Pop stars and perfume are a combination which usually leads to something which rarely reflects well on the singer or perfumery. I have even come to believe that the bigger the celebrity name on the label the more likely the perfume is going to be insipid. It can be a huge disappointment if I like the musician and a bit of rough karma if they are someone I don’t care for. The common thread is the perfume is boring and safe. In 2012 Lady Gaga released the first fragrance with her name on it called Fame. It promised “blood and semen” and, of course, delivered a safe floral. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t as innovative as the name on the bottle. Fame sold extremely well and there was no doubt there would be a follow-up. That perfume has just been released Lady Gaga Eau de Gaga. This time it is a much simpler construction and also a much better perfume.
Lady Gaga worked with perfumer Ursula Wandel for Eau de Gaga. Fame was a team of three perfumers and I believe Eau de Gaga is better for less cooks in the kitchen. Ms. Wandel chooses simple ingredients and blends them adeptly into something way above the normal celebuscent dreck. Reduced to terms Eau de Gaga is a citrus-floral-leather and that might seem common but Mme Wandel turns in something very uncommon in this space.
The citrus chosen for Eau de Gaga is primarily lime and it is a very synthetic lime. For a woman who changes the color of her hair as often as Lady Gaga does I see this as a green wash over her blond locks. It is striking and the artificial quality works to its advantage. The heart is violet and violet leaf together. The lime persists to combine with the violet. Every so often during the day while I was wearing it I thought I got a bit of green tea but almost like an olfactory illusion once I tuned in it was violet and lime. Ms. Wandel has created an excellent harmony between the lime and violet and after a couple of hours her leather accord starts to come through and provide a bit of animalic foundation. This is fine leather processed until it is soft as butter and consequently it is a whisper of leather throughout the later stages of Eau de Gaga.
Eau de Gaga has 14-16 hour longevity and above average sillage.
For all that the first fragrance, Fame, was meant to be an edgy evocation of Lady Gaga I think Eau de Gaga captures the artist better. It is a bold synthetic composition made up of modern molecules placed over a classic soft leather accord. I was thinking of a line from Lady Gaga’s song Applause, “To crash the critic saying “Is it right or is it wrong?” In the case of Eau de Gaga this critic thinks it is very right.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle provided by Coty Beauty.
Editor’s Note: Eau de Gaga is available in Europe right now. It is due for an early January 2015 debut in the US.