Aquolina Blue Sugar for men ~ fragrance review

Aquolina Blue Sugar cologne for men

Given the immense popularity of Pink Sugar, the only surprise is how long it took Aquolina to come up with a follow-up fragrance for men. Blue Sugar launched late last year, and takes its cues from Pink Sugar's blend of caramel and vanilla. Other notes include bergamot, tangerine leaves, star anise, ginger, licorice, patchouli, lavender, heliotrope, coriander, cedar and tonka bean.

So, how to do a cotton candy fragrance for men? Well, for starters, tone down the berries. Then, amp up the woods and spices, and add an extra dose of patchouli to give the whole thing a darker cast. That pretty much sums up the story of Blue Sugar, which manages to retain the caramelized sugar-candy vibe of Pink Sugar without feeling at all girly.

Blue Sugar is still sweet, mind you, but the woods temper the intensity of the sweetness, and first the heavier citrus notes, and later the lavender, lend a brisk, clean feel that is missing from Pink Sugar. Blue Sugar is also spicier than its feminine counterpart. The licorice/anise notes are especially more noticeable, so while it still smells like a dessert, it could pass for something marginally more sophisticated than cotton candy. It smells vaguely like maple sugar candy flavored with black licorice, if such a thing existed.

I don't love it, but I like it much better than Pink Sugar, which is simply too overwhelmingly sweet for my own tastes. The scorched undertones from Pink Sugar are absent, and it is decidedly more masculine, although not so much so that a woman couldn't wear it. I have seen comparisons to both Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin and Thierry Mugler A*Men, and the references are apt, but Blue Sugar is a simpler, sweeter, more youthful fragrance than either.

Blue Sugar is an Eau de Toilette and the lasting power is good. It is available now at sephora in 50 and 100 ml spray bottles.

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Parfums Raffy


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  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm trying to pretend the entire line doesn't exist. It's interesting — I have the “sweet-eating” skin that takes the edge off some overly sweet things. But Pink Sugar — as you commented yesterday, HOW do they get it so sweet?!?! Makes me want to retch.
    About this one I will say only: I am trying to imagine the target audience? Not the smell, but the name/image — would a boy buy this for himself? Gift from girlfriend who wears PS? Girlfriend buys it herself? I wondered the same thing when I saw the Be Delicious for MEn bottle — most men would find it too cutesy (a hunch confirmed by the SAs at Macy's, anyway)

  2. Anonymous says:

    The men's fragrance aisle at Sephora is so much less busy than the women's, and the same is true in most department stores…usually when I walk over to the men's counter at Nordstrom, I am the only one there. I have no idea who buys men's fragrances at all. They just spirit their way onto men's dressers, somehow? Or they're all purchased online? Obviously there are many male fragrance fans, witness basenotes, but the market must be tiny in comparison to women's.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anise AND Licorice. Ugh. :-) Thank you for writing about it, R. Now there is no danger that I would ever unknowingly spray myself and die a slow, licorice-y death.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So … you don't want my bottle of Etro Anice?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Are you trying to kill her? You'd better send it to me, I'll keep it safe, LOL…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have no love whatsoever for this scent or PS for that matter. I think I had a near death experience in an elevator where I was trapped for 15 floors with a girl who had it on. I'm still trying to recover from it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Confession time: I love A*Men and lurve Angel, but somehow I'm afraid I won't like BS. I'll try it anyway, if only to satisfy my morbid curiosity :-)

    R, as an anise fan, how did you like L'Instant PH? Don't say you didn't or else I'll kill myself!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to sniff this. However, there's no way that my husband would show any interest in something with this name. He's very spoilt with his Mazzolari and Serge Lutens :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    All elevators should come equipped with air filters, LOL…I've been nearly Angel-ed to death a few times myself.

  10. Anonymous says:

    D, I like LIPH very much — it is much better & more distinctive than the women's — and you inspired me to finally pull out my sample of LIPH Extreme, which I find I don't like so well as the regular, as it turns out.

    But please, disagreements over fragrance are not worth dying for ;-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Then I'd have to agree…BS cannot compete with Mazzolari or SL!

  12. Anonymous says:

    And adding…I don't think you'll like Blue Sugar either.

  13. Anonymous says:


    I'm guessing that the patch overdose in the Extreme was the deal-breaker, no? Anyway, glad to see your stamp of approval on my HG, LOL!

  14. Anonymous says:

    It is true (of course) that I don't like the extra patch, but it also just smells flatter, for lack of a better word…doesn't have the same sparkle as the original. Too bad they didn't amp up the tea note instead!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Too bad indeed – the tea note is my favorite part of the scent – a delicious jasmine-scented tea with a dollop of sweet, sparkling citrus, AH, bliss :-)

    Hey, I should review it, LOL!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think I'm gonna step right up for this one and test it. I can't resist the power of Anise in any concoction a la L'Instant and Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella. Beats cinnamon everytime.

    Ah the great trick to men's scents…tempering! You can definitely ruin something by the overdose of something overly candylike in a scent. First that comes to mind is Xeryus Rouge…it's like spraying a thick layer of fruit punch flavored syrup all over yourself.

    Honestly, I'm wondering if the the candied fruity-flowery craze will ever end!?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Of course you should!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I adore Anisia Bella, and very sorry they discontinued it (not that I'm likely to ever drain my bottle).

    And all I can say about the candied fruity-flowery craze is: it ain't over yet!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Okay I'm blusing as I type this: I got a sample of Blue Sugar in my last purchase and I've worn it and not until I read this post did I know it was for men. LOL. It was actually a little to sweet for me and my parents said it smelled like cotton candy.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If this was too sweet for you, I don't think you'd like Pink Sugar :-)

  21. Anonymous says:

    I always thought, and I think they marketed it this way, that Angel Men (A*Men) was supposed to smell like cotton candy as well. Not as sweet as Blue Sugar, as a matter of fact it smells like a dry kind of sweet. I do love Blue Sugar, but I'm afraid of wearing it in the warmer months up ahead. I might smell like a huge wad of cotton candy to pesky insects.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think that is right about A*Men. And no, Blue Sugar is most definitely not going to be an easy to wear scent in very hot weather!

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