Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl, etc.

Do you ever just get tired of hearing about a somewhat readily available perfume that you’ve never smelled, so you finally just smell it and end your misery?  Yeah, exactly.

Tommy Girl has notes of black currant bud, apple, tangerine, mandarin, spearmint, heather, honeysuckle, violet, rose, magnolia, jasmine, lily, sandalwood and cedarwood.  Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez have given it five stars and pronounced it a masterpiece in Perfumes: The Guide.  As I agree with about 80% of the perfumes that landed on that list, I figured I should try Tommy Girl with an open mind and see what I came up with.

The open is really horrible, it’s like a bad day at the playground and I threw up fruit and gum all over the wooden merry-go-round.   Not an auspicious start, and the open gets a one star. But we all know to wait on these things, it can and often does get better… or worse.   Or I could be an unwashed rube that just doesn’t get the shimmering brilliance of Tommy Girl. 

  • 30 minutes in… slightly rancid Doublemint gum and fruit throw-up in the flower bushes by the side of the playground.
  • 1 hour … Okay… now we’re seeing some signs of something besides a really horrible open.  How exactly did this perfume sell so well with that open?  That’s truly the mark of Tommy Love that people would stick with that.  Isn’t this supposed to be tea?  I mean, I get a little, but the florals are just burying most of the fun stuff so far.
  • I’m going for a run, let see if some heat can give TG a little oomph.  Okay, that’s much better, getting the tea and a delicate floral accord, the fruity notes are gone.  This is very pretty, but it’s really not me that much, has a little too much fresh feeling floating around.

Is it a five-star masterpiece? Not for me, but if you like the interplay of the notes and the overall direction of the perfume, I can see how you would make it a favorite.  I certainly don’t dislike it, and it was better after an hour than I thought it was going to be.

So which one(s) of the five-starred perfumes are you sure you’ll hate, but think you’ll try just to see?

101 Comments

  1. I haven’t read the book yes, but I do know that I smelled Tommy Girl and thought that whatever ge sported that made him give it 5 stars, I wanted a line or two of. I got appletinis yakked up into a Hamptons garden on the walk-of-shame home. 180 degrees from yum, thanks ever so… :-&

    • Well, I really tried to be kind because I love a lot of stuff other people hate, and I can see where Tommy Girl may work, and it wasn’t utter dreck on me in part of it.

      But a masterpiece? Just no.

  2. tommy girl has been getting a lot of publicity on this site and i imagined it was because of the 5-star rating, which i don’t really get either. i wonder how much the packaging, marketing, youth-orientedness, etc are influencing my opinion. i wore it in high school, but that’s because i didn’t know a masterpiece from a hole in the ground (or did i?) i still have it laying around… ok, spraying on my left knee. the real estate on my arms is taken up by samples of narciso rodriguez, annayake miyako, and CSP mage d’orient (woo, didn’t know that one was so masculine when i splashed a significant amount onto my wrist). lets see if i have some kind of tommy girl revelation…

    • The really fun thing about L&T’s book is that it gives us lots of fodder to write about!!

      Tommy Girl’s rating perplexes me, it perplexed me back when Luca praised it to the heavens on his old blog because I know I sniffed it at some point, and the open was so trashy, I never got any further.

      I think it’s just one of those things about personal taste that i turn over in my head. While I find a book that is a Guide to be a useful thing to a large degree, I can see a lot of downside with people who are new to fragrance who will just glom onto someone else’s opinion on what is good or bad. Of course that always happens, but the best part about perfume is there is no right or wrong answer, and I would hate to see that feeling go by the wayside.

  3. There is no way I’ll try Secretions Magnifiques. 8-x

    Inspired by the book, I went to the Estee Lauder counter at our nearby Macy’s and tried out some five-star frags. I’m ashamed to admit I had never given an EL a chance before. Beyond Paradise is indeed very pretty, in a cold, anonymous whitish flower kind of way. I could like it. The Azuree was a less happy experiment. There is something in it that makes me want to run away. Unfortunately, it was on my left arm. I tried on White Linen and knew it was for me. I now own a set because they had one available for just a little bit more than the bottle by itself. Toward the end, when I couldn’t smell properly anymore, the very nice SA sprayed Private Collection (original) on a strip. Oh, baby, a green chypre. I’m going back soon with a rested nose.

