Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely ~ perfume review

Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely fragrance

Lovely is Sarah Jessica Parker’s first fragrance release. It was created by perfumers Laurent Le Guernec and Clement Gavarry. It is due for official launch this August, but is already available at Nordstroms, who have exclusive rights until September. Lovely is described as "a "silky white amber" and has notes of mandarin, bergamot, rosewood, lavender, apple martini, patchouli, paper whites, orchid, cedar, white amber, musk and woods.

The word on the fragrance forums is that Lovely is very similar to Narciso Rodriguez For Her, which I found hard to believe given the list of notes. After trying it, I am not so surprised, but I can’t say just how close they are because I only know what Narciso Rodriguez smells like from reading reviews — one whiff and my throat and nose seize up instantly. An overdose of aldehydes? Something similar happens to me after a long day of perfume shopping, but Narciso is the only fragrance that can do it single handedly.

Lovely starts as a soft citrusy wood scent. There is a touch of lavender, but no corresponding harshness. It dries down to a subdued musky-woods perfume, with distinct notes of rosewood and cedar. The floral notes are extremely muted, the amber is clean, and the patchouli is a mere whisper. I never caught the apple martini at all.

Sarah Jessica Parker said she did not want a perfume that dominated the room, and Lovely fits those requirements: it is a very soft, quiet fragrance, all rounded edges, and it stays relatively close to the skin. It does not interest me personally, but it is very wearable, and I would guess that unlike many celebrity fragrances, it will find fans of all ages. For that matter, it is not at all overtly feminine, and although the bottle and name are not likely to appeal, a man could easily wear it. I predict (not that it requires much foresight) that Ms. Parker will make a pretty penny from it.

Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely is an Eau de Parfum, and the lasting power is excellent. It comes in a 50 ml bottle for $48, or 100 ml for $62. There is also a matching body lotion and a shower gel.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You're making it sound really attractive. I love Narciso Rodriguez for Her. I will now feel compelled to try this. Is it possible that SJP has good taste after all? LOL!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This DOES sound nice – only the citrus top sounds doubtful to me. The idea of 'white amber' is attractive, especially to an amber lover like me, and if the florals are subdued, all the better! I do hope I got to sniff this – some celeb scents simply don't make it on wide release over here. (I saw and smelled Paris Hilton for the first (and last) time yesterday – and the fact that I had to write that, as if I'd had my nose in her celebrity cleavage, would be enough to make me loathe the fragrance!) N

  3. Anonymous says:

    J, I find it very tasteful, and am thrilled that she didn't do another fruity floral. It just didn't captivate me, but I wouldn't mind smelling it on someone else.

    And supposedly she is good friends with NR and “approved” his fragrance before it was released, or so I have read, so if you love the one you might love the other.

  4. Anonymous says:

    N, Given that this was released into Nordstrom, which as far as I know doesn't even carry Paris Hilton, or Britney Spears, etc, would think it will be in one of the higher end UK department stores eventually.

    The citrus is very soft, and short-lived. Don't think it would bother anyone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for the review dear R! It does sound lovely indeed. Not a fan of SJP which is why I was slightly doubtful at first – thought oh dear yet another celebrity scent!! :( Now I think I must try it when I can.

    Hope you are well.


  6. Anonymous says:

    PS the bottle is rather nice. :)

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really need to get out and try this. I like NR but often find it too sharp. The paperwhite note in Lovely scares me a little. That one note is usually instant death for me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It does sound better than the rest of the recent celebrity releases – I like the comment that it is 'rounded'. I will have to give it a look when we go to Nordies later. I will let you know what I think. Based on the notes – I would normally pass but your review has me at least interested. I agree this will be a hit – at least in the US.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…maybe, maybe not! :):)

    I know that the next time I am at Nordstrom I will test it. I'd love to do a wrist-to-wrist comparison with NR, which I love (so sorry you have that reaction to it, R!).

