Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers ~ perfume review and quick poll

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers advert

As long as I'm buying a perfume anyway, I'd just as soon have it in a pretty bottle — I mean, why not? And if I'm dithering over whether or not to buy something, a pretty bottle might just push me over the edge. Still, I'm not what you'd call a bottle hound. I've never bought anything just for the bottle before, and ultra-luxe packaging doesn't generally interest me beyond the fun of oohing and aahing over the picture. I'd certainly never pay extra for it if the scent was available in a cheaper version, and fragrances that are only available in ultra-luxe trappings set off my worst cynical leanings. I'm not entirely immune to "must have it" perfume packaging, though: turns out all you have to do is suspend 5 molded plastic doll's heads inside a cardboard gift box with a clear plastic top, and I'm a goner.

Yep, I'm here to admit that I smelled all five of Gwen Stefani's new Harajuku Lovers fragrances, found them generally wanting, took a good look at the coffret of solid perfumes and had one paid for, wrapped in tissue and ready to go in a matter of minutes.

Strictly speaking, of course, these don't really qualify as pretty. They're cute, as in "a fatal attraction to cuteness", the collection's tag line. The Harajuku Lovers set was inspired by the youth-oriented street style of the Harajuku district in Tokyo (and if the whole kawaii thing is still a mystery to you, you might want to check Wikipedia's entry on Cuteness in Japanese culture). At any rate, the set didn't kill me but it did cost me $60, and I would say that unless you're entirely immune to the appeal of Sanrio-type* merchandise, you might best just stay away from the Harajuku Lovers counter until it's all over**.

So, what of the scents themselves? Well, it should go without saying that anyone expecting that masterpieces of perfumery might be found packaged in molded plastic dolls for $25 a pop (the price of the 10 ml bottles) is bound to be sorely disappointed. I should think all that was necessary was to come up with fragrances that weren't actually repulsive, and they've managed that. Brief reviews are below, listed in order of my preference from least to most; do bear in mind that while I smelled all of the Eau de Toilettes on paper, with the exception of G I smelled the fragrances on skin only in the solid perfume form, where they're likely to have less sillage (and that was just fine with me):

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Baby fragranceBaby is advertised as a "powdery musk", and you can probably already guess that it smells pretty much like baby products, although it's slightly more floral than your average baby lotion. It's soft and clean and generally nondescript. It was my least favorite of the 5, and I was told that it was not selling as well as the others. Too bad, as I love her bumpy hair. Still, if you need to buy one of the Harajuku Lovers for a child who is really too young to be wearing perfume, it might be your best bet.

Baby was developed by perfumer Harry Fremont, with notes of freesia, bergamot, white rose, orange flower, tiare, jasmine, white musk, soft woods, heliotrope, vanilla and violet.

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Love fragranceLove is supposed to be a "sensuous floral". What can I say? I mean, it would be kind of creepy if there really was a sensuous floral inside a plastic doll with hot pink hearts in her plastic bouffant hair, wouldn't it? Fear not, it's a pale, sweet-ish, musky blended floral with fruity undertones; after about 30 minutes, it's mostly bland musk. It has more personality than Baby, but not much, and it wouldn't be inappropriate on a young child either.

Love was developed by perfumers Yves Cassar and Pascal Gaurin, with notes of bergamot, pink pomelo, peach, bamboo leaf, watery peony, living hydroponic lace rose, jasmine sambac, nectarine blossom, creamy paperwhites, Egyptian jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla, musk and blond wood.

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Lil' Angel perfumeLil' Angel is the fruity floral entry in the collection. It's a candied fruit fragrance of no particular distinction, and while it's a bit sweeter than I like, it isn't the sweetest thing at Macy's. It's got considerably more energy than Baby or Love, and I'd guess it's more likely than either of those to please its target market. It sort of fizzles out after about 30 minutes, in the solid form at least, but it's fine for what it is.

Lil' Angel was developed by perfumer Christophe Raynaud, with notes of raspberry, cranberry, blackberry, pineapple, pear blossom, violet, rose, lollipop accord, hinoki wood and crystal amber.

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Music fragranceMusic is meant to be a "delicate floral", and that's just what it is. Like Stefani's LAMB L, it's heavy on the pear and sweet pea, but Music is a sweeter scent, with more vanilla sugar and less "fresh" stuff (or perhaps the fresh stuff just doesn't come across in the solid). I wish I had thought to ask how this one was selling; it isn't exactly what I'd call distinctive, but it feels a bit less generic than Baby, Love or Lil' Angel. Like the others, though, what personality it has in the solid form mostly vanishes within the hour, leaving a trace of wan musk.

Music was developed by perfumer Honorine Blanc, with notes of clementine, pear, jasmine sambac, sweet pea, honeysuckle, vanilla, skin musk and sleek woods.

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers G perfumeAs I understand it, G is the doll meant to represent Stefani, and she clearly saved the best juice for herself. G is a creamy tropical gourmand, heavy on the coconut, and as has been pointed out on MakeupAlley, reminiscent of Bath & Body Works' Coconut Lime Verbena fragrance crossed with some clean cotton-y musk. It's not high art, but it's fun.

