I have often sung the praises of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely: it is affordable, beautifully packaged and smells wonderful. However, having finally met Narciso Rodriguez For Her, I feel my credit ought to have gone elsewhere. They are so alike it is easy to mix them up when tested blind. I could not tell them apart.
Whilst I still love Lovely, and will always have a bottle of it on my dressing table, it was launched in 2005, whilst NR for Her was launched the year before in 2004. The similarity could be either coincidence, or homage. I refuse to think of it as olfactory plagiarism as I am so fond of Lovely and its Diffusion Line.
However, a great deal of credit must go to the Narciso Rodriguez Dream Team Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian, both legends in their own right. Interestingly, I always thought SJP Lovely was also similar to Lanvin Rumeur, which was created by, yes Francis Kurkdjian. And so the happy circle goes on.
The similarities can be found in the fact that both perfumes start as a rich floral that becomes Patchouli like and Woody almost as soon as the floral notes have registered. Rather than being woody in a masculine sense, the prickly Patchouli and the clean florals produce an agreeable vintage note of nail polish, at least to me. They both remind me of a 1950s dressing table with a layer of fine face powder and open bottles of nail colour and several glass cut perfume bottles. Both are impossibly feminine and elegant and I love them.
I am describing them together in one breath because try as I might, I cannot tell them apart. The notes listed for both are very different. NR For Her purports to contain Bergamot, Neroli and no Patchouli at all. Lovely is supposed to contain Lavender, Martini and Salt, yet both end results are the same.
The similarities are not necessarily a criticism. As a diversion from the heaving mass of fruity florals and cheap candy floss patchoulis that the Noughties have drowned us in, these quality scents are worth their weight in gold.
I would go as far as to say that NR For Her was a game changer which spawned SJP Lovely, Estee Lauder Modern Muse, and even Avon bargain scent Rare Diamonds as mentioned earlier in my blog..
We needed NR For Her, and it came.