Unisex Monday: SJP Stash at Ulta

StashOh, joy, Posse folks! We’ve just gotten an Ulta in our neck of the woods. (Not nearly as wonderful as, say, a Neiman Marcus or a Nordstrom, or even Sephora, but still …) And I am thrilled to be able to purchase Clinique within 15 minutes of my home, instead of having to go 25-30 miles in either direction. So after waiting a few weeks for the door-buster crowds to die down, I headed in for a visit. Once there, I made a beeline for the new Sarah Jessica Parker scent called Stash. I’d heard good things about it, that it was a warm, woodsy scent, and was firmly in the unisex category. And I admire her and respect that she’s so involved with her scents, not just letting someone else create something and then slapping her name on it.

Anyhoo, I found the bottle — very attractive in its amber-gold and black getup. So I spritzed, then scouted out the store. The soothing, cedar-y vibe of Stash was very mellow and comforting and I enjoyed it for well over three hours. But pleasant as it was, it was a whole lotta sameness — there was no discernable sense of development on my skin, perhaps due to the 90-plus degree day? And I must confess, I’m not the best at parsing out notes and the subtleties each one adds. Methinks some chill in the air would probably help this a lot, for me at least. And even a bit more spice/sweetness, as it skewed a wee bit dry and austere for my taste. But I did think it would smell great on the DH in the autumn or winter; indeed, could be pretty nice to sniff on most guys.

Something about SJP Stash tickled my nose, and as I dredged through my olfactory memory, I realized that this new scent reminded me a bit of Spicebomb, although that one unfolds with more interest on my skin. And it was one of the few guys’ scents that I would have purchased for myself (no need to, however — when I need a hit, I just raid DH’s little stash of it).

Stash notes per Ulta: Top – Grapefruit zest, black pepper, sage; heart – cedarwood atlas, patchouli, ginger lily, pistachio; base – olibanum, massoia wood, vetiver, musk

There was also an elixir version of this, but no tester so I had to pass. BTW, this does come in a cute rollerball, as do so many things at Ulta and Sephora, so that’s a plus. And I could easily see layering Stash with other things to give them more depth.

I was also hoping to test the new-ish Angel Muse that I saw on the Ulta site, but alas, they didn’t carry it at my store.

So have any of you tried this? If so, would love to hear your take on it. Also, what’s your favorite unisex scent? Or what do you like to spritz when you go into an Ulta or Sephora?

  • HeidiC says:

    I have both Sephora and Ulta near me — I’ve never been in an Ulta! Is it any different from a Sephora, in terms of what they carry?

    Favorite unisex scents: FM Vetiver Extraordinaire, SL Fumerie Turque and Boxeuses, L’Artisan Premier Figuier

    Also, I raved about my sample of Liquides Imaginaires’ Peau de Bête that I got from STC to a friend who lives in Rome, since it’s available there. She and her husband loved it so much they bought a full bottle to share!

    • odonata9 says:

      Ulta has “drugstore” makeup and hair products, as well as more upscale/dept store brands! So a little less fancy. Now that Sephora doesn’t carry Pacifica anymore, I have to go to Ulta for that!

  • Tiffanie says:

    Nearby is a shopping center that has a Trader Joe’s and an Ulta. I shopped in TJ’s for pumpkin toaster pastries, and then hit Ulta for a second sniff of Stash. Cedar is one of my favorite notes. Stash is good stuff and would smell great on anyone who loves woody fragrances. But perhaps it is too resinous for me. I’m waiting for cooler weather and then will test again.

    I noticed Angel Muse on the shelf at Ulta, so other locations may have it on the way. And I was surprised to see the small selection of Chanel fragrances (No. 5 EdP and a few others) had disappeared from my Ulta location. They were a favorite sniff for me. I guess Chanel becomes more “exclusif” every day.

  • spring_pansy says:

    Hi Ann,

    Gosh, I could probably just say ditto to your whole review and be done! I was so excited to try this and I’ve sampled twice now. I don’t dislike it, but it really was “a whole lotta sameness” that went on a bit too long for me. Anyway, money saved.
    Favorite unisex fragrances: PG Bois Blond, LA Dzing! (and other L’Artisans), Micallef Gaiac, Tom Ford Noir de Noir, Frapin Caravelle Epicee and Passion Boisee.
    Have fun with your new Ulta! I grew up in such a small town with no nearby shopping that even in my late 50s, I still get a thrill from going into our local Sephora and now into an Ulta even a bit closer to me.

