I absolutely adored this perfume when it first came out – full-on, love at first sniff, couldn't wait to put it on again and again and again adoration. But I was on a very limited budget at the time, so I had to make do with a couple of tiny sample bottles, which I eked out very slowly, until the price dropped enough to be able to afford a full bottle. I loved it and I got so many comments on it whenever I wore it, and I’m probably on my fourth bottle (at least) of this – with a full, unopened box in my drawer (a Christmas present from one of my girlfriends). On me, this goes on in a soft, pretty, warm, floral cloud. It takes a while for the individual notes to come through, then after around an hour or so, the cedar, pepper, musk, patchouli and orange come through. Two hours in the bergamot and martini peep out. This perfume is true to its name – a lovely, soft, elegant floral. It makes me think of big, soft, fluffy pink clouds – it’s a scent that you sink into, soft, warm and comforting, and it lasts amazingly well. Although I don’t really care what time of day or night I wear a perfume, with this one, I tend to wear it to work more than anywhere else – I seem to overlook it when I’m looking for something to wear out at night or on the weekend. One of the ladies I work with wears it too, and I can always tell when she does – the sillage is amazing and it smells beautiful on her. All of that said, it’s been quite a while since I’ve worn this – in fact it would probably be at least a year, as I’ve not touched the bottle once this year. And it’s still pretty, but I’m said to say that don’t love it as I once did – it doesn’t make me feel happy like it once did. In fact, it makes me feel kind of, not sad exactly, but muted – not happy, but not sad either, and ever-so-slightly irritated, and antsy, and a bit anxious, and frustrated, and wanting more – oh. Ohhhhhhh…I just realised why all of that sounded/felt so familiar. It was pretty much what I felt like when I realised I’d fallen out of love. With an ex. Yep – I’ve fallen out of love with this, except this is a much more pleasant break-up ;) I still like it, and can admire it because it is a beautiful fragrance, but I don’t love it anymore – it’s just not for me anymore and don’t know if I’ll wear it again because I’m feeling so “meh” about it. Shame, because this was truly one of my favourite perfumes, for a very long time. I'm still giving it a thumbs up for old time's sake though and because it really is a lovely fragrance.
A pale generic woody floral.
Very chemical smelling, very light, almost nonexistent scent.
I cannot detect any of the notes listed. Ms. Parker certainly did not spend a great deal of cash on oil concentrations.
In contrast to the Emperor's New Clothes, this may well be the Empress's New Scent - in other words, none.
Bought a partial bottle of this to smell as I was reading Chandler Burr's book, "The Perfect Scent." I can't say that I love this fragrance -- it's not quirky enough for me to love -- but it's a very pretty, young, and eminently likable fragrance, with just enough masculine and non-floral notes to keep it from being as prissy and conventional as its packaging might suggest. I'll wear it from time to time because I feel like I "know" it after reading the book and learning about its creation.
The top notes include a detestable air freshener synthetic hyacinth, but once that settles down the rest of the scent reveals itself as a very pleasant, upbeat, sweet floral and wood composition: a kind of Ivoire-meets-Flower by Kenzo. A mere trace of the opening hyacinth lingers in the background, but in the company of the primary accord its sharp, green flavor provides a measure of welcome balance and contrast to the prevailing sweetness. The whole thing is clean and snappy, but also playful in a way that traditional green floral chypres never are.
In its bright, translucent texture Lovely reminds me of such crisp green florals as Drôle de Rose, Une Zeste de Rose, and Eau du Ciel, and I’m encouraged to find this happy aesthetic trickling down from niche perfumery into a mass market celebrity fragrance. Lovely is reasonably potent and projects well off of the skin, leaving plenty of sillage in the air. Once the notes arrange themselves into their central pattern the development is linear for a few hours, after which the floral notes peel away to reveal a drydown of clean musk and brisk woods, primarily cedar. This is altogether a much nicer scent than I’d expected, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to find my daughter running around in it.
review by thanks sixx
I just received my bottle of Lovely. Eight years late, but oh well.
The opening is very floral, which I expected. I didn't recognize the lavender until about 10 minutes in, although it is listed as a top note. This may be my inexperience showing through.
My brain kept registering lily-of-the-valley, but lo and behold, the white floral influence is paperwhites, a daffodil! How clever of SJP to throw something so unexpected into the mix (well.... she personally didn't formulate it, but she did approve it).
