Lady Gaga has reportedly requested that two avowedly provocative olfactory notes be added to her upcoming perfume with Coty. There shall be blood and semen.
This is a far cry from her personally advertised taste in fragrance as the lady Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in her former private life, she who seemed to prefer subtle, non-obtrusive scents. But true to her reputation as the Lady Gaga and her stage beast persona, there had to be some Gaga-esque notes worth their salt in her jus which is tentatively, possibly, dubbed Monster...
Lady Gaga's real contribution might be that she will make those smells go global, that is, in perfume-bottle form. Human and animal fluids in perfume have in recent years made a comeback in a few fragrances. Concentrating on just blood and semen, we can quote Sécrétions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange as a well-known reference in this slightly esoteric field. The brand also included a blood note in one of their celebrity scents, Rossy de Palma Eau de Protection. Comme des Garçons Guerilla 1 contains a sweet butcher blood accord which they barely dared to advertize at the time in 2006 and preferred to allude to. More recently, last fall 2010, perfumer Christophe Raynaud created a fragrance with Rad Hourani called No. 4 Ascent which contains a note of semen to symbolize the origins of life. The nose said, “I was inspired by Rad’s vision of the cycle of life, going from birth to death, from ashes to ashes, as in David Bowie’s song. Origin of life is expressed by a fresh accord, green and watery, like a drop of sperm."
Although these life-throbbing notes still hold a certain shock value out of their context and even in their context, in reality many masculine fragrances in particular insert a low-key semen-smelling note in their blends, just so as to feel familiar, we are guessing. For instance, go smell mainstream L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent and you'll see it's a bit sperm-y.
Lady Gaga unveiled at Madame Tussauds in New York in December 2010
Oh, Gaga, what are you going to do with yourself once you realize your notes are kind of mainstream or have already been exploded in the faces of savvy consumers before you came onto the scene of fragrance-making? The only saving grace will have to be the composition itself, we fear. Let it be shocking. It could be shockingly beautiful. It could be shockingly bad taste. But if we rely only on two slightly off-the-beaten-track notes to do it, it's going to be just a bit déjà vu.