Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kate by Kate Moss

Kate Moss's fragrance is finally here after much speculation within the perfume community about when it would actually be released and how it would smell. The hot new celebrity fragrance by Coty is shaking up the UK by outselling a popular drugstore scent by another, yet lesser-known, celebrity named Katie "Jordan" Price called Stunning. In all truth, my expectations were low when I'd heard Kate would be made by Coty--not because they haven't made some amazing (at least really nice) scents for their Prestige lines like Marc Jacobs or Lovely for Sarah Jessica Parker (even though it smelled like a Narciso Rodriguez clone), but Coty perfumes often smell like Coty perfumes, often associated with drugstore quality (remember Emeraude?), as they make most of the low end celeb scents such as Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Beckham (visit for a list). Incidentally, the ones that aren't made by Coty are made by companies such as Firmenich (Usher), Elizabeth Arden (Britney Spears) and Tommy Hilfiger (True Star (Beyonce)). Christina Aguilera's scent was created by Proctor and Gamble, and I think it smells like a creamy-woody Elizabeth Arden perfume called Red Door Revealed. We may never again see the integrity of focusing on the actual essence that made Catherine Deneuve's Deneuve great, nor could we expect truly personalized scents such as Cailtin by Caitlin O'Heaney, a lovely apple-patchouli-gardenia created by the actress herself and sold as a niche indie brand, but if anything, the celeb fragrance trend is turning more people towards wearing and experimenting with, hopefully learning about, perfume in some way, shape or form.

Now, without further ado, my take on Kate Moss's fragrance is that it's not Prestige like I'd hoped. It's a soapy floral with underlying coconutty elements reminiscent of Hilary Duff With Love (Elizabeth Arden) and one of Coty's creations, Desperate Housewives (but thankfully, it's not as strong as that). At first, Kate resembles Stella by Stella McCartney (which smells like Narciso Rodriguez once again) because of the prominent rose note combined with ambery-woody musk, but it quickly turns into that soapy, sharp mish mash of floral notes I try to avoid in my perfumes. It doesn't at all resemble its muse's inspirations, Guerlain L'Heure Bleue and Penhaligon's Bluebell, because for one thing, the quality isn't as delicate as those. If I'm to compare it to another floral, Ralph Lauren Glamorous comes to mind--it's that sort of floral soapiness to me. I thought perhaps it would morph into an interesting rose musk along the lines of Kiehl's Musk, another notorious Kate Moss favorite, but alas, Kate remained a coconutty soapy floral till the rosy end. The body lotion is actually nicer to me, because the texture of the lotion cuts down on the sharpness of the scent and the dry down smells more rosy and sweet, even a touch fruity, like Stella.

If the perfume industry is trying to market soapy rose florals as elegant, cutting edge, and perhaps even blue-blooded and aristocratic, I think they still could have made it a bit less harsh, like clobbering us over the head with class. My last word on Kate is that I'm glad her scent is selling well, and as much as I complain about it not being Prestige, that it's in the price range that's most accessible to fans around the world. Do try it--there are many low end scents I love and wear.

Notes on Now Smell This blog:
Kate by Kate Moss (2007): orange blossom absolute, forget-me-not, pink pepper, lily of the valley, heliotrope, magnolia, peony, rose, patchouli, sandalwood, musk, vetiver and ambrette.