Celebrity perfume reviews: Rihanna Rogue, One Direction Our Moment, Nicki Minaj Minajesty

The year is nearly over, and even more so than usual, I've fallen way behind on the celebrity fragrance releases — if memory serves, Katy Perry Killer Queen was the only celebrity perfume I reviewed all year, although I did manage to try quite a few others quickly on paper. It's too late to catch up now, but here are three I spent some time with recently.

If you've smelled anything fabulous from a celebrity in 2013, do comment! Otherwise, I'm going to assume that I didn't miss much.

Rihanna Rogue

Rihanna Rogue

When a commenter said that Rogue, the latest from Rihanna, smelled like Bottega Veneta, it shot to the top of my "get" list, and I refused to be discouraged even by reports in the Daily Mail that it was closer to a "strong whiff of ripe peaches or peach jam, while it’s still bubbling in the pan on the hob".

And lo and behold, while the opening is fruity and sweet — I'll second the peach jam reference, with maybe a touch of apricot and a few berries for good measure — that stage is brief, and after it calms Rogue is a darned nice fragrance. I shouldn't say it's the best celebrity fragrance of 2013 given how many I missed altogether, but it's certainly the best I smelled this year, and for that matter, I like it better than my pick for 2012, Madonna Truth or Dare.

It's a floriental with clean suede-patchouli-woods base, not sweet or fruity or dark enough in the dry down to qualify as fruitchouli (if that's what you're after, stick with Katy Perry Killer Queen), but a hair sweeter than Bottega Veneta, and perhaps a hair stronger too — it's probably more of a fall / winter fragrance, although I did not find it too heavy or difficult to wear. Just enough apricot-ish jam lingers into the later stages to temper the suede. It's by far the most sophisticated of the three scents under consideration today, and the finish is reasonably sexy without being quite as over-the-top as the ad image might imply.

Do I want some? Well, I admit I'd rather have the Bottega Veneta, but I'd wear Rogue if I had it.

Rihanna Rogue was developed by perfumer Marypierre Julien. The notes include lemon blossom, cyclamen, jasmine, rose, plum, suede, woods, patchouli, vanilla and amber. It is available in a 6 ml rollerball ($18), and in 30, 75 ($45) and 125 ($69) ml Eau de Parfum.

Nicki Minaj Minajesty

Nicki Minaj Minajesty

My second fragrance has hints of vanilla, woodsy stuff, lemon, everything great that God ever created.1

Minajesty is the second fragrance from singer Nicki Minaj, and I will start by admitting I have nothing to say about the first, Pink Friday — I'm pretty sure I tested it on a blotter, but have no memory of what it smelled like. I've seen rumors that it smelled sort of like Minajesty — if you've smelled them both, do comment.

Minajesty is a floral gourmand, and if most gourmands just aren't sweet enough for you, do give Minajesty a trial run. It's what you might get if you asked for a sweeter, fruitier, more economical version of Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, and then told them to tone down the warmer, darker notes in the base so that nothing would interfere with the sugar. If you like sweet and fruity, it might be just the thing. It does have a nice spicy / cinnamon-y bite to the dry down, and in all fairness, the dry down is much drier than the opening — I found the later stages far preferable to the opening.

Also in its favor: the lasting power is excellent, and while I found the Pink Friday bottle a little creepy, this one cracked me up.

Nicki Minaj Minajesty is available in 30, 50 ($49.50) and 100 ($59.50) ml Eau de Parfum, in a 10 ml rollerball ($20) and in matching body products. The notes include peach, red currant, lemon, magnolia, pink frangipani, tiger orchid, tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

One Direction Our Moment

One Direction Our Moment

I'm guessing that Our Moment, from pop boy band One Direction, is geared at the youngest target market of the three scents I'm reviewing today, and it shows. Our Moment mostly smells like cotton candy, with a bit of fruit and a dollop of nonspecific floral, all grounded by plenty of creamy vanilla musk. It's considerably paler and pinker and "girlier" than Minajesty, and the sillage, especially in the beginning, is several degrees kinder and gentler.

Did I love it? Well, no, but you could do a whole lot worse — you could be wearing Selena Gomez Eau de Parfum, to name just one particularly egregious example. Our Moment is comparatively innocuous; if you know a young fan of the band, it would make a perfect holiday present, assuming they haven't already snatched up a bottle. The lasting power, admittedly, is just so-so.

One Direction Our Moment is available in 30, 50 ($49.50) and 100 ($59.50) ml Eau de Parfum and in a 10 ml rollerball ($20); matching bath & body products are also sold. Notes include pink grapefruit, wild berries, red currant, jasmine, freesia, frangipani, creamy musk, sheer woods and patchouli.

 1. Via EOnline.

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  1. ringthing says:

    Rogue sounds like a good one to try. I have gone through half a (30ml) bottle of Bottega Veneta this year, mostly in the last couple months, and a less expensive alternative is worth checking out. I haven’t tried any celebrity scents this year although I’ve read very positive reviews of Dita Von Teese’s line, esp her new release. I wish they weren’t so unavailable!

    • Robin says:

      Ditto on the DvT, I’d love to try them but can’t be bothered to chase them down.

      Will be curious to hear if you find Rogue a cheaper alternative…it’s hard to say if it will satisfy you if you already love BV. The BV, to my mind, is definitely the better scent.

      • rena1 says:

        :) DITTO..i def. have both…but i truly think B.V…is better for a quality version..and Rogue is just nice and a cheaper play on it…but i want another B.V..bottle…and i find it even more sexy and strongly original :)

  2. Karin says:

    Free samples of Rihanna Rogue on FB. I just signed up for it…but disclaimer says they can cancel promotion at any time. We’ll see if I get a sample!