    I’m glad Turin-Sanchez steered me toward Estee Lauder. Based on what you and Tom say, I’m thinking of giving Tommy Girl a miss though.

    • It’s not *that* bad, where you have to do it outside with a gas mask. I was afraid of that. The very topnote is “uhhh….not sure….”. The surgical table shows up, and then the bloody milk. Okay, at that point I had to scrub. However, if you scrub that off, you actually get down to something nice underneath all the bilge. Why would the makers or T&S think that bilge is a note for a fragrance? I want to know who wears it and where it’s worn. (Must add that I LOVE four of Etat’s fragrances.)

      Just don’t try it away from a sink, and you’d be okay.

      • ANd if someone sends you a vial of Secretions, try not to spill it on the wooden floor of your closet. :d

      • I do think it’s that bad. I scared my bf and son off with it, then attempted to chew off my finger tip. I threw away the bag that the samps came in, and had phantom odors of it for days. I can summon intense nausea by thinking of the bottle :-&

        • So why do you think they did it? Do you think anyone *wears* it?

          • People who want to smell like bloody milk. They wear it. 8-| Agh, nasty, nasty stuff.

        • I was wondering if Luca was having a little joke on us, with the high rating for Secretions, but why no dissenting comments from Tania? Apparently, LT’s fascinated that SM contains a Quest nitrile that he always wanted to see used. I get that we perfume fans will applaud “weird” at times (jaded?) but he enjoys the “bilge” note?! Does he actually wear this? This was the only perfume sample I’ve ever found truly vile,and apparently this is a common reaction. Giving the unpleasant “bilge” of Secretions 5 stars on a level with Mitsouko & Shalimar seems to me to discredit their star ratings completely. Or perhaps he did it for fun to see our outraged reactions. Other than that, love The Guide; wish they could have made it longer, as some top fragrances and entire lines are missing.

          • I think he really likes this one, and I do see the fascination if I’d stop gagging while I sniffed it. :-w

    • SM is a horrible miss. Now… from just a technical point of view, how they got that smell does interest me, but the revulsion is so strong that I can’t even smell it long enough. I had an easier time with that Thierry Mugler Humanity smell, which was vile, but it didn’t make me nauseous.

      So put it under Weird Shit we Love category, because the first person that hunts down SM as a masterpiece and gets a whiff of it, they are going to throw that book against the wall while running for the showers.

      Private Collection is gorgeous. I wore it for years in my 20s, then just quit and moved on, but every time I sniff it, it just makes me really happy.

      Beyond Paradise is pretty, but, again, I just don’t see Masterpiece on it. Rate it high, but in Chanel No. 5 and Mitsouko range? Um, just no.

      • Absolutely Mitsouko and Beyond Paradise should not be in the same category.

        • Ok, I am a total novice as far as perfumes are concerned. I thought I was allergic to nearly everything ’til I started designing Luca and Tania’s book and realized there was a lot out there that didn’t make me sick after all. But:the reviews in Perfumes: the Guide aren’t all about how the fragrances smell, but about how they are composed and how the notes are put together. I heard Luca Turin say that, maybe no one should *wear* this, but the composition is brilliant! My inexperienced take on this is that it’s not just about the way it smells but the way a fragrance develops over the drydown, and also the use of nervy notes that no one would normally think to use.

  4. Some people love it…Patchouli 24 by Le Labo. I don’t get it!It was hideous! I smelled like I had fallen into a tar pit…and my eyes wouldn’t stop watering. I had to wash my arm at least six times–and then I sprayed it frantically with Apres L’Ondee. Thank God for The Perfumed Court!

    • Hmmmm. Apres L’Ondee OVER Patch 24? Must try. 🙂

      Sorry it was a stinker on you. That’s why individual taste is so important in perfume. One man’s scrubber is another man’s masterpiece.

      • No! You must be absolutely sure there isn’t a TRACE of the tar pit and then spray the beloved Apres L’Ondee. The book is entertaining… However, I’ll never forget the beautifully poetic description of Mitsouko that Tania did on (I think) Basenotes.

