Comme des Garcons x Pharrell Williams Girl EDP Perfume Review

CdG and Pharrell Williams Girl

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

The launching of Girl was a big deal for the “mainstream world” for a few reasons:

Reason 1- The the celeb in this case had enough sense to not only align themselves with a designer, but a designer line that produces a lot of good, trendy perfumes. AND a perfume that crosses over into mainstream/designer and niche. This makes folks take this perfume “more seriously”. This also makes it something that will be sold at stores like Sephora and then smaller specialty boutiques. Oh, and because of this it’s more expensive than other celebrity scents. So, you expect to get something of better quality, right? This price alone makes it stand out in a sea of celeb scents.

Reason 2 – Next we have a celeb that was like, “We’re making this unisex but calling it ‘Girl’, the name of my album but also to f with gender-based marketing”. This broadens the audience more. So we have niche/designer and then male/female.

Reason 3 (which I guess goes more with Reason 1) – They collaborated with a cool artist, KAWS, to make a cool bottle that will stand out. Now they’ve reeled in some of the art world, not just Pharrell fans, fashion fans, perfume fans…we now have fans of pop art. Pharrell Williams said, “When I do collaborations, I do them with notable masters”.

Comme de Garçons x Pharrell Williams Girl opens as sharp and synthetic, like purple blossoms hooked up to an amplifier. It’s sweet almond-y heliotrope flowers and musky, cool lavender buds. Girl is pepper-y but it’s not like dried pepper berries. The pepper in Girl has a greenness to it. It smells the way that arugula tastes. The heart wears as this powdery, delicate almond floral with sharp. peppery greens. They dry-down of Girl is so synthetic that it’s borderline bookbinding glue with these dry, sharp woods and metallic milkiness. It’s sharp and oddly metallic. And for some reason I’m drawn to this mix of saccharine spring florals and synthetic amber-woods.

Is this the best CdG perfume? I’m going to safely say “no”. But, it’s a really good collaboration scent. It smells very much like a CdG. And this is strength and its weakness. It’s weird and synthetic which is why people like CdG but it’s also why people don’t. I also think the unisex/mainstream angle with this one may not be helpful to the scent’s possible success. Despite the candied violets, this is a spicy and woodsy scent. I can see those that buy traditionally feminine fragrances not liking this one. And those that buy traditionally masculine fragrance, they are going to find it too “femme”. You can read reviews on stores’ sites and quickly see this. It appears people really have no clue what to think of this one and you’ll see one review saying it’s “too girly” and the next saying it’s “too manly”. Personally, I find this a reason enough alone to appreciate this fragrance. It keeps me interested.

Sylvie Vartan

Notes listed include neroli, lavender, white pepper, iris, styrax, violet, patchouli, Australian sandalwood, vetiver and cedar. Launched in 2014. PERFUMERS – Antonie Lie and Christian Astugueville

Give GIRL a try if you like unusual woodsy scents or intentionally synthetic/modern fragrances. Or if you like perfumes like CdG Wonderwood, CREED Love in Black, Tauer Pentachord White and CdG x Stephen Jones Wisteria Hysteria. And yep, it’s unisex.

Projection and longevity are above average. This scents lasts for 14 hours on my skin.

The 3.3 oz retails for $135 at Sephora and Beautyhabit. A travel spray is available for $30.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONA big synthetic mix of candied violets, spicy arugula and dry woods. I guess I could call it “creamy green” but then it’s hella woodsy too. It’s a lot of things but I can safely say it’s a CdG. More CdG than Pharrell and unlike the usual celeb fragrance. It’s probably doomed because of this.

Want more reviews? Try…

Now Smell This

Ça Fleure Bon


The Scented Salamander 

The Candy Perfume Boy

I included this one as one my favorite launches of 2014. 


*Product purchased by me. Product pic from The Daily Street. Sylvie Vartan  from Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “Comme des Garcons x Pharrell Williams Girl EDP Perfume Review

  1. Your comparison to arugula is brilliant! My nose really doesn’t pick up much sweetness, and this is almost so unisex that it makes me think of a smell of an environment (or abstract art piece), rather than a fragrance for a person. Not a complaint, though!

    I don’t love Girl, but I definitely liked it enough to buy the travel spray. The saleswoman at Sephora warned me that I needed to try it on my skin, which of course I had, but it seemed telling that she wasn’t even trying to push a sale.

    1. I totally get what you mean when you describe it as environmental. It does seem to be more atmospheric…which is why I respect it as well.

      I love that it is offered as a travel spray. I really don’t need bottles much bigger than that for 99% of the fragrances that I end up buying.

      Very interesting about your Sephora experience. I felt like I received the same treatment. She reacted almost “nervous” that I had went for it. This makes me think that overall, the reaction to this fragrance has been really mixed.

      Also, what SA would say “yes, buy this before trying on your skin?” Does she see people doing that? Who blind-sniffs in person? (I have so many questions, lol)

  2. Yeah, I liked this when I gave it a sniff at Sephora. My husband liked it too. He is getting really good at identifying notes these days. He said “mmmm. Violety”. So well done to Pharrell for giving us something a little different. Still not going to forgive him for “Happy” though. 😉

    1. Violet? I’m impressed 🙂 David has sort of learned about perfume via osmosis as well.

      I’m with you there. No offense to any Pharrell fans or “Happy” fans, but ugh, I would be happy to live my life without ever hearing that song again.

  3. This is the only fragrance that gets me compliments! I love it, but why can’t I get compliments on my pricey stuff? It’s a giant mystery.

    1. When I put together my “most complimented” post, I was surprised to see that 90% of them were cheapies. And every single time I wear 24 Gold or 24 Platinum, I get compliments and those are the cheapest perfumes that I own.

      Oh, well, we shall roll with it 🙂

  4. “Keeps me interested” — that’s what I like to hear. It’s not so much to ask, is it?

    In your copious Hong Kong spare time (ha!) you could squeeze in a visit to the Comme des Garçons store, on Ice House Street, one block from the main Central metro stop. (One block from Shanghai Tang, as well. And Harvey Nichols. And . . . ) That store is amazing. I can’t tell if it’s 2001/Space Odyssey or Dr. Evil’s lair. And underground, no less. Lots of cool stuff tho’, including quite a lot of their perfumes.

    1. With most of the launches I smell, it must be too much to ask 😉 With this one, I don’t expect people to love it but it’s worth sniffing just because it does things. It’s worth it for the “where will it go next?” sort of thing.

      We leave tomorrow morning. Being a CdG fan, I will be visiting CdG. It’s on my list. I won’t be staying too far from it so I think I can find the time 🙂

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