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.
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Beautiful scent that has the hallmarks of a classic, I believe this scent will stand the test of time. I was a bit disappointed with the rest of the range, Covet isn't bad, but they are not a patch on this.
Gorgeous bottle, gorgeous scent. I have to say this is very similar to Narciso Rodrigues for Her, they are alike but Lovely is softer in the drydown I think. I love them both, have them both, and wear them both.
On a SJP topic, I prefer Covet Pure Bloom of all her frags. I'm not taken at all with the Lovely Collection however, I have sniffed 2 of the 3 and I have to say.....Eurgh!!
Lovely is Lovely :-)
My grandmother had this on. Not sure how I'd feel about it on my Fiancé but I think this is perfectly suited for more mature adults. The musk and orchid are very comforting to the nose.
It's a sweetly romantic fragrance with an off-note in it that keeps it from playing it safe. At first I found the scent unsettling but after having received it as a birthday present I am in love with this fragrance. I'm almost out of it and I'm ready for a replenishment!
It is flirty, understated, innocent yet sexy. I often wear this when I'm in the mood to wear flirty dresses, soft cardigans and jeans, or vintage romantic tops with a kitten heel. It's one of the few fragrances I have that I feel I have to dress according to it.
My only complaint about the fragrance is it's lack of staying power. Luckily I was given a fragrance set which included a lotion and a rollerball. I definitely have to wear the lotion and carry the rollerball in my purse if I want the scent to stay with me all day.
This fragrance is anything but boring. It's uniqueness lies in that one discordant note. I love this one so much!
I love this scent. The floral mixed with a musky undertone makes it a little less "old" feeling to me, even though it is so floral. Frankly, it reminds me of the camelia bushes outside my grandmother's front entrance. It is a nostalgic scent for me.
If Chanel No. 5 is your little black dress, Lovely is your favorite pair of jeans.
I bought this blind after reading THE PERFECT SCENT by Chandler Burr, and after owning and liking SJP's subsequent fragrance, Covet, so my expectations were shaped by two influences. (And yes, I may be 6 years late to the bandwagon, but what celebrity fragrance purchase doesn't benefit from an intervening 6 years to let the price come down a bit?) Based on what I knew about Covet, I'm pleasantly surprised by Lovely: it's a more coherent fragrance than its successor, if less daring. I now recognize that what I've been smelling ambiently on coworkers/friends/the general subway-riding public for about five years now is, in fact, Lovely, and so I don't feel entirely surprised by what I'm smelling. I don't get the "apple martini" accord at all, just an unobtrusive, musky floral with a slightly papery sense about it. It seems like a very versatile fragrance: I can imagine dressing it both up and down, like a summer dress that could go either way with the right accessories.
I read Chandler Burr’s story of the ridiculousness of the making of this scent and an Hermès Jardin fragrance, and then, of course, was dying to try it. What’s funny, though, is that for all the attention centered on Lovely and the Hermès scent, I found them both to be first and foremost dull. I thought that I would at least find Un Jardin sur le Nil intriguing or memorable. 5 minutes after testing it, though, I could only vaguely even remember it, and never went back to try it again.
As ho-hum as Lovely is, I like that it’s a musk fragrance. Little wood, little flower, BIG MUSK. Enough musk that this could be a musk-in-the-title perfume if it chose to be. Soft, when used to describe musk usually means rounded and comfortable. This is soft like soggy. The cloying musk burdened with flowers and patchouli is all weight and no buoyancy. Also a bit like chewing a taffy ‘til your jaw aches—it takes effort and seems to go on forever. Still, if you like sweet, this is better than most candy-perfumes.
29th November, 2010 (last edited: 13th January, 2015)
Upon first spray Lovely smells more woody and herbal than you might guess looking at the beautiful pink packaging it comes in. The top notes create a fresh, slightly spicy scent and there is very little sweetness in the top layer. However, it doesn't take long for the citrus notes to fade and for the woods to really show through. Cedar and Patchouli offer a light warmth to Lovely, while Amber and Musk in the base notes create a 'powdery' scent which I find to be very comforting.
