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
RoddyJonesStyle December 13, 2012

Love the.....bad day at the playground......

Fey October 25, 2008

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.

Flora April 25, 2008

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.

Sondra April 18, 2008

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.

Tara April 17, 2008

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. ;-)

Rappleyea April 17, 2008

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!

Arwen April 17, 2008

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.

sarah patton April 17, 2008

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!

quinncreative April 17, 2008

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. . .

Denise April 17, 2008

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.

Disteza April 17, 2008

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.

Flor April 17, 2008

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.

violetnoir April 17, 2008

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

violetnoir April 17, 2008

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!

March the No-Taste Loser April 17, 2008

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.

moi April 17, 2008

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.

Shelley April 17, 2008

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.

Debbie April 17, 2008

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?

rosarita April 17, 2008

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 ;;)

Louise April 17, 2008

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.

Judith April 17, 2008

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.

MattS April 17, 2008

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.

Berengaria April 17, 2008

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.

Kim April 17, 2008

HEY - YOU GUYS ARE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES !!!!! < :-p =d> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/fashion/17SNIFF.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Kim April 17, 2008

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? :-?

Miranda April 17, 2008

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!

Maria April 17, 2008

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.

sylvia April 17, 2008

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...

tmp00 April 17, 2008

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... :-&