Scent a Celebrity Series: ARTSNIFF – Scenting Lady Gaga

ARTSNIFF - Scenting Lady Gaga
ARTSNIFF – Scenting Lady Gaga

“The Scent a Celebrity Series is my vain attempt at picking perfumes for those who don’t know any better, yes I mean celebrities. Let’s face it, most celebrities are incapable of choosing decent clothing, boyfriends, girlfriends, movies, (insert-celebrity-mistake-here) let alone having the ability to make decisions about something as important as their scent – that’s where I come in. Never fear my dear schlebs, I will ensure that you are appropriately scented, all you need to do is listen.”

No celebrity needs more perfume assistance than Lady Gaga, especially after the massive disappointment that was her debut fragrance ‘Fame‘ and it’s safe to say that because of this her taste level perhaps isn’t where it should be. Fame’s crime wasn’t that it was a dreadful fragrance (general consensus was that it’s decidedly ‘meh’) but the fact that it was frightfully generic and captured only the pretentious element of Lady Gaga’s personality without any of the talent.

Love her or hate her it’s hard to deny that Lady Gaga is indeed talented. Yes, a lot of her ideas are derivative and she does have a tendency to bang on about how what she does is ‘art’ (her upcoming album is annoyingly entitled ‘ARTPOP’) but all-in-all she’s an exciting and provocative voice with a brand of pop that is satisfyingly addictive.

With this edition of the Scent a Celebrity Series, I have picked four perfumes that accurately capture the weird and wonderful persona of Lady Gaga – a woman who has sported fashions made from Muppets, beef and bubbles, to name just a few. Amongst them, these scents embody a spirit that seeks out the weirder odours and isn’t afraid of perfume that is challenging, confrontational and darkly beautiful.

Lady Gaga’s Greatest Music Video – ‘Telephone’ (NSFW)

Wode by Boudicca
Wode by Boudicca

Wode is just the type of perfume Lady Gaga would go for – not because it smells particularly odd or unusual but because it makes a statement. What says ‘pretentious art’ more than a perfume that comes housed in a spray can, unleashing cobalt blue paint all over the wearer upon application, only to disappear moments later? Pretty much nothing, that’s what!

Now that may make it sound like I don’t like Wode at all, but I do in fact, the blue paint is pretty cool and the scent is a decent enough herbal and floral leather that isn’t quite as bold as its method of delivery would lead you to believe. Wode is performance art as perfume so it’s no wonder that Gaga ‘borrowed’ the disappearing liquid idea for her Fame perfume, however in a much less dramatic fashion.

Womanity by Thierry Mugler
Womanity by Thierry Mugler

I am cheating slightly with this one as Gaga famously outed herself as a Womanity wearer on The Graham Norton Show a few years back, but I include it here because it perfectly captures the spirit of Lady Gaga. Womanity is a perfume that holds no prisoners, it is not afraid to be loud, freaky and at times even ugly, for it was ‘Born This Way’ and has absolutely no shame – and neither should it.

With its clash of milky figs, salty brine, bread and biscuits, Womanity is easily one of the most innovative fragrances to have graced department stores in recent years and much like Lady Gaga it is a confrontational, divisive and hard-to-ignore composition worthy of attention.

M/Mink by Byredo
M/Mink by Byredo

M/Mink, a collaboration between Byredo and design house M/M Paris, is meant to evoke the smell of solid asian ink. Having worked with the likes of Björk, Madonna, Kanye West and Riccardo Tisci, M/M Paris is an edgy outfit that puts out material with a very editorial high-art vibe, which is much in keeping with Lady Gaga’s aesthetic.

To my nose M/Mink is well and truly in the ‘weird and wonderful’ category. It certainly smells like dark black ink but its metallic, mustier tones conjure up the image of old boxes full of Christmas tinsel. Smelling M/Mink one can only imagine what fantastical outfit Lady G would rock – perhaps she could be the first to truly push ‘Christmas Tree Chic’? I certainly wouldn’t put it past her…

Cuir by Mona di Orio
Cuir by Mona di Orio

Cuir is Lady Gaga in full meat dress – shocking, stinky and erm, meaty! It’s a leather unlike any other, with a huge whack of birch tar and oodles of cumin, making for a perfume that is somewhere between an old leather jacket and a massive plate of spicy, salty chorizo. It is quite simply a tour de force.

The bad-ass spirit of Cuir matches that of Gaga’s last album Born This Way – a high-octane motorcycle ride of dark, glam stadium pop. With songs such as ‘Heavy Metal Lover’ and ‘Highway Unicorn’, Born This Way is the loud cloud of tar, leather and meat that makes Mona di Orio’s Cuir so thrilling.

Join the Discussion!

Love her or hate her, what scents would you pick for Lady Gaga?

Do you agree with my choices?

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Image 1 is ‘Applause’ by Inez and Vinoodh (edited). Image 2 via (cropped). Image 3 via Image 4 via Image 5 via