I’m not going to start this article by banging on about how I love pop music and fragrances and how celebrity scents are a natural extension of that. We’ve been over that a hundred times, so I’ll spare you, this time around.
I think I’ve made my point, seeing as all of these beauty publicists keep telling me that they know me as the guy who loves celebrity fragrances. I’ll take it! I’ve been known for worse.
This fall, we’re getting a whole slew of new pop star fragrances and I couldn’t be more excited. All the girls are hitting us with new scents and of course I tried them all. You knew this was coming.
Ari by Ariana Grande, $59.00
Lover of donuts, hater of America, and apparent crusader against childhood obesity, Ariana Grande, has solidified her place in pop music the same way all other pop icons have done: by releasing her own fragrance.
I can’t think too hard about Ariana Grande because I’ll pass out. She fascinates me in ways that no other artist does. All that hair! The high pony! Those pipes! I often wonder if she’s an actual human, or some perfect pop robot that’s come to give us great performances and steal our hearts. I also wonder if we could share clothes.
Ari is built like a standard celebrity perfume: fruit, florals, musks, no surprises there. Raspberry, pear, and grapefruit open the scent with a big burst of fruity sweetness. Lily of the valley, rose, and orchid take up the middle, which are a nice change from the typical heart notes made up of just white florals. At the base, we’ve got wood, musk, and marshmallow. You read that right. MARSHMALLOW.
Base notes are usually made up of musks, woods, leathers, ambers, tobacco, shit like that, to anchor the fragrance and temper any sugary sweetness at the top to make it tolerable for extended wear. Ari comes through with a damn marshmallow at the base to ensure that the scent stays sweet all day long, and it does.
The scent is housed in a beveled bottle, sort of reminiscent of the first Jimmy Choo fragrance, with A FLUFFY LITTLE POM POM ON THE SIDE.
Even the bottle is accessorized. Everything about this fragrance is perfect. I want to die.
When I saw Ari in concert a few months ago, a mom mistook me for her brother, Frankie Grande. Nope, just another gay guy with pink hair, sorry to disappoint.
RiRi by Rihanna, $60.00
One thing you may not know about me is that I love a good urban legend or conspiracy theory. Rihanna’s next album has become a little of both. We know it exists, somewhere. Or at least, we think it does. She’s been previewing snippets for almost an entire year. We’ve heard about it from producers and collaborators. We’ve seen some of the visuals. But the album is starting to join the ranks of the Loch Ness Monster, Biggie’s killer, and that Malaysian plane, because no one knows where the hell it is.
Retired singer Rihanna has been hustling hard all year, album or no album. Putting out a few singles, videos, the Bitch Better Have My Money video, a Fendi collaboration, starring in the major motion picture “Home,” becoming the face of Dior, acting as the creative director of Puma, and a sock collaboration with Stance Socks (???). Oh, and this fragrance!
RiRi is tropical, boozy, and sensual. Passion fruit and rum open the scent with a syrupy sweetness, which is softened at its heart by freesia, jasmine, honeysuckle, and orange blossom. The base notes include, take a guess: vanilla, woods, and musk.
I’d venture to say that RiRi is Rihanna’s fruitiest scent yet, but the pairing of passion fruit and rum make for a darker, more intriguing duo than red fruits or citrus that we’re used to seeing. It wears nicely all day, but feels like more of a night scent, I think.
The Pinkprint by Nicki Minaj, $37.50
A few weeks ago, I was in Philadelphia for Jay-Z’s Made In America music festival. I went to Meek Mill’s set, for some reason (basically hoping he’d bring out the rapper that is infinitely more skilled and more successful than him, Nicki Minaj, who he also happens to be dating.) We were standing in the crowd, patience waning, when the beat dropped to their summer hit “All Eyes On You” and out walked Nicki Minaj.
I haven’t been the same since.
So here’s the thing about Nicki Minaj’s fragrances, a lot of them are really good, and not even in terms of celebrity scents. Celebrity fragrances can be good, OK?! And Nicki Minaj proves that.
Nicki continues to build her empire with her fourth fragrance named after her third album, The Pinkprint. At the top, you’ll find passion fruit, grapefruit, and bergamot. The middle of the scent is made up of rose, heliotrope, orange blossom, frangipani, and nectarine. The fragrance is locked down at its base with woods, patchouli, musk, and coconut.
It’s a sparkling, airy fragrance that’s equal parts flower and fruit. The floral middle helps to balance the citrusy top, and the woods and musk keep things breezy throughout wear. Of these three fragrances, The Pinkprint is the standout because it’s the most interesting and wearable. It really is so, so good.
What are you wearing this fall? What fragrances should I check out? You guys always have such good recs, so I'm all ears. Let's talk in the comments!
Tynan smells like a pop star on Twitter @TynanBuck.