Pharrell Williams is not perfect (okay, his skin is perfect). I mean, he was featured on last year's sexist song of the summer, 'Blurred Lines' and didn't even think the lyrics were problematic. But if there's one thing Pharrell does right, it's business. Throw his name on a fashion line or a pop song and you have a hit. William's new fragrance, GIRL, a collaboration with Commes des Garcons, is primed to be just that.
Celebrity fragrances are not new, nor are they particularly exciting. Unless you're Lady Gaga, it's unlikely that a celeb-created perfume will be much to write home about. But, according to StyleCaster, "celebrity fragrance sales are now pulling in over $1.3 billion a year—a huge chunk of the total $5.2 billion fragrance industry in the US." Ah, so that explains why so many famous faces want their name on a perfume bottle.
Pharrell's GIRL sounds promising. For one, the scent is actually unisex, despite the name. I really like the use of the word GIRL for a unisex perfume. "Girl" is such an infantalizing term for grown women, so naming a fragrance meant for both sexes GIRL kind of turns that on it's head by rendering the word genderless. In Pharrell's own words:
There should be no lines — I learned that from Comme des Garçons. Hence, Girl — for girls and boys. We just found another way to say unisex.
I'm not really trying to say that Pharrell Williams is a gigantic feminist for creating a unisex perfume called GIRL, but the idea is clever and though-provoking nonetheless. Besides, it's rare for a celebrity to create a scent that is not marketed toward one gender. And just look at that super edgy, display-worthy bottle, designed by artist Kaws.
So, will GIRL actually smell good? Yes — if you like the scent of wood (which, come on of course you do). "I was enamored by [Comme’s] ability to deliver wood to the masses in the way that they have,” Pharrell told WWD. The fragrance has some other things going on as well: top notes of neroli, lavender, and white pepper; middle notes of iris, stryax, and violet; and base notes of vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood, and sandalwood.
The perfume will be distributed by Commes des Garcons Parfum. A 100-ml bottle is $135, but you can snag a 10-ml travel-sized bottle for just $30. Small price to pay for smelling like an antique dining room table, no?