There’s something about Queen Latifah for everyone to love. She has been a successful hip hop queen and now, she’s entertainment royalty. Her physical transformation has been gradual, but dramatic. Born and raised Dana Elaine Owens in Newark, New Jersey, she’s better known by her stage name, Queen Latifah. Her work in music, film and television has earned her so many awards, she probably needs several cabinets to hold them all.
Latifah started her career as a female rapper, and that alone requires power and a certain toughness, but the rapper personna began to fall away, leading to a woman who to me, personifies this century’s Grace Kelly. In fact, People Magazine named Queen Latifah one of the Magazine’s Most Beautiful People, in 2008.
Now Queen Latifah has launched another successful product: a fragrance. The Queen by Queen Latifah. It is, in a word, glorious. As with many celebrity fragrances, this celeb wants her own personality and philosophy to be infused into the bottle, and like everything else she has done, she’s done it exceedingly well. She knows what it takes to be success: “Beauty really does start on the inside. It’s like a state of mind, a state of love if you will, “says Latifah. “So I see fragrance as just a natural expression of this state of love: scent expresses a woman’s confidence and sensuality, it’s how she embraces her body, her mind and her strength.”
Pull off the over sleeve with a photo of Queen Latifah, and a heart of gold (literally) is revealed on the charming, red metallic cardboard box. The heart is embossed on a background of tiny, puffy squares, pushing out in 3D from the paper. This same design is created in glass, on the red, square bottle. Hold the bottle in your hand and it feels like the heart is pulsing right out of the middle –raised on one side, concave on the other. An elegant, oval, gold cap is topped with glowing, red metal. A subtle, QL logo is engraved subtly on the side.
And what about the fragrance? The perfumer, Steve Mercado, makes beautiful music with Latifah in this scent. He is also a musician as well as a perfumer, who has spent the last 20 years as a perfumer at Givaudan and Symrise, and has been at Fragrance Resources since 2002. The Queen is classified as an “oriental” but like Queen Latifah herself, it is multi-faceted. Orientals are for confident, strong women, but this one is also a bit restrained, feminine and tempered with elegance. It’s a creamy, sensual spice you are smelling, not a harsh or brash one. Top notes are a golden accord (reminiscent of aged Tequila), and citrus notes of Italian Bergamot and Mediterranean Mandarin. A heart of rare Baie Rose mixes with feminine Jasmine Noir, cognac, and a spicy hit of Moroccan Coriander. The sensuality in this fragrance comes directly from the base notes: Indonesian Patchouli and precious Sandalwood and a generous dose of delicious Vanilla and Tonka Absolute, plus Egyptian Incense and Musk.
There’s an outer sleeve for the carton for The Queen by Queen Latifah, and it’s a lovely photo of Queen Latifah in an elegant, red satin gown. She looks so elegant and regal, and she radiates enough confidence to take on the world. That’s the way this fragrance makes me feel. As a beauty reviewer, I try a lot of different fragrances, but now and then one really stands out. The Queen, by Queen Latifah, is going on my personal favorites list!
THE QUEEN by Queen Latifah Collection includes:
Eau de Parfum Spray – 3.4 oz. $59
Eau de Parfum Spray – 1.7 oz. $49
Body Lotion – 6.7 oz. $35
Body Butter – 5.0 oz. $40
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