Monday, October 27, 2008

Review: Harajuku Lovers Fragrances

I've slowly become a fan of Gwen Stefani, although initially I didn't like her first album. However, her second album drew me in with The Sweet Escape, and 4 in the Morning. She looks gorgeous in this video, especially because her makeup emphasis here is on the eyes rather than her trademark red lips.

Anyway, last year or maybe the year before she released her first fragrance, L.A.M.B. It was a nice fragrance, and I liked it a lot. I didn't buy it though because I thought the scent was a bit too common...too mainstream for me to spend the $ on.

I was hoping for something more unique with her recent launch of Harajuku Lovers fragrances...and I'd say they are better in some ways, but the scents needs improvement if she wants to make something truly iconic.

The packaging, as you can see from the pictures below, is super cute! Definitely a collectible in my opinion. Each scent has a different doll representing it. I would love to collect all 5 dolls if I could...which brings me to another point - the price.

These scents are on the pricey side. They are available in two sizes - 10mL for US$25/CAD$33.25 or 20mL for US$45/CAD$49. Compare that to something like Ralph Lauren Romance, which is 20mL for US$36, almost US$10 less. I'm guessing its priced like that because you do get a really nice collectible bottle in addition to the perfume.

I think though that the price does not fit the target category. The marketing and packaging suits a younger crowd better (teen to early twenties), but the price would be too expensive for most people that age. If I were still a student I certainly wouldn't want to fork out that much money for such a small amount of product...

The scents are definitely on the younger side. I could see myself getting it for friends my age or younger, but it'd be hard to imagine say my older cousins wearing scents like these. The scents are rather basic and easy to like, although couple of them were a bit too sweet and cloying for my taste.

Here's a summary of each of the fragrance notes plus a quick note on what I thought...but keep in mind I'm no fragrance connoisseur. My tastes in perfumes are quite simple (too simple!) so you should definitely try all scents anyway to see if you like them yourself. Remember too that scents will smell different on each person depending on your body chemistry.

*Pictures and info on fragrance notes courtesy of



Bergamot, Pink Pomelo, Peach, Bamboo Leaf, Watery Peony, Living Hydroponic Lace Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Nectarine Blossom, Creamy Paperwhites, Egyptian Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Musk, and Blond Wood.

This scent was okay. The top floral notes are really nice but I'm not a fan of the musk notes at the end...but thats just me. It also smells a bit powdery...which I dislike.

Lil' Angel


Raspberry, Cranberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, Pear Blossom, Violet, Rose, Lollipop Accord, Hinoki Wood, and Crystal Amber.

This is a fruity-type of fragrance...the type I always go for so its no surprise that I liked this. Not to mention her outfit is my favourite among the 5 with that yellow headband and bows :) Very wearable scent for daytime.



Clementine, Pear, Jasmine Sambac, Sweet Pea, Honeysuckle, Vanilla, Skin Musk, and Sleek Woods.

I liked this initially ...but after wearing it a bit I think its still too sweet for me. Now that I've seen the fragrance notes I can see why. I love Pear and Clementine scents, which are the top notes, but can't stand musk and vanilla...Those usually form the bottom notes and thus wouldn't be noticeable until I had worn it for a while.



Freesia, Bergamot, White Rose, Orange Flower, Tiare, Jasmine, White Musk, Soft Woods, Heliotrope, Vanilla, and Violet.

I'll admit I didn't like all. It was a bit too sweet for my taste...probably because of the vanilla and musk notes. It would make a good scent for wearing out at night though.



Mandarin, Coconut, Apple Skin, Jasmine Sambac, Freesia, Magnolia, Coconut Cream, White Sandalwood, and Cottonwoods

My favourite! The scent is smooth and coconut-y...pure love. I usually don't like oriental-type scents but this was the first scent in that category that I actually liked at first sniff! Most of my collection consists of citrus-y scents, so I'm happy to finally find something different that I still love :)

Overall, Lil' Angel and G were my favourites. Have you tried these yet? Which ones do you like/dislike? Why?