G was the only one of the 5 that I tried on skin in both the solid and the Eau de Toilette forms. The Eau de Toilette is a considerable improvement over the solid: the citrus top notes, almost impossible to make out in the solid, sparkle in the liquid form. The solid takes longer to bloom on skin; when it does, it feels comparatively flat, and it doesn't seem to last as long. Still, the solid is basically true to the scent.

G was developed by perfumer Steve DeMercado, with notes of mandarin, coconut, apple skin, jasmine sambac, freesia, magnolia, coconut cream, white sandalwood and cottonwoods.

My advice: if you're buying mostly for the packaging, the solids are fine. If the juice is what you're after, buy it in the liquid form.

The Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers fragrances are available in 10 ($25) or 30 ml ($45) Eau de Toilette, or in a coffret of 5 solid perfumes ($60). They can be found at most major department stores.

The poll: did you ever buy a perfume just for the packaging, and if so, what was it? Did you regret it later?

*Hello Kitty always made my skin crawl, but I confess there was another (no doubt equally ridiculous) Sanrio character that I adored. Luckily I can't remember which one or I'd probably be buying a pencil case on eBay right now.

**Except that Gwen Stefani says on the Harajuku Lovers website (which, by the way, locked up Firefox twice) that "Harajuku Lovers can be anything that inspires me...anything that I want. The line is endless and is going to just continue to grow". So, it may never be over. Consider yourself warned. All I can say is that she's got my $60 and I've got my 5 doll heads, and while I have no regrets about the transaction, as far as I'm concerned, our relationship is over. If I ever do buy more of them, you can be quite sure I won't admit it here.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have no interest in the juice, but “Fatal attraction to cuteness” Is so spot on. I saw these the other night at Nordies, and really had to pull myself away.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness, these dolls are just…too…cute!!

    I saw them at Nordies on Sunday and did find it hard to walk away without purchasing at least, well, all of them! I think Love is particularly adorable, and my DS liked Baby the best. He said it reminded him of me, lol, bumpy hair and all!

    I need to stay away from these, or I just…might…succumb.

    And, yes, I have purchased perfume before because I loved the bottle. I'm talking about you, Angel and Lolita Lempicka!!


  3. Anonymous says:

    G is definitely outselling the others in our store. Yes, they are fatally cute, especially the 'bumpy' haired doll. I have the charm bracelet and the roll ons (not for sale) and I will probably get the small sized dolls as holiday gifts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aha, but you didn't cave! Good for you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Charm bracelet!

  6. Anonymous says:

    R, aren't they adorable?

    My local Macy's had already sold out of the solids. The Nordstrom SA said to me very matter-of-factly “It's only $125 for all 5 of the small ones”. HA.

  7. Anonymous says:

    G and Music were my favorites of the line, too. Fortunately I just went on unemployment so won't be heading out to succumb – today, anyway. I didn't love the juice, but I will be buying for the bottle.
    And, no, I have not previously bought for the sake of the bottle alone that I can recall, although I love to look at them.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey, sorry & hope you'll find a job soon! Have a feeling these will still be around when you do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, what's $60 for a little bit of cuteness? Definitely not regrettable.

    Laughing though (out loud) at the fact that you picked up these probably around the same time I ordered the 30ml Jubilation XXV (arrived yesterday). I'm satiated for now.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The cool Sanrio character is called Chococat. ;)

  11. Anonymous says:

    HA — you should be Laughing Out Loud, you got a perfume masterpiece, I got some plastic dolls heads!!! And I spent more than you did! That is very funny.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I once bought a perfume for the package. It was Jicky, then bottled in the 70s oval splash bottles with glass stopper;did I regret it? I'll say: it cost the whole of my terza media final exam bonus plus a charitable contribution from my mom, and when I removed the seal and tremblingly sniffed it, it was far too austere and grown up for me ( I was 13, and a bit of a tomboy. Clearly not the commercial target Guerlain had in mind)

    Which raises the interesting question, is it possible that Gwen Stefani had precisely blasèes and sophisticated perfumistas suffering from niche fatigue in mind, as target of Harajuku Lovers set ? :-)))

  13. Anonymous says:

    You are very, very cruel — you made me go to Sanrio and look. No, it was not Chococat, in fact, now I'm convinced that the character is no longer made.

    But, now I am lemming a black Badtz-Maru Fender Bronco Bass Guitar. I'll be thinking about that for the rest of the day. And I don't play guitar.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Jicky! How cool. Much more impressive than my Harajuku Lovers.

    If she was after the “niche fatigue” market — a worthy target! — she should have done more “fun!” scents. Only the G qualifies, IMHO.

