I’m not going to pretend like I’m not a perfume snob. I am. Admittedly, this is an identity that’s been honed over many, many years of wearing all sorts of difference scents. Some of them were basic (in every sense of the word), like my 6th grade infatuation with The Body Shop’s discontinued Fuzz Peach Perfume Oil, which now sells for a sweet $69 on eBay, or my 7th grade committed relationship to the GAP’s Dream perfume, a freesia- and jasmine-heavy bouquet, which smelled like my New York-dwelling self was sure L.A. would (turned out: not always, but sometimes).
I graduated from those mall scents slowly but surely—not that there’s anything wrong with mall scents; I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the sweetly woody Ananya, which I used to double up with bought-from-a-street-vendor Egyptian musk oil—and moved on to greater things. First, I spent some time wearing Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men (I just love a jasmine top note, I guess), then progressed to Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb (see what I mean about loving jasmine?), until finally settling on the Hermès Un Jardin Sur le Nil, which I’ve worn pretty exclusively for years now (despite it being a jasmine-free, ultra-green scent, with faintly bitter undertones that somehow compel actual salivation from their deliciousness), along with the occasional swipes of my ever-reliable street vendor Egyptian musk oil (admittedly now bought mostly off small sellers on Amazon, because, convenience). Dyptique’s Ombre dans l’Eau is maybe my new favorite scent to wear and also ultra-green, and when I wear it, I feel like I smell as if I were just rolling around in the musky dirt under a tangle of rose and blackberry bushes, not caring about getting pricked by thorns, because the coppery smell of my own blood isn’t a bad top note, when I think of it. Oh, I do love that perfume.
All of this is just to say that if anyone had suggested to me that I might like a celebrity perfume, I would have ignored and probably thought less of them. Because I am a snob! I make no apologies for it. Elitism gets such a negative rap when all it really means is the ability to discern what is good from what is bad. What’s wrong with that?
Anyway, this all changed recently when I caught a whiff of Sarah Jessica Parker’s new perfume, Stash. The heady scent was apparently inspired by SJP’s own blend of fragrances, and considering the fact that every time the actress appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, she was greeted with compliments on how great she smelled, I should have known this would be good. (And admission: I’d smelled her first perfume, Lovely, before and had found it quite, well, lovely, in a powdery, millennial pink kind of a way. It wasn’t my thing, but it was very nice.) But so: Stash. It smells like the musky scent of the neck of your favorite leather jacket, the one you always wear when you go out at night, the one that carries with it the fingerprints of all your other perfumes, which have traveled from your nape to the leather collar. It smells like you do, at your dirtiest and warmest, with hints of a mineral tang and soft bites of sawdust. It smells so good that, after I rolled some onto my wrist, I couldn’t stop smelling myself.
I had to wonder if this meant I was wrong about celebrity perfumes. Are some of them actually... good? As it turns out, yes. Though, because scent is such an individual thing, not every scent is right for every person. And look, some celebrity perfumes are objectively better than others, i.e. they’re formulated by master perfumiers and employ better ingredients than do others. (SJP is actually an excellent example of this; she works with the best; her scents are the best.) That said, there’s definitely a celebrity perfume out there for you, no matter your tastes. Read on to see just which one that might be.