Lovely is beautiful and easy to wear, while it's not an overly complex or striking scent it's perfect for daytime or quiet nights spent cuddling on the couch. It stays fairly close to the skin and the musky notes cling for a few hours. I don't find it's a perfume that others will comment on but it's one that makes me feel warm, safe and happy. I also think that Lovely has a timeless quality about it, there is a slightly old word gracefulness about it yet Lovely doesn't smell dated - it is a fragrance that will surpass trends. For a celebrity fragrance, a genre which can garner much cynicism and criticism, I think it holds it's own very well.
I wore this to the office one day and a co-worker commented (quite loudly) 'Who's got musk sticks?' (those vivid pink, long, thin, corrugated, soft musky sweets) It took me a minute to realise it was my perfume. Uh oh. I slid down in my chair and slunk off to the ladies room to tone it down a bit. Nonetheless I persist in wearing it (just not to the ofice) because I like it. It really is lovely. But, I do think that it may be best on young women and teenagers, and it is time I moved on. If you are too old to eat musk sticks then you may be too old for this one.
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I used to really love this one but somehow I have grown so used to it that I cannot even smell it any more! It is an excellent perfume for daily wear. It can be smelled from a distance but is very mild and composed. It has excellent longevity and leaves a lovely fragrance on coats and scarves. It is very very clean. It is not a fragrance that shouts out, it is not something fantastic but it is 'lovely', exactly as its name implies. Quiet and unassuming, unlike the name of the woman it bears, it still makes a statement.
14th December, 2009 (last edited: 15th March, 2010)
Lots of sharp points here, but alluringly feminine all the same- I really enjoyed this one and would buy it again- and the bottle is nice to have around, too- piquant and energizing, yet not "in your face" about it-
Some people have compared this to Narciso Rodriguez, but it reminds me more of Eclat De Arpege by LANVIN. The apple martini, cedar and amber give it that fruity floral kick.
The patchouli is very high quality and manages to keep the fragrance "musky" without ever becoming spicy.
I have to hand it to Sarah Jessica Parker, I wouldn't touch most "celebrity scents" with a 10 foot pole, but she did her homework on this scent. A great women's scent for those who like musky florals. A hidden gem !
To know what "Lovely" smells like, picture this: a young woman in a strapless summer dress steps out of her house, fresh from the shower. It is 11 a.m. in July. She's late, so she walks fast along a hot sidewalk to get to the subway. "Lovely" is the scent she exudes when she just...starts....to sweat. ("glow"-- sorry-- men sweat, women "glow.")
Clean, fresh glow. Sexiest scent imaginable.
Two thumbs up-- way up.
I like it. Is it masculine? Umm.... maybe a teensy bit. But does it still smell good? Yes, to my nose. A bit strong sometimes, but still... Lovely! It's true. Jessica Simpson named hers "Fancy," which it's not, but this one's appropriately named. It's warm, but not a sugar-sweet warm. It's a strong-type of warmth. The perfume itself is strong; it lasts, but I don't know, it smells lovely, and has an independent strength. I guess it's the musk, evoking some kind of masculine quality that doesn't overshadow and overwhelm.
I find so many women's fragrances too floral and cloying. There are very few that I buy as gifts, because I find them overdone. I was shopping for an Xmas gift once and I smelled this one. I didn't buy it as a gift, but I remember being impressed by the glorious bouquet. It smelled very classy and sophisticated, yet piquant and pure, and like Cashmere Mist, ultra-feminine. I need to go back and take a whiff of this one again. It has lingered in my memory.
I can't tell you how CUTE and "girly" this stuff smells on my girlfriend. It's nothing fancy but this is indeed her signature scent. She's never wore fragrances before but she fell in love with this at first sniff. Half of the other perfumes she wrinkled her nose in disgust.
Crisp florals, luscious white musk, caressing patchouli. What's not to like? The first time I sprayed this dazzling creation I immediately wrinkled my nose in dismay. Is this what I had been waiting for? the scent of acetone and biting, rubbing alcohol. After a couple of moments the sharpness retreated and a gentle, creamy, come hither fragrance unfolded. Lovely stays with me all day, subtly and naturally. I smell musk, black pepper, all the things a clean man should smell like. Every man/woman loves this on me, and i have yet to find it smell nice on a woman.
