Sensuous, sensual, luxurious, voluptuous, sybaritic, epicurean are comparable when they mean having to do with the gratification of the senses or providing pleasure by gratifying the senses.
Both sensuous and sensual can imply reference to the sense organs and to perceptions based on the reactions of these organs and then come very close to sensory in meaning, but more typically both apply to things of the senses as opposed to things of the spirit or intellect. In this use sensuous is more likely to imply gratification of the senses for the sake of the aesthetic pleasure or the delight in beauty of color, sound, or form that is induced while sensual (for fuller treatment see CARNAL ) tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the appetities (as of gluttony and lust) as an end in itself.
As applied to persons or their natures, sensuous often carries an implication of indifference to things of the spirit but it practically never suggests the carnality so often connoted by sensual .
Luxurious (see also LUXURIOUS 2 ) implies indulgence, often self-indulgence, in sensual or, more often, sensuous pleasures, especially pleasures that induce a pleasant languor, delightful ease, or particularly a grateful peace of mind.
Voluptuous also implies giving oneself up to the pleasures of sense but it carries a stronger implication of abandonment to such pleasure for its own sake than does luxurious; also it more frequently carries a suggestion of sensual rather than of sensuous enjoyment.
Sybaritic implies voluptuousness of an overrefined and effeminate sort; usually it suggests indulgence in the rarest and choicest foods and drinks amid surroundings calculated to charm and soothe the senses.
Epicurean may imply sensuality and voluptuousness but more often suggests sensuous rather than sensual delight in the pleasures of eating and drinking and a delicate and fastidious rather than a gross taste.