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That Time I Liked a Solid Better: SJP Covet

A long story about how I came to love this polarizing fragrance

I think the only fragrance category I haven’t talked about so far is “celebrity fragrances.” I am not above a good celebrity fragrance and will sample anybody’s fragrance. If the celebrity name attached to the scent is not a horrible person, I’ll even buy it. Some I enjoyed enough to own over the years: Hilary Duff With Love, multiple scents from Dita Von Teese and multiple fragrances from arguably the best celebrity fragrance line, Sarah Jessica Parker.

I actually remember the first time I smelled SJP Covet, and also Viktor & Rolf Antidote and Thierry Mugler Eau de Star. It was Saturday, December 22, 2007. I was living in Omaha, NE at the time and my husband and I visited the Von Maur department store at Westroads Mall in Omaha that afternoon, not necessarily intending to purchase anything.

Stock photo of a shopping mall at Christmas time, filled with crowded shoppers, a large Christmas tree and sparkling holiday decorations.
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

This would not have been a memorable date or occasion, except that 17 days earlier, that particular Von Maur store had been the site of an active shooter incident that resulted in eight deaths–six store employees, two customers–and multiple injuries. The store had reopened for business just two days prior, and we wanted to show support for the folks who survived and were brave enough to return to the workplace. One of the men working the customer service desk still had his arm in a sling–the only visual reminder of the violence that had taken place in the store just a couple weeks prior. Von Maur had gone to great lengths to clean up, replace or repair damaged fixtures, re-decorate lavishly for the holiday season, etc., and to make it appear as though nothing had ever happened. Everyone–employees and customers alike–seemed a little on edge, but it was also the last shopping weekend before Christmas that year, and things were full steam ahead in the store and at the mall surrounding it.

My husband browsed the men’s department while I visited my favorite spot in the store–the perfume counter. I hadn’t come searching for any particular fragrances, but a store associate noticed me sniffing the testers and helped direct my attention to some newer releases.

I had loved Viktor and Rolf’s Flowerbomb and was interested in seeing what their first men’s scent, Antidote, had to offer. I was not impressed and the store associate admitted she wasn’t, either. (Or perhaps she was placating me.) We moved to the women’s counter.

SJP Covet was a very recent release on that day. I had previously owned and worn SJP Lovely, and it was a scent my mom was still enjoying at the time, so Covet piqued my curiosity. The associate spritzed from a tester and handed me the paper strip.

Hmm. Weird, and… meh?

I guess I wasn’t in a lavender mood that day–neither Antidote nor Covet sparked much interest and both are lavender-forward scents. Maybe if I had tried them at a different time of year, they would have struck a chord. I am more drawn to sweeter gourmands and oriental fragrances in wintertime.

Stock photo. A close-up photograph of lavender flowers in a field.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The store associate pivoted quickly to the Mugler fragrances, and handed me a test strip for Mugler’s Eau de Star. I was already an Angel fan and wearer (though I’ve since burned out on it), and Eau de Star offered a new twist on something familiar. I hadn’t planned to buy anything, but Eau de Star seemed worthy of a credit card swipe that day and I gave myself an early Christmas present.

Thanks for indulging me in the above. Fragrance memories are often vivid and come rushing back with a sniff or even just a mention of a beloved fragrance. And ultimately, this is a very long and roundabout introduction to my intended subject, SJP Covet, and how I came to like it better in the solid format.

I chose not to buy it that day in December 2007, but on a December day nearly a year later, I stumbled across the SJP Covet solid on the perfume shelves at Marshalls. It was around $10 and I was in a heavy acquisition phase of my perfume collecting habit. I hadn’t recalled loving it, but I hadn’t recalled hating it, either. It was a $10 risk worth taking.

As it happened, I loved the Covet solid at first sniff. Looking back at the little review I wrote on Fragrantica, I noted that it seemed almost like a different fragrance in this format. The strange juxtaposition of lavender, florals, citrus and chocolate achieved a harmony in the solid that they couldn’t accomplish in the liquid.

My Covet solid was a delightful creamy texture with just a hint of shimmer. The sillage was rather low (whereas it was almost too huge in the liquid format), but that made this unusual fragrance more wearable, in my opinion. The longevity in the solid format was good, though it was largely a skin scent after a couple hours. The brown beaded compact that looked like a daisy was a visual treat that topped off the experience.

I enjoyed the solid version so much that I eventually sought out the liquid version of Covet again, and while I was able to appreciate it better after becoming acquainted with the solid, I swapped away the liquid a year later. The solid version didn’t need to be enhanced by the noisier juice. I preferred the more subtle, creamy effect of the solid and of the two formats, it’s the one I was reaching for most often.

Coveted” by Maria Rantanen, CC BA-SA 2.0

I had my Covet solid compact for nearly a decade–probably longer than I should have kept it. It actually dried out and became difficult to apply and the scent lost some of its power. I discarded it while preparing for a move, but the memory of it still haunts me and I linger over the “Buy” button when I see this solid come up on Ebay or the assorted online fragrance distributors.

Covet was widely regarded as “for perfumistas only” at the time of its release. It appears it is still a polarizing fragrance, from looking at the reviews and likes/dislikes on Fragrantica and Basenotes. Many reviewers describe it as headache-inducing. I agree that the liquid version can be a bit harsh, but the solid of Covet is much more wearable. If you want to like it but can’t quite get there with the liquid, the solid may bring you over the finish line. Above all, the test strip will not give the full impression of this fragrance and this is one that must be tested on skin before rendering a final verdict.

By Jodi at Solidly Scented

A lover of all things fragrant