If you’ve spent any time on #PerfumeTok, then chances are you’ve come across one of the most lauded body oil brands — Brown Sugar Babe.
The brand, which began as a hobby for making fragrances, has morphed into body scrubs and oils that have literally had the internet in shambles — in the best way possible. We have Maekaeda Gibbons to thank for that. She began concocting body care recipes out of her Atlanta home, and although Gibbons did not know it at the time, her fascination for creating new (and inspired) scents and discovering her connection to fragrance would propel her to lay the foundation for an entire body care brand.
Friends and family started asking for the formulas, and eventually, she realized she had bonafide business on her hands.
“Inspired by” many luxury creations, Brown Sugar Babe offers perfume oils, body scrubs and body oil dupes for popular scents such as Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (MFK), Parfums De Marly’s Delina Exclusif, Kilian Paris’ Love don’t be shy and Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry. They’re dupes, as in fragrances that are nearly identical to popular perfumes — and they’re being sold for a fraction of the price of the real deal, so you can wear them on their own, or layer them with the accompanying scent.
And it’s safe to say, the girlies are loving it.
However, Gibbons’ love affair with scents started long before she even made her first oil. “[It] began when I was about ten years old,” she says. “My mother wore a particular fragrance and when she was not around I would get really happy when I got a whiff of it. Looking back at those moments now, I now realize it was a self-soothing practice when I missed her.”
For Black women, that self-soothing that we do, is part of the reason why radical self-care is essential to our wellbeing. But often we don’t carve out more time for ourselves to indulge in these moments. Brown Sugar Babe is helping women take these moments everyday — even if it’s something as small as slathering your body each day with your favorite perfume-inspired body oil. “I think selfcare is an essential practice for all Black women, in whatever ways that looks like for each individual,” she says. “Aromatherapy and fragrance is one of the simplest ways to create a selfcare pattern for yourself. Being in the presence of a pleasing aroma is one of the surest ways to boost your mood. Overall though, making sure we all make intentional time for the things that bring us peace and joy should be really high on our to-do list every day.”
Despite the success that Gibbons has found — especially through promoting her products on social media, she had no roadmap for being an entrepreneur—especially a Black female founder navigating emerging growth; so she created her own. “I formulated the Nourishing Body Oil on my own through years of searching for a non lotion option for moisturizing my skin,” she shares. “The Original Blend fragrances are also my creations as well.”
Unconsciously beginning to unlock her purpose, the concept for Brown Sugar Babe was born. “Some of my fondest memories ever were listening to R&B and neo soul music with friends in high school,” she recalls. “One of my favorite artists of all time is D’Angelo. To honor my love for music and fragrance I combined these two things in the most obvious way. The name of the company is my favorite song by my favorite artist and I also kept the theme going by naming some of fragrances popular R&B songs. Music and fragrance have a lot in common in my opinion. They both trigger memories and could also have a calming effect on you if done correctly.”
Beyond sparking a feel-good experience during your skincare routine, Gibbons is most proud of the impact that the brand is making on the fragrance community and how they’ve begun to reinvent the way you can experience luxury fragrances.
Through its customer connectivity, product quality, and—most importantly— commitment to helping Black women practice self-care, Brown Sugar Babe is redefining luxury body care, and our beauty routines are much better for it.