Scent: STELLA // Stella McCartney

When discussing modern classics in perfumery, I think it’s without a doubt that Stella by Stella McCartney will rise as a cult favourite in the beauty world. I was surprised to realize that this ubiquitous bottle has been around for a decade already and here I am just sampling it for the very first time. By some miracle of the beauty gods, this bottle (with a beat up box but pristine inside) was found on the clearance shelves and so I thought what a perfect time to give this a whirl.
STELLA Perfume by Stella McCartney
  • Released in 2003
  • Labeled as: Floral with rich notes.
  • Notes: Rose oil, peony, fresh tangerine, rose absolute and amber.
Stella exudes the aura of a modern classic in every sense of the term. The bottle, which has a faceted vintage feel is adorned with a dramatic flash of rich aubergine down the center. Limited edition releases of this have included other bottle variations as well.

Woah! This was not what I expected at all, Stella opens with a very strong burst of rich rose and amber…certainly not a shy dame. It is also a very sweet fragrance and although the notes are tinged with mandarin orange it does come off as particularly fruity. In fact, there is almost a kick or bitterness coming through from the citrus that I associate with mandarin skins.

STELLA Perfume by Stella McCartney
Though the composition gives little away, Stella has a distinct sultry appeal that’s almost musky in undertone. Far from being a fresh delicate rose, this one is heady, sexy and has a bit of an attitude of its own. I think this new edge to the classic rose base is what makes this fragrance such a unique and likeable choice for the modern woman.


While being quite a strong fragrance, I was surprised (and to be honest, rather relieved) that it does not project very far which makes this more appropriate for a wider range of daily situations whether you’re wearing this to a meeting or out to a party. And in that sense I would call Stella a very wearable and transitional scent.

Disappointingly to me, this doesn’t develop into anything further throughout the hours and for the most part the dry down is just a softer version of the initial opening. Roses and amber. Roses and amber. Personally I would have liked a bit more interest or more layers to this but for purists out there, this one deserves a try.
Wear time on me is a very decent 4-5hrs without loosing much intensity with in the first 2 and sometimes it still lingers after as shower which absolutely impressed me.

STELLA Perfume by Stella McCartney

  • Smells like: heady dark yet sweet rose bouquet
  • What stands out most: rose and amber
  • I’d recommend this for: 20s and over, strong and confident personalities
  • Words I’d use to describe this: rich, sweetly sensual, confident, sexy.
  • Best worn for:nights or winter but it’s stays close to the wear so may be acceptable for the office too
  • Repurchase factor: Not likely for this gal.
Undoubtedly Stellas has it’s loyal fans and those who do adore this will likely wear it for years to come and I can see why it is such a well loved modern classic. For me however, Stella is just going to be a brief fling as I found the opening too rich and the dry down not interesting on my skin not to mention this is quite strong for the warm weather. Might I also add that this gave me a very similar feeling to the (more affordable) Kate by Kate Moss fragrance I owned years ago. For now, Stella goes back in it’s box and into the storage where perhaps we shall mingle again this winter.

STELLA Perfume by Stella McCartney

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