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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lady Gaga Fame: fragrance review

With the Fame fragrance we witness a grossly missed chance and a Shannon entropy in one: whereas we could have had a Maleficent or at the very least a Pippi Longstocking, we get Cinderella ("please make the good prince notice me"), all bets off in a mathematical variability into the consumer's collective unconscious. Fame by Lady Gaga operates on a false signal, emitting something else than expected, breaking the communication circuit in half (visual cues, olfactory profile) and redirecting half of the message into the void. No wonder the Gaga perfume is the no.1 best-seller at the local Sephora as of this moment; perfume briefs these days are directed with a slew of semiotics experts and communication analysts behind them.

Lady Gaga Lady gaga FAME

The official blurb mentions the structure being built on three main accords, instead of the classic fragrance pyramid: dark accord, sensual accord and light accord. The fragrance, though not at all unpleasant (I bet if it was issued by another less "controversial" celebrity, we wouldn't expect so much to begin with and might be pleasantly surprised), ultimately runs the gamut of predictability: Fame by Gaga begins fresh grape-berry-apricot with more sweetness than anticipated from such a menacing presentation (the bottle looks like it is caught in fangs or in the pliers of a lifting machine at some enchanted factory making human replicas, someplace, an idea reinforced by the commercial), segueing into a "clean" layer of "white flowers" we've smelled in our fabric softener and plug-in home fragrance.

There's even the parting hint of smokiness for the allusion to mystery, as if something pretty needs an injection of something else too to register as coming from the meat-dress wearing celebrity or it wouldn't fit at all.

The nifty detail of the black juice inside which doesn't stain clothes or skin, as it instantly vaporizes transparent, isn't totally new either: Boudicca Wode (and not Boedicea the Victorious as I had erroneously mentioned before!) had explored the path first with her blue-tinged eau de parfum.

On the whole: Color me unimpressed.

Cool artwork though by Steven Klein. Can't knock that.



19 comments:

  1. Indeed a dissappointment. All this talk of belladona and crushed and bleeding stuff resulted in an apri-coty run of the mill fragrance that doesn't even perform well for what it is. Very short lived and also too generic for its short life. I just don't get it and don't know any people who do so far. Even die hard Gaga fans I know have not purchased so I kind of doubt the Sephora lists...

    PS: I think the blue perfume you refer to is Wode by Boudicca right? I know Boudicca and Boadicea are actually the same historical person. Are they the same company?

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  2. Nobody really could hope for a frag supposed to cash in on a celebrity to be anything other than a trivial teen fruity floral. In this, it's no different than the offering of the less interesting (as an artist) fellow celeb Bieber.

    I think Boadicea and Boudicca are different companies. Now, Boadicea's unwearable tannery, aka Complex, would have been a concept much more fitting to the aesthetic of the singer. But alas, it would not have sold.

    cacio

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  3. Hi, Helena,

    I still remember a slauterhouse that took place at your fragrantica thread on this fragrance... Gaga is now scoring a great success here in Russia as a singer both in St. Petersburg and Moscow, so sales of her frag here are also quite nice, as I was told in a couple of network stores.

    At fragrantica back then, I thought we had drawn almost every possible symbol of this tentative mystics... I nearly broke my head decyphering her designer ideas in all possible ways if not Pythagorean proportions ar smth akin to...

    And, You are aufully right!!! You gave me a chance to giggle!! This is exactly a claw-picker in those happy chance machines of our childhood in big malls, when you could win some sweet nothing that you would never call so if you are a child. It is a joyride, a prize for being smart and crafty, a holiday present to be proud of...

    So is a perfume for a young girl, a good pick out of a big vague mass. Gosh, I did not recognize it... Well, how old I am, I probably forgot my being a child, and I never allowed my daughter to spend a penny and time for this picking business - there are better entertainments in Luna-parks than this... Maybe this is not right?...

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  8. Merlin10:15

    Hi there! I was wondering why the mis-match between olfactory profile and visual cues has worked?
    To me its the same with her music though, in that the videos seem gothic/industrial and the sound is just plain pop.
    I agree that the perfume was not bad, just average so far as fruity florals go. I applied it next to Viva La Juicy which won hands down!

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  10. I think you've been spammed... :(

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  11. Anonymous12:25

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  12. Kosta,

    I am constantly spammed with tons of spams I have to manually delete every day :-(
    This is merely what I hadn't caught in time.

    Alas, I *have* to tolerate all this in order to leave the readers (you, people) do an undisturbed job of leaving comments easily and pleasurably (i.e. not having their comment held until moderated for current posts, no word verification thingie etc).

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  13. Kosta,

    the Sephora lists are not infallible ;-)

    Thanks for offering the correction on the brand with the blue juice! (have now edited it out mentioning the correction). See how the historian's mind works? One track. Same person, gotta be same brand. Apparently not!

    Thanks again!

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  14. M,

    it is as you say. The sales point is too important to go with something that will fit the image of the celebrity.

    Personally I'm holding out for a Marilyn Manson celebrity fragrance, but perhaps it wouldn't do to go there because what would they let him bring out? One of the same....and it'd be a shame because he's much too clever for repetitive projects.

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  15. Ника,

    yeah, it seemed to generate some intense feelings. Still, with the end of the year closing and doing the recap thing mentally, I couldn't leave it out of these pages either (with some adjustments, one of which is exactly the bottle).

    There are hundreds of symbolisms that one could attach to the visual and olfactory cues of this specimen, and folks over there did a great job at it, but I believe the simpler is often the closest to the truth (truth as in corresponding to the concept by the team that created it): a piece caught by a claw-picker, the impressive "prize" out of the generic mess, exactly how Gaga views her own pop career.

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  16. Merlin,

    interesting about the Juicy fragrance! I haven't tried them I believe. They're nowhere here to be found, from what I have seen, though the clothes do appear in stores. Odd.

    The discrepancy between visuals and music/fragrance isn't too difficult to be explained. "Difficult" music requires a much longer attention span from the audience, whereas visual clues are visceral, immediate, breath-taking. You just can't erase them from your eye nerve. It's always a safer bet in show business "playing" with the visual rather than anything else.

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  17. In order not to be misconstrued above:

    "Safer" as in making a lasting and strong impression, I mean.

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  18. These things happen. It was an honnest question, not a correction. I have no personal experience with either brand. Just saw them browsing in an online fragrance distributer.

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  19. Oh don't worry Kosta. No offense taken.
    And even if it had been a correction, then if only all corrections here came with such tact and kindness. :-)

    Thanks again for your comment, it was very useful. I wasn't wowed by any Boaedicea scent I sampled (didn't sample everything), but haven't personally tried Wode at all.

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