    I doubt I will buy it, but who cares? Lovely was a best seller before it even hit the shelves.


  10. Anonymous says:

    I was at Nordie's on Sunday and was able to sniff SJP's Lovely and I thought it was nice and light – kind of understated. A good fragrance for a warm day. I don't think it smells anywhere near NR For Her which I think is heavy and sharp.

  11. Anonymous says:

    N, I don't love it by any means, in fact, wondering if that was clear enough above? But it is nicely done.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you can find the paperwhites, do let me know! I couldn't. The list of notes, IMHO, offer little clue about what this one smells like.

  13. Anonymous says:

    F, scored a Britney Spears sample at Sephora and that is my next celebrity test :-)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes, R, I was very surprised at how many people ordered it in advance unsniffed!!

    Let me know how close they are. My reaction to NR is really strange. I would love to be able to smell it because I usually like Egyptian Musk. Must say that Lovely smells like musk, but not what I think of as Egyptian Musk.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for commenting! I did not know NR was heavy and sharp, so must go to read the reviews again. I thought it was a light, Egyptian musk based scent.

  16. Anonymous says:


    In my humble opinion, NR For Her is pretty and at the same time overwhelming. I do have the roll-on NR For Her which I have only applied a handful of times in the past few months and maybe it just my chemistry, but I can't pull off wearing this scent. So, now that roll-on sits on the perfume graveyard side of my vanity table. lol. Have a great day.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I didn't find it similar to NR either. Amber lovers will be hard pressed to find the amber. It's very soft and light fragrance. Unremarkable I'd say.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi V, would agree, very little amber and nothing groundbreaking or unusual.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hi R, just popping in to let you know that this is my latest summer fave. I spritzed it on at Nordy's on Friday (along with NR for her on the other wrist). Didn't like it at all, at first sniff. Another generic dept. store scent, I thought.

    However, after walking around and shopping for an hour or so, Lovely dried down to a sweet, pleasant patchouli on me! My skin must naturally attract this component. I love it, and it works really well with my chemistry. Lovely definitely stays close to the skin, which is how I like my scents. They are for my enjoyment first, and not to impress others.

    I didn't find many similarities to the NR, which I keep trying whenever I spot it. The notes sound promising, but NR just doesn't work for me. Too harsh, and almost headache-inducing.

    Lovely will definitely be a frequent winner in my “summer scent rotation,” which includes Jardin sur le Nil, Banana Republic W, and Extrait de Songe.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm. So the gist of it is: hard to detect the amber, don't worry about the paperwhites, hardly any patchouli, citrus notes burn off quickly. So I'm asking myself…what exactly does it smell OF? (Could this be like Omnia, for me the perfume-with-no-smell?)

    BTW, I did a side-by-side of Curious and Matthew Williamson yesterday, and I have to say I liked Curious MUCH better. I look forward to your review of Britney's curiosity!

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is really compelling me! Wondering now whether I should just go ahead and buy it or wait for it to flood the swap lists… Thanks, R.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yay! Fantastic review, I can't wait to try it! I like Narciso Rodriguez For Her so I already had high hopes for this fragrance when others compared it to that.

  23. Anonymous says:

    K, I am so surprised that you find so much patchouli, which I usually think of myself as attracting…but not in a good way! I really don't get that much patchouli here. Glad you found another winner though. Jardin sur le Nil must be the only scent we both wear!

  24. Anonymous says:

    N, it smells to me mostly like musk & wood. Bit of all the other things, but not much. It is not a strong scent in any case.

    Will review the BS Curious sometime soon, but looks like we'll have to wait here for the Matthew Williamson! Don't have high hopes for it, even he doesn't sound like he loves it, LOL!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    G, Why rush?? Surely you have enough fragrance to tide you over until you can smell it, LOL!

  26. Anonymous says:

    S, hope you will review it too! It looks like some people think they are the same & some people don't .

