All three of the Stella McCartney fragrances I share with you in this post are second hand (as is the majority of my collection if I am honest – second hand in the way to go in my mind!).
Stella McCartney EDP
The first self-titled fragrance was launched in 2003. It was reformulated in 2014, but seeing as the seller of this one told me she bought it a decade ago, the one I have must be the original. The nose behind it is Jacques Cavallier and the notes are as follows:
- rose oil, peony, tangerine, rose, amber
That is pretty simple, and to be honest, this one smells to me simply like a syrupy tart rose jam stirred into orange marmalade. It’s not particularly powdery and it isn’t particularly complex. The rose in it is a bit sharp and perhaps a smidge unnatural, which is not a bad thing. It’s crisp and bright, too. What I like about it is that it doesn’t have any of the soapiness you can sometimes get from rose fragrances. It smells both old-world and modern at the same time – it’s not too sweet and it’s not too frilly. If you are a rose fan, you’ll probably enjoy this laid-back, elegant, clean, office-safe scent.
But. This fragrance, even though it’s an eau de parfum, does have lacklustre projection and sillage. I can get up to five hours on this, but the last two are very faded. Obviously, I haven’t tried the reformulation, which, as it usual with reformulations, has its critics. Some say the new one has less amber, more citrus, even less longevity, and less depth. But I can’t speak to that.
Overall, for me personally, this is not worth paying full price for, I’m afraid. It’s pleasant enough, but there is nothing groundbreaking out it. Also, I must admit that I prefer rose when paired with something heavier and more substantial, like oud or some sort of resinous goo. 3 out of 5 would be too generous. 2.5?
Next in at hand Stella POP, a Floral Woody Musk scent released in 2016. Here are the notes:
- tomato leaf, green mandarin, violet leaf, frangipani, tuberose, violet, musk, sandalwood, cedar
The marketing spiel on this one (see Stella’s website?) says:
Pop is a spirit. It’s about celebrating that exciting time when you are coming into your own. It’s about freedom, and starting your life away from judgments or labels.
It would appear they’re targeting youth with this one. And yes, I concur that it is a youthful, fresh and highly optimistic scent. There’s nothing dislikable about it. It’s good for warm and hot weather, office-appropriate. It has soft-sillage and average projection, and has less than five fingers worth of wear hours, but maybe a little more in summer. Much as the mention of the tomato leaf intrigued me, I don’t get anything remotely red, juicy, and green out of this. That said I recall wearing this a few months ago in the heat, and believe that it smelled earthier than it feels now. In the end, I don’t think tomato leaf was added to make it so unique; I think it just adds enough green to balance out the sweetness and give it a watery quality.
There are definitely some synthetic notes in this – Iso Super E, I’m sure, and I do get a plastic barbie doll vibe. Its sweet but not syrupy, yet it still screams teenager to me. That must be the frangipani. Apparently partaking in the campaign for this fragrance was Canadian singer Claire Elise Boucher, aka Grimes. This Canadian elfish artist is the current girlfriend of Elon Musk and has probably had his baby by now.
The imagery for the promo video is fitting, but perhaps a little edgier than the actual scent. Overall… definitely not a scrubber, definitely not offensive, but just a 2 out of 5 for me. It’s not memorable and it doesn’t perform.
Stella McCartney EDT
The last one I own is the one I like the least. Like the IDP formulation, the scent is mainstream; it’s inoffensive, floral, and somewhat boring in my opinion. This is the eau de toilette version of her main scent, but it’s not just a lighter version. It’s a different fragrance. They’ve toned down the rose and added instead Freesia.
- iced lemon, freesia, mandarin orange, Bulgarian rose, peony and violet leaf, amber
It would appear they’ve taken away some amber too, because this fragrance does not last long on me at all – not much sillage or projection, either. And the smell is average. I get light lemony rose leaves and branches. It’s a little bit sparkly and a tad powdery, which is pleasant enough. I don’t like rating perfumes because they have so many facets, but sadly this one gets just a 1.5 from me. Maybe good for people who aren’t much into scent and just want to smell pleasant? I admit that another factor is that it is purely a floral scent, and purely floral fragrances are not my jam much of the time.