Celebrity fragrances (or ‘celebuscents’ as I like to call them) are so often the scorn of the perfume industry. Mainly because most are simply extra vehicles for our dear ‘celebrities’, a term which must be used loosely for a lot of the stars releasing perfumes these days, to make extra cash. After all, what’s easier than putting your name on a bottle of something you’ve had little involvement in creating?
But not all celebrities are in it for a quick buck and over the years we’ve seen a number of good celebuscents join the foray. Etat Libre d’Orange’s collaborations with the weird and wonderful Tilda Swinton and Rossy de Palma are notable examples, Madonna’s Truth or Dare was nicely done and even Britney Spears’ Fantasy has a degree of merit to it (I dare you to disagree that it is the perfect fruity floral cupcake scent). And then of course there is Dita Von Teese – the antidote to the world of naff celebrity scents and Dr. C. Perfume Boy is prescribing two big doses today.
Dita came to the rescue with her first perfume ‘Dita Von Teese‘ (sometimes referred to as ‘Femme Totale’) in 2012, a perfectly decent floral-patchouli affair that puts most of its contemporaries to shame. We shouldn’t be surprised though, as Dita is known for exuding glamour and style, and her perfumes certainly follow suit. This year sees the launch of Dita’s third and fourth perfumes – FleurTeese and Erotique, both of which show the Queen of Burlesque’s passion for fragrance
I can’t believe it but it’s the end of 2012 already, which means that it’s time for us perfume bloggers to put together our lists of the very best and very worst perfumes of the year, honestly, where did the time go?! This year I’m affectionately entitling my awards ‘The Candies’ as a short, punchy alternative to The Candy Perfume Boy Awards. Neat huh?
Across all genres there have been many interesting, exciting and unique perfumes unleashed on to the market along with the usual amount of celebrity dreck, dud flankers and down-right-bizarre niche offerings. All-in-all it’s been a busy year with over 1,300 launches. Impressive but exhausting!
Below you will find my awards for Best Masculine, Best Feminine and Best Unisex Fragrances for both niche and mainstream houses. In addition to this I’ve also included awards for Best Flanker, Best Celebrity Fragrance and Best Ad Campaign. But we’re not just celebrating the very best of perfumery in 2012 here, no sir, we’re also highlighting the very worst with the Sour Candy Award, reserved solely for the naffest perfume of the year.
So I hope you’re wearing your very best frock (or tux for the boys, or frock if you prefer, it’s up to you really) and sipping on some fine Champagne as The Candies 2012 are underway…
A big thank you to all who entered The Candy Perfume Boy’s Gaga Giveaway, it seems that my little bag of Gaga Swag has got many of you monsters very excited indeed. I thought you all came up with very interesting ideas for how Fame should have smelled and it was quite telling that most people would have changed it, which says to me that, whilst Fame may be a hit commercially it really isn’t representative of Gaga herself.
I personally loved Kady’s suggestion that it should have smelled “strongly of leather, rubber and cheap vanilla, with hints of raw red meat, cumin, salt, vodka, fur, cedar and cola. All with an overlay of that old fashioned face powder scent – very powdery violet, rose and talk” Now that would make one hell of a perfume and would certainly be more Gaga than Fame!
Following yesterday’s review of Lady Gaga’s debut fragrance Fame I thought I would continue the Gaga theme and appeal to everyone’s inner little monster by offering a giveaway.
As a thank you for pre-ordering Fame, The Perfume Shop sent me some Lady Gaga swag, namely; a veil, some Gaga tattoos and two sets of Fame bottle-esque acrylic nails. Now I have mentioned before that I may like to smell like a hooker on the odd occasion but I draw the line at looking like one, so I thought I would pass my Bag O’ Gaga Swag on to one lucky winner. I’ll even throw in a 2.5ml spray sample of fame because I’m nice/evil like that (it depends on what you think of Fame).
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, or Lady Gaga as she is more commonly known, is undeniably one of the more interesting pop stars around today. Forget Britney, Christina, Miley and all those other pretenders, Gaga is a true visionary and a real star. Oozing with talent and more than her fair share of batshit-craziness, Gaga is like the rebellious love child spawned from the spliced DNA of David Bowie and Madonna.
OK you get it, I’m a fan and whilst I refuse to class myself as a ‘little monster’ I must admit that I was genuinely excited about Fame, I mean if anyone was going to do an interesting fragrance then it would be Gaga.
