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Eau de Parfum

PRE-ORDER: Ships from NYC next week!

Oh my, how gorgeous is this perfume. Annabel’s Birthday Cake is a baroque gourmand of extravagant gateau hung with white and pink frosting. Heliotrope and tuberose frosting tumbles down the sides, piped mounds and rosettes dusted in lemon sugar, decorated in ornate sugar roses. That just fresh out the oven aroma blurred with the most perfect dash of giddy tuberose.

Cake-style gourmands have come a long way over the years from overdoses of ethyl-vanillin brushed with synthetic chocolate and the phantom of indolic white blooms. They weren’t considered serious compositions, more as novelties. But then the appreciation of real vanilla, the leathered oily sheath, sticky with boozy orchid-stained black seeds kicked in, perfumers like Mona Di Orio, Bertrand Duchaufour, Annick Ménardo, Marie Salamagne and the perfumes of Guerlain, Mancera, Maison Tahiti, Montale and Comptoir Sud Pacifique all demonstrated the many moods and moreish facets of vanilla.

Annabel’s Birthday Cake is named for Annabel Gat, the astrologer and tarot card reader for Vice Magazine, a liberal punky social commentary publication covering arts, lifestyle and politics.

Vanillic patisserie, gateaux vibes and cake batter; comforting and delicious. The echoes of childhood and baking, mothers and cosy kitchens are powerful mood drivers. When selling a house, an oft-repeated suggestion is warming up drops of real vanilla essence in the oven before home viewings. Visitors are subliminally manipulated by the scent of comfort.

Balloons are listed in the top notes of Annabel’s Birthday Cake. While whimsical and a bit mad, it is a witty and clever addition to the other notes, a suggestion of squeak and synthetic rubber that prevents the perfume from being overly sugared. One of the problems with patisserie bakey-cakey gourmands has been a habit of relying over-synthetic ingredients, resulting in sickly formulae and the olfactive equivalent of sweeteners like NutraSweet and Splenda.

Everyone has a memory-archived odour if you mention the smell of balloons. Add a fancy cake and candles, off-key singing, the promise of indulgent icing and it is simple enough to imagine this as a scentscape. With Annabel’s Birthday Cake, Marissa Zappas has created an indulgent gourmand with sensuality and heartfelt fun.


  • Heliotrope, Lemon Sugar, Balloons
  • Candied Rose Petals, Tuberose Frosting, Fresh-out-the-oven Cake
  • Honey Comb, Roasted Tonka, Cocoa Absolute

Perfumer: Marissa Zappas, 2021

inci list: Alcohol, benzaldehyde, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, cashmeran, citral, coumarin, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, iso e super, lemon oil, rose ketones

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