  15. Anonymous says:

    LOL — two bottles!!! Those weren't cheap, either. Aren't they all glass, even the stopper? You could put something else in them, maybe.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It was all but cool to have to wear it to the last drop (in my family extravagant whims were not appreciated), all the time feeling it was very good, only not ” me”. I hankered, if that's the word, after my sister's L'Air du Temps. And when Jicky was finished,I ended up hooked by Amazone, and if this is not tragedy , I don't know what is.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Unsniffed for-the-bottle purchase: Niki de St. Phalle extrait. Regrets? Are you kidding? Even if I weren't wearing and loving the juice right this minute I would still feel justified in buying that stunning cobalt blue bottle with the gorgeous snakes on top, nestled into its beautiful presentation box… Got a pretty good deal on ebay, too.
    But I admit that I was mightily relieved when it turned out I like it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yup, those babies are entirely made out of glass. I think the price has gone up some since I bought them. Not that that's a valid excuse… They were hardly a bargain when they first appeared.

    I thought about draining them, but can't bring myself to; Maybe my use of “vile” is a bit harsh. If I could remove the “mossy” note, the scent would be gorgeous.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I love Bad Badtz-Maru (he's so cranky!) but my favorite and I think no longer made Sanrio creature was Pippo, who was a pig. I confess to having some Aloha Kitty items due to being involved in various Hawaiian culture things.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yes, and a pricey one at that…

    I bought unsniffed Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol lexington avenue and was surprised at how much i liked the fragance. It s the first Bond I actually really like enough to wear. I was prepared to dump the juice!!!

    LOVE shoes!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    No worries (well, except the usual got-no-job worries) – I hated that job from the day I walked in and was there for 9 months. But it did subsidize my burgeoning perfume addiction and now I will be forced to actually use some of my 142 samples – lol!

  22. Anonymous says:

    i bought what is possibly the worst perfume to buy unsniffed just for the bottle. i was in high school and it was angel. it has taken me since then to warm up to it, and i still havent completely.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Oops, the poll. I bought Michael Kors, the original.

    The spritzer wasn't designed well, the juice would leak through the underside of the top once it was sprayed. It eventually wound up leaking all over my dresser! (and eating through the finish)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well, I like the Gaultier Classique bottles, especially the Summer ones. I don't love the Eau d'ete, but I like to spray it in my hair. I have been buying empty ones and converting them, but now can't buy perfume bottles (even perfume-related items!) on Ebay in France, so that is done. Argh;

  25. Anonymous says:

    Ah, if you hated it, congratulations on your new-found freedom.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I don't remember Pippo! And liked Badtz Maru, he must be new? Don't remember him from when I was young, at any rate. Nor Pippo.

  27. Anonymous says:


  28. Anonymous says:

    Hey, that is seriously a great bottle. And while I don't love it, it's a great scent, and hard to find now. You got a better deal than I did.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Hey, that is really a gorgeous bottle, so glad you turned out to like the scent. When they come out with that lavender bottle in the shoe, I'm going to want one.

  30. Anonymous says:

    LOL — yes, not a universally loved scent!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that's really annoying — you buy it for the packaging and the packaging doesn't even safely hold the product. Sheesh.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I'm not into the cuteness factor of the Harajuku bottles, but I do own several scents just for the bottle, including several Bonds, the Ginestet Boise bottle and of course Angel extrait.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I have bought altogether too many scents partly or mostly because they were in awesome bottles: Catalyst for Men in a test tube that comes with its own rack; Champagne/Yvresse in a bottle modelled after a champagne cork; Angel in its stabby star; Poison in that limited-edition amethyst dagger. (I wouldn't buy a scent I hated just because it was in a great bottle, but if I'm on the fence, the bottle can be enough to tip me over.)
    I can't resist a clever spray mechanism or cap, in particular. Carolina Herrera 212 Men: the cap slams into place with a hidden magnet. Le Feu D'Issey: the sprayer is concealed by a sleeve that slides up when you set the bottle down and drops away when you pick it up. Yohji Homme: there's no cap, just a little hinged clamp that keeps the sprayer from activating (the bottle, an elongated cylinder, also has a glass protrusion to keep it from rolling around on your dresser).
    I don't do cute, but I am fatally attracted to technological cleverness.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Oooh, I'd like that Ginestet bottle too. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen one in person!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I bought Kenzo D'Ete (old version) for the packaging:)) The very first time I purchased Les Belles perfumes was for the packaging:)) I bought Tumulte because the bottle was so pretty and I was in a mood for something sweet n pretty. But all of this was too cheap not to buy.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I also thought of something else. I used to love classique by JPG but only in it's pure parfum concentration. Well, You know JPG dresses his woman-shaped bottles with those gorgeous limited edition gowns. But that is only done to his summer versions of Classique, which would be less than the regular EDT (no alcohol). So I was “forced” to buy one since I loved them! I absolutely disliked Classique in that form – it was like a totally different scent than Classique Parfum! But at least I had a pretty sundress bottle to display!

  37. Anonymous says:
  38. Anonymous says:

    Pretty! And yes, they did use the same bottle for different scents back in the “old days”.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I got the Tumulte Homme, but thought it much less appealing in person than it was in pictures. Oh well, I bought that one for the scent anyway.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Um, is it better or worse to have bought a scent just for the NAME?! Probably worse, huh? I haven't been swayed by a comely bottle yet, but years ago I bought Patou's Cocktail and Caron's Royal Bain de Champagne because the names made me feel chic and decadent. No regrets — except that I wish I'd hung on to Cocktail, which I'd love to try again.

