Many celebrity fragrances have little input from the celebrities themselves, but Sarah Jessica Parker is different. She’s known to have quite a say in how her fragrances – some of the most successful in the world – turn out, and her no compromise stance has led to some really distinctive perfumes being created. After the success of Lovely a personal favourite of mine SJP went on to create this rather more unusual scent: Covet. Coming to market in 2007, the “I had to have it!” slogan suggested a more spontaneous, gregarious scent was in store, coupled with the utterly fabulous packaging – bright green liquid encased in a squashed, rounded-edged rectangle glass container with an ornate brown flower lid – made a real statement.
This was clearly not going to be a soft, romantic scent like Lovely, this perfume intends to be noticed. Sure enough it packs a punch. The bright, citrus-mint opening surprises with its intensity, you’re almost overwhelmed by the abundance of notes that fight for your attention right from the off. It’s fresh and sharp, there’s a definite hint of bitter chocolate and the lavender is strong. It’s unusual and divisive, some people like it, some people are turned off. I’m in-between typical and find the top notes very interesting but too lemon-y.
Stick with it, though, and you’re rewarded with a much warmer and more traditional selection of middle notes. Here flowers come to the fore, creating a pretty scent that doesn’t ever feel old-fashioned. It’s kept fresh with the green citrus top notes which never leave, but do quieten down. This is the perfume at its peak. The musk base is darker, with wood and amber and reminds me of a walk in a warm forest. But better. It’s earthy, but not cloying and maintains the pretty sweetness brought on by the flowery middle and that subtle hint of chocolate. It’s perhaps less distinctive now, but is certainly still a cut above most celebrity fragrances which tend to err on the side of generic.
Covet has soul and I love its intensity. Quite frankly, anyone who likes the way it smells, could wear it. Woman or man, old or young, gay or straight. It’s one of those scents that doesn’t really fit a category and so ends up being suitable for everyone who has the confidence to pull it off. It does remind me of Spring and Summer, though; I never wore it in Autumn or Winter as it didn’t feel right. Even with the darker base, it’s too effervescent for cold, wet days. I also don’t feel it’s especially romantic, it’s more of a bolshy single person’s fragrance. The advert makes me giggle, I think it’s a bit silly and the effects aren’t great, but on the bright side SJP’s French pronunciation is good.
Lasting power is generally excellent, suggesting the notes used are high quality. Both 50 and 100 ml sizes are available as well as complimentary body products. Covet never took off the way Lovely did so none of the range is as widely stocked as its older sibling so can be hard to find in places. To the best of my knowledge it is still in production, but for how much longer I couldn’t say. The full fragrance make-up is as follows. Covet is the kind of fragrance that doesn’t give a damn if you like it or not, it’s confident and bright with a depth that makes it feel like it was designed not for the masses to make the most profit, but for those who are more selective and don’t shy away from bold fragrances. In many ways it’s perfect for SJP who is a style icon and a woman who’s never been afraid to try something different. She said after the release of Lovely “If I get the opportunity, my next scent will be genderless. Fuller. Riskier.” Well done, Sarah, you did it.