I think it is evident how much I enjoy writing about the creative side of the perfume business. Whenever there is a new creative director, perfumer, or brand which actually carries out a stated vision the words come effortlessly. I wasn’t writing about perfume in 1996 but I can look back in hindsight. When I do that, I know Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl would have been one of those effortless moments. I’ve certainly written about it many times since I started blogging. Tommy Girl was the first brief for one of our greatest perfumers, Calice Becker. One reason I return to it often is there are many of the foundational techniques I have seen in her perfume in the years since. Because of that I was very interested when I heard about Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Now which was also composed by Mme Becker. What would she see as being “now” as opposed to “then”?
What I got was something intriguing. When Tommy Girl came out it was meant to be an All-American companion to the fashion of Tommy Hilfiger. It is amusing because the perfumer is from French and Russian roots which showed up in Tommy Girl. What transformed it into something American was an overall freshness. As an exemplar of that it succeeded as one of the best mainstream perfumes of all-time.
What do you change to make that contemporary? Do you throw everything out and start over? Or do you look for something small but significant to change? The answer from Mme Becker is to retain the top two-thirds and place that on a base which is popular currently. That is Tommy Girl Now.
The top accord is almost the same except Mme Becker pushes it a bit greener with the sharpness of shiso and by upping the blackcurrant bud concentration. It is still the same tea room accord but it has a different paint job. It leads to a near-identical floral heart which is a now-classic construct of magnolia, honeysuckle, jasmine, rose, and violet. It remains a fantastically vibrant accord. This all leads to the biggest change in Tommy Girl Now; the base. The original was a woody mixture of cedar and sandalwood. This new version embraces the trend of gourmand florals with vanilla and musks rising to meet that exquisite floral accord. This is done in a less transparent way as many of the current floral gourmands but much lighter than the original.
Tommy Girl Now has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I think the choice to change the base might be the correct one because it is what differentiates the Now from the then. If it is true, then I suspect Tommy Girl Now will become popular among the daughters of those who wore Tommy Girl. I hope so because the top part of either version of Tommy Girl should continue as long as it can.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Tommy Hilfiger.