  27. Anonymous says:

    I am one of the people who does not smell the similarity to NR at all! It was love at first sniff with Lovely for me. It is definitely not a dominant musk scent on me, and my skin always amplifies any musk notes. Lovely was a most pleasant surprise, I believe much thought went into this scent. It's balanced and blended and the notes just flow, and it does not have that synthetic attitude that many deparment store fragrances seem to have, especially newer ones.

    I have to say I am breezing through my bottle rather quickly and will definitely repurchase.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hi P,

    So happy you've found another winner!!

    Very curious now — what would you say is the dominant note or notes?

  29. Anonymous says:

    After SJP was on Oprah last week and debuted the perfume on nationwide tv, I'm sure there's more interest. I've already heard ladies of all ages asking about it, and to me it's good and unique. Ladylike, but not at all overly feminine.

  30. Anonymous says:

    According to my local Nordstrom, it has been a very big seller for them — so the Oprah show was no doubt just the icing on the cake ;-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    i found it to be a very fresh scent, which can be worn day or nite. I quite like it

  32. Anonymous says:

    The more celebrity fragrances I have tried this year — and there certainly are quite a few of them — the more convinced I am that this is the best of the current lot.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I finally got a sample of Lovely. I don't care for the initial notes, but as it dries down, I find it, well, lovely. It has a nice woody softness. I really like it, but not so sure if I would buy a bottle. I have worn it about four times now, and I must say it is growing on me with each try. Who knows, maybe by the time my sample is gone, I will want a bottle.

  34. Anonymous says:

    K, am still surprised at how many of my friends who I think of as “niche fragrance snobs” have bought Lovely. It really is a very well done scent!

  35. Anonymous says:

    It is a remarkable scent! I am one of those niche fragrance snobs and I absolutely love it, I have hardly worn anything else this fall. SJP also seems to have a much more profound interest in and knowledge of perfumery than, say, Paris Hilton, so I'm not at all surprised that it turned out so good. I'm sure you all read the interview with her in New York Times a couple of months ago? She knows exactly what she's doing, and why.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree, SJP seems very interested, PH is probably in it for the money (which she couldn't possibly need anyway). Loved that article in the NYT, and very much looking forward to SJP's next release.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I've loved Lovely from the first sniff. I've never had a fragrance that I've received so many complements on. On me, it's soft, but very fresh and simple and I love simplicity. I admire SJP and I would say this is a definite winner. I can't stay away from it.

  38. Anonymous says:

    This one has so many fans that I have a feeling it will still be around in 10 years — and I don't think that will be true for many of the current celebrity releases. Glad you found a scent you love!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, I just adore Lovely. So soft and pleasant; I can't imagine this offending anyone. Doesn't scream “perfume”…just wraps you in a comforting aura. It probably won't have people asking, “What perfume are you wearing?”, but I think that's the point! ;-) I have to admit that I had high hopes for this one, because I'm a closet SJP fan from Sex and the City, and I've read many interviews about her in which she mentions her love of fragrance. I think this perfume is very personal to Sarah, and in my opinion, she hit the mark.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree that she hit the mark…it is very well done. Still hoping she'll be a bit more adventurous with her next fragrance!

  41. Anonymous says:

    R, I totally agree! Maybe now that she's gotten her first launch out of the way, she'll feel more adventurous. :-)

  42. Anonymous says:

    Had this one. Got tired of it after a couple of days. Took it back. The lasting power SUCKS!!! 28 minutes TOPS!!!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Wow, it lasts nearly all day on me, that is odd.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I love Lovely. It isn't heavy or sweetly sickening like so many fragrances these days. It is a sheer scent that I can wear anywhere and I get many compliements and inquiries as to what I am wearing. It isn't adventerous but it isn't going to be a flash in the pan either like many celebrity scents these days. I think this one is simple yet complex enought to stand the test of time. It is in my mind what I consider a “classic” fragrance.

