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Ever the sceptic, I avoid celebrity endorsed perfumes as I don’t really buy into the celeb culture. I did however receive a sample of Lady Gaga’s perfume, Fame in my Glossybox (www.glossybox.co.uk) this month.

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The accompanying junket describes it as “an opulent, crushed floral fragrance that’s black like the soul of fame but transparent once airborne.”

Black like the soul of fame… Typical Gaga rhetoric, so is the perfume typically Gaga?

I have the tester and so popped into my local department store to have a look and feel of the bottle. It’s a smooth glass bottle with gold ‘claw’ accents at the top. It’s a nice design and would look good on any dressing table. [I keep my perfumes in their boxes though to keep them out of sunlight, thereby making them last longer.] The bottle itself has a luxe feel to it. That’s a good start.

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The perfume comes in 3 different sizes: 30ml (£25), 50ml (£32), 100ml (£61). It’s priced at the top end of the market, it’s at the Tom Ford end of my scale rather than the Calvin Klein end. It’s an Eau de Parfum (EDP) so has lower water content than an Eau de Toilette (EDT) but is less potent than the pure parfum. As an EDP, it should have the same longevity as it’s high end neighbours. Time will tell.

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It’s subtitled Black Fluid and here’s the Gaga quirk… “First of its kind, this perfume is an innovation in fluid technology…
Look at the ingredients and you’ll spot colour additives at the end. Since when has adding a bit of coloured dye been innovative?
It is a black liquid and is supposed to be black when first spritzed onto the skin and then dries to clear. When I tried it, it looked a little grey but you’re only spraying a small amount so it’s not really noticeable. So much for the USP.

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The packaging and media junkets direct you to the website http://www.hauslaboratories.com giving the impression that the perfume is manufactured in Gaga’s own lab in Paris. Nice touch. However if you read the back of the label or box, you’ll see that it’s manufactured in Spain and distributed by Coty ( a Proctor & Gamble company) which makes me think that they have manufactured and developed it. I could be wrong though and would welcome a definitive answer (with reliable sources) from readers.

On to the fragrance itself. A small (very small) spritz on each wrist is all you need as the fragrance is very strong. I’m a believer in less is more. Perfume should only be noticeable once someone comes close to your skin, what I would call ‘romantically-close’.

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The Gaga-speak above describes tiger orchid, incense, apricot, saffron and honey. The scent is overwhelmingly of blackcurrant, or rather The Body Shop dewberry that was so popular in school locker rooms across the country. I do get the orchid and honey notes but the apricot and saffron are lost amongst the strength of the other ingredients.
[Note to Gaga: incense doesn’t have a scent of its own, it’s fragranced. You can’t list incense as a separate scent alongside orchid, apricot, saffron and honey.]

That said, I really love the fragrance. It’s a lot like my favourite luxe perfume, Tom Ford, Black Orchid. The black and gold branding is also a nod to Tom Ford. Tom Ford’s Black Orchid is a bit heavy for daywear as it’s more musky than Fame. Fame is by contrast lighter and has a fruity tone so is great for daytime.

A little goes a long way and I would like to see a pulse point rollerball perfume oil version of this. The difference between a flash in the pan new fragrance and a cult classic is versatility. A handbag size slim version and rollerball are always useful. My signature scent, Dolce Gabbana The One has all 3, and so is easy to carry around everywhere. That may go some way to explaining why I never leave home without my D&G (besides the beautiful scent itself).

To answer my earlier question, is it typically Gaga? If I was being harsh I would say that it’s nice enough, gets the job done and is fresh and new if you don’t know the original pioneer (ref Madonna/ Tom Ford). I’m not in a harsh mood today though and I love the fragrance. So it doesn’t quite live up to the Gaga name in terms of being groundbreaking but is a fantastic fragrance all the same.

Overall I do like Lady Gaga Fame. It is like Black Orchid, which I already have, so I am unsure whether I’ll be buying it myself. If you’re a Gaga fan, or want a lighter perfume for day, then it’s a great perfume and should be snapped up before it is sold out.

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