Jennifer Lopez Deseo ~ perfume review

Jennifer Lopez Deseo fragrance

Deseo is the latest fragrance from the Jennifer Lopez franchise at Coty, and the floral woody scent reportedly takes its inspiration from a "midnight walk in Lopez's garden moments before a thunderstorm set in"*. Deseo is that rare thing, a fragrance geared towards an older (well, what they actually said was "intended to appeal to a more sophisticated and mature demographic"**) audience than the earlier fragrances in the line. Given that most celebrity fragrances are geared towards a very young crowd (i.e., 'tweens), that doesn't mean they're reaching for middle-aged women, mind you, but still, it's nice to see a line reach for more sophistication instead of less.

Deseo starts out with a big diffusive fresh note — and anyone who reads here regularly knows there's nothing I hate like a big diffusive fresh note. The grapefruit-y citrus in the opening is sharp for a time, then it is very soft and subdued, and there is a blur of something vaguely greenish that must be the watery bamboo leaves (the notes: watery bamboo leaves, yuzu, bergamot, freesia, star jasmine, pink geranium flower, orange blossom, mimosa, warm amber, oak moss, musk, sandalwood, cedar, patchouli and mineral accord).

The heart is floral notes, blurred and indistinct, but strong. It is sweeter and creamier than the opening, and there are mild tropical fruit-ish undertones. The dry down is warmer and softer, and the ambery musk + mineral accord reads something like "warm sand" to my nose. It is not quite dark, but it isn't pale either, and there is lots of dry wood and some subtle earthiness.

Deseo reminds me of last year's L.A.M.B. L by Gwen Stefani. They don't smell alike, but they both seem to be trying to walk the tightrope between young, but not too young. The recipe: tone down the candied fruit, amp up the fresh notes, add a somewhat warmer base. L.A.M.B. L never went much further than that, and while it was perhaps marginally more "sophisticated" than Deseo, I found L's resolutely clean base rather dull. Deseo has more personality; the base isn't exactly skanky, but it's considerably more interesting (and sexy) than L's, and the longer it's on skin, the more I like it.

They've done a nice job with Deseo. It isn't my cup of tea — the opening is too fresh for me and the heart is marginally too sweet — but it's wearable and as celebrity fragrances go, you could do much worse. I can envision a flanker that would be perfect, with the fresh note erased, the sweetness in the heart toned down a notch, the woods and mineral notes in the base amplified, and a tad more earthiness. They could call it Deseo Something Or Another — a really great name will probably come to me later, but for now my mind is blank. Do comment if you've got the perfect name.

Jennifer Lopez Deseo fragrance bottle

I know lots of people love the bottle, which is meant to look like a diamond in the rough. I didn't much care for it when I saw the first pictures, and I didn't like it any better when I saw it in person. It's all a matter of personal taste, I guess. I do think the outer carton is nicely done.

Jennifer Lopez Deseo was developed by perfumers Ellen Molner and Jim Krivda. It is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in Desirable Body Lotion and Desirable Shower Gel.

* Quote via Cosmetics International, 12/14/2007.
** Quote via Women's Wear Daily, 9/28/2007.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    After all the fun I've had making fun of this…I *might* just like it. Damn.


    For your drier version: Deseo en el desierto “Desire in the Desert”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey, good one!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I like the bottle. I was thinking I haven't really liked any of the many celebrity scents I've sniffed, but maybe it's because I don't like any of the celebrities that put their faces on them enough to be suckered in by the ad campaigns. For instance, if say, Angelina Jolie put out a scent, it could smell like hot dead skunk and I would find something in it to like. It would also be great if a comedienne helped design a fragrance like Eu de Amy Sedaris or Tina Fey's 30 Rock Fraiche.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don't care about Angelina Jolie, but I'll go for Amy Sedaris!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Possible Flankers:

    Desire in the Nude: more musk, no citrus

    Desire in the Elms: up the woods, tone down the citrus

    Desire in the Morning: more musk and citrus with a hint of coffee

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sounds… not bad.

