Britney Spears wants to “mark her territory” with her scent in “Perfume,” the new single from “Britney Jean,” and it couldn’t be more different from first single, “Work Bitch.” Spears premiered the song on Facebook Sunday evening and, guess what? She's actually singing.

This is Spears as we haven’t heard her—or at least not for a long while: singing a straight-ahead ballad with no talking and no heavy beat behind her as on past semi-ballads like “Unusual You” or even all the way back to “Sometimes.”

Though still slickly produced, on “Perfume” the focus is on her vocal and the emotional weight of the lyrics as Spears hopes that the next woman to touch her man can smell her perfume on him. She admits she’s insecure and “I want to believe it’s just you and me/sometimes it feels like it’s three in here, baby,” and not in a good way as she extolled in 2009’s “3.” It’s the kind of ballad it’s easy to imagine Gwen Stefani taking on.

Spears’ singing is as strong as it has ever been here (let the guessing begin on how much it was doctored in the studio) and this is the best song she’s done in years. Plus, given how successful Spears’ several lines of cologne are, we can only imagine the tie ins planned between song and the scents.  Let the cross-branding begin!

"'Perfume' is incredibly special to me because it hits close to home, and I think the story is relatable to everyone," Spears told E! "Everyone's been through an insecure moment in a relationship that's left them vulnerable and I think this song captures that."

What do you think of "Perfume?"

 

 

Official artwork for Britney Spears' Perfume