If there is any pop icon that has suffered badly from over exposure, it’s Lady Gaga. Bursting onto the scene, in a haze of wild couture, progressive synths and disco sticks, she has quickly gone from the wild child hailed as the new Madonna, to a spectacular fall from pop grace (let’s not talk about ARTPOP…) straight into the arms of a lacklustre jazz album. Now, I’m positive that Gaga will get back on her feet soon enough, after all she is a talented songwriter, singer and musician, not to mention a pop visionary that pushes the boundaries and champions the underdog. I have every faith in her continued success, she just needs to take some time out and reevaluate.
Anyway, on to perfume. As you will be aware, Lady Gaga released her first perfume, Fame in 2012. The fragrance launched with about as much fanfare as the singer’s career did, if not more, and it sold like hot cakes, despite the fact that, in my humble opinion it was all style over substance. A visual masterpiece but an olfactory dud, to say the least. This autumn, Gaga has launched her second fragrance, Eau de Gaga and it would be safe to say that the entire mood of the scent, and its launch has shifted somewhat. Gone are the lavish launch parties and ridiculously over the top tv campaigns, and in with a more paired back approach to vision and smell.
Eau de Gaga is billed as a unisex fragrance that has been created for “the adventurous woman and the man who loves her”, and that’s it, there appears to be absolutely no gimmicks associated with the scent – no special black liquid that sprays clear, no alleged semen note, nothing. So Eau de Gaga is just a unisex fragrance from a fresh-faced Lady Gaga who appears to be comfortable in her own skin, despite the failures or successes of her current standing as pop’s new darling.
Lime, Leather and Sparkling Water Accord
How Does it Smell?
Well, I’d say that notes list above paints a pretty accurate picture of how Eau de Gaga smells. It opens with sparkling lime and lemon, giving the impression of a fizzy glass of San Pellegrino adorned with ice and a slice. The citrus is surprisingly multi-faceted, displaying the sweetness of lime, the sourness of lemon and the bitter, and almost floral feel of grapefruit. What’s more, in a surprising turn of events for a celebrity fragrance, the citrus accord feels perfectly natural, almost as if it had actually been a fruit in nature at some point. This makes Eau de Gaga pretty much an anomaly when it comes to celebrity fragrances.
The heart and base, which pretty much merge together after the initial slug of Pellegrino, are a blend of green tea, pale woods and violet leaf. There’s a delicacy and paired-back sense of freshness that permeates each layer of the fragrance and despite the low price point, it does smell like it is pretty good quality overall. Things do become much thinner and almost mineral-like in the base, with the green tea notes taking centre stage. It’s a subtle finish to a subversive fragrance that doesn’t try to grab attention and instead hopes that one will appreciate its talent – much like Gaga seems to be doing in this new stage of her musical career.
It would be safe to say that I’m surprised by Eau de Gaga, and dare I say, almost a little impressed. For a big star to release a fragrance that isn’t a tooth-rottingly sweet abomination of fruit and flowers is both refreshing and unusual, so Gaga certainly deserves some kudos for that. What’s more, Eau de Gaga feels high quality all round, right from the more prestige packaging to the quality of the scent. Sure, it’s no great shakes, and it certainly doesn’t push the boundaries of olfaction, not to mention the fact that I’m sure that if it were released by a designer brand, it wouldn’t be noteworthy at all, but in context Eau de Gaga is an incredibly well done celebrity fragrance. One of this year’s best, in fact.
Eau de Gaga is available in 50ml (£20) and 75ml (£30) Eau de Parfum
Sample is my own. Image 1 via colognoisseur.com. Image 2 via lady gaga.blog.cz. Notes via basenotes.com.