      • I have to bust in here and share this insane layering experience. Okay, so y’all know I’m working on my Perfumista degree, right? So I try everything!, even if it scares the nose hairs off me.. I got a sample of Cynthia Rowley’s new Avon fragrance, Flowers. It smells like everything else out there that claims to be a flower and is anything but (I can’t tell you what it smells like and neither could you because it is beyond synthetic-generic:|

        …so I’m walking the dogs, sniffing the wrist, still generic. Come back and am preparing to take a shower, decide to take off my nail polish. I’m seriously multitasking and ADD at this point so imagine my surprise when I, for One Last Time, turn my wrist over to smell this, prior to scrubbing….and I am entranced! I thought this thing had morphed into something truly exciting. Turns out I’d oversaturated the cotton ball and the polish remover was running down my wrist and mingled with the Rowley! =))

        Alas, I don’t think I can safely replicate that.

  5. well, I don’t have my book yet but Tommy Girl was in that category. since I dislike fruity-floral. Top notes were sharp and icky. The middle 30 minutes of the first hour were okay. But after that? It smelled like scented underarm deodorant, the kind that makes me switch to unscented. Even had the sharp aluminum/metallic notes. b-(
    Every once in a while, there was a lovely ambery-floral note that peeped through. If that is what Turin and Sanchez are getting all the time, I can see why they would love it. But for me, Tommy Girl wasn’t even 3 stars. I don’t get how it can be in the same league as Chanel No 5 and Mitsouko? 😕

    • I guess that’s why I can’t take seriously the LT claim that everything smells the same on everyone except maybe the top notes. And if he’s now saying you can properly evaluate a perfume for your personal use on a paper strip?!?!? Oh, hells no.

      He has to stop that crazee talk.

    • Hey, we can “even” distinguish between a chypre and a gourmand! ROTFL!

      /Rant/

      However, what isn’t so funny is that someone was actually expressing a mediocre reaction to a fragrance? Geez, whatever would they would with “it’s swill”? Thank God for freedom of speech, fascist b******s.

      Maybe they’ll get a clue and start listening to the noses more than focus groups. Or weird directors who have no clue. Or… you tell me how they come up with 90 percent of the stuff out there.

      /Rant off/

      • I meant to say, “expressing a mediocre reaction to a fragrance and was threatened with legal action”. Tom needed his drink last night; I need my coffee.

    • What happened to the party hat whistle guy – emoticon weirdness again!

      • Our emoticons have gone on strike. They want better working conditions and less trashy content. And good luck with that. [-(

      • or maybe they sent all the party hats to the sniffa – tiaras are tough to compete with ! 🙂

    • Squeee!!!! Hey, I don’t care how they mention us as long as they get the link and the name right. 🙂

  6. Just had a look at the NYT, gonna read it later. The last time I visited NYT, it was for the review Chandler Burr wrote about Envy by Gucci, which got top notes. He deemed it a masterpiece. Googling a bit further it appeared that Luca Turin agreed.
    Well. Time to find out. So I went to the Bijenkorf, the Dutch luxury department store, to have a sniff.
    It was…HORRIBLE! Absolutely horrifying! By far worst I have smelled in ’08. All of a sudden I am 10 again, in a very hot bus, on a schooltrip to some scary amusementpark, having had to many fizzy drinks that pretend to stem from orangejuice, and a terrible migraine is coming on and all the fizzy drinks I took before spill out on my clothes et all.
    Might there be something like Fragrance Horror Masterpieces? I think I met one.

    • I had a sample of that. I think someone described it as nutella on toast? I think that sounded pretty interesting. I didn’t get that or your description. Just a bland, kinda nice fragrance that didn’t make a real impression.

      I think it’s wonderful that everything is perceived differently by everyone. It makes for a world that is so much more interesting.

    • Okay, I had to go try Guccy Envy. I don’t have a bad reaction to it, it’s just sorta white floral gray space that doesn’t move me one way or the other, kind of plasticky? Meh.

    • white floral gray space… yeah, I can see that. And I suspect there are many more fragrances that I find truly nauseating, if I were to try them. Which I will not. I have been warned now.

