Post by Ainslie Walker
Last year I read Chandler Burr’s book “A Year In The Perfume Industry, which I highly recommend. The book follows, every second chapter, Jean-Claude Ellena, in Paris, creating a new fragrance for Hermes…every other chapter takes us to New York, in 2005, where Sarah Jessica Parker is ‘art directing’ the development of her first fragrance, with the help of Laurent Le Guernec and Clement Gavarry from Coty. The book does far more than, but helps the reader to understand how perfumes go from someone’s idea, right through to sitting on the shelves in the mass market. It is jam packed with history, ingredients, methods etc etc. A must read!
Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker 2005
Laurent Le Guernec and Clement Gavarry
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Nectarine, bergamot, rosewood, lavender, apple martini
Heart: White daffodil, orchid, orchid, patchouli
Base: Amber, cedar, woody notes, salt, white musk.
That brought me to actually smelling Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Lovely” – something I would NEVER have tried, as my preconceived ideas of it being massmarket/cheap/celeb etc etc kept me well away. My curiosity got the best of me, and I was intrigued however as the starting idea was Sarah’s favourite mix of scents which included Egyptian musk oil, a cheap drugstore scent and and expensive fragrance.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
On first whiff I can really smell the Egyptian and white musks…this develops on skin over time and is a sexy, sultry intriguing part of the fragrance. There’s a touch of patchouli and spice adding to this which makes it sexy-cooling. I am also hit with some major ‘fresh and clean’ notes. Like a breezy layer on top of the sultry base. Reminiscent of the scent of shampoos I used as a kid…apple, orange, lavender, possibly a little peachy. Pretty, feminine, but somehow managing a womanly feel.
I feel like it has given me flashbacks of the bodyshop scents we wore in the 80s/90’s, first body lotions, special soaps, hairspray and the perfumes which came as part of make up sets. (Maybe a few cheaper ingredients in this one.) Descriptions and reviews mention woody, in particular cedar – I don’t get much…maybe some sandalwood…maybe a little cedar after 30mins or so.
Descriptions also mention addition of a ‘martini’ note…I’m not sure if that’s just marketing, but I agree, there is some subtle, salt/savoury edge (maybe a dirty martini) that keeps the sweet, clean musky frag from spreading too far and taking over a room, or in fact from being too ‘lovely’, and gives it more classy-sparkle. I’d call it a fresh floral musk, but putting my finger on which flower exactly deems almost impossible!! Rosewood? It is like a lighter version of Agent Provocateur’s first fragrance, less naughty, and without the depth.
Photo Stolen ShoppingHeavenDotNet
This fragrance is comfy, distinct and still classic in some way…wear it like your favourite jeans and heels combo, for any occasion, when you want to feel feminine AND comfortable.
A 30ml bottle cost me $21. I almost DIED. At that price it is not only LOVELY but super affordable too. The packaging is so cute and great to throw in your handbag for use throughout the day as a top up. I am sure it would be great layered under or over some richer scents, especially with scents that don’t have much staying power…this one lingers and could in theory help hold those – have a play and let me know what works for you.
Ainslie Walker XXX