  3. Merlin says:

    I did find Bottega a little too soft so I may give Rogue a try. Then again, I don’t think I can give celebrity perfumes a fair testing so perhaps there is no point.

    Well, I own Like This and would like to try DVT so perhaps its only a certain kind of pop star towards whom i refuse to contribute!

    • Robin says:

      You know, I don’t really care whose name is on something…they’re only getting a portion of the money anyway. You’re also supporting tons of other “middlemen”, look at it that way!

      • engelwurz says:

        Do they get money by the bottle? I assumed Rihanna basically has a modeling contract.
        At least Rihanna does work of some kind, which is more than Dita von Teese can say.

        • Robin says:

          Usually they get an upfront payment + some percentage of sales (I’ve seen reports of that ranging anywhere from 2% to 10%, no idea what is usual), in return for which they are expected to do some level of promotion — when there are lawsuits, the promotion or lack thereof is usually the issue. So it’s not like when you spend $20 on a rollerball, Rihanna is getting $20. In this case, Parlux gets it much of it, although they have to pay for a) marketing b) juice c) packaging d) distribution e) retailing costs (commission, store profit, overhead) and etc. Rihanna probably gets a buck or two.

        • Merlin says:

          I’m sure its possible to find a detailed reason for preferring one entertainer over another; and for being amenable to owning a bottle stamped with the name of one celebrity but averse to owning one with the name of another. Like so many other things its most likely a matter of taste.

          But I agree that being entirely indifferent to the associated personality is probably the most sensible position!

          • Robin says:

            Oh, completely agree, did not mean to be saying you had to feel the same way about it that I do!

            Also helps me that I barely know who Rihanna is, LOL, so no associations good or bad.

  4. Thalia says:

    Did you like Rogue less than Bottega Veneta because it’s sweeter, or because it’s simply less well-done/cheaper smelling? A more apricotty, stronger BV sounds appealing, but I’ve been burned by cheap perfumes smelling “cheap”/functional/flat in the base. It’s why I’m having trouble finishing my bottle of Avon Absynthe; the IDEA is great, and the opening is wonderful, but the base smells flat and artificial.

    • Robin says:

      I would say both, but I’d also say that Rogue does not smell *as* cheap to me as many celeb / low-end designer perfumes.

  5. jonr951 says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t smelled Rogue yet! Did you ever try her Reb’l Fleur Robin? That one is one of my all time favorites, well, from the celebrity category at least. : )

    With the Minajesty, all I smelled was fruit! I didn’t get gourmand or any spicy/cinnamony bite from it. I’ll have to try it again. But yes, the bottle cracked me up too! Haha! Here I go again admitting that I LOVE the PF bottle! I’m so ashamed. Hahaha!

    And I quickly sniffed Our Moment, and it was just fine. Gosh, I might have liked me more than Killer Queen, as I don’t need a HUGE knockoff of my precious Flowerbomb. Haha! Sorry Katy! ; )

    • Robin says:

      Well, I know I tried it on paper, and IIRC, I couldn’t get a sample but maybe gave up too quickly. I should try again.

      Minajesty…it’s a wait to get to the good part! I know I wouldn’t buy anything that required that long of a wait.

  6. Marjorie Rose says:

    Just wanna say, from the middle school teacher perspective, that so-so lasting power on One Direction is definitely a big PLUS! :) The girls will be bathing in the stuff!

    I gave the Beiber scents a sniff early on, and was grateful that they weren’t too horrible. And so far would argue that the options for young girls are far nicer than the options for boys (a la Axe).

    • Robin says:

      Yep — I’m sure it’s a bonus!

      Agree about the Bieber scents, they weren’t bad. Selena Gomez — that one I would prefer to never smell again.

  7. chandler_b says:

    I’m glad Rihanna has a another decent scent, I love her style, music, and liked Rebl’Fluer, didn’t smell the other one.

    My favorite celeb fragrance of all time is Curious by Britney Spears, I was shocked when I first smelled it. Most bizarre would have to be that Danielle Steele fragrance…

    • Robin says:

      Wow, I’d totally forgotten the Danielle Steele!

  8. Omega says:

    I will sniff Rouge if/when I cross paths with it. Until then, I do like my Bottega Veneta which I bought after returning some gifts last year that I got for Christmas! LOL. I didn’t get perfume? Doesn’t everyone know I am into that stuff? I got the bottle with an atomizer puff…which works like total crap but there’s not an option not to use it. I’d have to unscrew the top and pipette it into another atomizer.

    • Omega says:

      Obviously I meant Rogue, not Rouge. Close enough.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, shame about the bulb atomizer. I hate those things.

  9. Safran says:

    My 12-year old daughter proudly owns a bottle of Our Moment and as much as I was afraid, I’d have to send her to boarding school with that bottle, when she finally got it in September – I was surprised how easy it is to have her around spraying at least 5 times a day. ;o)
    It’s not my cup o’tea, but definitely one of the better “teenage” fragrances!

    • Robin says:

      Oh, good…glad she likes it and it isn’t killing you! She’ll graduate into something better eventually, I’m sure.

  10. annemarie says:

    Much to my surprise I came across Rogue at a local pharmacy. The similarity of Bottega Veneta is very obvious to me but I read Rogue as much sweeter than you, Robin. It took at least two hours for it to calm but when it did it the hint of suede was revealed and the effect is very pleasant indeed. At $29, I’m feeling tempted. This is how I wish Tresor would smell to me, but sadly all I get from Tresor is sugar syrup over melted plastic.

    • Robin says:

      Good to know, sweetness is so relative! And hey, you know that soon enough it will be even cheaper!

  11. irisfreak says:

    I am cray cray for Rihanna. If Rogue would actually turn me into Rihanna, I would buy it.

    • Robin says:

      Ha…then celebrity perfumes would *really* sell!

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