Celebrity Perfumes? Worth the shelf space?

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 14 - 2012

When was the last time you discovered a really good celebrity perfume?  I can tell you mine… it was such a relief to discover that it wasn’t completely shit and I will totally hold my hands up to totally buying it because of the celebrity it was associated with.  The fragrance was Covet, by SJP and I hugely appreciated the vintage, vegetal, and quite sharp opening that grabbed me, shook me violently and screamed “LOOK, I’M NOT YOUR USUAL CELEBRITY PERFUME!”

It’s true, I find Covet to be the least celebrity, celebrity perfume I’ve ever smelled and perhaps that’s why I hold it in such high regard.  It’s a love it or hate it scent and if I’m honest, the majority of people I’ve introduced to it, hate it.  But, it’s not the usual celebrity mainstay of vanilla, fruit, caramel, and air.  And that’s got to stand for something, reflecting the quirkiness that SJP posesses herself – you smell it, and you can see that there was some real thought put into its creation.

This is what I find so irritating about celebrity perfumes.  I’m not opposed to the idea of them, but I am opposed to the laziness and disregard for the people who might actually want to purchase them.  It’s a privilege to find yourself in a position where you can put your name to something that will represent you on the shelves of every high street in the land, why waste the opportunity? *cough* Lady Gaga *cough*.

Imagine if these celebrity fragrances really did reflect the (stereotyped – of course!) celebrity behind it?  How amazing would that actually be?  A Bear Grylls Cologne? (woody, animalic?), Stephen Fry (cherry tobacco (though I believe he gave up smoking a few years ago), whisky, books!), Julie Andrews (spoonful of sugar?), Meryl Streep (oooh that would be tricky!).

Who would you like to see represented in a fragrance?  And whose wouldn’t you buy?!  Do you have a favourite Celebrity fragrance?

23 Responses to “Celebrity Perfumes? Worth the shelf space?”

  1. I have a soft spot for Hilary Duff’s With Love! Such a beautiful old-world bottle and nothing cutesy and teenage in it at all. Was awesome.

    Lady Gaga “Fame” smells like cocaine and hairspray.

  2. Anna Belsham says:

    I actually really like the original Christina Aguilera perfume, am on my 2nd bottle now. I do draw the line at Paris Hilton scents though! I always find it amusing browsing the perfume part of the beauty section in TK Maxx – who knew that Danielle Steele and Celine Dion had released perfumes…

  3. Beauty Box says:

    Yeah SJP definitely took her perfumes seriously though her last one…I wasn’t so sure…the packaging was loud which was a departure from her signature understated style.

  4. Anitacska says:

    I love Harajuku G by Gwen Stefani. Although I quite like her, I never bought the perfume because of her, but because its scent. It’s really nice. I also got the winter version of it. ♥

  5. I like some of Britney’s. I’m not even ashamed. I adore Britney and bought them all because I love her so much. Some of them are godawful. Fantasy is godawful. It smells like a fairy baking a cake with her pet unicorn. My six year old rather likes it, and that’s fair enough. I love Radiance though, please nobody knock it, because I adore it. It is just so simple and pretty. It doesn’t smell particularly expensive, but it does smell clean and feminine, and there are worse things than smelling clean and feminine.

    Lady Gaga’s is dreadful. I was actually gobsmacked at how dreadful it is. I think it would be better if it DID smell of blood and semen. Possibly. :-) x

  6. Phoebe says:

    Deinitely agree that they all seem to end up smelling very similar. Going to have to confess to loving Britney Spears perfumes though. Her first one is among my favourites!


  7. Kiki says:

    I have to say I don’t really buy into celebrity fragrances at all. For some reason they’re offputting to me and I don’t even get as far as to smell them.

  8. Bora says:

    Did you ever try the Alan Cumming “Cumming” fragrance? (The name absolutely makes me cringe, but fair deuce it IS actually his real name!) It was a celebrity fronted fragrance that seemed totally in line with his real personality, adventurous and really well done, all smokey peaty warm loveliness. Also the Tilda Swinton fronted “Like This” by Etat Libre D’Orange is really lovely and again seems authentic to her. Both unconventional celebrities, and unconventional scents.

    • Alan Cumming “Cumming”???? Get out! That can’t exist! Oh my goodness that is so funny, I hope it smells better than it sounds!

      • Wordbird says:

        He’s totally making a joke with the name – you should see the video he made to promote it, it’s absolutely hilarious. He is absolutely taking the micky out of himself and all other celebrity perfumes – for example, the shower gel was called Cumming in the Shower and the soap was Cumming in a bar… Utterly British tongue-in-cheek jollity. :-)

        It was discontinued, but has since been re-released and slightly tweaked (ha!) by the famous US perfumer Christopher Brosius. It’s now called Second Cumming and he donates a massive chunk of profits to charities.

        I’ve tried it – it’s lovely and smells of scotch whisky, peat, a little tobacco, a little pine. Very very nice. A ‘proper’ masculine fragrance from a niche perfumer.