    I love your idea for the flanker, but it'll never happen.

    More likely flankers:

    Deseo Sun – an even brighter and fresher version

    Pink Deseo- Sugar coated pink florals

    Deseo Summer – Fruity aquatic notes

    And anything else that could sell the the “tween” demographic they may have otherwise missed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I haven't seen or sniffed this yet, but I'm a bit puzzled as to whether it's meant to evoke a garden or a beach. The description is all about J-Lo's night garden, but the bottle looks decidedly marine, and the box suggests sand and sea. Then the print advert is all about hammocks and J-Lo looking beach-ready. Is this a confused marketing message or a clever play for both the floral/marine market?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Agree, there won't be a “darker” flanker, there will be a baby powder variation: Deseo Inocente. ;-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I guess it's meant to be a tropic island scent?

  10. Anonymous says:

    LOL — love Desire in the Elms!

  11. Anonymous says:

    C, it isn't nearly so tropical beachy as say, Miami Glow — it doesn't remind me of suntan lotion at all. So let's say a garden in Miami, how is that?

  12. Anonymous says:

    See below :-)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Well, her family is from PR and most beach homes have gardens between the house and the beach. I could see both elements playing off each other… UGH – I guess this means I'll have to traipse from Nordie's into dusty old Macy's with the grouchy SA's to check it out. I'd love to bring an empty vial with me, but they'll probably tackle me over it. And steal my bag for good measure. lol

  14. Anonymous says:

    Linaria, you guys are all killjoys, LOL…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hehehe I can't help it…

    My suggestion would be

    “Deseo Tu Derrière” :-)

    It IS J-Lo best asset!

    Sorry if someone find this not tastefull, but I could not resist to post this! XD

    I guess I am in the Eau Faux mood still!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I've managed to get Macy's to let me fill vials once or twice, but I've also been asked to leave the store, LOL — good luck!

  17. Anonymous says:

    We can stand a little bad taste, LOL :-)

  18. Anonymous says:

    If it were a life and death situation and my life depended on choosing a celebrity scent to wear (preferably NOT for my entire life, LOL), I do not think that I would pick this because I am sick and tired of the scent of aquatic notes. I'm sorry, but I am.
    (Please, no offense to those who like aquatic notes.)

  19. Anonymous says:


    None taken, more for me!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'd suggest “Deseo Dawn” – earthier, a hint of moss and less of the floral.

    Surely a “Deseo Diamond” is on the way, with even more of that floral but adding something really “expensive”. Diamond flecks?

    actually I think this particular fragrance looks kind of…nice. especially when compared to earlier releases. Might have a sniff or two of this.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It isn't heavily aquatic after the top notes, but I don't care for aquatic either. If I were forced to pick one celebrity scent for the rest of my life, my head would explode :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Ah, that sounds nice! I'll allow myself a little dream of warm tropical flowers and the sound of the sea, before I brave the arctic wind and stripped trees outside! I actually want to smell this one ( I think J-Lo's done a pretty good job with her scents, in general.)

    Any Spanish speakers in the house? I'm thinking the flanker will be even more Spanish, as in 'Deseo da Noce', or however you say 'de nuit' in Spanish.

  23. Anonymous says:

    oh R, Im so glad you reviewed this so I can tell you a funny story. The other day Mom and I were in the store and we happened upon this, which I did not even know was coming out. Mom sprays it and misses her wrist but gets her fingernail instead. So she re-sprays and gets her wrist. Seconds later she looks at her fingernail and the nail polish is completely gone. Many curse words later, she decided she didn't mind the scent but would never buy it b/c she feels Jennifer Lopez owes her a new set of nails. And I quite agree.
    So girls, word of warning. Avoid the nails.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Or you could look at it as an alternate product use. But thanks for the tip. It's got to smell better than the nail polish removers I've used over the years.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Deseo de la Noche, I think?

