Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Perfume Review and Pictures

Gwen Stefani's Perfume Dolls Are 可愛い!

OK, no matter what you think about Gwen Stefani's tendency to fetishize anything and everything Asian, you've gotta admit: Her new perfume bottles are pret-ty darn 可愛い — that's kawaii, which is Japanese for "cute." The quintet comprises the Harajuku Lovers fragrance collection — more details here — and the scents are aimed toward a younger crowd than her first scent, L.

But how do these scents smell? Are you sure you really want to know? If so,


The Harajuku Lovers perfumes ($25–$45) are trickling into stores, and the adorable packaging draws shoppers. Last night I went to Nordstrom to check them out, and a Gwen fan decked out in Harajuku Lovers clothing — we'll call her Megafan — was giddily spritzing her way through the fragrances. I began by sniffing the bottles, and after a few seconds of enduring each fruity-floral mess, I couldn't help but blurt, "I'm sorry, but these are not good."

I thought Megafan was gonna cut me, but to my surprise, she agreed. "Yeah," she said disappointedly. "I'm surprised that they're this bad. I liked her first fragrance, but this is a letdown." We went on sniffing, and then we bravely tried them on our skin. At first spritz, each gave off a burst of alcohol; when the juice landed on my wrist, it made a small scratch sting and burn. "All I smell is alcohol," Meganfan said with a frown.

She's right: These start with a shout of alcohol, then finish with a whisper of actual fragrance. Of the five, Love and Music are the most engaging. The former is a pleasant (if unremarkable) soft floral tempered with vanilla and musk, and the latter is a slightly fruitier take on the same formula. They aren't must-tries in my book, and as for the others? The coconut in G has the grace and subtlety of, well, a coconut dropping on your head. And while the "lollipop accord" of Lil' Angel does indeed mimic candy, who wants to smell like a Jolly Rancher? I could not bring myself to try Baby on my skin, but Megafan declared it the worst of the bunch.

Look, it's clear that these fragrances are meant for a younger consumer; they don't take many risks, they're overly sweet, and the packaging is begging to be placed on a 14-year-old's dresser. But considering how L opened up nicely, it's surprising that these scents hit the skin with a thud. Apparently I wasn't the only one left disappointed; Megafan sadly looked at the cute bottles one last time before throwing her spritzed paper blotters in the trash and walking away.