  41. Anonymous says:

    lol – those are the kinds of bottles I like but wind up spraying myself in the eye with! Every time I use my Lolita Lempicka I have to look really close for that tiny hole in the apple stem. And I am seriously happy my Bulgari Black doesn't have the “contraption” so many people complain about. I have heard the Prada bottles are the worst – I know I can't do it in the store and it's because you can't hold that elongated bottle and spritz at the same time.

  42. Anonymous says:

    For the bottle, I bought Boucheron's Trouble, the ruby-glass one with the matte-gold snake entwined around it. Absolutely gorge flacon! The I started wearing it, and really fell for the juice as well (vanilla, amber, jasmine, & lemon) – making me one of the four people in North America who actually liked this scent.
    Shortly after my purchase, Roberto Cavalli sued Boucheron claiming they copied his snake, so the bottle was re-designed. And then Trouble went away altogether…

  43. Anonymous says:

    Nonono: Trouble is still alive + well + living at discounters – including TJMaxx and Marshalls, where I've bought a solid perfume + just resisted a body lotion, this latter only 2 evenings ago. I constitute one of the other 3 people in North America who love Trouble: it's perhaps my supreme HG (though I hate to say that sort of thing~)

  44. Anonymous says:

    I'm one of the other two, then; I LOVE Trouble! I not only bought the EDP, but also the soap and this big box of…I don't know, I guess you'd call them potpourri crystals, chunky translucent stones that have that yummy-sexy rootbeer/amber scent. If I'd seen a solid scent, I would have bought that, too, just to toss in my gym bag.

    The bottle is magnificent in a very quiet, subtle way. All in all, a very underrated scent.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I bought Kenzo Amour Indian Holi because it has Hindi script on the bottle. Turns out I like the juice – but my husband, who is Indian, loathes it and told me it's funereal.
    I bought Kingdom because the bottle was so cool and the juice so controversial.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Every now and then I feel as if I am an alien, just arrived from outer space, with no ability to communicate.
    I felt that way in China when I couldn't read the street signs, had people staring at me, and could not ask for directions, food, or water. It was as if I were completely helpless.
    I felt that way reading the column today. [Hangs head, kicks toe of sandal. Whispers:] I just don't GET it.
    OK, I'll be back tomorrow.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Those are really great bottles, at least, some years. Didn't love the last ones.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Wow, funereal! That's a shame, it really is a great bottle.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I don't know if it's better or worse, but those are both great scents! I wouldn't mind having either of them.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Ok, which part don't you get — the idea of buying just for the packaging, or the idea of buying molded plastic dolls just for the packaging? Because if it's the latter, you shouldn't get it: it's absurd!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Well, I've bought delicious perfumes in dumb bottles, although I've never bought a perfume JUST for the bottle.

    I was the one who bought this incredible expensive perfume, stripped off all the velvet packaging, tucked the perfume in my motorcycle jacket and rode home, after the SA told me it was criminal to discard the packaging.

    But the plastic molded dolls come across as kitsch, not cute to me. Sigh. Then again, I always thought Bauhaus and Shaker furniture was at the edge of overdone. I've never been a real girly girl.


  52. Anonymous says:

    Unsniffed “loved the bottle” purchase…PUCCI Vivara…don't ask…I have no answer…lol!

  53. Anonymous says:

    I only smelled two of them before deciding that I probably wouldn't like any of them.
    And this is off topic, but I want to thank you for this blog. I feel so lucky that I found it because I realized it nudged me to discover something I will now enjoy forever. I feel like I have skipped some sort of compulsory intermediate stage of perfume interest and dived head-first into scent obsession. I've joined a perfume message board, smelled and written notes on dozens of scents, aquired near twenty samples, purchased a bottle of Terre d'Hermes, experienced Serge Lutens, Annick Goutal, and Frederic Malle…
    I feel like an entire world has been opened to me. Thank you!

  54. Anonymous says:

    I did exactly that – discard the packaging – to Lolita Lempicka's Fleur de Corail the other week. Love the juice, but the bottle is not purse-friendly with all those jingly bits – coral reef, sea star and the L. SA covered her mouth in shock. Oh well.

    I did buy Agent Provocateur Maitresse for the naughty bottle.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Robin. I was feeling like such an outcast LOL! These ain't gettin' NO respect over on MUA and I was thinking I'd been completely silly. I bought the set of 5 10ml bottles for my daughter. And I must say, G smells good enough on her that I had to ask her what she was wearing the other day.

    Like others, I was fool enough to buy Angel for the bottle years and years ago.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I never keep the outer packaging either. And I've never been much of a girly girl, and yes, these are kitsch, absolutely. Bear in mind that I own a rubber duckie with an Elvis head.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I adore that bottle. Was very sad not to adore the juice.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to perfumista-ship! Hope your wallet is not sorry ;-)

  59. Anonymous says:

    I've never bought a perfume just for the bottle but I'm sorely tempted. Opacity is the kicker for me, so all of the Cacharel line is attractive, like Eden and Loulou. Also, I adore the Agent Provocateur smooth pink “egg” bottle, it feels so beautiful in your hand.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Nothing wrong with a rubber duck. I love Elvis and have a calendar with him each year somewhere.

