Beauty

What Is Pistachio Perfume? Experts Explain the Latest Trendy Scent

When fragrance brand D.S. & Durga officially made pistachio a part of its permanent collection in early 2022, it didn’t just satisfy the heavy demand for the scent to come back after its initial limited-edition drop. It kicked off what would soon become a fun—yet surprising—trend in scents that everyone would be obsessing over: a love for pistachio perfume.

“It was insanity,” David Moltz, perfumer and co-founder of D.S. & Durga, tells NewBeauty. “I’ve never seen more comments or likes [on it].” 

Gourmands have been experiencing a renaissance as of late. According to a report done by consumer trend data platform Spate, vanilla scents ranked as one of the top Google searches of 2023. Pistachio perfume experienced its highest search growth with about 104% interest just last year. Consumers, now more than ever, are hungry for sweet scents that not only smell good, but make them feel good as well. 

“These gourmand fragrances bring people a type of comfort and joy, and we know this is important to consumers,” says DSM-Firmenich perfumer Alexandra Monet. “At DSM-Firmenich, we have an industry-leading set of data, coming from extensive global research on consumer insights. Within our ‘New Next Now Barometer’ study on consumer insights, we saw that well-being is a key priority for fragrance at the moment.” 

“Pistachio isn’t even that wild of an idea—it’s just a good idea,” adds Tynan Sinks, fragrance expert and co-host of the podcast Smell Ya Later. “[It’s] a new idea in a time when everything feels like a reflection of everything else. We have enough spicy florals, give us something fun and unexpected.” 

What Inspired The Trend

D.S. & Durga’s Pistachio perfume, Moltz says, was inspired by a dark pistachio cake he once ate at a cafe in Williamsburg back in 2002. He recalls how good it tasted and sought to create a scent to replicate that happy feeling. “I remember loving how fake and not realistic it was,” he says. “The flavor always enticed me. I just made the perfume on a whim and it took off.” 

But what does it mean to smell like pistachio? Monet describes it as a sweet nutty smell, with subtle hints of almond and vanilla. She says that its soft nature lends itself nicely to be paired with pretty much everything. 

“Pistachio is an extremely faceted note,” adds Givaudan perfumer Christine Hassan. “It has a nutty roasted component, as well as a fruity, almost cherry piece [to it]. It also has earthy, green and even citrus nuances.” Hassan, whose nose is behind fragrances such as Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme, Restart and Tory Burch Electric Sky, says pistachio can be used to complement similar sweet scents or simply bring depth to the fragrance, no matter what notes are mixed in. 

The ingredient itself isn’t new either. You’ve most likely experienced the smell in other popular scents (e.g.the classic Sol de Janiero’s Sol Cheirosa ‘62), but the note really hit its stride in the past couple of years as pistachio has become more present in our everyday lives. 

“It has been a staple ingredient in global cuisine, whether in baklava or the quintessential pistachio macaron,” says Hassan. “The public has become more familiar with pistachio as it has been trending in lattes, cocktails, pastries, and even cosmetics.

Finally, it is a new way of doing nutty (going beyond almonds and coconuts) that is intriguing.” 

“It seems wherever you are eating pistachios, fun is about. I love walnuts but they don’t have that same vibration to me for some reason,” adds Moltz. “Pistachio is your vacay in Italy, Turkey, California, and beyond.” 

Wanderlust and reminiscing about fun times seem to be the key to pistachio perfume’s popularity. Mona Kattan, founder of Kayali fragrances, was inspired by a trip to Rome that she took with her sister and discovered her favorite dessert, pistachio gelato, for her own spin on her own pistachio perfume. “You automatically link them to your favorite sweet guilty pleasure,” says Kattan. “Desserts are usually considered a treat, and being able to smell like one is re-living the first bite of your favorite dessert over and over again.” 

She enlisted the help of master perfumer Olivier Cresp and his son Sebastien to create a warm gourmand that mixed fresh green notes such as bergamot and cardamom for some added spice. 

“It makes you feel like you are the dessert,” she says. “The initial reactions from the fragrance community were quite overwhelming and we’ve received so much love for it since launch so that makes me happy to see that the fragrance is still so popular after almost a year since launch.” 

Only time will tell if pistachio has the staying power to cement itself in the pantheon of fragrance note greats. But regardless, this scent has brought us beauty lovers many fun new scents that have earned permanent spots in our perfume rotation. “I think trends always bring something new to the table and it’s up to us how long we keep it around,” says Sinks. “Look at Euphoria makeup, with the face gems and the graphic eyes. We’ve moved on from that, but they’re certainly not gone. Trends come and go, but good ideas will always stick around.” 

So if this has piqued your interest in trying the buzzy note or you’re simply just looking for a new go-to scent, below are seven pistachio fragrances that will stir wanderlust and pure joy in you—just as a pistachio scent is meant to.

Top Pistachio Perfumes to Try

1 / 7

Pistachio by DS. & Durga ($210)

Made with pistachio (and more pistachio), roasted almond, and vanilla, this is a deep woody scent with a sweet roundness to it for a nice balance. It feels warm and creamy, just like a good pistachio dessert would.

BUY NOW – $210

ds and durga pistachio perfume

2 / 7

Hermes Un Jardin à Cythère Eau de toilette ($116)

Inspired by the Greek island of Kythira, this fragrance mixes notes of pistachio, olive tree, and green accord to give you an idyllic warm citrus scent. So if you can’t buy a one-way ticket to the Mediterranean to experience long summer days in a lush citrus garden, spritzing this might be the next best thing. 

BUY NOW – $116

hermes pistachio perfume

3 / 7

Daisy Love Pop by Marc Jacobs ($101)

One of Sinks’ favorite picks, Daisy Love Pop uses pistachio as a “warm, sweet, nutty accent to the bouncy fruity scent” he says. Its main notes of yuzu, kumquat, and pamplewood make for a vibrant and energized floral that’s just perfect for spring.

BUY NOW – $101

marc jacobs daisy love pistachio perfume

4 / 7

Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato 33 ($138)

“The balance between the gourmand and the fresh notes is just perfect,” says Monet of this scent from Kayali. It contains roasted hazelnut, pistachio, lily of the valley, and sandalwood for a rich sweet mix to get that pistachio gelato feel just right. 

BUY NOW – $138

kayali pistachio perfume

5 / 7

Boy Smells Italian Kush ($98)

Mixing notes of cannabis, pistachio, limoncello, and patchouli, this scent from Boy smells gives you a clean herbaceous moment to give a fresher spin on pistachio. It’s bright, energizing, and overall just lovely.

BUY NOW – $98

boy smells italian kush pistachio perfume

6 / 7

Sol de Janeiro SOL Cheirosa ‘62 ($78)

In what can only be described as pure happiness in a bottle, this scent is a delicious mix of pistachio, jasmine petals, vanilla, and salted caramel that just feels like a warm hug. You—and everyone around you—won’t be able to help but smile after one whiff.

BUY NOW – $78

sol de janeiro pistachio perfume

7 / 7

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc ($295)

Naturally, this Tom Ford scent is inspired by the age old question, “Where do you summer?” Luxe and rich, this scent combines notes of pistachio, tuberose, coconut, and amber for the ultimate warm floral that you can wear all year round to evoke the spirit of that chic summer vacay (sans the expensive yacht).

BUY NOW – $295

tom ford soleil blanc pistachio perfume

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