Food chefs have long known that the quickest path to a gourmand’s stomach involves sight and smell. Thus, presentation and aroma play a critical role in whetting the appetite not only for restaurateurs, but for candy makers as well. There’s nothing like the smell of sweet chocolate to get consumers to open up their pocketbooks.

Moreover, the sense of smell can trigger powerful memories, be it childhood recollections of mom in the kitchen, Dad’s special Sunday cologne or a freshly cut lawn.

Well, thanks to BENEO’s research and development team, Alpi, a confectionery company in Bulgaria, has developed a sugar-free, fragrance-transmitting candy. By working closely with the functional ingredients supplier and using BENEO’s Candy Innovation Matrix, Alpi developed a rose-scented boiled sweet called Deo.

Thus, not only does one taste the rose flavor, but the consumer then exudes a rose fragrance that is actually transmitted through the skin. According to BENEO, all of this is made possible by the ingredient geraniol, an acrylic monoterpene-alcohol, which is a colorless liquid found in plants such as rose, lavender and vanilla.

This form of geraniol is a natural antioxidant and its fragrance, once consumed as a candy, leaves the body through the pores, creating a naturally sweet smell that can last for hours.
By the way, this type of science is called nutricosmetics (nutritional supplements that can support the function and the structure of the skin).
Although Deo is the first perfume sweet available in Europe, the concept first surfaced in Japan, “where experts researched the idea and confirmed that fragrance was released through the skin as a result of the consumption of geraniol,” says BENEO.

If all this sounds too freaky, keep in mind that garlic does the same thing ― and I ought to know. Garlic’s strong-smelling sulfur compounds form allyl methyl sulfide, which cannot be digested and is eventually excreted through the skin. (So that’ s why vampires stay away!).

As Wim Dries, area sales manager, for BENEO, points out, “Many people like garlic, and it’s especially popular in European diets, but the tell-tale smell lingers for some time after a meal. Deo is the perfect antidote.”

One can’t help but think of the sensual possibilities. Aside from such obvious aromas like lavender and vanilla already mentioned, might there be coconut and caramel offerings in the future?

Of course, I’m not sure what it’s like to walk around smelling like a rose. Having been in elevators where women ― and men ― have splashed a bit too much of a perfume and/or cologne, it can be overwhelming.

Still, I remain excited about this melding of nutricosmetics and confectionery. It highlights breakthrough thinking about sweets.
And since we’re on the topic of unconventional confections, I wanted to bring your attention to Tara Simon’s Sticky Pig candied bacon treats ( The self-proclaimed Bacon Vixen taught herself how to cook watching public television cooking shows and then opted to create a most curious confection.
Now I recognize pairing bacon with chocolate isn’t new; Vosges haut-Chocolate made quite a splash for itself when it introduced its Mo’s Bacon Bar several years ago. Nevertheless, Simon does show a bit of creativity in taking the concept a bit further.
Consider the flavors: The Elvis (an entire strip of candied bacon wrapped in peanut butter, fresh banana, a hint of lemon and honey, topped with savory peanut butter icing and organic banana chip crunches), Coffee ‘n Cream, Coconut Curry Lime, Chocolate Peppermint, Raspberry Jelly Doughnut and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, to name a few.
So take a few moments out of the day and let yourself loose with some unconventional confectionery concepts. Here, let me start you off: A beet and horseradish praline.