So Lady Gaga’s first fragrance, Fame, debuted late last week. Even though I knew there was no way in hell Coty would let her make something that smelled of “blood and semen” (I read Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent, which includes the story of SJP’s journey to her Lovely perfume!) I was interested in smelling what Gaga & co had to offer. I traipsed down to Macy’s, spritzed it and rolled my eyes. Not only is it insanely fruity like a Bath & Body Works lipgloss I loved in jr. high, its drydown is so sweetly unassuming that it just doesn’t reconcile itself with its outlandish creator. Though the copy claims it contains notes of “belladonna and nightshade,” all I smelled was a honey apricot with a bit of jasmine. Disappointing.
Every celebrity on earth seems to have a fragrance nowadays - Tim McGraw, Avril Lavigne, Snooki, Heidi Klum - and most of them are pure dreck, cheaply assembled and focus group-tested to death. They’re fruity patchouli or fruity floral and they’re BORING. And hilarious; have you SEEN Mariah Carey’s Lollipop Bling collection? Gag me. But there are celebrity fragrances that DON’T suck and I seem to have accidentally assembled a collection of them.
Britney Spears Curious - I paid approximately $15 for this a few years ago at a TJ Maxx and revisited it this week. It’s no Fracas, but it’s simple and pretty and blooms in the heat. I could smell it on myself for most of the day. Fantasy is Britney’s most popular scent, but Fantasy is actually heinous. Curious is totally worth $15, and Believe ain’t bad either.
J. Lo Glow - I wore this in jr. high and last summer, when it was a million degrees and I was a sweaty mess, purchased it again because when I wore it, I radiated a clean but still kinda sexy, well, glow. Miami Glow, which smells like summer but not pina coladas, is also great. One of the best-selling celeb scents for good reason.
Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights - This perfume is downright weird in the realm of celeb scents. It smells like a classic Oriental, like Shalimar or Emeraude. Obviously Jessica (who I love) had nothing to do with any of her scents besides sniffing a strip and saying “That’s nice,” but this one is a shocker. I seriously can’t wait to wear it come fall. (And it was $10 at Marshalls.) Perfume critics love it but chicks who recreationally buy celeb fragrances don’t get it. Kudos, Jess.
Kate Walsh Boyfriend - The chick who played Dr. Addison on Grey’s Anatomy has a perfume. I mean, they’re HANDING these things out. But Boyfriend is so awesome! Walsh seems to have a real interest in perfume, because Boyfriend is an interesting (for a celeb perfume, anyway) woodsy amber that smells both feminine and masculine. The packaging is terrible, but the scent inside is one of my favorite warm & cozy fall perfumes.
Honorable mentions, aka Celebrity Perfumes That Don’t Make Me Want to Hack: Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely & Covet, Tim McGraw