I most associate this smell with packaged Italian cornettos, but I just encountered it with some panini bread. The panini aren’t sweet at all, and I haven’t noticed it in any other baked good, so I assume it’s not just a natural smell of the dough, nor an additive for aroma, but perhaps related to preservation.
I’d describe the smell as intensely sweet, with a hint of alcohol. Below, I’ll include the translated list of ingredients of the panini. I’d be most grateful for an explanation!
Ingredients: enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacine, thiamine), water, olive oil, yeast, sugar, vinegar, disodiumdiphosphate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, calcium phosphates, salt, citric acid, calcium propionate, wheat starch
The intense odor you are experiencing in panini bread, is likely attributed to the preservation methods used in these products. The fermentation process that occurs when yeast is used in bread-making can produce alcohol as a byproduct. This could contribute to the hint of alcohol-like scent you perceive. If the bread gets contaminated during storage, the remaining sugars may still be fermented to yield the alcohol-like scent perhaps during storage.