Anonymous said...

I hadn't thought about what you mentioned on the pricing. It does seem more targeted to the younger population, but you are right when you mentioned the price doesn't really reflect that. For the amount in the bottle, it is pretty expensive...but they are cute.
Anyway I happen to like Lil Angel...I'm not much of a fruity person usually...but I couldn't help liking this one...
Anyway great breakdown on the product^^

Anonymous said...

just noticed your "Upcoming / requested posts"
-things for sale
-gamjatang tutorial!

I used to love gamjatang, but can't stand the messyiness of the meal! :( but its cool knowing that you make your own!

Ai said...

those are supeeer cute! haven't tried tho but G sounds delicious :D

Anonymous said...

Oooo I love the sound of G as I'm a huge fan of coconut in scents, too. Love is so cute... I am glad to know it is quite an affordable collection. It's on my Xmas wishlist now...

Unknown said...

These look cute! Doubt they will come out here in London though. I am a strange one when it comes to fragrances.

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know Harajuku Lovers was her brand but that makes a lot of sense. I don't know how to feel about her strange fetish for oddly-layered small Japanese girls, though. She does look great in that video. I like that she emphasized her eyes, too. I miss her No Doubt style.

Anonymous said...

o and TAG

cheryl said...

haha i love the bottles but we don't have these in italy...or perhaps i myself haven't noticed them around..

fuzkittie said...

I bought Baby because I got confused by all the scents I was trying at the store... ahahahaha. And then when I got home I was like... WHAT?! This isn't what I wanted at all. It smells way too powdery, ugh. So I returned it.

The App Goddess said...

Great review!

I totally agree with you about the price. It's too much. I do like the design of the solid perfume set.

Angie said...

Oh man perfumes are too confusing for me when you break them down!

Aradani said...

Tagged ya! I think the Music one was my favorite of the bunch when I smelled them in sephora, but I didn't like it enough to get it. I hated the powder one (it was like trying to sex up baby powder) and I semi-liked the gwen stefani one since it's too strong for me and I'm not used to coconut. The one that actually surprised me was Marc Jacob's Daisy perfume. I think I'll try that on a few times more before i make a final decision on it.

Anonymous said...

I bought one of these the other day for my niece (She loves Gwen, so I bought G!) - since you brought up price I wanted to mention that it's a 30 ml size, not a 20 ml. So for $45 it makes a little more sense.

Just wanted to point that out!

Kimberly said...

It's such a cute line, just to have them on your shelf or vanity table is fun, but I did end up loving "G" the most... I'm a fan of more of the "candy or food inspired scents"

and I loved that gwen video, she was very Marilyn Monroe'esque in it!!!

Anonymous said...

I am actually kind of the opposite, I have been a huge fan of Gwen when she was in No Doubt, but ever since she started her solo career I have liked her music less and less :/ But there's no denying that she always looks fabulous and is so stylish. Thank you for these reviews! I smelled a couple of them when I was at Sephora last time but didn't have time to see which ones I smelled, but from the ones that I tried none of them really appealed to me that much. I agree, some of them smelled too cloyingly sweet, definitely marketed more towards the teens and early 20s (hey that's me!) lol.

Grayburn said...

Baby has the best caviar!

x Grayburn

Unknown said...

I initially wanted G because my name is Gee, lol. But when I smelled these in store, I liked Music the best and then G.

I like either really clean scents or slighter sweet scents. I'd be happy with either :D

Ling said...

My fav is 'Love'. She looks really cute and definitely a keeper!

I'm not a big fan of perfumes but I'm definitely loving the cute-ness! ;D

watercoloursky said...

Thanks for sharing everyone! :) Its interesting how everyone seems to like different ones. Seems like between the 5 scents, there'll be at least one that suits each person's taste. I totally agree that the cute factor would be the reason I'm buying them...the dolls are just adorable!

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