One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Surprise, Surprise: Paris Hilton Just Me


I'll always take fragrance samples. I don't care what they are, if they're for men, women, or babies; I'll take 'em. (If there aren't any lying around in the store, I'll ask, because it doesn't hurt to ask.) First, they're free, and free is good. Second, I have to try absolutely everything that comes down the pike; it's not quite a compulsion, but it's close. Third, I might find something I like; you can't tell what something's going to smell like by sniffing at the sprayer in the store, and you only try so many things in one trip before your nose waves the white flag (so to speak), so they give me a chance to wear them in private and think about them. And fourth, I can always give them away. There's no downside.

Here's an interesting article about celebrity scents by Theresa Duncan on Slate.com. Most fragrance connoisseurs turn their noses up at celeb scents, thinking they're cheap bandwagon scents, which is sometimes, maybe usually, true, but some of them are good. Why shouldn't they be? They're created by actual perfumers and they have to sell a lot, so even though a fair number of them are strictly lowest-common-denominator scents (the first Britney Spears scent, Curious, really is dreadful), it stands to reason that there may be some good ones out there.

All this is why I'm sitting here with a sample of Paris Hilton's second women's scent, Just Me, on the desk and a big smudge of it on the back of my hand. And guess what? It's...well, not A-list, but surprisingly not-bad.

The notes, according to Basenotes, are as follows:

Top Notes
Frozen Apple, Peach Nectar, Wet Ozone, Muguet

Middle Notes
Freesia, Mimosa, Jasmine, Tuberose

Base Notes
Skin musk, Sandalwood, Ylang-ylang, Oakmoss, Pheromone


I don't know about "frozen apple" and such foolishness, but the opening salvo is a fresh bright-green note with something that pleasantly resembles the warm, solventy smell of a dry cleaner's. The floral notes are unexpectedly subdued; I may have been expecting something extravagantly trashy--bucketloads of tuberose--but I'm not getting it from this.

The whole thing calls to mind Yves Saint Laurent's Champagne/Yvresse, at least a little. It's not a copy, not even close, but it's a chypre in a similar style (fruit replacing citrus in the top notes, a very soft floral middle, and the expected oakmoss finish). You might want to transfer it to a fla├žon rather than have anyone know you'd bought it, as Duncan did with Jennifer Lopez' fourth scent, Live, but you wouldn't be ashamed to wear Just Me.

And now I suppose I have to hunt down the men's version....

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