Anyone who grows paperwhite bulbs indoors knows you either love or loathe the scent.
I'm not a big fan, but for some reason, it works in Lovely. It provides a white floral fragrance with a "dirty edge," totally unexpected from a pale pink juice in a very feminine-shaped bottle.
There is just enough earthiness in the drydown to keep this from being a run-of-the-mill floral perfume. It is definitely more Carrie Bradshaw than Charlotte York (for fans of Sex In The City).
I don't buy celebrity perfume, per se. I don't care who's name is on the bottle. My sole concern is what the juice smells like on my skin.
After reading Chandler Burr's book, I felt compelled to try Lovely. I think what sold me is how involved Ms. Parker was in the creation of the first commercial perfume to bear her name.
Her involvement and passion paid off, figuratively and, I assume , literally.
Autumn is in full swing on the US east coast. I can wear Lovely today, and am also pretty sure I can still wear it when the weather heats up in spring.
I did not expect to enjoy this perfume as much as I do.
Great job, Coty.
Superb job, Ms. Parker.
It isn’t my fault! Chandler Burr and Katie Puckrik made me do it. HONIST! You see since I have fallen into the pit of perfume I must have hit my head on a protruding rock on the way down and when I came too I found I was a bit of a perfume snob. Not mind you in the school of thought that goes: “It has to be expensive to be any good.” No the other kind of snob. If I noticed a gaggle of paparazzo following a bottle of perfume I could be seen rubbing the tip of my nose on the ceiling. You can loose a lot of skin doing that and trip over your Italian loafers if you are not careful and end up looking rather foolish. So I turned a blind eye to Celebuscents by everyone from Alain Delon to Zazu Pitts.
I came to discover “Lovely” by Sarah Jessica Parker when I read Chandler Burr’s mesmerizing book, “The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York.” I am sure you have all read it but if you are new to this like me then grab a copy or download it to your electronic reading device. It is an education in the creation of two perfumes, “Un Jardin Sur Le Nil” by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermes and “Lovely” by Miss Parker for the house of Coty. No recapping synopses here …go read the book and find out why I had to try “Lovely”. I wouldn’t want to ruin any part of that reading experience for you. (Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is on my must buy list).
Now how does Katie fit into this? Well, anyone who reads her blog, or watches her very entertaining and extremely informed video reviews over at YouTube will tell you that the lady in question smells. She smells real good. “Lovely” is in her top ten best female perfumes that men can wear. So that spoke to me. After all this His smells Her smells approach to perfume only began in the early part of the 20th century when the middle class was on the rise. The perfume houses wanted to grab the attention of men who might not want to smell “pretty” or like a Dandy. Before this segregation of scent was imposed on the world everyone who could afford perfume wore the same scent. Eau de Cologne Impériale and Jicky were unisex! As far as I am concerned if you love it, wear it! There is a certain thrill to being a daring pioneer of perfume. If Joel Cairo in “The Maltese Falcon” had the balls to wear Gardenia ….so can you.
“Lovely” opens like rain on predawn cobblestoned side streets in Soho. Not a clean rain but a bit dirty and risqué. The kind of rain you would love to walk in after an sweaty sexy all nighter in a dance club. The top notes of mandarin, bergamot shimmer lightly on the skin and are fleeting as they soak into the lavender and Brazilian rosewood which add a cosmopolitan sophistication. A dirty patchouli downs an Apple Martini grabs the hand of the bashful orchid and runs through the burst of rain down the street to hail a cab to midtown dry down. This is the woodsy central park of the fragrance with musk scampering in the early wet morning of Lovely though woodsy notes and cedar. As the sun dries the earth there is an echo of white amber balmy and richly warms the skin to a new day.
Yes “Lovely” is confident. Self-assured and shows in its progression from opening to closing that it was indeed a labor of love in its creation. Thoughtful and not rushed it is more than lovely, it is superb.
It is all about what is in the bottle. Sure there are going to be lots of Celebuscents that are not good. Cheap thoughtless creations with a name tacked on who had nothing to do at all with the creation of the perfume. But somewhere in there in the midst of the rushing crush on the red carpet there may be a fragrance worth trying even in the glare of paparazzi flash bulbs exploding in a night filled with promise and possibilities.