Apparently cooked up in a laboratory deep within the bowels of the Haus of Gaga (Lady Gaga’s fashion collective) Fame is described as an “opulent, crushed floral”  that, with it’s black coloured juice that is invisible once air born, represents the black soul of fame. Crazy huh? – Not really because Fame is all style and no substance…
Fame had the makings of a truly great celebrity fragrance; great bottle? Yep! massive gimick (the black liquid)? Yep again! and amazing ad campaign? Hell to the yep! But the one area that Fame disappoints is most definitely the most crucial, that’s right folks I’m talking about the smell and as much as it pains me to say it one cannot hide the fact that in terms of scent, Fame is a complete dud.
If the scent is anywhere near as awesome as the Steven Klein directed commercial looks like it might be then I know that I will be a happy boy. But until I smell it I am firmly reserving all judgement on the juice.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the actual juice, I have pre-ordered my bottle and am led to believe that it should arrive next week. Not long to wait now!
I have a list in my head of celebrities that I think should release a fragrance. I know that I really shouldn’t be encouraging the stars to explore the world of perfume, after all the majority of their fragrant output is utterly dreadful, but I do believe that there are a good few schlebs out there who would invest enough time and artistic integrity to make an exceptional fragrance.
One such celebrity sitting on my mental celebrity fragrance list was Dita Von Teese (along with others such as Björk and Kate Bush FYI) and it seems that she may have read my mind having decided to take the plunge into the world of celebrity perfume. As expected the result is a perfume that perfectly captures the style and personality of the celebrity for which it represents.
Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum officially launched in 2011 but we didn’t see it in the UK until May 2012. It is described as a “timeless” perfume and it very much draws on the old school glamorous florals of the past, specifically those of brands such as Houbigant and Caron. Dita is reputed to have been very involved with the creation of her Eau de Parfum and for an entire year spent almost every day working with perfumer Nathalie Lorson in the lab.
“I wanted it to be a perfume that smelled exactly how I imagined it. A scent needs to reflect all the different facets of my personality. It had to be elegant, glamorous, sophisticated, sexy, dark and mysterious.”
Dita Von Teese
Written inside the perfume’s box is a quote from Dita that reads; “Perfume sets the mood…and I am in the mood for glamour.” and that very much sets the tone for a scent chock full of glamour, style and classic beauty. With Dita Von Teese Eau de Parfum, the world’s favourite burlesque star presents a perfume that the “femme totale”, a woman in full form.
This evening Lady Gaga took to her Little Monsters website to debut the advertising image for her debut fragrance “Fame”. The image, created in collaboration with fashion photographer Steven Klein, depicts a nude Gaga holding the “Le Masterpiece” edition of her fragrance, whilst naked muscled men (try saying that with a mouth full) clamber up her body, conveniently covering her naughty parts.
Lady Gaga has finally revealed details of her debut fragrance, interestingly entitled “Fame”, via her Twitter account. Now, I may be no massive fan of celebrity perfumes, or celebuscents as they are often called, but I am a huge Gaga fan. More than anything I really enjoy her music, but I also find her fascinating and I don’t think any other current pop star is pushing the envelope in the way that she is. So it is with great excitement that I await the release of Fame.
Fame is billed as the “first ever black eau de parfum”, ituses an innovative technology that allows the black perfume to be invisible once sprayed and represents “the black soul of fame”. Many die-hard fumeophiles will know that this isn’t exactly a new thing, nice house Boudicca did something similar with their first fragrance Wode, which magically turned from being blue to invisible in almost the same way.
Due to my recent mini-hiatus there was no Saturday Poll last week but if you can cast your mind back to the week before you will remember that we focused on a ‘clash of the titans’ question – Guerlain vs Chanel.
Guerlain were the runaway winners, gaining two whole thirds of the vote. The success of Guerlain in the poll seemed to be down to their variety of styles and Chanel appeared to suffer due to their relatively consistent signature, if you love it – great, if you don’t – poor you!
On to this week’s poll…
Yesterday I review Madonna’s first perfume ‘Truth or Dare‘ and it got me thinking about celebuscents and what the general perfume-loving population’s opinion of them is. I can probably figure out the answer but my readers have been known to surprise me and of course there is nothing quite like a good discussion involving celebrities…
So, how do you feel about celebuscents? Do you love them? Loathe them? Or do you not give two hoots? Register your vote and let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!