WHAT A SNOB! ~ Lovely by Sarah Jessica 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 and end up looking rather foolish not to mention narrow minded. 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 on her channel http://www.youtube.com/user/katiepuckriksmells?feature=results_main   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 Imperiale 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  balmy white amber which 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.



  1. I love Lovely. I love the name, the smell. It’s classic but not old. It really seems to capture Miss (Mrs) Parker well as I would imagine her if I ever met her. Not trendy at all. Nice.

    • If you haven’t read Chandler’s book you should give it a whirl to find out among other things if the perfume is like the picture you have of Miss Parker and if Miss Parker is what you imagine her to be. I don’t think you will be disapointed. Thank you so much for your comment is is a pleasure to have you visit.

  2. And a wonderful Soho-at-dawn scene too! Fabulous.

  3. I’m really happy that this fragrance seems to be standing the test of time. I don’t wear it, but if all celebuscents were fly by night crap, I would feel even worse about our industry and our culture for supporting them. This one gives me some hope.

  4. I’m in love with Lovely too! I too tried it after reading Burr’s book on its creation. On me, it really is just that, lovely. I struggle to find any dark, sinister or dirty notes. Lucky or unlucky me, I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. Either way though, this is my idea of what constitutes “fresh”.

    • Hi Jenson! Lovely to see you here!

      • I’ve been a silent stalker for quite a while.. ha ha….

    • Now that you mention it… The musk does resemble the one used in Agent Provocateur. if my scent memory is correct…..

      • I think your scent memory is right on target! Cheers.

  5. The Perfect Scent was a great read and an interesting peak into the industry. I tried Lovely near the beginning of my descent down the rabbit hole and remember thinking that it was a pretty thing, but not FBW for me. A little while back I noticed it on the discount shelf at our local drugstore for $20 and thought, “Well, at that price I’ll pick it up” only to discover that now it smells sour on me – I suspect it’s been reformulated, as it does the same thing for my EST, although she eventually managed to track down an older bottle and it sings on her skin.

    Has anyone else noticed a change?

  6. Ahhh yes, see – it isn’t always a good thing to be a perfume snob. I adore this scent (but for some reason I don’t own it). Covet by SJP is in my collection, however, and it’s just as good!

    • She seems to be a Celeb who really gets involved with the creation of her line…and that is a good thing.

    • yes oh yes!! I thought it was me!! I have taken two bottles back to the store because I thought they were replica and not real Lovely, it has definitely changed and not for the better, won’t be buying ever again!

  7. Chandler Burr is a handsome fella, I don’t think I ever saw a photo of him before. Meanwhile I’m conflicted about the prospect of trying Lovely. It sounds like a wonderful scent, but I just don’t like Sarah Jessica Parker. I don’t know why, I just don’t. So even if it smelled fantastic on me, I think I’d feel weird wearing it. Meh.

    • Believe me I understand what you are saying on all counts.

  8. I would have never have guessed. I’m going to have to have a go of this next time I’m at Macy’s!

  9. I do like this scent but you know for me it gets a little mixed up with SJPs other persona Carrie Bradshaw and for me that doesn’t fit. In itself though – a wonderful scent.


    • Oh no you are most definitively NOT the Carrie Bradshaw type. But it is a very nice scent.

  10. Hi Lanier! Thanks for the shout-out. I like the specificity of your rain-washed Soho cobblestones. I can smell them from here. (And now I want that long dress SJP’s wearing in the red carpet photo.)

    • So happy you like it and the dress too! That picture was taken at the Cannes Film Festival.

  11. Lanier, I have a duel problem when it comes to perfume – fear of commitment to unknowns and absolute loyalty to those I adore but always willing to try a squirt and I have to tell you, I would never have thought to try a squirt of Lovely, but I shall!

    I definitely want to read “The Perfect Scent”

    • Patti read the book first then test both perfumes that are in the book…..it will be more fun that way. Havee fun!!

  12. Applause for being an equal opportunity perfume lover!

    I remember when Lovely came out. I wasn’t too interested at the time, but after I read Burr’s book I had to give it another try. And, while browsing discounted Le Creuset and All-Clad pans at TJ Maxx, lo and behold: Lovely.

    I snatched it up for a song and on the days when I am running out the door without much time for thought about what to wear, it’s nice to know that I can always smell lovely.

    No pun intended 😉

  13. Golly, gee—Wham! I apologize for arriving late to the party again. See, I got all hung up shoe selection. What to wear? What to wear to a “Lovely” review? I couldn’t decide. Finally, I picked out a pair of Black Lace pumps by Palter DeLiso. They always look smashing with a wet cobblestone background. By the way, your Soho cobblestone shot is a beauty. So is your review. Count me in. I am also a fan of Chandler Burr and Luca Turin. Adding “Lovely” to my list. Say, tripping over shoes isn’t very pretty or nice. You said it, sir.T.

    • Your shoes are FABULOUS! I am so happy you made it to the party. We are all going to the Westside Cafe for breakfast at dawn.

  14. I remember liking Lovely on one of my friends but I’ve never even thought of trying it on my skin. I don’t know… I do not like the idea of celebuscents and do not want to support any of them.

    • Stick to your guns. I certainly understand your point of view.

  15. I have a powerful, love/hate relationship with Lovely. Sometimes I find it quite plasticy, and it leaves me cold. Other times, I absolutely *crave* it. Your post has me craving Lovely again.

    • Thanks for stopping by Perfumedletters!

      That is a very interesting conundrum. Reminds me of a line from Gilda …. all about the deliciousness of a love/hate relationship.

      Gilda: You do hate me, don’t you, Johnny?

      Johnny Farrell: I don’t think you have any idea of how much.

      Gilda: Hate is a very exciting emotion. Haven’t you noticed? Very exciting. I hate you too, Johnny. I hate you so much I think I’m going to die from it. Darling…
      [they kiss passionately] I think I’m going to die from it.

  16. Priceless dialogue!

  17. I’m delighted to use these pages to come out.

    I am a happy perfume snob.

    But I believe that I can change and with the correct professional help so I too can lead a normal life in the Celebuscent world.

    Whilst I’m more than happy to dredge through the bottom drawers on a random old drugstore for some precious long lost vintage cheapie, I have always recoiled from any touch of Hollywood (or HBO) fairy dust as far as scents are concerned.

    Yes I know this is illogical, intemperate and indefensibly elitist but that’s just the way I’ve been made until now.

    Perhaps SJP is the one to help me make the change…

    • Hummm…. perhaps, perhaps perhaps.
      Do keep me posted if you run into SJP.

  18. Nice.

    • Thank you! I just found your blog and I am really enjoying it. Thanks for coming by to mine.

  19. Tried this one and didn’t like it. May have to revisit at a later time. I do plan on putting up Burr’s book, The Perfect Scent. It sounds fascinating. Great review

    • The book is a lot of fun! Especially his thumb nail sketches of all the perfumers he knows.

  20. […] reading: Scents Memory and Now Smell This Fragrance Shop has $21/50ml My Perfume Samples start at […]

  21. I was directed to your blog by olfactorias travels and I thanked her for it! I’m reading the perfect scent for the 2nd time right now and was thrilled to read your take on Lovely. I bought it when it first came out and have treated it like a guilty pleasure for far too long. I look forward to reading more from you

    • I don’t know how I missed your lovely comment Olivia! Thank you all this time later for being so kind. Cheers!

  22. A remarkable review on a lovely perfume!
    I own it and I enjoy it every time I wear it as I enjoyed reading your post.

    • Rododoviris thank you so much. This is a very wonderful scent indeed. Thanks for your very sweet message.

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