It's lovely. Not as soft and fluffy as the name and advertising implies - it does have some backbone and impressive sillage. It also lasts phenomenally well on the skin and is often still there the following morning. There's a definite crispness and sparkle to the head and heart notes and it clips along like Carrie in her Manolos. There's a sass to it.
I think that's the image to hold when considering this fragrance - don't think of SJP the dancer, fashionista, Broadway actress, Mrs Matthew Broderick... think of Carrie clipping smartly down a sunny New York street in a little bitty dress and high heels, going to meet her girlfriends. It's warm, sparkling, charming and urban; it doesn't put a foot wrong.
Makes a great gift too.
Similar to Narciso Rodriguez for her but softer.Nice for office wear or for a lunch with friends.Beautiful bottle too.I even like the advert with Sarah Jessica Parker as a ballet dancer,although I have never been very fond of her.So different from her other fragance , Covet!
I really love this one of my best friend.
When I first smelt it I was kind of taken by it but I wasn't sure - it had a rather musky sporty kind of smell. It has grown on me a lot (perhaps because of who wears it).
If you like musk - you should like this. I agree with anyone else who has noted this also - it has a unisex appeal.
This fragrance took me back ages when i fist smelled it, it just so happens to smell like something else that was launched decades ago.
This very light musky scent is all good, it's very much unisex and it has a tenacity to it that i admired for a scent that opens rather strongly but fades quickly but stays that way for a long time on the skin. It has a hint of fruits that i found very attractive, and a base of ,well, white musks and rosewood that are very comfortable.
I will mention that Rigaud had a scent called Lovely too, but that one was more about Lily of the valley, jasmin and other flowers than musk.
So, i have smelled this one before, give or take a few other notes, and i think i'll keep smelling it in the future thanks to its success.
It's really nice. The mixture of lavender and musk in a soft sweet way. In fact because of this, I want to stick to the genre, the soft floral subtle perfumes.
Too bad that my friend use this and everytime I wear this, it remind me of her. Not a bad thing, but I couldn't make this as my HG perfume.
I think the opening is a bit strong. It is unique: quite a bit edgy, quite a bit sophisticated, and very much creative — one of those borderline openings that seem to shift between “Fantastic!” and “I’m not so sure.” It’s that borderline thing that typifies fragrances of complexity and character. I find the opening accord abstract (actually all the accords are abstract, as Ayala has mentioned), and I think that the rosewood is the note responsible for the uniqueness / ambiguity of the opening. Tricky stuff, that rosewood, but not as tricky as lavender. Lavender is my most variable note: I often dislike it, in some fragrances I love it, in Lovely, I’m mesmerized by it — it’s juncture with the rosewood is the genius of the top two layers of the fragrance IMO. The “Apple Martini” is responsible for the effervescence, the lemon grass is responsible for its hint of clean, but the rosewood / lavender is responsible for the creative challenge. I love the paperwhite narcissus of the heart notes — so clean and abstract; I dislike the orchid—orchid is always too strong and errrpy for me, but it is presented so…”abstractly” that I can quite overlook it. Very refined base — the most abstract of all the levels. This is a wonderful feminine fragrance, and this IS a fragrance men love.
I know a woman that works with me who wears this and I really enjoy it. It's a little strange at first, but I like women to wear proper perfume and not just body-shop lotion smelling crap all the time, so on the occasion that she wears this, I just enjoy it.
From a male perspective, just know that men find this an attractive smell on a woman. I see some thumbs down for this one but I have to disagree. This one pushes my buttons.
This perfume, like the name, is indeed a "lovely" floral/musk with decent staying power. Unfortunately, it's a little too "nice girl" for me...I prefer something edgier. Try it, though--it's very pretty.
I didn't expect to like this one and it really is not my type, but it does have a beautiful smell to it. I would highly recommend it to someone a little less stuck in their ways than me.