Hear that? That’s the sound of Lady Gaga’s much-anticipated Fame perfume FINALLY hitting Macy’s shelves across the country! We’ve been trailer teased and taunted with jaw-dropping campaign photos for the better half of the last two months, but now (NOW!!!!) we can finally get our hands on Mother Monster’s debut fragrance and answer all our burning questions. Will the “First Black Eau de Parfum” really change colors? Will it stain my clothes? What exactly does “tears of Belladonna, crushed heart of the tiger orchidea with a black veil of incense, pulverized apricot, and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops” smell like??? Walk with us.
The release of a new celebrity fragrance has come to mean here at MTV Style that we’ll conduct another office-wide blind smell test. (See Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend perfume, Selena Gomez’s first fragrance, and Madonna’s Truth or Dare scent for more examples.) While some on the MTV Digital floor with more sensitive palates may shy away from the prospect of being pigeonholed into an inevitable migraine, there is an overwhelmingly brave subset that welcomes the challenge with open arms and a cup of their own coffee grounds. But even our resident fragrance connoisseurs thought Gaga’s Fame perfume was a bit of a curveball.
While The Biebs and Selena pumped out appropriately young scents that brought our test sniffers back to lockers and Barbies and candy, Fame toes a lot of lines all at the same time. Descriptions of who might wear this perfume ranged from “a sweet little girl,” as described by Brittney Carlson, a digital production assistant on the MTV Events team, to “an older, Mrs. Robinson type” courtesy of associate producer Jason Mitchell.
Though some testers detected hints of masculinity or unisex qualities (which honestly isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility since Gaga hasn’t formally stated that it’s meant for a specific gender), the older woman was definitely more of a theme, though, with many members of our staff recalling their own beloved moms, aunts, and grandmothers. Digital marketing coordinator Jon Ward mused, “It smells like raspberries and childhood. Or my grandma making coffee cake. Or maybe how Betty White smells,” before finally settling on, “the set of Murder She Wrote.”
Our MTV Digital staff also noted that this scent smells more expensive. Senior producer Sarah DeFilippis said, “It smells substantial. Like the scent would stay with you all day.” Production assistant Chelsea Welsh riffed on that, adding, “It smells like a high-end department store. Like a Barneys, more than a Macy’s.” Social community manager Kim Thai agreed, noting, “It definitely smells expensive. And maybe a little mall-ish?” Won’t they be surprised to know a 3.4 fluid ounce bottle retails for a totally doable $79.00??
All in all, the revelation that THIS is what Lady Gaga’s storied Fame fragrance smells like was surprising across the board. The dark, latexy imagery and envelope-pushing “black liquid” had us certain it would be something spicy or heavily musky, but the light florals are a pleasant surprise. Production assistant Rachel Dady said, “I only thought it might be Lady Gaga because I knew she was releasing a fragrance soon. Nicki Minaj is too, but this doesn’t smell as colorful or overtly sugary as I would expect Nicki’s might smell.” DeFilippis summarized it best, “I’m surprised Lady Gaga’s scent smells so mature, but I’m also not surprised that she would smell like this. She has expensive taste.” Check it out for yourself at your nearest Macy’s location!