    Maitresse was a disappointment as a fragrance. Maybe Matronesse would have been a more fitting name. But the bottle is sooo sexy.

  61. Anonymous says:

    I don't think I've purchased a perfume primarily for the packaging before, but my dad is the perfect example of it. He knows I love perfume, so he likes to give me perfume as gifts. Thing is, he buys solely on the design of the bottle. He even tells the salespeople that the scent doesn't matter at all. He just wants a beautiful bottle with a beautiful top. So far, he's given me L'Air du Temps (of course), Daisy, and M by Mariah Carey.

  62. Anonymous says:

    You know, I love opaque bottles too. Wonder if it's just because they're kind of rare? Don't know. Agree about AP, and want the new Reminiscence bottles too.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Matronesse, LOL! Don't know that that would sell ;-)

  64. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, they are toys! I'm not even sure why I have to include them in my yearly perfume expenditure since I didn't buy them as perfumes, LOL…

  65. Anonymous says:

    Hey, you bought them for your daughter so you're not nearly as silly as me. I suppose I could say I bought them for my son, but that probably wouldn't fly ;-)

  66. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the review. Had read about these but they still aren't available in my city. We're quite slow here; still waiting for Prada's Infusion d'Iris.

    Like someone else posted earlier, I remember those Hello Kitty 'puffy' stickers from elementary school. I liked them then. I never got into the Japanese animation cuteness factor so wouldn't buy these based on the packaging. I might give them a sniff when they finally in town, but that's it.

    Mind you, if you keep them in their original packaging, they might be worth something in 50+years!

  67. Anonymous says:

    ? Tragedy ? They still make Amazone don't they?

  68. Anonymous says:

    Niki de St. Phalle, both the bottle and juice are magnificent. One of my favorites.

  69. Anonymous says:

    *blushes* I think I've done worse than buy for the bottle – how about buying for the name? I own a little solid of “tout oublier” because I just wanted something by Crazylibellule and the Poppies… (I actually like wearing it, too…and it's cute…)

  70. Anonymous says:

    i'm seriously platonically in love with the girl in the ad, sooo cute :)

  71. Anonymous says:

    Karin, that's so sweet!! And he's picked good bottles for you, too.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Somehow, not quite sure that plastic has a 50-year shelf life, LOL…

  73. Anonymous says:

    Ah, but what a great name! Just the Crazylibellule part is worthy.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I gave all 5 a quick sniff, and most notable to my nose were Baby and Love, but the rest were somehow too cutsey-girly, and all too synthetic.
    It'll definitely attract its target audience.

  75. Anonymous says:

    I really have to stop drinking and reading these posts. I nearly choked to death, laughing!


    Luckily I am totally immune to plastic dolls heads. Ridiculously heavy crystal flacons that require Conan to lift are my bete noir. And delicate little Venetian glass bottles with loosely fitting stoppers into which one stupidly decants vintage Joy perfume

  76. Anonymous says:

    Yes, guessing they're selling like gangbusters. Will be interesting to see how long they wait before adding to the line.

  77. Anonymous says:

    I guess my tastes are wide-ranging — I have a small collection of Venetian glass bottles too. I keep them on my dresser, but am always knocking them over so it's a good thing I'm too lazy to decant anything into them.

  78. Anonymous says:

    I have a younger friend turning 16 in a week. She lives in a nowhere town in NH and they dont have these yet. When she came to visit we went to Nordstroms and she adoreed these. We've been best friends for over 15 years, since she was adopted from China. So, I wanted to get her something really good for her 16th birthday. I bought her all 5 of the $45 bottles. It used up an entire week's paycheck. Yikes! (Whats the safest way to ship perfume?)

    If you have a teen you need to shop for this christmas, I strongly suggest one of these. My hookup at Nordstrom's says every other purchase is a teen buying one of the 5. These are the new “gotta have its”.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Great present! Wrap each bottle in bubble wrap, then put in a box with lots of peanuts. But bear in mind that it isn't legal to send air mail, so you can either lie or send ground.

  80. Anonymous says:

    I must say, Hello Kitty and the gang are one of my sillier indulgences. They have the cutest pens with little dangly bits on the end and adorable pencils that you can't sharpen for fear of ending up with a dismembered cartoon.
    The bottles are cute, yes (Lil Angel is cutest to me but I like my pina coladas in glasses, not plastic atomizers) but I must say, if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this on my nightstand (I like to put on perfume at night, in bed, just to read), I'd probably freak out. I just can't see me owning these.
    I took out a friend's 13-year-old and the SA took 35 minutes spraying them for us. My friend's daughter was barely moved and I was wondering if I still had time to bee-line to NM and try White Patchouli (no such luck).
    Even if I had hated Brin de Reglisse (or Hermes had made Osmanthus Yunnan in the purple bottle — sorry; I know everybody else and their mother loves OY), I would've purchase it and sold decants. I love heavy bottles and purple is my favorite color.
    I had a brief love for Daisy but I bought a big bottle just to get the mini. Actually, I returned the 50ml bottle to the Sephora I'd just, just bought it from and got the 100ml with the mini. And I got the solid swing-ring when it came out. Dx

  81. Anonymous says:

    ugh, we had a Harajuku Lovers Event and I actually decided to buy at least one of these fragrances for the bottle even before I had smelled the juice. They are too cute. I chose Love, which smells yummy and spicy for the first twenty minutes and then dries down to a meh floral. It's good for wearing on days when I don't know what to wear. It's also a nice scent to wear to work (at Sephora) because it provides a little pick-me-up during the day, but doesn't clash with all of the other scents in the air. I might buy music too. Baby made me gag.

