Celebrity perfumes. Yes, seriously, and no- nothing to do with the 1987 ad for Dynasty perfumes (Carrington and Forever Krystle). Celebrity perfumes today are usually little more than slapping a famous name on a cheap formula out of a catalog, one that is supposed to appeal to a large chunk of said celeb's fan base. Since I assume that most readers of this blog are not likely to be One Direction or Justin Bieber fans, it's safe to say that we're not exactly the target consumer and the products were not designed to entice us. But here and there you can actually find a gem among them, and occasionally (fine: rarely) there's actually a celebrity who participates in the creative process and the results can be really really good.
I'm not claiming to be an expert on celebrity fragrances. I readily admit that I never sniffed more than one or two Paris Hilton perfumes, and I've never bothered with any of the masculines (Donald Trump, Jay Z, Sean John, Antonio Banderas). A couple of the one I'm listing here have been discontinued for a very long time. Still, they're worth seeking out and trying. One last thing: what I consider "celebrity perfume" is a fragrance that was deliberately created as part of a living celeb's personal brand. Thus, Tilda is in and Josephine Baker is out, and I'm not including perfumes that were fronted by a celebrity as a spokesperson (Revlon Scoundrel ads featured Joan Collins, Brad Pitt for Chanel No.5 or Charlize Theron for J'adore).
In no particular order:
- Catherine Deneuve- Deneuve. This glorious green floral chypre was the result of a collaboration between Catherine Deneuve and Avon, an odd marriage that never succeeded commercially, to the utter heartbreak for those of us who love this mostly extinct style of perfumery.
- Cher- Uninhibited. As expected, the perfume was larger than life in an attention grabbing bottle and an 80s feel. The sillage lasts to this day.
- Etat Libre d'Orange and Tilda Swinton- Like This. Pumpkin and immortelle, sex appeal, and comfort. As good as Tilda herself.
- Sarah Jessica Parker- Covet. This was a complete flop. The unique combination of green notes, chocolate, and lavender didn't seat well with the general public, and the utterly unisex with masculine leanings juice was a bad fit for the girly bottle.
- Kate Walsh- Boyfriend. A fuzzy and cuddly skin and cashmere scent. It's officially discontinued now but incredibly easy to find online.
- Jennifer Lopez- Miami Glow. Originally this was a limited edition summer flanker of the perennial J.Lo Glow. But the beachy coconut-vanilla-musk became a cult favorite and was brought back. It's a cheap thrill that's fun and easy to wear in the summer.
- Hilary Duff- With Love. Speaking of cheap thrills, it's hard to remember that Hilary Duff was a mega celeb once. I don't know how well this spicy woody and rather gender-neutral did on the shelves, but nowadays you can find a bottle for under $20 (and sometimes under $10). Nevertheless, it's a gem.
- CB I Hate Perfume & Alan Cumming- Second Cumming. Fire, scotch, leather, and probably some unmentionables. You shouldn't expect any less from Cumming and Brosius.
- Elizabeth & James- Nirvana Black. The Olsen Twins released this creamy woody almost incensy little thing under one of their fashion labels. For those who remember the first Mary-Kate & Ashley perfumes on all their lollipop glory this couldn't be a bigger surprise.
- Givenchy- L'Interdit. Hubert de Givenchy commissioned this soft floral perfume for his friend and muse Audrey Hepburn, making this literally a celebrity scent: a fragrance made for the actress according to her taste and wishes. Initially Hepburn forbade Givenchy from releasing it commercially, but eventually relented and even agreed to appear in advertisements.
What am I missing? Is there a Paris Hilton or a Snooki perfume I need to try?