Lovely Eau de Parfum by Sarah Jessica Parker Review

Collage of Lovely by SJP and its notes, including lavender, rosewood, orchid, narcissus, martini, bergamot, and cedar.

Like me, my mother is too fickle to ever have a true signature scent, but this is as close as she got. This was the only big full bottle of fragrance in her collection among the free samples and tiny minis. As such, I can’t possibly leave a bad review for Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, and I can never actually wear it myself. In my mind, it belongs entirely to my mama.

Regardless, this is a well-blended, iconic celebrity fragrance that deserves the attention it has gotten over the years. It’s a cool, fresh, musky-woody-floral feminine scent. The citruses and the lavender are prominent in the opening, and that distinct accord resonates through to the drydown.

The whole scent has a musky feel and texture, but it doesn’t smell like that warm, sweet skin scent musk you often sense thrown haphazardly into fragrances. It’s a fresh musky-woodsy texture.

I often don’t like lavender, but this doesn’t feel like a lavender essential oil; the lavender is blended well with the other opening notes to create the distinct scent that is Lovely.

Speaking of lovely, the woods in this perfume really are. The rosewood is a key part of that central accord, and the base woody notes resonate along with it. Rosewood, also called palisander in German, is often a catch-all for rich, dark-red-colored woods. It is not, as I had once thought as a child, the wood from the stem of a rose. (You’d be surprised how thick and sturdy a dried rose branch can get!)

Rosewood is often used to make guitars with a rich, resinous sound, and that’s the general aura of the woods here.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”

Okay, they’re not that dark, but the woods are rich and deep and warm. They make up the backbone of Lovely, blending seamlessly with that perfumey martini-lavender musk and the top sparkle of citruses.

A white earthenware pot full of light purple lavender branches.

The lavender here is musky, perfumey, and on the generic, atmospheric side. When choosing a fizzy-sparkly-citrus-and-musky-lavender perfume for myself, I might actually prefer Burberry’s criminally underrated Burberry Brit Rhythm for Women. The lavender there feels grayer, huskier, more heather-colored and quintessentially English. There’s more texture to it, and ore contrast with the fizzing and popping clementine and blackberry notes.

Lovely, on the other hand, is a bit calmer. It takes a middle ground. The lavender is comforting and soft and pink, diffuse and blending into the musky woods. There’s some sparkle to the opening, but it’s not so dramatic as to be downright carbonated. It’s a quieter, more level-headed take on the concept than the Burberry is. It feels more professional, polite, and universally pleasant.

A teal-colored martini with a white layer on top , adorned with a large white frangipani flower with a bright yellow center.

About the martini: I’m really not sure what that note is supposed to mean here. I don’t get anything particularly boozy. Perhaps there’s some fun special vodka or olive or gin sort of aromachemical in here, but I don’t get it. However, there’s definitely a sparkle to the whole composition, led by the bergamot and mandarin orange, and I’d believe there might be something of a fizzy cocktail in there somewhere.

Lovely is strong and distinctive, with BIG projection and unsettling longevity. On me, this lasted for 24+ hours with a long shower in the middle. It will stick to clothes forever too, whether you meant to get a hint of Lovely in them or not.

The vibe of this? It feels like an excellent, grown-up scent, well suited to the office and maybe to evening events as well. It isn’t too youthful or immature, but it’s entirely original and distinctive. Lovely is anything but run-of-the-mill. It’s original. It’s iconic. But it’s also extraordinarily polite, office-friendly, and easy to like.

A laptop, phone, and apple.

If you like lavender, fresh musk, and woods, this could be a great officewear fragrance for you. Lovely feels very traditionally feminine, but isn’t obnoxiously sweet or full of potentially headache-inducing indolic notes. It came out in 2005, but doesn’t feel dated, obnoxiously Y2K, or overly mature. It feels grown-up and professional, sure, but not at all stodgy, stuffy, or dull.

Sarah Jessica Parker has what I consider to be by far the greatest celebrity fragrance line out there. Every single one is unique and distinctive, shaped by a particular idea, peppered with unique and distinctive notes. Lovely is perhaps the crowning jewel of her collection, the most well-known and popular and easy to wear.

Noses Clement Gavarry and Laurent Le Guernec have put together something brilliant in Lovely, and its enduring success is warranted.

Tall rounded glass bottle of champagne-colored Lovely perfume by Sarh Jessica Parker.

Where to Find Lovely Eau de Parfum by Sarah Jessica Parker

You can find samples and decants of Lovely EdP at MicroPerfumes.

Want more? You can find full bottles at Palm Beach Perfumes, HottPerfume, The Perfume Spot, Jomashop, and MicroPerfumes.

These are affiliate links. If you click on them and buy something, the seller pays me a commission, at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about them here.

One thought on “Lovely Eau de Parfum by Sarah Jessica Parker Review

  1. I have been wearing SJP Lovely for years… the last 2 orders smelled like plain water. Very disappointing I love this fragrance for me it’s perfect , I get many compliments and asking me what I was wearing. Did something change?

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