  82. Anonymous says:

    The Hermessence bottles are really lovely — it would be cool to have the whole collection lined up, wouldn't it? But the purple is the best.

    If I'd seen the Daisy mini sold separately, I would have bought it!

  83. Anonymous says:

    So long as you were buying for the bottle, glad you found one that worked for you. Hope she'll pay a wee tad more attention to the fragrances if she does expand this line!

  84. Anonymous says:

    I tried oh how I tried to resist buying those cute and adorable doll heads. I wanted to get the solids instead but I always find solids so flat….. so I splurged and got them all. They sure look cute on my dresser but the fragrances are unimpressive to say the least. Just as you described. I like the one with the coconut smell but I gave $125 to Gwen only because of those cute bottles. I got them at Macys and the SA gave me them in a cute multicolored icosohedral looking cube in a drawstring bag. The rep there told me that baby is the most popular go figure? In fact I had to get the display to get them all because Baby and music were sold out in the individual 10 ml bottles. Love your blog robin !!!!

  85. Anonymous says:

    Funny, maybe Baby sells at some stores & not others? Or, they all lie :-)

    Anyway, thanks for the kind compliment, and I hope you enjoy your bottles even if you don't love the scents themselves.

  86. Anonymous says:

    These are out in Australia! Adorable packaging but at my local store they had just gotten these in so they had no testers on the shelves yet.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Trust me, you're best off admiring the packaging :-)

  88. Anonymous says:

    I'm truly scared that I'm going to end up getting one of these as a Christmas gift from my aunt who thinks I'm perpetually 13 (I'll be 25 next month) and buys things that strike her fancy as she walks past. If I do get one, I sure hope it's G.

    PS – I read a review elsewhere that said that Lil Angel smells like beer. When I went to smell it, that was all I could think about. It really does.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Will keep my fingers crossed for you that you get G, or better yet, something else entirely! LOL at the beer comment — didn't get that from the solid but will have to see if the spray reminds me of beer.

  90. Anonymous says:

    I couldnt bear to place these bottles anywhere near my collection of little colored glass bottles holding the scents that make me insanely happy. Way too hipster for my tastes! I made myself smell them the other day but of course no redeeming feature there.
    I would buy them for my nieces at least.

  91. Anonymous says:

    It's ironic that I am reading this article followed by that specific poll this morning because I just returned from the Sniffapalooze fall ball weekend, during which I bought a fragrance at Bond n9 (Scent of Peace), just because I knew that the color and design of the packaging would look great in my sister's room.
    I really didn't care for the fruity/sweet scent, but this is not what kept me from buying it. Usually, I am not a spontaneous buyer, but the whole atmosphere of the store (+the 15% discount of course!) put me in that mood.
    After the purchase, I have to admit with shame that I deeply regretted it as I headed to “Le Labo”, and was amazed by the quality, originality and multi-dimension of their fragrances, despite a simple, sober, yet creative, packaging… Each fragrance is a true piece of art that magnifies and gain high olfactive value as it dries and blends on your skin.
    I usually don't wear floral-rose, but the ROSE 31 is not your typical rose! And the candles!!! Oh My God!
    Anyway, just to say that I got caught into the whole marketing/packaging bling bling thing, and I won't do it again!!! Lesson learned!

  92. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many nieces will get them for Xmas this year?

  93. Anonymous says:

    Isn't Le Labo wonderful??

    It's hard never to get sucked into the bling — and sorry your bling was so pricy :-(

  94. Anonymous says:

    i seem to be a little late here, but just recenetly found this site and find myself wanting to try more and more wonderful fragrances.

    we dont have these here yet, but oh so looking forward to trying G….

    love this site.


  95. Anonymous says:

    Hi and welcome, and thanks for the kind words! Hope you'll get to try the Harajuku Lovers soon :-)

  96. Anonymous says:

    I tested all 6 of these when they first became available in my neck of the woods about a month ago – none of them really made a lasting impression on me – much like their “creator”.
    Out of all of them though – G was the only one that I can still remember well; a horrendously foul, rubbery, pepto bismol/coconut roomsprayish creature – something I'd imagine Regan Macneil wearing while she projectile vomited cambell's pea soup onto a overweight greek priest trying to “cleanse” her.

  97. Anonymous says:

    LOL — not a pretty image for a perfume!