  • Christine says:

    Oh. I’ll have to go try out Stash. As for fave unisex scents, I recently bought a bottle of Dzing! from a discounter and told my husband (we just bought a new home and are supposed to be strict about budgeting until we sell or rent the current one) that I bought it for him. Heh. It smells lovely on both of us. Although he will certainly get through the bottle faster than I do.

  • AZS says:

    I make a point of not going to Ulta or Sephora, but I foolishly made an exception a couple of weeks ago and went over to my local Ulta (five minutes away) just to smell Stash. It was pleasant but disappointing. There are so many better woody/peppery/cedars. Also, like you say Ann, there is little if any development (I do get some top notes, though). In fact, I have to admit that I’m getting tired of the the cedar thing. I have my favorites already and Stash seemed just a new take on an old theme. and a little late to the cedar party.

  • mikasminion says:

    Now that you mention it there is a similarity between the opening of Stash and Spicebomb but Stash has that sweet-smooth unctuous feeling that I get from the later stages of Pear + Olive. Spicebomb gets a thin, almost sour weirdness that gets on my nerves, like somebody took all of the stuffing out. Stash is very linear but it never feels like there’s anything missing, just like it doesn’t bother with top notes. Oddly, it didn’t get particularly dry on me, as cedar is wont to do, but kept the boozy-sweet thing going the entire way. I ended up being unable to resist a rollerball and as soon as the weather cools I will be doing a wrist to wrist comparison with P+O and something else it reminded me of that I can’t think of at the moment.

  • Musette says:

    Ulta is one of those stores that I always think I’m going to get to – then I never do. I was in Peoria last week and totally forgot (’cause I really would like to try Stash) – maybe next week when I’m back in the ‘burbs.

    Hooray for the 15min drive. Here, 15 minutes will get you right in the middle of a cornfield. In any direction. It’s like freakin’ Brigadoon.


  • Tara C says:

    No Ulta here in Montreal, but I plan to try it when I am in the US in November. My favorite unisex scents are Heeley Cardinal, SL Muscs Koublai Khan and Fumerie Turque which all smell great on my husband and me.

  • Becky says:

    Ulta is 2.5 hours away from me. It may as well be the latest Chanel Exclusif release. I’ll get my nose on it eventually. I love spicy-woodsy things.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    I walked past Stash today because I was hurrying to something but will go back and try it this week. The Aussie perfumistas are saying its pretty good, especially for a celebuscent. Very interested to try it.
    We just finished cleaning up Jin’s perfume stash and putting 3 shelves above the chest of drawers in the wardrobe. So right now I smell very Sephora-ish in Nautica and Calvin Klein.
    Portia xx

  • Sarah says:

    Dear Ann-
    Try STASH I shall since cedar is a favorite
    note of mine. I think you ( or March maybe )
    recommended a cedar scent from New Mexico. Brought me such grounding and comfort.
    Haven’t been to Sephora in too long. I sniff up anything bergamot, sparky citrus, linden flower, orange blossom. My skin turns many fragrances skank/sour/cloyingly sweet so alcohol pads are at the ready to rectify a scrubber. I’ve made SO many mistakes buying FB’s that smelled so good at the time. Once at a Sniffapalooza event a foxy gal saw me ogling PINK ROOM. She kindly but firmly
    told me that fragrance would not do well given my skin and hair color. Boy was she right. So samples and decants are such a blessing for me. If I remember the last time I was in Sephora (long time ago) they kindly made up samples for me.
    Glad you have an Ulta to enjoy. Have a great week Ann.

  • Sylvia says:

    Hearing that it was soft I sprayed three big ole sprays on my wrist. Sitting in the closed car for two hours I almost regretted that generous application! Wow it’s strong in close quarters- for about an hour. My husband liked it and said it reminded him of Cinnabar. After about an hour it really faded fast. In three hours there was a nice cozy skin scent of cedar and cinnamon. In four hours it was nonexistent. Loved the opening- very strong spices. After that first hour just very nice cedar and light cinnamon. Id like to try the elixir too and see if there’s more development and lasting power.

  • Nemo says:

    That bottle is kinda classy! 🙂 My current list of things to try next time I am near a Sephora includes the new Elizabeth and James perfumes, Nirvana Rose and Nirvana Bourbon. I also need to retry Stella because I have been missing the rollerball I gave away, and am strongly considering repurchasing at least a travel spray 🙂 Stash sounds interesting, too! Did you get much patchouli from Stash? I remember being slightly overwhelmed by the tobacco in Spicebomb the one time I tried it.