Paris Hilton is launching this spring 2011 her first collection consisting of a trio of perfumes united by an overarching theme: the jet-set life between Tokyo, Paris and South Beach. The tag line of the Passport Collection is "Come travel with me!." So far the celebrity has stuck to a more classic formula of single releases centering around her image. For the first time too, Paris takes the jump and appears as a cartoon on the packaging after having gone in the direction of costuming as a siren or Marilyn Monroe. She has not dressed like a Geisha this time, but as a toon wears pupil-enhancing contact lenses which are popular beauty items in Japan to create a doll-like look resting on dilated pupils and enormous eyes.There is also visibly an attempt to add a hip cuteness factor to her label by getting inspiration from Japanese animes and toy-inspired fragrance franchises like Harajuku Lovers. The Passport Collection scents are not necessarily targeting markets in Asia but are certainly tapping into the vogue for oh-so-cute Nippon pop culture...
"Tokyo is amazing...sparkling, pulsing with energy," observes Paris Hilton about this beloved destination. "It's graceful and beautiful, just like my fragrance."
Notes: Top notes are Italian lemon and crisp Fuji apple; middle notes are watery frangipani, white jasmine, French iris, Mediterranean orange flower; base notes are golden cedar, clean musk, sandalwood. The fragrance was composed by perfumer Steve DeMercado of Fragrance Resources.
Although Tokyo offers the twist of a sheer, crisp and girly bouquet around official notes of crunchy Fuji apple and watery frangipani, it feels very much like a scent done in the cherry-blossom genre - as you would speak of a cherry blossom painting - with vanilla and a mossy, leafy note of Japanese shiso. The scent is gracile, lightly fruity and particularly fresh, with a green aromatic facet. What makes it better-than-your-average cherry blossom perfume are the hints of aromatic herbs, basil, anise (shiso) which bring a garden-like feel to the composition while adding a bit more complexity. The fruity hints are also cute, citrusy, and peppy.
Tokyo is much citrusier on skin than on the blotter evoking almost the blanched lemons of an Eau de Cologne. It is also mellower on skin than on paper, so if smelling a scent strip of it makes you think it might be a bit harsh, try it next on your skin.
What are the drawing-in points for me are a very nice prune-y nuance and the kitchen-herb aromatic freshness of the scent.
The drydown is powdery enough that it will attract people in love with feminine poudré fragrances.
Paris says that, "South Beach is one of my fave hot spots: it's sexy, vibrant and so much fun. This fragrance is totally bikini-ready!”
Notes: Head notes are nectarine, lotus flower, white freesia; heart notes are jasmine sambac, marigold, osmanthus; base notes are blonde woods, Australian sandalwood, captive musk. The scent is signed by perfumer Honorine Blanc of Firmenich.
South Beach is also a fruity-floral, but with a deeper, creamier, and with more of a hint of corrupted fruits than Tokyo. On skin, it starts with a fizzle and a sparkle before tapping into the cues of a tropical white floral served with a dollop of vanilla and passion-fruit ice-cream. The jasmine with its gasoline nuance and osmanthus with its oily sesame-oil vibrato are the two dominant floral notes.The citrus facet is here also much more perceptible on skin than on paper. Soon, it becomes like a Fiestaware bowl filled with fruit salad topped with some juicy slices yellow peaches and squeeshy lychees.
The musky facet is what I noticed most at first; it is based on a special "musk captive" detained by Firmenich, and it shows, to my nose. Even before reading about the "musk captive" note I had noticed how remarkable the musky sensation was. It starts recreating successfully an impression of sexy skin smelling of salty white flowers. As the base notes truly do deepen, it takes on a darker character and the flowers become a bit more narcotic.
This scent will please people who love salty musky florals, which are more about flesh than airiness. It has an almost edible, savory quality evoking Thai steamed coconut pastries wrapped in banana leaves which can be quite irresistible for those who fancy such sweets.
My conclusion, especially for the way it develops unimpeded on paper - spray on a scarf if you can - is that this is sexy as hell: its sillage has a way of meandering to your nostrils and literally make you turn your head to see where the fantastic smell is coming from.
Top notes are mandarin, juicy red berries, golden peach; heart notes are jasmine sambac, honeysuckle, purple peony; base notes are vanilla, amber, white patchouli, creamy musk. Honorine Blanc again signs this perfume.
Paris starts with the deepest impression of the trio, opening on woody fruity-floral notes with a hint of peachy, aldehydic nail polish. It is the one of the three that vaguely conveys the sense that it is trying to offer a more definite signature by mimicking a previous release. Is it a JLo, a Dior flanker, a revisit of an old Paris-Hilton fragrance, are some of the thoughts that cross my mind. It's hard to pinpoint at first although after taking a pause, I realize it borrows something from the quirky gourmand chypré structure of Miss Dior Chérie, but creamier, peachier and more nail-polish-y. As time elapses, it becomes obvious that behind Miss Dior Chérie, one can distinguish the scent-profile of Angel by Thierry Mugler but as a surprisingly subtle quote of a mega-copied blend of patchouli, caramel, amber and berries. The woods now smell more of sandalwood. As the base deepens, the fragrance becomes more interesting, more complex, and more like a perfume with the indispensable touch of ineffability to make it so. A crystalline note of fruit manages to bring a bit of tension to the composition.
My overall impression is that the Passport Collection is probably at its authentic best when staying in the register of girly and unpretentious by perfecting canonical genres like the cherry blossom perfume and the tropical fruity-floral one. They are not wildly original but very efficacious, charming and even alluring as sexy scents screaming "I am girly" without being too much of airheads, perfume-wise. With Paris EDT, there seems to be more of an effort to create a sense of serious interpretation of the atmosphere of a place, which was the core motivation for the collection. But then it falls a bit short of its goal by feeling a bit too conformist and revealing the need to pretend to be something else than it is.
If you are a pop princess, don't try to sing classical melodies, do what you know best and stay true to yourself.
The scents are available for $45 and $25 on shop.parishilton.com