Pepe, dressed as Gwen Stefani, expresses discontent
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I got interested in Gwen Stefani through Harajuku Lovers rather than the other way around. I like her music generally well, with a few tracks being important anthems. But I was listening to anime OSTs more than top 40 at the time. Stefani synced her weeb phase to mine, tied it to perfumes, and I've listened ever since.

Harajuku Lovers consisted of a few sets of five perfumes (and some bags I think? but w/e), each named after Stefani and her backup dancers Love, Angel, Music, and Baby (and since she's the ringleader, Stefani got a couple standalones besides). The bottles themselves were little platforms for the caps, which were shaped kinda like kokeshi dolls. Those doll caps were the star of the show. It was incredibly fun packaging, something that you still don't see a whole lot of today. I had two of the original release, G(wen) and Love.

I forgot about Love, but I missed G when it was gone. When I much later on found the Pop Electric collection - the original perfumes with different dolls - at the discounters, I bought a 0.5 oz. bottle and we were reunited.

The Pop Electric G used the same mold as the original, with the little headband bow. But instead of being painted to match the "What You Waiting For?" video, she's completely uniformly holographic silver. Larger bottles had a cool drippy coating effect on them, but the little ones are silver from top to bottom. The bottle/pedestals are plain white squares.

G goes on smelling like coconut and candied apple. There's wood in the base that emerges very early on. It smells a little plasticky and burnt at first, but evens out as the perfume dries. Its heart is sweet, creamy, and non-specifically floral. Towards the end, a very cool thing happens where G smells nutty and even a little popcorny, like cracking open a coconut and finding a fairground inside. This entire arc lasts about two hours.

My assessment of G has changed dramatically from when I was younger. I think better of it now than I did then. I thought it smelled like cheap pina colada air freshener. The reason I liked it anyway was because pina colada air freshener was part of a scent memory I had of a childhood outing in a car. The apple note reminded me of a Tiger Pop a clerk gave me. The florals suggested that weird rainbow foaming soap in the automated tunnel. I was reading the scent network in my brain instead of G in isolation. G deserved for me to return to it with better skills.

Another thing that's changed is I'd no longer say it's a beach perfume. I mentioned pina colada before, but the pineappleness was part of the network effect triggered by the coconut, and maybe also the sandalwood. G on the whole is more snack shop/carnival than tropical. That's harder to do!

tl;dr: G is great. Now I wonder if Love deserves another shot.