Pharrell Williams Partnered with Comme des Garcons to Produce an Uncommon Girl

November 14, 2014

When I first heard that Pharrell Williams had launched his own fragrance titled “Girl”, I gave a yawn and dismissed it as yet another celebrity-endorsed mass market fragrance. Just to state upfront, I did not dislike “Happy” the first time I heard it, but it was one of those generic songs that gets overplayed to death and then gets stuck in a loop in my head. And that is the whole problem with putting a brand name (in this case, the man’s own persona and body of work) on the bottle. I expected Girl to be one of those sparkling, happy generic fragrances that are devoid of very much personality. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

pharrell-williams-comme-des-garcons-girl-perfume

What eventually piqued my interest was when I found out Girl was produced in collaboration with Comme des Garcons. Now to further highlight my stupidity, imagine my surprise when in that moment I realized Comme des Garcons not only produces avant-garde clothing, but niche fragrances as well! So I took a crash course in Comme des Garcons fragrances so as to decipher Girl.

The story went that Pharrell caught a whiff of Comme des Garcons Wonderwood on Sarah Andelman of Parisian Colette, and fell in love. He then envisaged a fragrance based on woodsy notes, and wanted to work exclusively with Comme des Garcons.

On first whiff, Girl really surprised me in a good way. It hit me with a bold note of neroli, lavender and white pepper. Warm and spicy, very unusual picks for something named Girl. As it settles down, it gets more interesting with a floral bouquet of iris, styrax and violet… styrax is probably the biggest clue this is no ordinary celebrity fragrance.  Girl is given a deeper, more unisex base with patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and cedar.  Overall, very interesting, certainly unexpected and divergent from Happy.

On the other hand, as I experienced more from the Comme des Garcons family, I found Girl to be too perplexing. There are a lot of contrasting notes in there, and I would love to say this is an intriguing complex scent, but in reality it is simply too much. Girl lacks the elegance of Wonderwood (although personally I found Wonderwood a little too bland compared to Tom Ford Oud Wood), and when worn on the skin, it takes on a strange sweetness that did not combine well with the woodsy and musky tones. And it constantly evolved over the 6-8 hours it remained on me which made me feel a bit of a split-personality.  It felt like a high-end perfume attempting to take on a more commercial appeal, and got lost in the process.

Pharrell Williams Commes des Garcons Girl EDP

To further compound the confusion, Girl’s bottle is designed by Brooklyn artist KAWS, and is designed to resemble his “Companion” sculptures. I love graffiti art and will continue to dream of owning a piece of Banksy or Jean-Michel Basquiat someday, but an art-toy figurine with anime-inspired prints (X-es for eyes) is just too cutesy for such a strong scent. It puts Happy spinning in an infernal loop in my head again.

Pharrell Williams Girl is priced at USD135 for 100ml, and USD30 for a small 10ml. I wished the latter is not as pedestrian looking, if it were an exact miniature I’d have bought it in a heartbeat for a nice collectible.

xo Linda

 

4 responses to “Pharrell Williams Partnered with Comme des Garcons to Produce an Uncommon Girl”

  1. Hi Linda,
    it is interesting to read an attempt which was not all that justified. I haven’t seen those flacons anywhere here, I doubt we have this brand in Germany. Thanks for the honest review,

    • silverkis says:

      Hi Sara, I believe this may be carried at some Sephoras though not in Singapore. Or basically anywhere that retails Comme des Garcons fragrances. You should check out the CdG fragrances though, they’re quite interesting!

  2. Noodles says:

    Hey Linda! Hahaha the bottle certainly doesnt connect with the decribed scent at all! Havent seen this around, but am very interested to try it now, thanks 🙂

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