  45. Anonymous says:

    It is really nicely done. Too soon to say if it will stand the test of time — there is so much competition at the fragrance counters these days — but it has kept its following longer than many of the celeb scents.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I love the scent and receive many compliments on it. It's funny because I initially didn't care for it at all. I prefer the body serum, it is much smoother than the alcohol-based spray. It also lasts forever on the skin. It is a very classic scent and I think it better designed than most too. It has a very complex concept and range, and develops very well.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I like body serums too, although I haven't yet tried this one. I do find the scent frequently fades after a year or so though, if it is silicone-based, so I don't buy them any more.

  48. Anonymous says:

    According to my sources in the fragrance industry, this particular scent is extremely well-respected by perfumers, despite the “celebrity” associations. It's often suggested for those who are looking for a lighter, cleaner version of Narciso Rodriguez.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Thanks :-)

  50. bclay says:

    How can you say the bottle and name are not likely to appeal? I love the name and the bottle.. and the fragrance. I always get asked what I’m wearing, people like it on me, and my husband loves it. It smells very fresh …. like you just stepped out of the shower.

    • Robin says:

      I said the bottle & name were not likely to appeal to a man, but that a man could certainly wear it.

  51. Subhuman says:

    I’m intrigued to try this – I’ve recently gotten over my young-male squeamishness about wearing women’s fragrances, and am now on the lookout for perfumes that doesn’t smell overtly feminine or “girly”, just pleasant and interesting. Anything with a subdued, clean musky base tends to smell great on my skin, so this sounds like it could work for me. Will sniff ASAP.

    • Robin says:

      Do try it. And also check out the Narciso Rodriguez line — NR For Her & Essence.

      • Subhuman says:

        Finally tried Lovely during a frantic bit of tester spritzing at the drugstore, and yep, it was a winner. Subtle, blessedly unsweetened, and smooth as glass. I can see wearing it on those days when my usual power scents strike an off-note and I just want something more understated and…well, nice. (I can’t constantly subject the world to Obsession and Azzaro, it wouldn’t be couth.)

        Incidentally, during the drugstore trip I sprayed Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door on my other hand, and it was like kissing Lovely goodnight and coming face to face with her bitchy twin sister after she’s had a few. My first scrubber!

        • Robin says:

          So glad you liked it, and that’s so funny about Red Door!

  52. smcnama5 says:

    I find the scent to be perfect for me. I recall finding a “sample” in a trade magazine about a month before my wedding. After a quick sniff and then rubbing it on my wrist, I went off to work. The first gentleman that I encountered commented, ” Your fragrance is lovely, dear.” The name said it all for me. I went out and bought a bottle! Guess what I was wearing on my wedding day.

    • Robin says:

      Nice, thanks for sharing!

  53. Beautifully_Inked says:

    I love this perfume. I have been wearing it for 2 years now (and I’m ready to wear something new.)

    You are correct about it being something that men can wear, my husband does sometimes.

    I always go to your website if I am on the hunt for a new smell.

    I hope you are well!

  54. scents4me says:

    I am going to go buy this today to try. I am still experimenting with Rose the One as well…

    We shall see. Take one back? Keep them both? ;)

  55. cleopatra says:

    I realy love this perfume. This is my first perfume that I bought. Me myself are quite fussy when choosing fragrance. For me, the smells that really suits a persons is… when there is a connection between the smells and the user. A chemistry. This shown someones personality.
    Lovely really impress me. It is musky…. quiet…warm…and close to skins…but never loose its freshness in its own way. Really comfort…;)

  56. dchristiok says:

    I bought a bottle at Ross. I’ve worn it a few times, but my interest in it is low-neutral. It smells, to me, like Aqua Net or one of those aerosol perfumes from my youth. It is a familiar scent, but not really a great scent. Sometimes I layer it with Bulgari Omnia just to be confusing.

    • dchristiok says:

      Actually, this smells really nice on my bra at the end of the day. And it doesn’t embarrass me in public, or in private.

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