body chemistry, but the differences here are quite extreme...
Sweet Like Candy shares a fruity/sweet/powdered blueprint with many mass-marketed fragrances, but out of the most recent releases I have tried: Katy Perry Mad Love is the most similar.