      Nutella on toast, however – no, there is no way I can imagine a connection between Envy and Nutella.
      But if they were to meet, they might ameliorate one another. Envy gets less penetrating, Nutella adds some fizz to its buttery blandness. (What an ugly name, by the way, Envy. Why on earth would one want to wear something called Envy?)
      And would’t it be nice to write about perfume names someday? I get triggered by them. A few months ago I paid a ludicrous amount for edp Guet-Apens. Just because of the name. I fell in love with it. Wore it a few times, but its not really my scent actually. Well, still crazy about the name.

  7. I don’t really get the five star treatment for Cool Water, but based on LT’s review, I understand why I have no interest in it. Guess I need to resniff that one. And I suppose I am sick, morbid, and weird, but I’m gonna have to sniff Secretions Magnifiques. BTW, your Tom of Finland post has me on the verge of buying a full bottle unsniffed. It sounds waaaaaaay better than I would have expected. Out of the ELDO line, I’ve got Vierges et Toreros (an unasked-for gift, which it turns out, I really like). The whole line seems to get so little love, except, it seems, from LT and TS. Go figure.

    • I love Etat! Give me full bottles of Putain, Delicious Closet Queen, Vraie Blond and VeT! I already have Charogne.

      I was lucky enough to be able to try the 16-sample set. What fun!

    • I really, really love the ToF, it’s just got all the quirky things I love in a perfume, and the drydown is just lovely, so it gets past the quirkiness that’s fun and is a great perfume from start to finish. Smokey leather, how can you go wrong?

  8. Just reading the notes of this perfume makes me ill, and your review does nothing to dispell the queasiness. So glad I don’t even have to check this out. I should give the EL scents more of a chance, though. I know I do like Private Collection, so I may very well enjoy some of the others too.

    • I cannot see any planet where you would even remotely like TG… none, zero, zip, nada. 🙂

      Based on the Pleasures initial sniff, I still don’t get the five stars, though I certainly put Azuree, Private Collection and Cinnabar into that category (I know they didn’t on Cinnabar), and I may find some others that I like. I guess there are not that many things that would wind up on my list as masterpieces, and I have to look at what does and figure out the proportionality and classicism of a fragrance to make it get there.

  9. I don’t have the guide yet, but I’ll prolly try Tommy, just for the heck of it…on a day I know I’m headed home to shower. I do think a number of Estees are under-rated, and that they are way better than most “commercial” perfumes out there. I veer toward the older ones- Cinnabar extract, a spritz of White Linen, a little Spellbound on a cold day.

    But, all bets are sorta off after hearing LC and TS yesterday in their GMA interview-his contention that you can really evaluate a scent from spending time with it on a paper strip…and that different skins don’t cause variation in effect, just bombs the whole endeavor for me. And I’m still contending that some reviews (Carons, maybe) were just meant to provoke…discussion, at best.

    • …whispers… it makes me think he’s too much of a scientist and not a true lover of fragrance…. leave that part to TS

    • Louise, I hope they were just trying to stir up discussion with some of their ratings. [-o<

    • Hey, Louise — what interview is GMA? Drawing a blank, sorry if this is duh.

      • Good Moning America-yesterday morning-it was pretty brief :d/

        • I am surprised the smut filter let my “good moaning america” through :”>

    • In case I didn’t already say it… can I just tell you how lovely it was to finally meet you. You are as charming and wonderful in person as I have heard and the impression I’ve gotten from your comments for so long. We have to do this again, but maybe with less crowds. 🙂

      Agree on many of the Estees.

      That paper strip comment from GMA, which I need to go youtube, just galls me. It may be fine to just figure out if you like the general notes of a fragrance, no problem there, but to know if it’s right for you? Not even.

  10. I have warm fuzzies for TG bcs. it was my teenage daughter’s first perfume, and it smelled great on her. No interest in trying it myself. I don’t have the Guide yet, either, but I have rediscovered EL fragrances in the past few months, and I’m willing to retry Beyond Paradise (which I remember disliking when it was first released, but haven’t tried since), and White Linen, which I think I had a bottle of at one time. I wore both Pleasures and Beautiful in the 90s, and received a tiny bottle of Pleasures in perfume recently. It’s really lovely, perfect for spring. And again, opinions are subjective! One of the coolest things about the whole perfume experience is learning to trust your own nose. :^o ;;)

    • I couldn’t agree more. I am glad that some things that have been passed by will get more attention, and it gives us LOTS to write about here, so the book is a Gift from the Blogging Gods. 🙂

  11. Thanks for saving me a trip to the store on Tommy Girl. I tried Beyond Paradise in the past; it wasn’t good. I see no reason to revisit it. However, they have encouraged me to try about forty fragrances. My sample wishlist exploded overnight. I don’t expect to dislike any of them; otherwise, they would not have made the list. Cinnabar or Youth Dew might be a little iffy. Fragrance tastes change over time. Since those are ambery, oriental or spicy, I might like them.

