More Non-scents: A Preview of the Kellyanne Conway Fragrance Collection
by Gloria Passendale
Unofficial Trump brand ambassador, former campaign head, sometime talking head, and official counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway may have her flaws. She has landed in the news for "alternative facts," lying about a terrorist attack that never happened, and has literally told the world to go buy Ivanka Trump's products on television. Far from getting in trouble for such actions, the latest rumors out of Washington -- and New York Fashion Week -- is that Conway will be rewarded for her slavish dedication with her own fragrance line. (It is beyond the scope of this review to discuss any ethical issues.)
Perfume fans may note that the Trump family is no stranger to the fragrance world. Donald Trump himself has had three fragrances released -- one named, of course, the man's favorite two words -- Donald Trump --, followed by Success and Empire. Reviews are difficult to pinpoint since feelings about Trump, good or bad, are so impossible to separate for most reviewers. Those who do take care to keep their opinions out of it often boil their review down to a theme of "pleasant enough, but nothing new or notable." That is, frankly, how most celebrity scents work. Ivanka Trump's self-titled perfume, while not selling well initially, thanks to Conway's latest push has been flying off the shelves at Amazon. Reviews of the fragrance tend to be positive, complimenting the surprising maturity of the scent.
Yet neither Trump experienced huge sales with their fragrances before Donald Trump's political ascension in 2016. A gamble on an entire line for Ms. Conway is a brave choice. Details of the fragrances to be released have leaked and, while these are undoubtedly draft documents, the depth of the line and unusual ingredients that appear make the decision all the more confounding.
Kellyanne Conway Blueberry Princess features a top note of blueberry, middle notes of purple carnation, iris, heliotrope, and blue rocket; and base notes of musk, genet and civet. The blueberries are a clear reference to Conway's past experience as a blueberry packer and crowning, at age 16, as New Jersey Blueberry Princess.
Love, Me is a linear scent with eglantine rose, morning glory, begonia, red dahlia, yellow tulip, clovenlip toadflax, and creeping willow.
Bombshell lists marigold, kiwicha, bird's-foot trefoil; a heart of night-blooming datura, herb-of-grace; and a base of castoreum. (No word on if Victoria's Secret will allow a fragrance of the same name to exist or if trademarks have been checked in this leaked document.)
Patriot, promoted as an unisex scent, is a soliflore of narcissus bolstered by coriander, mint and wormwood.
My World is purported to be only for men and "fierce women who will stop at nothing to win the fight." Again, on paper it is described as a linear scent, with impatiens, white asphodel, orange lily, and oud.
The most experimental fragrance of the group sounds as avant-garde as a release from CB I Hate Perfumes, Comme des Garçons or Etat Libre d'Orange. T.R.U.T.H. starts with a blast of tuberose, tarragon and tea. It fades into rubber, rhubarb and resin. The true middle revives with an umami accord, umeboshi, and ugli fruit. A spicy wave of tarragon, thyme and Tellicherry pepper precede the ending notes of hay, haloperidol and hemlock.
No nose (designer) information was included in the leaked documents, nor any information about fragrance development firms. Conway appears to have been more involved than usual in the development of these, judging from some internal documents also revealed. What remains to be seen is if these ever become actual releases or if this "leak" is just one more in the time-honored Trump tradition of using media pouncing as free market research.