Femme Totale
Femme Totale

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.

The Clambering Bodies of Fame
Image: Steven Klein for Lady Gaga “Fame”

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.

I think it’s pretty fab. What do you think?

Truth or Dare
Madonna – The Candy Perfume Girl

This post should come with a disclaimer – I am a Madonna fan, or as I put it ‘a royal subject of her Madgesty’. I just can’t help myself – I love her music, I admire her immensely for doing everything a man can do but better (and for getting away with it), for doing a lot with average talent, heck even this blog is named after one of her songs, so yes it is fair to say that I kinda like the Queen of Pop. I am also a HUGE fan of white florals, which may lead you to think that I was destined to adore Madonna’s first perfume ‘Truth or Dare’, I mean after all how could I not be biased when one of my favourite icons releases a perfume that fits very nicely into one of my favourite genres?

The truth is that the release of Truth or Dare was quite nerve-wracking for me. First things first, there have been many rumours about a Madonna perfume over the years and it would be fair to say that she should have done it a long time ago, back when she was more of a leader and less of a follower. Secondly, aside from a few glorious exceptions (Rossy de Palma, Tilda Swinton and Sarah Jessica Parker etc.) celebrity perfumes tend to be naff, thoughtless concoctions created as a quick cash cow for whoever feels the need to put their name to one. But as news of Truth or Dare startled to trickle into the blogosphere my fears were put to rest and I was particularly encouraged by the fact that her perfume would be a Fracas inspired white floral – a genre that she is known to love.

Truth or Dare, Madonna’s first and long-awaited foray into the perfume market is created in conduction with Coty, it is also part of her new lifestyle/fashion brand of the same name and was developed by perfumer Stephen Nilsen (Donna Karan Gold, Hillary Duff With Love). With Truth or Dare Madonna was looking to create something personal that was an expression of herself and her love for perfume, but could also be accessible to others, she wanted “something classical and timeless and yet modern” [1]. It is aimed at women between the ages 25-45, with the main focus being on the 35-45 bracket, a fact that I find baffling seeing as Madonna is currently 53 (at the time of writing). Anyhoo, on to the fragrance…

Put the bondage mask down Madge – it’s for your own good!

After a brief hiatus due to a big wooly mammoth-sized dose of university work I am very pleased to be returning to the blogosphere once again and apologise for the huge lack of posts over the last few weeks. Before my full comeback tomorrow, which will kick of with a write-up of last week’s Perfume Lovers London Leather Event, I thought I would share the commercial for Madonna’s highly anticipated debut fragrance ‘Truth or Dare’.

Now, I am a Madonna fan, I have been for years and despite the fact that my interest in the Queen of Pop may have wained since her last album (I refuse to acknowledge Hard Candy as a legitimate Madonna album – it’s just better that way) I must confess that I am back in full M-obsession mode since the release of her latest album MDNA. This, plus the impending release of her first fragrance has me breaking into spontaneous fits of gay hysteria, so please do humour me slightly with this post.

Truth or Dare is reported to be a big white floral and seeing as it is coming from a woman who’s favourite fragrance is Fracas, I rest assured that it will be a relatively-decent perfume. That aside, I think we can all agree that the commercial for said fragrance is absolutely diabolical. Sometimes Madonna just tries to hard and whilst the whole look (and name) seems to be straight out of the Blond Ambition era (when she was at the height of her fame), I can’t help but feel that it seems dated and pointlessly ‘erotic’. I mean, was there really a need for the bondage mask?! Oh, and don’t get me started on the fact that she has used her worst ever single as the soundtrack! C’mon Madge – you’re better than that!

Shoddy TV commercial aside I am still VERY excited about Truth or Dare and cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on a bottle. More info on Truth or Dare below the jump…

Tilda & Rossy

The Etat Libre d’Orange Muses

Celebrity fragrances, or ‘celebuscents’ as they are so often called, are the scorn of many a perfumista. The majority are cheap, thoughtless compositions with the sole intent of making a quick buck for a celebrity desperate to cash in on the latest trend. As you can imagine, most of the time the celebrity has very little input in the development of their fragrance, preferring simply to be ‘the face’ rather than ‘the brains’.

There are of course exceptions, and some celebrities do insist on being more involved by playing the role of creative director. Celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and J Lo are widely reported to have been directly involved with the creation of their early fragrances and this involvement shows in the final product. But these celebrities are few and far between.

One brand in particular has taken the idea of the celebuscent to a new level by choosing to partner with unusual celebrities who take on the role of muse and work with the perfumer to create their fragrance. This brand is Etat Libre d’Orange, those funny French olfactory freedom fighters whose compositions feel like a breath of fresh air within the industry.

For their celebuscents Etat Libre d’Orange chose two unexpected, subversive celebrities; Oscar Winning British Actress & Androgynous Style Icon Tilda Swinton and Pedro Almodóvar’s Picasso-esque Muse Rossy de Palma. Two strong, unique women for a strong and unique brand.