Giveaway information at bottom of post!
What started out as a grainy, underground reality TV show about drag queens competing in pageant-style challenges in 2008 has turned into an international phenomenon, and Logo TV’s highest-rated program, now on its upcoming eighth annual season1. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is Nick Murray’s and RuPaul Charles’ brainchild, an ingenious look into the glamorous nightlife world of drag. The fans, many too young to be allowed into the performers’ actual shows, are some of the most passionate in the world, standing behind their favourite queens and getting outraged when they are inevitably eliminated from the competition.
Fan favourites include the American Apparel Ad Girls, a travelling musical act consisting of season four bad-girl Willam (“Boy is Bottom”), season five runner-up Alaska 5000 (“Your Makeup is Terrible”), and season six sweetheart Courtney Act (“Mean Gays”). You can watch their signature “American Apparel Ad Girls” music video below, and prepare to hum “I like it when you don’t touch my hair” all day in Alaska’s addictive tone:
The latest season’s cast was criticized for lacking talent in the span of the competition, but blew everyone away with a series of album drops that rocketed to the top of the charts once the finale aired. One such queen was Matthew James Lent, better known as runner-up Pearl Liaison. Throughout the season host RuPaul gave Pearl tough love, wanting to see her push herself further. “Wake up, Pearl” because the motto, and she certainly did as her debut album “Pleasure” hit number eleven on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart – not bad for a self-produced record2.
Not satisfied with just following in other contestants’ footsteps, Pearl became the first RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni to have her own widely available signature fragrance this summer (just like Mama Ru’s own GLAMAZON). Granted, season six participant BenDeLaCreme launched a fragrance of her own in 2014 (Signature Scent – “A sophisticated Cotton Candy bouquet with notes of Bubblegum3”) in partnership with Atomic Cosmetics, but that one had shipping restrictions galore and has long since been discontinued. Therefore Pearl’s Flazéda is a ground-breaker through and through, and I’m so glad I get to share it with you today. It’s truly her-story in the making!
But wait, hold up: what in the world does the name mean?
Just like the judges’ critique that brought on “Wake up, Pearl,” Pearl had lots of lovable moments during the series that produced awesome catchphrases. One such instance was when she accidentally yet adorably combined blasé, laissez-faire, and la di da and came up with (you guessed it!) Flazéda – and yes, the accent is very important. Instead of being embarrassed by the mistake, Pearl owned it and named her debut fragrance with Xyrena after it.
Xyrena is a relatively new company from California, founded in 2013. Flazéda was perfumer Killian Wells’ debut publicly-available composition, followed by Aaliyah, Formula 3 by Dalton Maldonado, and Andy Kaufman Milk & Cookies all in the same year. What’s fascinating about the business model is that is it the world’s first celebrity partnered on-demand perfumery4, a truly novel idea that bestows mini-celebrities such as drag queen personalities a platform to create in scent. The line is also certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA, Leaping Bunny and Vegan Action.
The signature Xyrena bottle was finalized in January of this year, with a classic label that nods to cosmetics of the past. Killian was kind enough to replace my press sample when it broke in transit, and this kind of stellar customer service will serve him well as the line expands. Personally, I can’t wait.
Flazéda is marketed as a unisex juice, fitting for Mathew’s dual personas. In the opening it is a slightly spicy bergamot and jasmine accord that reminds me of herbal tea with a slice of lemon (“Wake up, Pearl” seems oddly appropriate), but then it becomes ludicrously sexy with vanilla and vetiver and a touch of jasmine. It’s the smell you wish two bodies rolling around together produced, but far more refined with that citrus note. It’s a hot scent, something a burlesque dancer might wear, or the object of your fantasies. Wear carefully, or you might find yourself going home with the entire club.
Verdict: Flazéda opens like an incredibly conservative fragrance, and then surprises you by pulling off her top to become a beast of seduction, a perfect incubus of feminine and masculine attractiveness. Normally I’d be put off by this kind of change, but it works here because as the emotional “The Rest Is Drag” episode showed, Pearl is a multifaceted gem and her perfume deserves to be one as well. As Killian says, Flazéda can only be described as, well… the most flazéda fragrance ever.
1Wikipedia: RuPaul’s Drag Race
2Wikipedia: Pearl (drag queen)
4Xyrena: Our History
Giveaway time! One lucky winner will receive a bottle of Xyrena Pearl Liaison Flazéda perfume (valued at $98), sent anywhere in America for your smelling pleasure. Please use this Rafflecopter link to enter. Giveaway closes November 25th, 2015.
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