Why does your sugar smell like perfume? It may have brushed shoulders with a scented candle. Sugar sucks up aromas like a sponge; even if it’s sealed, sugar will take on the scent of any strongly scented item in its vicinity. The scent of the dish soap on the scoop or measuring cup can make its way into sugar too, says papawow. And sugar stored near a scented candle or air freshener will likely get unpleasantly perfumey, says dfrostnh. This scent-sucking quality of sugar has a positive side, though: Sugar can easily be flavored with nice things that are much more appetizing than air freshener. “I’ve made rose geranium sugar simply by burying a few leaves in a container of sugar,” says dfrostnh.

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