Iron Lady: Katy Perry Killer Queen review

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     Katy Perry has been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. The 31-year-old American pop singer has 4 albums to her name, each with a sold-out world tour, as well as a full-length feature documentary and a successful collection of fine fragrances. She also had a tabloid-worthy relationship with British comedian Russel Brand for 14 eventful months, but that’s another story for another blogger.

     Katy’s debut fragrances Purr and Meow! (100 ml, $22.99 each*) from 2010-11 were developed in collaboration with Gigantic Parfums and Firmenich perfumers, and enjoyed moderate success at high-end retailers like Nordstrom’s and Selfridges. Things really took off for her when Gigantic sold the licenses to the celebrity-fragrance experts at Coty Inc. (who also own Lady Gaga’s, Beyoncé’s, and Jennifer Lopez’s fragrance portfolios), and they helped her develop the next four fragrances with the renowned International Flavors & Fragrances.

     Killer Queen was announced in 2013 as Katy’s “next evolution” – bet you didn’t know she’s actually a Pokémon, did you? The singer has widely credited British band Queen for the title’s inspiration, which comes from a 1974 song by the same name. I get the homage but do criticize her for the move, considering she has plenty of her own song titles to go off; I mean, who wouldn’t want to smell like a “Teenage Dream” or “Last Friday Night”? Okay, maybe that last one would be in bad taste, but I digress. Indeed, the stakes were high for Killer Queen’s release. Coty’s Steve Mormoris even claimed they were expecting it to be “a top-10 launch,” and industry sources estimated global retail sales for the first year to be in the $80 million range. It’s hard to say just how well it ended up doing, but it did win Customer’s Choice in the Canadian Fragrance Awards and went on to receive at least three subsequent flankers. The latest addition to the line is Katy Perry’s Mad Potion, a strange new pillar that comes complete with a truly hideous bottle and kooky commercial.

     Today we take a look at the original Killer Queen for what it is, a floral fruity gourmand aimed at Katy’s young female demographic developed by Laurent Le Guernec (Avon Viva by Fergie, D&G Dolce Floral Drops, etc.). I received my bottle from, the Internet’s leading retailer of 100% genuine beauty products for up to 75% off retail. This 100 ml bottle, normally $59.99, is available now for just $21.99 – that’s a laughable $16.49* with their recurring 25% off coupon! Definitely head over to check out their great selection.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     KQ combines the top celebrity categories into one exciting fragrance. Shaped like a red ruby, the EDP bottle is beautiful to set on top of the vanity and reminds me of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb (100 ml, $133.99*). The fragrance combines dark fruits like plum and forest berries (think Marc Jacobs Decadence) and yummy caramel. It has a musky base that smells remotely like Clean Warm Cotton (60 ml, $52.99*) and patchouli. Altogether it is a warm, playful and delicious feminine fragrance that’s perfect for the in-between crowd: those who can’t decide what they want, so they wear it all at once.

     Verdict: Maybe Katy’s murderous empress is actually a perfectly nice, huggable lady with a bad reputation (“Once Upon a Time,” anyone?), because her scent is sweet and cute. I feel like it is extra generic in terms of celebrity scents because it aims to do it all, but it’s not a bad choice by any means. If anything, it’s certainly an improvement over its predecessor and successor! I’ll definitely be enjoying this one come spring, or the next time I need an improv weapon. Hey, it’s called Killer Queen for a reason!

*Prices true at time of writing.

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