SJP Stash Eau de Parfum Review ≈ The Never Ending Story of SJP's Quest for Her Great, Unconventional Perfume
Although SJP Stash smells from the bottle at first as if it were going to be a thick and heavy potion, an animalistic concoction drawing on the natural powers of cedarwood, which has that animal facet to it, it soon gives the impression of being just a hologram of that idea...
All the olfactory features are there but the volume and depth which would have made the composition roar - or at least be effective, beyond a first impression - are curiously absent.
It looks as if Sarah Jessica Parker managed to have her wish for a dark, brooding jus fulfilled. The configuration of her wish has been respected. We see the kind of aesthetics she is going for : nichey, off-beat, not-pink, naturalistic and sweaty. Cue in the resins, the spice, the zoo-like cedar; but the notes have not only been purposefully lightened by a contrasted airier green note - in a nod to an idea found in Calvin Klein Obsession - they singularly lack projection and real defining countours to form a full perfume.
The scent is woodsy, clovey, ambery, sweet like Virginian cedarwood - a bit greasy and dirty like costus - but also thin and unfulfilled a promise. It is a very simplistic composition which pays lip service to niche perfumery codes. If a fragrance makes you think that it is not even on the level of a good and honest musk oil, which is not supposed to be a complicated concept, then you have to wonder what is really taking place here.
To us, SJP Stash smells like a timid version of the kind of scent actress Sarah Jessica Parker has been reported to be dreaming of creating but was barred from making, because of mainstream olfactory culture considerations. That gave us Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker which is beautifully built and has had an important influence on women designer perfumery. This is due to its qualities going beyond the call of duty for the celebrity fragrance market. This is also where people have to reset their expectations: a perfume can be advertized as pretty and pink with a tutu-wearing SJP; it in no way means that it is dismissable. On the other hand, mix a cocktail of less « easy » notes than rose and white musk, drum up the bad boys of perfumery but let them peter out fast and furious and you get a fragrance which is hard to defend.
Unfortunately for expectant perfume lovers, SJP Stash is not there yet. It's probably due to budget constraints and marketing overthinking. We can well believe - and only believe - that SJP's original idiosyncratic mix of scents and oils smells much more wow.
If SJP Stash were sold as a scent oil in a roller-ball (a roller-ball exists, please see above) and if it had more volume and projection to it, and a notch more complexity, then yes, it might be a cool, Made-In-New-York perfume oil to wear. As it is, it leaves you wanting for something more interesting to happen - and it does not happen there and now. After the slow-burn hypothesis ends up in cinders, you know you'll have to wait for a new SJP trial, maybe.
This perfume story of a near-impossible scent quest seeing SJP pitted against fragrance industry honchos is starting to feel like an advertizing plot in which readers are constantly left with a cliff-hanger. Wait until the next perfume and see if she will have triumphed against the boards, at long last!
A perfume, unlike a story, cannot be divided up into sequels. It has to be a full, round form in and of itself. And even with serialized stories, you need each part to be satisfactory. Alas, SJP Stash is more like a draft of a full composition than anything else. If her story is authentic, she managed to impose a smoky palette of woods, but they have also been watered down to death. It's hard to believe that they could do no better.
Of course, it's best to try the perfume for yourself. Tell us what you think.
Fragrance notes: grapefruit, black pepper, sage, Atlas cedarwood, patchouli, ginger lily, pistachio nuts, smoky olibanum, massoia wood, vetiver and musk.