The Black Soul of Celebrity Fragrances – Lady Gaga Fame Perfume Review

The Black Soul of Celebrity Fragrances

The Black Soul of Celebrity Fragrances

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” [1] 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.

The best fragrance ad ever, no?

The Notes

Tears of Belladonna, Crushed Heart of Tiger Orchidea, Black Veil of Incense, Pulverised Apricots, The Combinative Essences of Saffron and Honey Drops

How Does it Smell?

Fame opens with a very strong and sickly stew of crushed apricots. It has the strange quality of something syrupy yet sheer and it is altogether rather unpleasant. Picture the sticky fruity opening of almost every other celebuscent but watered down slightly and you’re on the right track.

What comes next is a 12 hour onslaught of vanilla that fails to relent. There is something vaguely floral lurking in the background but it never quite manages to summon the strength to overthrow the vanilla which represses it. As for the incense and saffron? Well they are as absent as Gaga must have been during the creative process that culminated in the creation of Fame.


Lady Gaga’s “Fame” Shoes – Perhaps the greatest shoes ever?

Fame isn’t disgusting and I don’t hate it, but it bores me and in my opinion that is the worst sin of all. Gaga has mentioned that it smells like an “expensive hooker” and recently made the following proclamation: “I have an interesting mind but I want to smell like a slut to be totally honest.” [2]Β Well, there’s nothing wrong with smelling like a floozy, in fact it is one of my favourite past times but Fame is most definitely a sad, tired hooker rather than a high class call girl. Sorry Gaga.

So, there you have it, Fame is a dud and it’s a great shame purely because of the potential it had to be something truly dark and wonderful. Perhaps I’ve got it all wrong and Fame is meant to be some sort of olfactory comment on the nature of celebrity and how the rich and famous are happy to put their name to any old crap that will make them a quick buck. Perhaps it is a visceral representation of the black soul of celebrity fragrances?

Nah, it’s just crap…


Fame is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum with prices ranging from Β£24.50-Β£54.50. Matching body products are also available.

— — —

A little note re the frequency of posts:

The last month has been a complete whirlwind. Having started a new job that has been a massive shock to the system (albeit a rather positive one) and having lost a little bit of my creative spirit, writing hasn’t come easy and for my sanity I have had to take a step back from The Candy Perfume Boy.

Thankfully my time away has come to an end and I feel in a good position to start posting again. I aim to schedule about four posts a week along with the Saturday Poll but this might not always be possible. Quality over quantity is best right?

Finally, a big thank you for continuing to read this blog, I really do appreciate every single person who clicks on my page and supports it. You people rock.


Image 1 Image 2 Video via Haus Laboratories on YouTube. [1] [2]


69 thoughts on “The Black Soul of Celebrity Fragrances – Lady Gaga Fame Perfume Review

  1. Like you, I was massively underwhelmed after all the buildup. But after reading your review, I wonder whether the vacuousness of “Fame” might not be a covert/circumspect statement on…. the bland, blah emptiness of fame? πŸ˜‰ PS: Glad you’re back! xo

  2. I could say, I told you so, concerning Fame, but I won’t. πŸ™‚
    That five minute ad makes it pretty clear where the money went. And people will buy it, no matter how it smells, that is the sad state of affairs. I don’t know, all that makes me so tired…

    Glad to see you back, T. You’ve been missed! xo

  3. Fame is beyond terrible. I can’t even bring myself to review it, and I certainly never shy away from a negative write-up.

    Changing the subject to something far more important: welcome back! And don’t ever worry about how often you post. I’d say quality is definitely more important than quantity.

    • Thank you D, and I agree, quality is much better than quantity. It pays to take a step back from a blog I feel, it is very easy to become completely absorbed in it.

      I can understand why you won’t review Fame. This type of fragrance has been done so many times before, what more could there be to say in the subject?

  4. Glad to see you back! Don’t stress over posting though. Sometimes life gets in the way.
    I’m not a gaga fan. At all. I wasn’t expecting this to live up to the hype but for the sake of people like yourself who are fans I was hoping it would have some redeeming quality. I’ve sniffed it and was unimpressed. Hubby sniffed it when looking for a gift for me and even he didn’t like it.

  5. …and The CPB is back with a bang! What a great review. I had almost – not quite – forgotten just how entertaining and well written your posts are. So good to have you back. Creativity does suffer when we’re going through any big change or stress so you did the right thing.

    I haven’t tried Fame but style over substance seems to pretty much sum it up. Such a let down for the people who admire and support her. You’re so right about it being a shame mostly because of the potential it had to be different.

    Anyway, the good news is you’re back, back, back! πŸ™‚

  6. Nice to have you back T’ ~ (Yay !) πŸ™‚

    And in retrospect I suppose I’m not at all surprised ‘Fame’ is a vanilla onslaught. (We should’ve known that was bound to be the case !) When you want your product to reach as many peep’s as possible, I suppose ‘vanilla’ will always be the go-to note for pleasing the masses.
    And in this case, unfortunately, it seems all the gimmicks alone did pay off. Just look at it flying off the shelves. … I imagine only us hardcore ‘fume-istas will find Fame severely lacking, whereas the rest of the world (those that unfortunately know no better) will just lap it all up. πŸ˜‰

  7. YAY! I tried Fame today too. Huge berry sweetness up top, bubblegum jasmine in the heart, the incense is a mere faint metallic twang, and a vanillic overload for the drydown! Good one Gaga :’) Crap fragrance.

