This is Sweet Bu: a shoebox-sized candy shop tucked into a corner of Trancas County Market, within throwing distance of Malibu Beach. It’s maybe 200 square feet, but you can easily lose an hour in there, as I did yesterday when I stopped in in search of some gummy sushi (yes) for my daughter’s fifth birthday.
The shop is a full-on Wonka paradise, packed from floor to ceiling with everything from sweet retro favorites (Bubble Tape! Abba Zabba!) to candy-themed toys and gifts to bespoke, surfboard-shaped dog biscuits packed into mason jars and tied with jaunty ribbons (this is Malibu, remember). In the weeks before she opened the doors last year, the owner (and my friend), Melissa Smith, took her two children around to local antique shops, stocking up on vintage signs and old-school gumball machines to give the store the vibe of the beloved neighborhood hangout that it’s since become.
So I went in, picked up my gummy sushi (above, squee), some Hubba Bubba, and a CandyLand board game (BEST), and was all about to check out when I noticed how truly phenomenal Melissa smelled – no small feat when you’re virtually surrounded by things that also happen to smell quite wonderful themselves, like…you know…chocolate.
Have I mentioned how much I love it when I discover things that I think are my own personal holy-shit-this-is-awesome discoveries, and then later discover that I am completely justified in this reaction, because it turns out the thing I allegedly “discovered” is actually a legit cult classic?
I wouldn’t say Sweet Bu’s perfume oil is a cult classic on the national scale (ahem, *yet*), but it turns out that a solid 50% of the people who walk into Melissa’s store in search of some Sour Patch Kids walk out with a vial of her signature scent.
Let me be clear: If I were to walk into a candy store and see that they were selling a signature perfume oil, I would not expect it to be good. I would expect it to smell like a perfume I would have geeked out over at Rite Aid in 1989 because it was packaged in a plastic glitter heart and dispensed with, like, a bubble wand.
But this oil smells like summer in a bottle. Like sand, and sunscreen, with the lightest hint of coconut and vanilla – and it’s only $25. Oh! And it layers really nicely with my Riddle oil (I checked), as well as the other body oils I keep in my personal fight-the-scaliness arsenal (vitamin E, coconut, and jojoba).
TL;DR: Buy Sweet Bu Perfume Oil here – and let me know what you think?! Curious to hear whether you’re as obsessed as I am.