Someday (Justin Bieber)

What it is: A fragrance designed for a twelve-year-old girl, fronted by a seventeen-year-old boy she will never meet but whom she wants so bad it causes her to emit siren-like wails of heartbreak, prompting her parents to spend any amount ($18-$55) to stem the flood of pubescent caterwauling that issues nightly from behind her glitter-glue-bedecked bedroom door.

Where it is: Macy's, Nordstroms, Ulta, etc. I sniffed it in Sephora, which has an exclusive purse-sized rollerball wand version of the EdP for under $20-- a mercy, considering that Bieber's target audience is dependent upon parents' largesse and the odd babysitting gig for its expendable cash.

What it contains: "Juicy" pear, "wild" berries, "creamy" florals, "warm" vanilla, and "soft" musk. Undoubtedly all of these qualifiers were supplied by the focus group who answered the question, "What five words best describe your dream date and/or Justin Bieber?" It's probably a good thing they didn't ask my age cohort, or they would've ended up with "emotionally stable" pear, "steadily employed" berries, "responsible" florals, "no criminal record" vanilla and "not a total asshole" musk.

What it smells like: Not all that horrible, to be honest.  So many prestige fragrances mirror the piercingly shrill vocal stylings of the celebrity divas who promote them, I suppose you could do worse than the dulcet tones of El Bieber, here rendered in a PopTart palette of pearberry and vanilla frosting. But we have so many of these already, my brain weeps. So, not all that great, either.

What it looks like: I know I'm not the first to notice that the perfume bottle proper bears an uncanny resemblance to Marc Jacobs' Lola and Oh Lola.  Still, every time I see it, I think to myself, Ohjeezus that bottle designer is gonna be in SO much hot water.  Five points to Bieber for not attempting a facsimile of Bang.

What the ad copy says: "(Someday) is a personal gift straight from (Bieber's) heart, a scent that drives him wild and makes the girls who wear it totally irresistible. So go beyond the music and journey deep into a world of possibilities... be close to Justin, everywhere you go." Holy mo. Imagine that being read through a Vocoder. Wouldn't you file for a restraining order?

What my inner critic says:  To paraphrase the old Creedence song, someday never comes... because in this case, it's already been and gone.  Everything about this fragrance seems borrowed and recycled from prior sources, right down to the bottle.  There's nothing especially "new" or "now" to be found in its play of aromas.  The nascent hope encapsulated by its name is cancelled out by the depressing déjà-vu-like sense of overuse that haunts everything else about it.  That a fragrance could so proudly claim to be "anything but ordinary" while never being anything but ordinary is a masterpiece of marketing cynicism.  It makes me sad to think of kids falling for it-- heck, even Bieber himself.  In several years, there will be too much testosterone rumbling around in his lower registers for any of this candy-sweetness to seem even remotely comfortable-- what then?  At that point, maybe he'll borrow a tip from his remix pal Usher and start issuing stylish colognes for smooth young gentlemen like himself.  Or maybe he'll do something even more daring, risky, and artistically liberating.  We'll see.  Someday. 

The thought that lingers:  After one's insecure adolescent years pass, it becomes less important what others want you to be and more important what you ARE, or could become. As kids' identities develop, their tastes become more highly individuated.  Bieber's fans may not mind being told how to look/act/buy/smell now, but eventually they (and he) may resent it.   He and his fans will mature together.  But Someday is the sort of fragrance that begs an impossibility of both wearer and spokesperson:  stay sweet and harmless forever.

Scent Elements: Pear, mandarin, red berries, jasmine, musk, vanilla