  8. GREAT to have you back! I had no intention of even sniffing Gaga’s fragrance or that of any celebrity of the moment. Maybe I am missing something or will be, but with so many truly unique and talented fragrance master talents and only so much time and money this is a segment I have no curosity about. So thank you for laying down and taking the hit for the many of us who won’t!

  9. Welcome back! BTW, congrats on the new job.
    Oh, Fame. I wish I had something to say about it but I don’t. I can remember most fragrances. I’ve tried Fame numerous times and always forget what it smells like. It leaves absolutely no impression on me. (That’s the worst insult for a perfume in the perfume world).

  10. Great to have you back! I was waiting in anticipation for your thoughts on Gaga’s Fame. So sad. I am sitting on a little sample right now and haven’t had the time (or really the will) to try a perfume universally panned as mediocre. But did you read John Reasinger’s review on Γ‡a fleure bon?Apparently it changes when you “rub it out” — not my choice of words, obviously! At first I thought he was kidding, but the review seems to be in earnest . . .

    In any case, thanks for sniffing and reporting! As someone who has also had to put regular posts on the back-burner for a little while, I really empathize. Congratulations on the job though! It sounds like it is a great opportunity!

  11. I was also impressed by the gap between Lady Gaga’s image and the very low-key personality (or lack thereof) of her perfume.

    I wonder if hardcore Gaga’s fans are going to wear this.

  12. Ha, I was thinking along the same lines that maybe the fragrance is dull and characterless to be ironic.
    Unlike you I do get a hit of floral but its unpleasantly sharp and synthetic. Screetchy yet dull is a depressing combo!

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  14. Hey, great to have you back, I was hoping your magnificent return would be to trash this dud of a fragrance! I was so excited when I saw it in Boots with the cool bottle and the silly but fun black juice and then…blerf. I really hoped for better from her. What a lot of trouble to go to for something so yukky and boring!

  15. And he’s baaaack! It’s grand to see you posting, good sir. Don’t worry about being away for a while, it’s not like you’re leaving my Google Reader. I relate on the whirlwind that is this last month, I’m still waiting for things to slow down a bit.

    As far as Fame goes, can I admit I’m not surprised?

  16. You know, I had read somewhere that one of Lady Gaga’s favorite fragrances is Ralph by Ralph Lauren — a VERY fruity-floral and girly sort of a fragrance. It’s a scent that came out when Gaga was a teenager, and clearly she shares her generation’s love of all things candied and sweet.

    It’s funny, but 50 years from now those who have yet to be born will associate fruity, candied scents with their grandmas the same way we associate amber/incense/civet-laden concoctions like Youth Dew with ours! (Well, by “ours” I mean if you happen to be in your late 30s like myself and have a grandma who came of perfume-age a loooooong time ago!)

  17. It’s great to see you here again! And I’m glad that the new-job-related shock was a positive one (it was hard to tell from your absense).

    As to the Fame… Just check your stats on previous posts about this perfume and on this one in a months: I bet the picture will be very telling. My Coco Noir post that I wrote a couple of months ago has twice as many views as the next post in the list and almost three times more hits than my very first post on the blog. It’s a little sad but that’s where we are. So probably whoever made a decision to put money into advertising vs juice itself wasn’t that wrong…

    • Thank you, it’s good to be back! It was a bit of a culture shock to begin with, I moved from a very small, more relaxed company into something much larger and corporate. The first couple of weeks were very difficult but I now feel fully settled and as if I have an idea of what I’m doing lol.

      Re the stats, I have no doubts that this will be a big one. I have noticed that my designer/celebrity fragrance reviews receive a huge amount more hits than the niche. When I think of Coco Noir and Fame being big sellers it just reminds me that there is a massive gap, in terms of taste, between the average consumer and those who have a vested interest in all things fragrant.

  18. It is a shame that it turned out so lame. I must say that I got a whiff by accident the other day at Macy’s. I was looking at the tester bottle as I sauntered past the shrine when out of the blue I was propelled to one side by a very agitated teenage Asian boy who proceeded with shaking hands and squeals of rapture to spay himself all over and in the process me and everything within a six foot radius. I was Gaga-ed to within an inch of my life. It was all I could do not to gag gag on the Fame fumes.

  19. “That fails to relent” – ha ha ha ha. πŸ™‚ I didn’t let any sizable quantity of this anywhere near my skin, but I’m not surprised.

  20. Re the advert, slightly too long, but interesting at the same time – Is definitely not the greatest perfume ad of all time.

    That title belongs to Chanel’s ad featuring Nicole Kidman

  21. Thank you! I was expecting Fame to be, while maybe not as transgressive as the ads would have us expect, something out of the ordinary. I agree with you that she probably had nothing to do with the perfume itself. The justification of Gaga’s crappy perfume as a reflection of celebrity cynicism was brilliant, but unfortunately I see her music going in that direction too.

  22. Am I the only person who actually really likes it? lol
    I loved it the first time I tested it and couldn’t wait to get it for Xmas ever since!
    Starting to think that says something about me after all the bad reviews… Haha x

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