I’m a huge huge huge Gaga fan, so I was very interested in her first perfume release. Of course, part of the hype around this perfume was because of early reports that Gaga meant for it to smell of “blood and semen.” Later on, she clarified that she meant the molecular structure of the perfume was meant to mimic that of blood and/or semen, and that it would smell like you had a bit of her on you. OK. Sure.
According to promotional materials, the perfume eschews traditional pyramidal scent structure and utilizes “push-pull” technology, with three facets (instead of top, middle and base notes). These facets are:
- Dark – Belladonna, incense
- Sensual – Honey, apricot drops
- Feminine – Jasmine sambac, Tiger orchid
The “push-pull” technology refers to the fact that, supposedly, these facets come out interchangeably, on their own accord and without hierarchy.
I’m no perfume snob, but to me, that sounds like marketing double-speak for “We let a celebrity in the perfume house and she made a giant muddled mess.” Or, to speak to my IT/dev/programming colleagues: “It’s a feature, not a flaw.”
Reading those notes, and knowing Gaga, I expected something dark, edgy, and unexpected. Something that I, personally, would never wear because I’m extraordinarily picky about scents and especially how they wear on my skin.
Frankly, I like simple fragrances that smell like fruits and dessert. (I also may or may not be mentally 12 years old.) One of my favorite scents is Viva la Juicy, if that gives you any sort of idea of what I like.
So, imagine my surprise when I was poking about my Sephora today and picked up Fame, expecting to hate it.
I gingerly sniffed it. It smells like fruit. And dessert. Wat.
To be honest, I don’t find it particularly unique or exciting, and of course, that’s what a lot of people say about Gaga. (I mean, they’re wrong, but people say that.) It’s a thoroughly safe fruity-floral, with the tiniest hint of musky incense to anchor it down.
Personally, I love it, but again, I like safe scents. I know what I like and what smells good on me, and I like Fame and it seems to like my skin too.
Another hype point about the perfume is the fact that it’s the first black fluid perfume in the world, which is inky black in the bottle and sprays clear. (To be fair, Wode by Boudicca was a similar idea, except that it sprayed opaque and then dried down clear.) I bought the rollerball (I very rarely buy full-size bottles of perfume, since I can never use it all before they turn) and it applies clear, but I also tested the spray in store, and it did indeed spray clear. Still, I probably wouldn’t risk it on anything delicate and hard to clean.
Unfortunately, the wear-time is disappointingly short and the sillage seems rather weak as well. I may indulge in a full-size bottle to see if the throw improves with a spray.
So, it’s not the fragrance-world-rocking scent she promised, but it’s not bad. I think it’s worth a sniff — just be sure to drop any preconceived notions you might have had for a Gaga perfume, a celebrity perfume, a black perfume, etc. at the door.
Lady Gaga Fame EDP is available in 1.0 oz ($42), 1.7 oz ($55), 3.4 oz ($79), 0.34 oz rollerball ($19) and black soap ($15).