  98. Anonymous says:

    I don't know. I have mixed feelings about Harajuku Lovers. I really thought the 5 scents would be an instant hit probably because of its commercial/marketing success and I love Gwen and her 4 protegees, but when I went to the department store to test out the 5 cute little sensations, I was very dissapointed. Although, the dolls were very kawaii and the message on the back of the boxes were funny and politically correct ( i.e. Music's message: “MUSIC= LIFE”), the scents didn't resonate with me. They seemed “faded” and “cheap”.

    If I had to name 2 of my favorites that stood out in scent, it would be “Baby” and “G.” The other 3 seemed to smell the same as you foretold after 30 minutes ( actually taking me only 2 minutes).

    To buy it because of the packaging and the bottle…I really don't know, the scents were that dissapointing, whats the point? I wouldn't buy it, but I wouldn't hesitate to put it in my wishlist, either.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Guessing they're selling like hotcakes — in fact, would guess they're selling better than L, and clearly they put lots more effort into the juice for L (although I didn't love that one either), so…guess the lesson is the juice isn't always as important as the packaging.

  100. Anonymous says:

    I saw them in harajuku last sunday ^^ very cute I bought 'Baby' my mother's friend's daughter. She loved it, being a 6 year old that she is.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Glad she loved it :-)

  102. Anonymous says:

    I guess I'm in over my head here haha. I really liked most of these scents (aside from baby – blech, it smells like my grandma's perfume). My boyfriend just gave these to me for an early Christmas gift and since I'm a huge Gwen Stefani/No Doubt fan it was awesome. I think these are good for people like myself who love perfume but can't wear it. I usually get watery eyes and headaches just being next to someone who wears perfume. I like that they're not overly heavy and you and just drop one into your purse and take it with you. Of course the biggest turn off is the glitter/sparkle factor, don't get me wrong – I'm a girly-girl but I've always had this intense hatred for glitter. For me perfume isn't necessarily that other people think I smell good (I don't like people being that close to me) but that I think I smell good. Of course the adorable plastic heads couldn't hurt. I do admit that these are good on a day to day basis, but when I feel like going out I will probably find something more adult-ish (I'm 21 so not too adult haha). Of course If there are any suggestions for better for scent-sensitive people, I'm all ears.

  103. Anonymous says:

    What a nice gift, and so glad you like it! I'm confused about the glitter — neither the liquid nor the solids I got have any glitter or sparkle?

    If you don't really care for most perfumes, you might also check out the Clean brand — they have them at Sephora, and they're very light and clean — as is probably obvious from the brand name :-)

  104. Anonymous says:

    As this has only been released here in the UK, my comment is a bit late! I was given the G perfume as a gift yesterday. I was so happy to receive this as I was very curious as to what it would smell like. I am a Gwen Stefani fan and a perfume lover. This fragrance is so light, it is very fresh but does not last. I think it is very similar to Laura Mercier eau gourmande almond coconut. Shame it is not a bit stronger. I look forward to smelling the others!

  105. Anonymous says:

    You got the best one, IMHO…but perhaps you'll like one of the others better. I don't think any of them really last, though!

  106. Anonymous says:

    I feel into a deadly death-trap when I saw this. And then I was sold. Maaan, i totally got spoiled for Christmas and got the whooole set of 5 in the largest size! It included the little disco ball, and I'm in the process of hunting down the bag that i was supposed to get…
    I LOOOVE allll the scents. They're amazing, and are great for alternating scents. <3

  107. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, the disco ball too! Will be interesting to see if she adds to this collection in 2009.

  108. Anonymous says:

    FINALLY! these were advertised on the boots website so i wasted no time and went and had a look today! absolutely love Lil' Angel and Music on first sniff, really like Love, thought that G was nice but just coconut so not a must have just yet and wasn't keen on Baby. i bought Lil' Angel and Music! (in 10ml). i stood in the shop thinkig 'but if i spend and extra £8 on each one I can get three times the size'! I really think the small ones have definitely been made to get u hooked, lol. I'm ging to buy Love next week.

    Lil' Angel and Music were worth the wait, i think they're young smelling but original!

    I've been wearing Music for about an hour and can still smell it. Don't think 10ml will last very long…..

  109. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I finally got to Boots to smell the other 4, I bought the 10ml Lil Angel and Music. Not too keen on Baby and Love. G is def the best ( I have that in the bigger size as mentioned on a previous post). The Lil Angel and Music ones do last longer than G.

  110. Anonymous says:

    It's true…you can drain a 10 ml in no time!

  111. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like Boots is going to do well with these!

  112. Anonymous says:

    It's funny in Boots they show the cost for 100ml for each size, I suppose as a ploy to get u to buy the bigger, better value sizes. They shouldn't have done that for these though, as of course buying the 10ml would work out £122.30 per 100ml! So basically I think the 10ml could do with being a bit cheaper…

    I wonder if they'll ever bring out bigger bottles? the tester bottles are huge, wish they were available to buy lol.

  113. Anonymous says:

    LOL — that is a ridiculous price, you're right!

  114. Mirabella says:

    I just got a sample card of these in the mail, and I only liked the Baby, G and Music out of the five of them. Love and Lil’ Angel smell really bad to my nose.

    • Robin says:

      3 out of 5 isn’t bad though!