        Similarly, Tilda Swinton and Rossy de Palma both collaborated with niche perfumers Etat Libre d’Orange to create really good, very elegant and wearable fragrances.

  9. Sabine says:

    I actually shamefully admit I like Britney’s first one. Can’t stand her, but the perfume is nice. But in general I find celebrity perfumes very meh. Too sweet, too sickly and too synthetic. They all remind me of a cheap copy of Poison by Dior, and I hated that one.

  10. Jamie says:

    I don’t own any celebrity fragrances, but I’m not gonna lie, Britney Spears has some nice fragrances. My favorite fragrance of hers is ‘Believe’ even though it wasn’t very popular when it was released.

  11. Christy says:

    I don’t own any celebrity fragrances, but I think Jennifer Lopez does some nice ones. Glow was good and Deseo was really quite nice. In fact, I might have to get some as I remember really liking the sample I had!

  12. Jorid says:

    I really like the “celebrity fragrance” made for Tilda Swinton by the French niche house Etat Libre d’Orange. It’s called “Like this” and smells like spices, buttery pumpkin and just very ORANGE. It’s really different from the sort of celebrity frags you can find at boots and superdrug though. Among those I quite like Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Lovely”, it’s similar to the Narciso Rodriguez fragrance, but nicer (to me) and much cheaper.

  13. I love Kate Moss ‘Kate’ and Victoria Beckham ‘Intimately Beckham for Her’ but interestingly I didn’t buy either of them for myself as I always assume celebrity perfumes will smell like Britney Spears ‘Fantasy’ which actually made me feel sick when I got spritzed with it by an eager friend.

  14. Krystal says:

    I too like the first “Curious” by Britney Spears. It’s a really identifiable scent though, so I’m hoping it’s been out long enough now that the tweens have stopped wearing it and I can wear it out without somebody immediately knowing I bought a bottle of perfume with Britney Spears on the box…

  15. Erin says:

    I really like a couple. J Lo’s Live Luxe is one of my favorite scents of all time (though I’m not even sure its still being made), and I’ll admit to liking Katy Perry’s Purr, for more than just the bottle. I’ve also got a sample of Beyonce’s Heat and I like that quite a bit. But I do think that there are SO MANY of them that its hard to keep straight, or even tell the difference between some of them.

  16. Wordbird says:

    I did a wide-ranging test of celebrity perfumes for a dare. I had been joking for too long about ‘who the hell would want to smell like Paris Hilton’s Can Can?’

    It’s all down to the target audience. A lot of the mainstream fragrances aimed at ‘teenyboppers’ are very sweet and fruity, they can be frankly cloying to more mature sniffers (like me).

    But when I tried perfumes from celebrities in my own age group – Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Anniston, even Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss, I found I’d hit a rich vein. Yes, there’s a lot of a very particular type of woody musk going on, yes some (I’m looking at you, Kylie!) can be rather sweet, while others (SJP’s Lovely take a bow) are corkingly good and would give anything on a department store’s perfume counters a run for their money.

    Among the perfume community (yes, there are perfumistas and fragonerds out there, just like there are foundationaholics – don’t judge me!), there are plenty of celebuscents that get respect. SJP’s Lovely is massive, Hilary Duff’s With Love gets a lot of love (nice woody base gives it some elegance); JLo’s range get’s a woohoo, especially her Miami Glo; and Kate Walsh’s Boyfriend is very well received (she’s the actress who plays Addison Montgomery/ Dr Dreamy’s ex-wife in Gray’s Anatomy and Private Practice, the spin-off). (She brought out a flanker called Billionaire Boyfriend though and that isn’t so popular.)

    If you think about it, why should dress designers be any better at choosing perfume than actresses or singers? Yves St Laurent and Coco Chanel were dress designers, not perfume noses. There’s a lot of snobbery about perfumes and while the cheapest perfumes are often made with less expensive ingredients than would be used by niche perfume houses like L’Artisan Parfumeur or Parfums d’Empire, if you like something, wear it.

  17. mary says:

    I have SJP Lovely, it’s the only celeb scent I own. I wanted to like Madonnas Truth or Dare, but it was just an overly sweet cake vanilla on me. I really dislike the cheap, chemical fruity florals that are everywhere. The sound of Stephen Fry (cherry Tobacco) sounds wonderful…if only fragrance projects with celebrities were as interesting as that!

  18. Kelly says:

    I love a few of the Harajuku Lovers perfumes, otherwise I tend to avoid celeb perfumes as they seem sickly sweet

  19. Eva says:

    I’m actually a big fan of sickly cloying sweet scents so I find I usually love loads of celebrity fragrances. I will happily hold my hands up and admit I love Paris Hilton’s perfumes, I owned her original when it first came out when I was still in my teens and it was the only fragrance I wore for such a long time so the smell of that perfume is pure nostalgia to me!

  20. Wordbird says:

    Charlotte, I have a bottle of Covet going begging. Would you like it? Email me your address and I’ll send it to you. x

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