I forgive Stash many things:
1. its name (to me, "Stash" doesn't jibe with the advertising or bottle);
2. the fact I could only smell Stash at Ulta Beauty (I went to two Ulta stores in order to get a sample of Stash. At Ulta No. 1 the S.A. said: "Uh, nope, we have Stash but not a tester bottle...I have a bottle here I'm making into a tester." Me: "Can I sniff it?" S.A.: "I'm making a tester...SOON." She chuckled and moved on. The store was empty.
3. Sarah Jessica Parker (whose roles never resonate with me). SJP: hie thee to a desert, strip your face of all makeup and play a character with little money and no "wardrobe;" perhaps a graveyard-shift nurse who also runs an animal rescue farm near Albuquerque with her lazy-ass teen sons and bitch of a mother...Sissy Spacek? Kathy Bates?
I admit I didn't have much hope for Stash, even when Parker said the perfume was "all about leather, cognac and, yes, body odor. 'It’s old and sexy, like a sweater from a guy who was on the Eurorail too long or something.'”1 Though that statement and the notes (grapefruit zest, black pepper, sage, Atlas cedar, patchouli, ginger lily, pistachio, olibanum, massoia wood, vetiver and musk) sounded promising, I couldn't believe Stash would come close to the perfume Parker dreamed of making pre-Lovely (the one based on her own recipe of Comme des Garçons Incense Avignon, Bonne Bell Musk and "Egyptian Musk").
I was wrong!
When I finally sprayed on Stash, I smelled sweet grapefruit and pepper, a resonant wood note and perhaps a floral touch; the perfume was very light. Minutes later, something great happened: the fragrance bloomed and surrounded me with wonderful aromas of grapefruit, vetiver, milky woods, frankincense and benzoin. For some faint-nosed souls who hate all things "dirty," Stash may be a bit "unclean" but to me its grapefruit, cedar and vetiver don't conjure an unwashed man on the Eurorail (notice how Parker can't find a similar guy on...Amtrak?) In fact, Stash joins the meager ranks of non-Eaux de Cologne that I would wear to bed; its final stage of talc-y vetiver is soooo comforting and cozy.
Stash reminds me of a quieter Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire; it also brought to mind Eau d'Italie Bois d'Ombrie and one of my favorite soaps: Nesti Dante Villages and Monasteries. Stash has good lasting power but stays close to the body; it's unisex but veers masculine to my nose (but will non-perfumista guys buy it?) I wore Stash after my test run of Versace Pour Homme Dylan Blue and all I could think was: "Donatella, hire Sarah Jessica Parker and her team of perfumers (Clement Gavarry and Laurent Le Guernec) the next time you need a new Versace men's scent." I'm serious.
Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP Eau de Parfum is currently exclusive to Ulta and is available in 30 ml ($50), 50 ml ($75), and 100 ml ($85) sprays, a 0.34 oz rollerball ($25) and a 30 ml/$50 "Elixir" (fragrant oil in a dropper bottle). As Parker says herself, Stash calls for liberal application; keep that in mind as you choose a size.
1. Via Sarah Jessica Parker’s New Fragrance Smells Like Sexy European Men at The Coveteur.