    It would be nice to like something that I could just pick up at a store. Maybe that’s what T&S were aiming for: out of all the dreck within easy reach of most consumers, which are the better picks of the lot? And within a reasonable budget?

    • I think that’s one of the really good things about the book, it highlights reasonably priced scents that are available. While I may disagree with the rating for some of them, many are perfectly good fragrances that most people would find work great for them, and they’re just not interested in going into niche world.

  12. Occasionally, I need a break from boucheron, lolita lempicka, shalimar, aromatics elixir and chanel’s chance, so I will go to some old (used-to-be when I was a teenager) standby that I still have large quantities of. Tommy Girl is one such case. I put it on last week and sneezed the whole day. To think that I used to LOVE that perfume, washing my body in it almost daily! l-) It smelled decent, but something in it just didn’t agree with my nose hairs!
    Later that week, one of my mother’s very good friends mentioned that she wanted to get back to the OLD Tommy Girl, that apparently the smell had changed a bit over the years. Although I plan on giving her my bottle (of the decade old stuff), I think that I might try a little test to see if there is a difference between the old and the new, or just her misperception.

    • That would be an interesting experiment. I’m not sure why PTG bashed CAron’s reformulations so heavily when there have been a lot of others for the worse. I don’t find CAron’s reforms to be bad at all, having sniffed both the old and the new. Given the amount of decades that have passed since they were created, there will be changes.

  13. I adore most Estee Lauder scents – Youth Dew, Azuree, Cinnebar, and PCTG in particular. But hadn’t yet sniffed Beyond Paradise or Private Collection, both of which LT and TS give glowing reviews in the new book. Yesterday, I hopped over to Dillards to do both. I was blown away by Beyond Paradise’s opening. I must admit it was like the sun bursting through the clouds. Truly beautiful. But that beauty lasted about 2.5 seconds on my skin and then devolved into something kind of washing powderish. I wanted to cry.

    And the sample bottle of Private Collection must have gone off. Either that or screechingly green Shee-prs are just not Moi’s cup o tea at all.

    I also smelled Juicy’s Dirty English. Anyone sniffed this? Kingdom-meets-GucciEDP-meets-YouthDew. And yet, ultimately: meh.

    • I adore Private Collection, but I can see how it can be allllll wrong on some people. It’s not always right for me, though I wore it for years.

  14. I like the way my past jokey names stay in my Name sign-in.

    So … you’re saying rancid DoubleMint and fruit vomit in a bad way? You didn’t like it?

    LT only gave it four stars, not five, but Lancome Tresor makes me want to throw myself in front of a bus.

    • No, he definitely gave Tommy Girl FIVE stars, I looked again. Tresor was just four stars.

      I can see, just on personal taste and that it may smell fabu on him, giving TG four starts, but masterpiece? No, no, no, just no.

      • Yes, he really, really, really gave Tommy Girl FIVE stars. The rating system is highly flawed. More from me on that when we have our free-for-all review.

      • P, I’m sorry, my sentence was unclear.

        What I MEANT was, “he only gave Tresor four stars (and you asked for five-star examples), but Tresor makes me want to throw myself in front of a bus.”

    • Oooh-now wouldn’t that be quite the trick-if different versions/printings were released with different rating! I guess I am just a rancid cynic /:)

  15. Patty, you are too funny, but I do like TG a lot, especially when I just want to throw something on when I am hanging around the house or running errands. It’s easy that way for me.

    I guess I don’t “get” Missoni. I read the review and had such high hopes, but it really did not work for me.

    Also, Patchouli 24, which you love, just smells like burning rubber truck tires on me. At least Luca gave my beloved Iris 39 four stars, lol!

