I love Britney Spears. I have done since ‘…Baby One More Time’ hit the airwaves in 1998. That’s twenty years of being a Britney fan. I grew up with her music so it would be pretty TOXIC for me to turn on her now. I mean, I LOVE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL but Britney is my favourite, her music makes me STRONGER and whilst SOMETIMES there have been FREAKSHOW moments and things have often been a CIRCUS, I have always ensured that I WILL BE THERE for Britney. I support Ms. Spears because she will always GIMME MORE and I’m LUCKY to have someone who will provide me with the daily motivation I need to DO SOMETHIN’ – to tell me to WORK BITCH when I most need it. Basically, Britney, what Im trying to say is that I’M A SLAVE 4 U and you can have a PIECE OF ME whenever you damn well please.
OK. I’ll stop now. I promise.
Music career aside, Britney has had huge success with her perfume empire. Fantasy is one of the best selling celebrity fragrances on the market and has outlasted so many others from a whole host of her contemporaries. It’s also the best example of a fruity, cupcake floral there is and you can come at me if you think otherwise. This summer, Britney is treating us to a brand new fragrance – the provocative Prerogative, which takes its name from her hit single (a Bobby Brown cover) and Greatest Hits album. Prerogative is designed as a “break the rules” kind of a fragrance, created for all Britney fans, regardless of gender. It comes with the battle cry that we can all do whatever the hell we want. Well what I wanna do right now is review the heck out of this fragrance, and if Britney endorses that with this “do whatever you want” scent, I’m a do it.
Madonna turns 60 today – Happy Birthday, HRH Madonna! To celebrate, I thought I would resurrect my much-loved ‘Scent a Celebrity Series’, in which I ‘scent’ (pick fragrances for) some of my favourite celebrities. So let’s jump right back in with none other than the Queen of Pop!
Madonna; no other name is more instantly recognisable and no person is more likely to divide opinion. Arguably the most famous woman on the planet and factually the best selling female recording artist of all time, Madonna is a force that is hard to define; singer, dancer, performer, entertainer, provocateur, feminist, business woman, calculating she-devil – love her or hate her, whatever moniker you throw at her will most likely apply. She has done what many other icons fail to do – achieve longevity and on her 60th birthday, we celebrate her phenomenal four decades in music.
The fascinating thing about Madonna is that her ratio of talent to fame is perhaps slightly off balance. She’s not the greatest singer or dancer in the world, or even the best looking, but she has that je ne sais quoi that makes a person a star – the x factor, as they call it. Some say that she’s just a good business woman and I’m sure she is but that does not make for such longevity. By pushing people’s buttons and having something to say (and saying it well) Madonna has ensured that she is more than a just a star, she’s that rare commodity: an icon.
So you may have guessed from my little Shawn Mendes Signature review a week or so ago that celebrity fragrances are having somewhat of a resurgence. I know, I know, you’re all groaning at the thought (I can hear your moans carried on the soft, despairing winds of the internet) but I promise you that this time, things are different. Our dear celebrities have realised that consumers will no longer be fooled and they, or their teams, need to put in a bit of effort to actually make fragrances that are interesting. Just look at SJP Stash for proof, and even Mr Mendes, who isn’t wildly original in his scented exploits, but at least made something rather wearable and lovely. Now it’s time for Katy Perry’s turn to up her scent game.
I like Katy Perry. She is fun. Her music feels quite self aware and its catchy hooks are hard not to love. But Katy Perry has come along way from the bubblegum pop of I Kissed a Girl and her latest album, Witness, is a more mature sound that cements Perry firmly in her ‘serious artist’ phase. Whilst I enjoy her music, Katy Perry’s fragrant offerings have been somewhat lacklustre for me, even though some have been packaged in cat-shaped bottles (I bloody love cats), but all of that is set to change because INDI, her latest, is a massive departure from Perry’s earlier offering. INDI is an “androgynous” fragrance that comes with the tagline “be different together”. It reportedly boasts 11 types of musk and takes inspiration from Tom Ford’s Black Orchid – intrigued yet?
Just when you thought celebrity fragrances were dead, one of the hottest stars in music drops a debut fragrance. OK, so celebrity fragrances were never dead and actually, they’re seeing a bit of a resurgence and this revival of the genre is very much in the spirit of ‘we take this very seriously now in order to atone for our past trashy transgressions, OK’. I’m talking about the likes of SJP’s Stash (which could be niche, let’s face it) and even Katy Perry’s Indi, which is not your typical celebuscent either. So instead of every quasi-reality star and their cat launching a scent, real celebrities are doing it and they’re doing it rather well, which brings me nicely on to the subject of Shawn Mendes Signature.
If you don’t know Shawn Mendes (where have you been?!) he is a Canadian singer-songwriter who found fame through the social media platform Vine. At the time of writing, Mr. Mendes is 19 years old, has two platinum albums under his belt, literally millions of record sales, and if the concert I attended as part of the launch is anything to go by, lots of screaming fans. He’s also really handsome and he makes me sick. I joke, I joke! He is actually very talented (did I mention handsome?) and whilst I may have not been entirely familiar with his music before the launch I am now, and you know what? I’m feeling the Mendes vibe.
“Super hero by night, rapper by day.”
I have decided that due to the overwhelming number of abysmal celebuscent (celebrity perfume) launches the celebrities of this world simply cannot be trusted with their scent choices. So, as a remedy to their poor choices, and to avoid having to reach for the smelling salts to revive myself from bad-celebuscent-induced hysteria, I have chosen to start the Scent a Celebrity Series.
So far I have picked scents for everyone’s favourite Puppet/Marionette hybrids – The Muppets – and the love-her-or-hate-her Icelandic songstress Björk. Today I’m going to be picking scents for a relatively new kid on the block and another love-her-or-hate-her celebrity, but this one is likely to ruffle a few more feathers than Björk, even when she is donning her infamous swan dress. Ladies and gentleman I introduce you to Miss Nicki Minaj.
Nicki Minaj is not your typical bubblegum-pop-princess, she is a foul-mouthed, schizophonic rap-Barbie with a penchant for unusual vocal tricks and hyper-fast rhymes. She has successfully crossed the divide between pop & rap, and although her many alter egos and sonic styles can, at times, sound cluttered (and like they are in need of some serious editing) she is redefining the way two of the biggest music genres combine whilst being utterly fabulous at the same time.