Cheap and happy, this is a winner for those who like aldehydic soapy florals. I first heard about Lady Stetson when I read Perfumes: The Guide where Tina Sanchez gave it 4 stars and compared it favorably to Chanel No. 22, calling it a peachier and more relaxed version of the former. Having forgotten what No. 22 smells like I can't compare the two, but Lady Stetson is a pleasantly dowdy floral: lots of aldehydes up top, roses and carnations with a bit of jasmine in the heart, plenty of soap in the dry down and maybe a touch of Calone at the very bottom. Despite the price it doesn't smell cheap-- but it doesn't smell expensive either. It has the characteristic thinness of a heavily synthetic fragrance... for example the lemony rose notes smell particularly gaunt. However, Lady Stetson gamely makes the best of it and delivers a cheerfully old fashioned soapy floral. It's out of touch with modern tastes, but those who want a vintage style aldehydic floral and don't mind the absence of plush naturals should give it a try.
Love this sweet aldehydic floral. This is very much the poorer cousin of Chanel 5/22 but lovely for all that and not so hard on the purse. I would not spray my Chanel 22 everyday because it is so damned expensive. LS however, is inexpensive enough to use all the time and a good handbag scent. I had to order this from the US so duty price is an issue but I will be sure to stock up when I next visit America. One lippie off for staying power but hey at these prices you can spray lots.
Would I buy it again? Sure, why not? It's $5 at Wal-Mart. I wore it all summer long with a smile on my face.
I'm not the world's biggest fan of aldehydic florals. Chanel No. 5 has never worked for me. But Lady Stetson is so upbeat and cheerful, and she turns into such a pretty peach at the end of the day, after an initial blast of aldehydes that doesn't last too long for me to bear. She's got far more lasting power than many fragrances that cost 20 times as much. Who could resist smelling so good? And at that price, why would you bother?
I have been unabashed in my adoration of Lady Stetson. Perhaps it's my stubbornness.
You see, I had a heiress as a friend in graduate school. Money meant nothing to her. But as a working class kid of even more modest means as a young adult, it meant everything to me. Making ends meet until the end of the month was my biggest challenge. But that may or may not be the point.
One Christmas my heiress friend asked her two gal pals (me & another gal, whose name escapes me) what fragrance she could bestow on them. "Chanel Number 5," my one friend squealed. "Lady Stetson," I said. "Just Lady Stetson." For I honestly knew not what to say. A working class kid being asked to name a gift, any gift, with the implication that money was no object.
My beau had bought me Estee Lauder Beautiful, and I hated it, just hated it. Exclamation was my perfume of choice at the time, I think. And before that, Vanderbilt and Oleg Cassini and Enjoli and Charlie. My perfumes were restricted to Walgreens ... on sale. And so was my choice as restricted - Lady Stetson - as I think I had seen it advertised recently for the holidays. It seemed right up my alley.
And a few days before Christmas, the heiress had us over, for treats and cocktails. And there waiting for us were two department store, ribbon-tied boxes, from Marshall Fields no less. My friend, squealed again, and opened her Chanel Number 5. The heiress handed me my package, perhaps with the biggest gift-giving smile I had ever seen. I wondered, had she possibly given me Chanel too? And as I opened it, there was exactly what I had wanted ... Lady Stetson, in all its mass market glory. She leaned over, and said, "I had them give me an extra box." You see, Lady Stetson was not at the department store. The heiress had to make a trip to Kmart. We have been friends ever since. Both me and the hieress and me and the Lady.
No, the Lady is not Chanel 22. She was never meant to be. She captured the imagination of young American women, and I was one of them. But I think I will always remember the Lady for what she is to me ... something I rarely got as a working class kid growing up ... exactly what I wanted at Christmas.
To me, this is a dead ringer for the current Arpege. It's a sweet, woody floral, plush and pleasant and a little too old-fashioned. Unfortunately, both this and Arpege give me a headache.
Clearly, people have a love it or hate it reaction to Lady Stetson--and I tip in the love direction. I'm an aldehyde lover, so that probably explains at least some of the attraction: Lady Stetson opens with a nice shiny aldehyde hit, and softens to a creamy aldehyde floral. Others have complained of the scent lingering too long--for me, it didn't linger long enough, and that's what knocked its rating down for me. On a penny per minute of scent value, though, Lady Stetson is neck and neck with just about anything else out there!
Wow, not so bad at all! I really like the aldehydes, powderiness and sweetness of this scent. I'm definitely getting the soapiness that others have noted. I'd wear it. Maybe I'll pick up a small bottle at Walmart. ADDING LATER: Ok, I maaaay have spoken a little too soon. I really love that sparkling top phase, but the base is a let down...and that part goes on forever, naturally. One can't expect fine champagne on a beer pocket book, though. :-/
I tried Lady Stetson eons ago, when it first came out with a BLAST - the mid-1980s. Oh my! It's one of the worst fragrances - screaching of aldehydes and bitter notes - that I've worn, as well as had to endure on others who'd spray it with abandon.
I remember often having to immediately wash not only my very young son, but his hair, clothing and preschool supplies once we arrived home because his pre-school staff reaked of Lady Stetson. Then there was the Sunday mornings being Lady Stetsonized in church! Ack!! -- No doubt, in both settings the wearers indulged in overkill spraying and didn't notice they were being offensive.
Over the years, I've smelled it occasionally on other people and it still repulses me.....and I'm quite tolerant and supportive about fragrances -believing everyone should wear and enjoy what they like.
This has nothing to do with price-point or snobbery. Coty (a grand fragrance house when you do the history) created Lady Stetson along with great classics over the 20th century. It's just an intolerable scent for some people - me being one.
I'm not such a fragrance snob that I can't admit that Coty makes some of the best fragrances on the market for... ever. This beautiful, warm, feminine, sophisticated aldehydic iris fragrance is a stunner. It is very classic and youthful (not 'young') at the same time. I agree with reviews that compare it to a very pretty soap. I also concur if a 'niche' fragrance lab or the designer of the moment put this fragrance out at 10 times the cost, many would rave about it's uniqueness.Yes it has a stupid name. Yes the packaging is a little fugly. But this beauty is dirt cheap and so widely available (except where I live) it's a winner all the way. One spritz literally lasts all day. The aldehydic blast settles down quickly and it just becomes more and more beautiful as the day goes on. I receive more compliments when I wear this than any other of my many much more sought after and expensive fragrances.
I recall liking this one when it came out 10-15 years ago, so I bought a small bottle of the cologne on clearance. After giving the stuff a chance, I thought it was the most AWFUL assault of sharp, synthetic aldehydes with some sort of cheap, rotting fruit. I mean, worse than B.O. on me. The aldehydes went on and on, stinging my nose like bathroom cleaner. So I got a vintage '90s bottle of pure Lady Stetson parfum on eBay. And the same thing happened. I just cannot wear this stuff, and I can pull off some pretty strong scents. It's clearly a matter of chemistry.