BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY: A Preview of FAME by Lady Gaga

This week, Lady Gaga is releasing her first perfume called “FAME,” but you already knew that. Its official release is Wednesday, but as your resident boy beauty writer and secret super fan, I had to smell it sooner.
Publish date:
August 21, 2012
fragrance, perfume, celebrities, lady gaga

I love Lady Gaga, obviously. While I would rather chew through my own wrists than call myself a Little Monster, I have to be completely honest when I say that ever since “Just Dance” was released and this weirdo blonde chick kept making all of these references to Warhol, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Argue all you want but I think she’s great and she makes me happy, and I’m all about being happy.

AND SMELLING NICE. This week, Lady Gaga is releasing her first perfume called “FAME,” but you already knew that. Its official release is Wednesday, but as your resident boy beauty writer and secret super fan, I had to smell it sooner.

I was deviously strutting around the fragrance section of Macy’s yesterday, trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to wrap my nostrils around the scent early, when I spotted my prey. An unassuming, dewy-eyed homosexual behind fragrance counter. I was salivating like a lion about to pounce on a gazelle because I knew that this was my only chance.

I greeted him in our universal dialect. “Hey, girl.”

I explained that I needed to smell Gaga’s new fragrance, by any means necessary, and that I would do anything, including offering him a bribe (which I did), if he could help make that happen.

His eyes narrowed as he glanced over to his boss, who was thankfully out of earshot.

“Come find me in five minutes,” he whispered with a wink.

YES! Victory. Five minutes later, I met him at another counter farther away from his looming boss, and he sprayed it on me so fast that I had to double check to make sure it actually was “FAME.” It was.

When the news that Gaga was creating her own fragrance was first released, she was quoted as saying it was going to smell like “blood and semen.” Lord. “GAGA,” I thought to myself, “knock it off.” Not that I have a problem with blood or semen, it’s just that I’ve got no shortage of the two already.

So, how does it actually smell? The fragrance boasts belladonna or deadly nightshade, a plant that is extremely toxic. Next is pulverized apricot, finishing off with jasmine and tiger orchid. I can tell you that the minute it hits your skin, it’s sweet, almost shockingly so. You get the powerful notes of apricot right away. My first thought was “Fruit Stripe gum and lube,” which wouldn’t be totally shocking, given her fan base. As it wears though, the sweetness calms down and more of the belladonna and tiger orchid make their way through. The end result is a surprisingly sophisticated, multidimensional fragrance. It didn’t smell as youthful as I thought it would, but more like something a woman of any age could wear. Or man, no judgment, obvy.

One cool feature of the product itself is that the liquid is black in the bottle, “black like the heart of fame,” but don’t worry, it sprays on clear. It is also housed in an egg-like bottle, much like the egg (or “The Vessel” as she calls it, by Hussein Chalayan) that she entered the Grammys in back in 2011.

Yes, it’s a women’s fragrance but I couldn’t help putting it on. Besides, every gay middle school boy will be wearing it, which is basically what I am.

I was pleasantly surprised at how refined it was, not like many other celebrity fragrances which are essentially glorified body sprays. Sometimes the fragrance counter looks more like the front page of iTunes, seeing as you’re bombarded with just as many pop stars as you are designers. This one, I think, has a lot more staying power.

A lot of people wonder what Gaga is actually like in the flesh. WANNA KNOW?!

I met Gaga the day her second album, "The Fame Monster," was released. I was working at MTV and my friend Carlo from Extra was interviewing her before a signing at Best Buy.

“Girl.” He texted me. “Get off of work tomorrow, we’re meeting her.”

“Carlo, I left school and moved to Los Angeles to take this job. I can’t just leave work to meet Gaga. Besides, what would my interns think?”

The next day, she was filming an appearance on Leno before the signing, and it ran late, so by the time I left work, she hadn’t made it to the signing yet.

I left work at 5pm and hauled ass, on my bike, over to Best Buy. The line of fans waiting to meet Gaga went out the front door, and wrapped around the entire building. Many of them were nibbling at slices of pizza that she had sent them to eat while they waited.

I walked in and flashed my press credentials and they escorted me to the back room where Carlo was waiting for me -- holding a garbage bag.

“What’s in the bag?” I asked.

“What I’m wearing to interview Gaga in.” He smiled.

Do you guys remember when Lady Gaga was interviewed wearing a top made out of Kermits?

Well, Carlo had worn one that he made for Halloween, and brought it that night. He whipped it out of the bag and threw it on. The room went silent. The Best Buy team, the other people interviewing her, and her manager looked mortified. Carlo remained unbothered.

Her stylist, Nicola Formichetti came over and whipped out his iPhone asking “Can I have a picture of that? You look amazing.” Carlo posed as he snapped.

There was a nervous energy in the room because people weren’t sure how she was going to take Carlo’s ensemble. Would she be offended? Would she think he was mocking her? He was oblivious.

Finally, Gaga made her way in the room wearing a black pantsuit with tall shoulder pads and even taller heels. She took one look at him and immediately walked over, throwing her arms out saying “You’re wearing my boyfriend all over your sweater!”

Collective sigh of relief from the room.

We introduced ourselves, and had to wait a few extra minutes while the team was setting up the camera, doing screen tests and adjusting the lighting. All the while, Gaga just stood next to us and shot the shit. It was amazing. They were just normal questions like how we were doing and where we were from, but they were being asked by Lady Gaga.

Carlo’s interview was going wonderful, until he interrupted her in the middle of one of her answers.

“Uh, you have lipstick on your tooth,” he told her, deadpan.

The entire room let out a horrified gasp. I almost peed my pants.

“Now THAT’S a good gay fan!” she exclaimed, wiping the lipstick off.

The room exhaled and chuckled with relief.

The interview ended and we said our goodbyes. As I hugged her, I told her, “Thank you for everything.” She kissed me on the cheek.

“THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING?!” TYNAN WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN??? I didn’t care. I had just been kissed by Lady Gaga, which, unbeknownst to me, was captured by the E! Entertainment camera crew and was shown on E! News that night. You should have seen the texts I received after that aired.

Anyway, of all of the celebrities I met while I was at MTV, she was by far the coolest, kindest and most down to earth.

And now she has the nicest fragrance! Try it when it’s released and let me know what you think!

What do you think of Lady Gaga? What’s your favorite celebrity fragrance? Tell me all of your secrets @TynanBuck