    Beyond Paradise is “bleh” on me, too. I just don’t smell much of anything special in that one…

    I am sure there are a few more that have been given 5 stars in the book that I don’t like or don’t “get,” but the above are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

    Hugs!

    • Thank heaven somebody mentioned this. The Missoni smells to me like a really, really, really good dish-washing detergent. I mean *really* good – but really! It does remind me of BP in the top notes, but somehow the euphoric feel is gone. Maybe I have not worn it long enough. Maybe I have been afraid to. The Badgley Mischka baffles me, too, but I know March liked it (right, M?) and Tania’s review for it is very apologetic, so I can forgive.

      • I really wanted to like the Missoni, but it-just-was-not-happening-for-me.

        I think the Badgley Mischka is very pretty, but I gave it to my daughter.

        Actually, I love TG, but I would not give it five stars.

        I like the fact that their reviews have us talking about these perfumes, thinking about them, and honing in on our own critical thinking skills, know what I mean?

  16. Oh, wait a minute…didn’t he give Tresor five stars? Lord, I really don’t like that one!! :((

    • I can see how TG would work, but I do scratch my head on the five stars.

      Missoni? Yeah, exactly. While I also like the Badgley-Mischka, it’s not a masterpiece in the least. It’s a nicely done floral that would be great to wear out in the evening, but I would get as much pleasure or joy from 24, Faubourg or First.

      But it is great that we all have this frame of reference for some great discussions!

      • First! Wow. I remember that from about 5billion years ago. Used to wear it but, like Private Collection, it just faded from my rotation. I’ll have to revisit both!

  17. I think it’s hysterical that you got all that fruit puke from the opening. Just shows how different everyone is. I’m not quite sure I would give it 5 stars like LT, but maybe 4.

    • amazing, isn’t it? I blame either the honeysuckle or the magnolia combined with fruit. One of those can just bring out the yak smell like nobody’s biznezz. It’s gross. That it lasted so long was pretty traumatic, too.

      I can take burning tar, rubber, barbie doll sex, whatever, but yak smell on me is just awful.

  18. Tresor, yipes! Now I know I won’t be getting a copy of the book. Also, none of the recent ELs will have anything to do with my skin-they either go magazine-strip rancid quickly or drift off within a few minutes of application. I haven’t felt any compulsion to track the earlier ones down.
    I’ve smelled Tommy Girl, and my reaction was a resounding “Meh”. I feel the need to get me some of the ELDOs however; strange perfumes are generally my friend. Just as long as strange does not equal synthetic; CdG nearly killed me with Skai.

    • I don’t like Tresor all that much personally, but like NO. 5, I see how it contributed to the overall body of work in perfumery. Some things just set standards, for good or ill.

      I think the book is very entertaining, though, and it provides a lot of opportunity for discussion. As long as people look at it through that prism, I think it’s a great thing for the industry and for consumers.

  19. Between these comments and the book (just arrived, mostly read!) I can’t wait to go re-sniff the department store recommendations: EL Beyond Paradise, Tommy Girl, etc. if only to end up going “Eeewww…” The subjectivity of scent perception is fascinating!

    I’ve already tried Missoni- scrubber.
    As for Tresor- no, not trying that again in a million years. (I agree with March up there!)

    Disteza, the book is really fun to read, even if you don’t agree with all the reviews! Last night, for example, I was inspired to re-try my sample of SL Bois et Musc (first impresison: “meh”). I suppose I had gotten tired of sniffing Bois-es one after another since receiving my sampler pack. My second impression: amazing balance of cedar and musk, well-blended, sexy.

    • Most definitely agree that it’s a fun book and it will provide a ton of discussion fodder, and that’s always good. I have very few concerns about the impact on the consumer, except as it regards people perceiving that they should have the same taste as L&T and feel locked into that in order to be a fine perfume lover.

