“Gorgeous and incredibly cute” is how the pop singer Katy Perry describes her line of fragrances Purr and Meow. Incredibly cute is right on the mark when it comes to the packaging. Maybe I did not get my share of Barbies as a child, but I love the cat bottles, especially the amethyst tinted Purr.
I wish I could be equally excited about the fragrances. They are not badly done, far from it, but they replay the same fruit and cotton candy theme of other celebrity fragrances. I am not the target audience, but since I spend a lot of time around teens in my dance studio, my tolerance for the cloying blandness is sometimes strained to the maximum.
Purr is the most inoffensive of the two. It is a freesia and peony blend with a bright fruity top. If you’ve smelled any recent fruity floral release, you will recognize the familiar tune. On cue, the apple and peach appear, then the overexposed floral accord and finally the dry amber and musk. Purr dries down to be more oriental than floral thanks to its dose of creamy vanilla and sandalwood. It has some DNA from Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Armani Code for Her. Purr is competently put together, but not at all memorable. Yes, I understand that most celebrity fragrances are not meant to be creative or distinctive. They are meant to live briefly on the perfume counter, make some money for their spokespeople and vanish like butterflies at the end of the summer. If this is the intent, then Purr succeeds.
As Robin pointed in her recent review of Meow, it is painfully sweet. If you can move past the sweetness, you discover that it is nicely put together. The pear and orange top is bubbly, while the transparent jasmine and orange blossom heart has a coquettish sparkle. The soft woods and musk drydown is an expected, but pleasant backdrop. This could be enjoyable if it were not for creamy vanilla. Once Meow hits that layer, I cannot enjoy anything else. In the interests of fairness, I tried to give it at least three days of skin time. Having been exposed to all sorts of smells in a perfumery lab, I developed a certain olfactory stoicism. The same cannot be said about my husband. By the third day, he begged me to stop, because he was getting a headache from my sillage. So, the only Meow allowed in our household from now on is this one:
Sample: my own acquisition