    I thik she's done a good job too — or perhaps better to say Coty Prestige has done a good job. If I was going to do a celeb scent (HA!) I'd definitely want to be w/ Coty Prestige.

  26. Anonymous says:

    LOL — many perfumes will do that! And they'll take paint off furniture too, I hate to tell you :-)

  27. Anonymous says:

    You'd think ;-)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Well that one I learned the hard way – several times.

    But I had no idea they'll strip a nail in seconds. Its like a liquid piranha!

  29. Anonymous says:

    HA — I'm sorry to think about it. Best not to :-)

  30. Anonymous says:

    I have to give JLo (the perfume creator in all reality) credit for Glow. The celebrity scents are stale, dull and boring but that one had creativity and appeal. Some describe it as soapy and I found it very attractive on others. I hope this new one succeeds Lamb. When I saw the notes in Lamb I eagerly went to the store to smell. UGGHH what a let down. It smelled bitter, overly green and lasted at most an hour.

  31. Anonymous says:

    They did do a nice job with Glow, even if it wasn't outstandingly original.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hah! Liquid Pirhana. Now that's a good perfume name!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I was disappointed when i smelt deseo it smelt like sophisticated sun tan oil ! i felt the coconut kind of smell was dominant in it . I have yet to find a tropical scent that i like. any suggestions what to try robin?

  34. Anonymous says:

    What exactly do you want — a tropical floral w/ out any creamy or coconutty notes, would you say?

  35. Anonymous says:

    I just read Deseo Forever will come out in April in Asia! Its an all blue bottle instead of the blue bottle with a gold top

  36. Anonymous says:

    Sigh…I cannot keep up! Thanks for letting me know :-)

  37. Anonymous says:

    I hardly think a more sophisticated and mature demographic would find this fragrance attractive enough to be worth wearing – I personally thought it was yet another tiringly and vaguely sweet fruity fresh teen fragrance without any personality. Everyone hated it at work, and in our collective noses it wasn't difficult to see (or rather, smell) why.

    I thought the bottle looked stunning in the ad copy though, but in real life on close observation it disappoints. It looks and feels too plasticky, and the lid isn't even cut to sit flush with the body when capped! Tsk tsk.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Well, you must bear in mind how young the audience for celeb fragrances is — most of them are geared towards 12 year old girls. So “more sophisticated and mature” than that isn't necessarily reaching very high.

  39. Anonymous says:

    wow i actually really really like this perfume! its not for the “upper class, sophisticated etc kind of people” but im from el salvador and it reminds me of the beaches there.. like a nice tropical, exotic kind of smell .. i like it.. im gonna buy it as soon as i can good for the day use too i use Gucci for women by Gucci at night or nice occasions thats good too.. but meh it all depends on what u like i guess.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Glad you've found a favorite! I thought it was very well done.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I smelt this again yesterday, albeit on card, and bizarrely it reminded me very much of a softer, watered-down Premier Figeur (from L'Artisan). Right down to the fig notes. Really weird.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I've added that duo to my (miles-long) list of scents to try together! I should get to it around 2010 :-)

  43. Anonymous says:

    I think I'll try to own this again. I think it'll do well with warmer climates. When I spray it on me it makes my skin feel warm. I miss it! The lotion was very nice also

  44. Anonymous says:

    Betting they'll have new sets for Christmas…

  45. Anonymous says:

    I don't like sets. I like having all of my fragrances in individual packaging. I dunno why I HAVE to have it like that. I got the lotion brand new in a box on Ebay for 9 bucks! It should be arriving shortly! I just got Deseo (Again) Yesterday!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I love this fragrance because it's slightly masculine and smells like those musky-unisex Cuban perfumes I grew up with. I don't like to admit that it's a J.lo fragrance, so I usually laugh at myself when I tell them it's J.lo, because it sounds cheezy to tell people I'm wearing a celeb fragrance, but man, is it delicious!

  47. Anonymous says:

    If it works, it works, right? You can always lie about the brand name ;-)

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