      • Back with a report:
        Entered Macy’s, walked straight over to the Tommy Girl bottle (oddly, pushed behind the others as if to protect it, and nearly empty. Perfumistas in the San Mateo-Palo Alto areas?!?)
        Spritzed it liberally on one forearm. Did *not* sniff right away – previous comments included a dire warning about the top notes.
        Went to do my shopping, occasionally sniffing my arm. Hmm. Floraly. Citrusy. Meh.
        Was ignored for 20 minutes by a snarky MAC SA, tried to complain. Got marginally better service at Chanel. Perhaps I was just cranky?
        Left the mall, thinking, “What is that awful smell that seems to be following me around? Oh.”
        Perhaps I was just cranky.

        • Oh I forgot to describe the smell of the drydown: lemon dishwashing detergent. Good on dishes, bad on (my) skin. Never got a whiff of the “tea” note for which I was hoping.

  20. This book is amazing–I have no idea why people think that applying five stars to something makes it approachable for anyone else.Even if Luca Turin DOES say so. If Luca Turin said to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. . . oh, sorry, I morphed into my mother there for a second. Chandler Burr also likes Tommy Girl. Personally, I agree with the ‘appletini yakked up in the Hamptons on the walk of shame’ description. I had totally forgotten the green chypre of Private Collection, though. Gotta try that again. . .

    • I figure it’s worth taking a look at some. Some I wasn’t familiar with and have fallen in love, like Yohji Pour Homme, which totally rocks. They got that one completely right.

      I do think as long as people use the guide as a guide and form their own opinion on what they like and don’tl ike, which should be littered all the way from 5 stars to 1 stars and not even listed, it is great.

      • Well, since I’m the one on whom Creed’s Virgin Island Water smells like a bag of coconut used in an illicit sex act, I can’t expect to be able to follow stars or vivid descriptions of inorganic chemistry molecules (Chandler Burr is rather fond of describing those in his great-read of a book) and I’ll just have to sprtiz. Too bad! Now if I can get over that bad buy-unsniffed habit, I’ll be normal. Maybe.

  21. It’s crossed my mind that maybe LT and TS are having us on. I mean they are so jokey! Wouldn’t it be a hoot if someone read the book then set out to acquire all those 5 stars unsniffed… Sometimes you’d be getting something because of its undeniable goregeousness, othertimes because it was somehow groundbreakingly ordinary, and sometimes, in the unfortunate case of Secretions, you’d be getting it because it was an interesting (revolting) science experiment!

    • Okay, that would seriously be funny. I’m still just contemplating the look on Sally Perfumista trying on her new masterpiece, SEcretions Magnifique. Hahahahaha!!!

  22. I think Luca’s view of perfumes is more technical. He refers to composition in several of his reviews. He also seems to consider whether a frangrance was influential. For example Angel gets 5 stars. I would never wear Angel (with much respect to those who love it), but I have to admit that it was a very influential perfume and that was creative.

    I don’t think I will be trying Secretions Magnifiques. I could not imagine having a bottle with that name on my dresser, besides it sounds horrible. I won’t be trying Tommy Girl, and it isn’t because I am a snob (since I like White Linen and other Estee Lauders). I never thought of trying Beyond Paradise, perhaps I will do that tonight.
    I was surprised about the 5 stars for Missoni. Last night I found a sample of it and tried it. I don’t know if I could wear it but it was interesting. I had a similar reaction to Badgley Mischka than TS. I almost regretted buying it. Well my taste must be all over the place because I have perfumes in all their categories (from 5 starts to 1 star), oh well, I really like the Aqua Allegorias and Lemon Fresco and Grosselina on Summer Time while listening to a concer in the park.

    I can’t wait to tell my dad that he should throw away his beloved Cartier’s (Pasha and Santos), while my husband can keep his Kuorus (even when one co-worker hates it). Just kidding!!

    The book is a lot of fun. I have been reading it all week.

    • I think that’s a fair assessment, and I agree with him up to a point. Angel, No. 5, Mitsouko, etc., were ground-breaking fragrances that changed perfumery and deserve to be masterpieces even if people find them unwearable because tastes have changed, etc.

      But I can’t think how some of those 5 starred ones fit into that scheme. Maybe in ten years I’ll look back and see how TG changed perfumery, but at this point, it’s not that clear. :d/

  23. Oh Patty – I just about spewed my tea all over my keyboard on the “bad day at the playground and I threw up fruit and gum all over the wooden merry-go-round” comment I was laughing so hard! Love this review. But thanks for the warning, I think I’ll avoid TG.

