I want to sell out! That’s the thing. I’m a businesswoman, and selling out sounds good to me.1
That's Katy Perry, way back when she released her first fragrance, Purr, in 2010, and was accused of selling out. It's refreshingly honest, at least, right? And Purr was no better or worse than any other youth-oriented celebrity fragrance. Meow!, which followed Purr, was maybe not quite up to snuff, but for all I know it was the bigger seller of the two.
Now we have Killer Queen. It's Perry's third fragrance, but her first with Coty — Purr and Meow! were done with Gigantic Perfumes. The tag line is "own the throne", and the scent is supposed to be powerful, edgy and sophisticated. Longtime watchers of the celebrity perfume market, or indeed of the perfume market in general, know better than to expect any such thing, and as it turns out, unless you believe that the best way to indicate powerful, edgy and sophisticated is with (yet) another fruitchouli, you are bound to be disappointed by Killer Queen.
When Jessica reviewed Lancôme's La Vie Est Belle last year, she said her snarky conclusion would be "Angel with Botox and a blow-out”, and my snarky addition to that is to say exactly, another Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.2 That pretty much sums up Killer Queen: sweet fruit + a load of caramelized sugar + some very clean patchouli to darken things up.
Verdict: If you're after fruitchouli, Killer Queen might be just the ticket. In its favor, it's got a great name3 and a fun bottle, and it costs considerably less than some of its compatriots — the 50 ml bottle is $49, whereas La Vie Est Belle is $74 and Flowerbomb is a cool $115.4 Killer Queen is arguably more sophisticated than Purr or Meow!, and the commercial is fun. The downside is the lasting power, which is on the lower end for a floriental Eau de Parfum. After a couple hours, it's just a sort of wan darkish musky thing.
Katy Perry Killer Queen was developed by perfumer Laurent Le Guernec; notes include wild berry, dark plum, bergamot, red velvet flower, jasmine, plumeria, cashmeran, patchouli and liquid praline. It is available in 15, 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum, and in matching bath & body products.
1. See here. I should also point out that Ms. Perry, talking to Women's Wear Daily in late 2011, said that she takes perfume development seriously:
I have seen a lot of the perfumes out there — some of my peers — and I’m like, ‘Did you really approve this?’
2. And longtime readers know that when Jessica is moved to snark, things are very grim indeed.
3. With apologies, of course, to Freddie Mercury, may he rest in peace.
4. Of course, there are plenty of other fruitchouli options: Jimmy Choo's first scent, the original Badgley Mishka, Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight, Chanel Coco Noir, Paco Rabanne Black XS, to name just a few. Do add more in the comments if you are so inclined!