  115. chocolatte says:

    Finally,, Thailand has them !
    It’s so late :(
    They just starting to launch Jessica Simpson,
    Van Cleef, Juicy Coture !!
    What a retarted :(

    anyway, I buy it online though !

    Okay,, about this one.
    They only sell 30ml size.
    And I tested it all :)
    I’ve to say G is really stand out.
    And one of the reason that she’s stand out is the juice.
    other 4 are floral and soft. But G is more heavier, IMO.

    I think it, surprisingly, lasts long !
    I sprayed it on 11.30 am. and now 15.25. Nothing’s changed !
    Hmmm,, Am I the only person who think that it has a nice sillage,
    and the sillage smell like Ralph HOT ?

    • Robin says:

      Hmmm…I did not think of Ralph Hot since it smelled so close to the BBW Coconut Lime Verbena. I’d have to try them together!

  116. jonr951 says:

    i didnt know where to ask this question seeing as how i dont know what makes a scent “soft” but these are for the younger crowd so i figured id ask it here. for about a yr now ive been looking for a “soft” scent that was perfect for my cousin whos about to turn 20. ive always boughten her the wrong thing, heavy, sweet scents aimed at the younger crowd. but shes very muture for her age so im done with the fruity cakey stuff. what qualifies a scent as being “soft” and does anyone have any suggestions. i went 2 the macys counter the other day and i asked for “soft” and the lady showed me paris hilton! isnt that just straight out fruity! please help! thanks!

    • Robin says:

      Kenzo Eau de Fleur de Magnolia? Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere? Donna Karan Cashmere Mist? Just a few that came to mind…but all soft in very different ways, and don’t even know how to answer what makes a scent soft — too subjective!

  117. jonr951 says:

    i know right! maybe thats why the sales lady showed me paris! No one knows “soft”! But thanks for the suggestions! ill definately check out magnolia and premiere! my MOM wears cashmere mist so thats a no go! would u say powery is considered “soft”?

    • Robin says:

      I would say powdery is usually soft. But not necessarily. To me, soft means there are no sharp or difficult notes, and also a scent that isn’t overly strong, or, as you said, heavy or sweet. It isn’t much to go on, actually — you need to find out more about what she likes!

  118. jonr951 says:

    sorry! i meant “powdery”. thanks again!

  119. mayalou says:

    Harajuku G is my current favorite scent – and as a younger audience, I think I like it ’cause of the food-y, sweetness of it. I also liked Lil’ Angel, but the bottle was a bit weird and the after-effects of the scent after a few hours got to be a bit dizzyingly sweet. I disliked Baby immensely – the floral baby powder scent was so not attractive. Love was too floral for my liking to the point where I felt like I was wearing a bouquet all day long, and Music smelled like bland, blank musk. When I wore G, I was told I smelled like the following: Coconut, Coconut cream, Cuba (???), Suntan oil, and Pina Coladas. I’m guessing the real Gwen Stefani likes getting a tan on the beaches of Cuba over Pina Coladas and Coconut juice.


    • Robin says:

      LOL…I kind of doubt the real Gwen Stefani wears it at all, but who knows??

  120. Owen says:

    I think these fragrances are a bit ridiculous in the volume and price.
    £15 for 10ml.
    so if you wanted 100ml worth you’d be paying £150, a bit over $200.

    I was in Debenhams the other and saw two Japanese girls spraying themselves with these. I’ve never smelled them tbh.

    • Owen says:

      oh yep, I was mistaken they do do a 30ml now for £20 which is better value for money. you’d be paying £60 for 90ml then.

    • Owen says:

      Gwen even released summer editions of them all either this year or last year, with new accessories and clothes. she even gave them a tan, ha

    • Owen says:

      I was in Debenhams today and saw these, I didn’t feel like taking the time to smell them all, so I went with baby. only smelled the bottle, but is quite powdery and pleasant. lol

  121. isa.chixiie says:

    OMG ! they smell so gooood ! even , my boy friend din’t stop telling me I smell good ! Love make him fall for me ! Love is defenitly my favorite ! <3

  122. nelleeflamboyant says:

    I have baby in the liquid and I have to say once the novelty was over, I went off the fragrance. Ive still got some left, and it smells vaguely like sweet chlorine. The head is cute though! She has got a new set of them out and I bought my friend the “love” one for christmas, the new ones have hair made of felt-like material :P

  123. leletai says:

    I bought my first bottle of Lil Angel about 2 years ago. I was madly in love with the smell. I’d never smelled anything similar and I felt it represented my personality and taste well. The smell was so lucious and sumptuous , It almost made me high. Now the scent has been completely changed! If you read the current scent description compared to the review above they’re nothing like each other. I also smell raspberry, orange, back tea and cotton candy/vanilla in the one about a few years ago. The current one is boring and quite similar to other fragrances. It was so unique before, in my opinion. Why change the scent. Ok change the packaging and look of the bottle but NOT the fragrance which is the whole reason people buy the product! They’ve lost a customer because of it.

  124. imaharajukulover says:

    I have Lil Angel and Music. They are both delicious. I purchased them both at TK Maxx for £10 each. I`m happy about this purchase and I own 7 bottles of Harajuku Lovers, from different collections.

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