Like handwriting, an endorsed fragrance can either be a window into the inner life of a celebrity... or a sign the celebrity lacks any inner life whatsoever! News of trouble in the celebriscent industry inspired us to ask the question: What the fuck do these things smell like anyway? Since our own olfactory sense is sort of obscured by our own heavy natural aroma (topnotes of Parliament Lights with undertones of Red Bull and kitty litter!) we consulted friend, writer and Olfactorista Loren Hunt for reviews of the four most prominent celebrity-endorsed fragrances. As you'll see, sometimes the a scent can reveal undertones of a celebrity's personality! In the case of Hilary Duff, for instance, what John Cusack said about her being a "revelation" might be sorta right on! Not so much a revelation: Paris's "Heiress."
I'll never understand why J.Lo gets lumped into that "kinda whorey" category, unless it's because that no matter what else she does, her big butt will always be more famous than the rest of her. She acts and sings and is married and stuff, but her perfume line is probably the aspect of her career that stands the best chance at eventually eclipsing her notorious badonk. It's larger and more successful than those of any of her peers', putting it more on par with Elizabeth Taylor's perfume line than say, Britney's. 'Glow' was the one that started it all, and after smelling its uncomplicated, shampooey bouquet of white flowers, it's easy to see why people love this. This is the kind of stuff you spray on when you're making eggs for your boyfriend in sweatpants on a Sunday morning; a fragrance that is so ubiquitously fresh, pretty, and inoffensive that it can be worn by almost anyone in any age bracket. There's nothing even a little whorey about it, which is probably the only reason I wouldn't buy it.
Heiress by Paris Hilton
It's too bad there aren't more heiresses in the world, because the thought of anyone spending a penny of any money they have earned by actually working on this perfume makes me want to toss my fruity cocktail all over my $19.99 Lucite Joyce Leslie stilettos. Wait, maybe I already did? Because something sure smells like it. Specifically, it smells like a juicy hunk of pineapple dipped in Splenda got drunk on like seventy Bellinis and had sex in the coatroom surrounded by a camera crew composed entirely of rotting honeydew melons. I can understand that Paris Hilton doesn't give a fuck (or at least she didn't before Jesus became her plus-one!), but this perfume makes me wonder if she understands that millions of young girls now wholeheartedly believe she smells like this.
With Love... Hilary Duff
After you get past the initial, "Wheee! Snorting Pixy Stix makes me and all my friends sooo hyper!!!" blast of tropical fruit, there's a surprising and—dare I say—precocious little kick of incense, amber, and spices to this scent. The bottle is adorable, too: Simple faceted glass detailed with gold cord that wouldn't appear particularly out of place on a grown-ass woman's vanity table. If Duff often seems and younger and more wholesome than her naughtier, higher-profile peers, her perfume conversely smells both older and less wholesome (in a good way) than theirs do. Do people ever tell you you're a good kid, Hilary? I bet they do, but I'll say it again: You're a good kid, and you've somehow managed to make your perfume smell like a shameless invitation for all the long, hard, deep, sweaty, throbbing sexual intercourse you are purportedly not having. I'm into it. I'd wear this.
Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely
Musk 101: In perfume, a synthetic musk note does not smell like what most people think of as "musky," which I think is often confused with the scent of patchouli or oak moss. An entry-level musk, like SJP Lovely, smells a lot more like laundry detergent than hippie armpit. The musk in this fragrance is specifically Egyptian Musk, a clean, gentle version tricked out in this case with white flowers and a sharp tartness that is referred to in the official fragrance notes as "green appletini." Whether you love or hate Old Horseface, this is a pretty coherent and serious fragrance, and I'd hate for just-out-of-the-shower types to be turned off by either the idea of musk, or by SJP herself. In fact, my favorite thing about Lovely is that it smells good enough to cancel out the effects of her crappy clothing line and the enduring cloyingness of SATC in syndication, which is to say it actually warrants disregarding SJP entirely, which is something I've been dying to do for a very very long time.