    I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I am curious to smell Secretions Magnifiques! But then I’m the one on whom Bal A Versailles smells like a nice, sweet floral – no skank at all!

    • Well, I have to warn you, SM is not skanky, it’s just a metallic bloody mess. It’s interesting as a freak, though I have heard some people say it smells great on them. I just haven’t actually smelled that! :d

  24. Well, regarding the SM and vile smells in general, remember in the Emperor of Scent where Luca kept running into his colleagues’ offices and telling them to “smell this, it’s horrible!”? I think he has a fascination with bad smells. 😉

    • My sense, too, is that Dr Turin has a fascination with horrible smells. Bilge! How fantastic! Still, I have heard him on the subject and he is utterly charming!

      • I think perhaps when you smell so very many things the horrible smells at least have the benefit of smelling interesting. I think I might be getting to the point where I would prefer something to be awful than to be boring… (BTW, love that part in the book!)

      • Oh, definitely! And I know I do too. I begged for a sample from Tom of that Thierry Mugler Humanity thing, which is just Paris sewer, but I had so much fun with it.

    • So you think he’s just having some fun with us? While SM is fascinating in the abstract, so are a lot of smells that shouldn’t be perfume.

      Yeesh! 🙂

  25. I think the one I will try, in fearful fascination (can’t look, can’t *not* look) is Gucci Rush. Everything I read about it makes me sort of cringe… and yet… I have to.

        • It’s great, but it’s like what I think Tania described it as. It’s like your annoying, but fun, loud girlfriend. It’s a milky accord married to a hairspray note — so the effect is profoundly synthetic but at the same time warm and weirdly human. I still don’t own a bottle, but I put it on at the store all the time, it’s fascinating. And now that it’s getting harder to find (they don’t carry it at our Sephora any more, for example) I’m probably going to get a bottle. Box. Whatever. 😉

            • Um, don’t put it on right before a meeting. Or a trip to the gym. And don’t overspray either. :d It’s got some monster sillage, and it doesn’t fade quickly. Still I think you should try it. Even if you hate it, it’s interesting. BTW I also REALLY think you need to put it on, skin brings out the warmth in it.

          • I found it at my local Sephora on Staruday. On Sunday I happened to be close to another Sephora and I dropped by. They did not have it.

  26. Wow, I am feeling some trepidation about reading that book! Lancome Tresor with four stars?! I cannot tell you how much I hate that awful stuff. Makes me weep that they did away with Magie Noire to make room for that thing, and Hypnose, and all their other new second-rate scents. WHYwhywhy!

    (I recently tried their new “Limited Editon” Benghal at Macy’s – the first few minutes was “interesting” in a weirdly fresh metallic way – then it turned into the worst scrubber I have ever had on my skin. I was on the bus on the way home and I just about made it there without barfing.)

    I cannot imagine why Tommy Girl gets five stars either – it’s overwhelmingly average to my nose. And to put ANY Estee Lauders on the same level as Mitsouko? Fine if you like “Lauder accord” but not for me.

  27. I’ve not been able to find Tommy Girl testers to try out (a brand the snob in me certainly would never have looked at twice before the book)but as its only £12 thought I’d order it but girls you have put off thank you! I think I’ll wait till I have smelt the stuff. The book gives it such a thumbs up and references to use of a tea base and Bulgari’s The Vert (I love this) had me convinced it must be ok.

    I agree with the books comments on Knowing and Aromatics Elixir both old faves and I adore Feminite Du Bois I still have half a precious bottle of it left I just love it. I used to wear when i felt nervous going into a meeting or an interview it just makes me feel so calm and sexy at the same time. I do hope Shishedo bring it back. The book has had me going back to my old faves including Opuim not convinced that it shouldn’t be worn in 2008.

    For me EL’s Private Collection is a new discovery smells fab – will go back and buy. Sniffed Shalimar and Samara like one and not the other forget which. Will look out for Mitsouko. But so far not convinced that Guerlain frags. are better than my listed above faves.

    Cool Water (another would not have looked at twice)tracked it down after reading the review – well after about 6 hours could just about understand what could be pleasant about it but won’t be rushing back to buy it just yet. Its Chypre I can easily ignore.

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