Vera Wang Princess

...the only flower I smell here is a wallflower.

Princess by Vera Wang was the wedding dress dreamweaver’s first offering to young noses. My fragrance industry source, “Deep Nose,” recently revealed long-suppressed information on the original 1995 brainstorming meeting that produced the Princess brief.

In attendance at this clandestine pow-wow were Vera Wang, Glitter Princess Barbie and Polly Pocket, along with Deep Nose and two other fragrance Special Ops. A tray of pink frosted cupcakes sat untouched in the center of the group’s conference table, next to a vase of slightly wilted flowers.

The goal was to hammer out a direction for a tween-friendly -- and preferably blockbuster -- scent. Wang had already been clobbered by Britney Spears' early domination of the teenage smell wars, and was determined not to be caught napping again.

So far, the brief for the as-yet unnamed fragrance looked like a Mad-Libs game:

“[perfume title] by Vera Wang

“[perfume title] is a light, inoffensive [perfume concentration] that seeks to avoid disapproval from the largest possible sector of 11-year-olds. A flirty blend of [noun], [noun] and [noun] are melded with sheer [adjective] notes, finished with a [noun] accord.”

Even more dispiriting, the creative consultants, Glitter Princess Barbie and Polly Pocket, were not getting along. After a long salvo of bickering, Barbie shot Polly a withering look.

“I don’t EVEN know why you’re here. You live in a stackable mall.”

Polly flushed, and returned fire. “So? You don’t have a vagina!”

“What, and you do? You’re just jealous that you don’t have a tiara!” With that, Barbie smugly readjusted her tiny tiara.

Wang had had enough. “Dolls!” she called out sharply. “Thank you for your input. That will be all for today.”

As Barbie and Polly walked stiffly out on joint-less, plastic legs, Deep Nose craned a look at Wang’s notes. In a decisive scrawl, she’d written, “Wilted flowers. Pink frosting. Every girl wants to be a princess: all tiara and no vagina.”

Voilà. The brief was complete. “Princess” was born.

Vera Wang Princess is available from,, Sephora,, and, starting at $28 for 1.7 oz.