Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Zooey Purdy, an Innovation Engineer in the R29 tech department, has something she'd like to get off her chest. Prepare to deal with it.
Judge me all you want, but I wear Paris Hilton perfume, and I smell great.
Actually, the celebutante’s namesake fragrance has been my signature scent since college. See, one day, someone put a bunch of boxes of unwanted stuff out in the dormitory hallway — one with a collection of various perfumes in it. While my friend rifled through the box of books, I started testing out each perfume. One particular scent caught my nose — a blend of frozen apple, peach nectar, freesia, mimosa, jasmine, sandalwood, ylang ylang, and oak moss. I was entranced.
Even though I tend to dress on the minimalist, androgynous side, I have this soft spot for girly, fruity scents. I like to think they give everyone a whiff of my bubbly, sweet, girlish inner self. (Who knew that existed?)
After inhaling the scent of a lifetime, I made a closer inspection of the bottle and, in particular, its shiny, metallic, hot-pink box. With silver lines roaming all over it, it came with its own cardboard sleeve featuring a large photo of a certain provocatively posed semi-celebrity and her name embossed in large silver script in about six different places — Paris Hilton.
Honestly, I didn’t really know much about Paris Hilton when the fruity scent first grabbed me by the nostrils. I’d never seen one of her TV shows, nor didI have any idea on why she was famous in the first place (still don’t). I was, however, well aware that celebrity fragrances that are sold at CVS and Walmart are not regarded as cool, trendy, or even made for adults. But, brand names have never meant that much to me.
Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
If I fall in love with a $400 Opening Ceremony sweater I’ll buy it (and eat ramen every day for a month). If I fall in love with a pair of $14 boys’ Payless boots, I'll buy them (and still eat ramen).
So, after discovering that this new, amazing aroma was in fact Paris Hilton’s signature '04 fragrance, the irony piqued my interest, but ultimately made no difference in my opinion. I smelled it, I liked it, and I had no choice but to snag it.
Over the years, I’ve stayed true to Paris. My best friend is a beauty editor and she’ll sometimes slip me a freebie from her swag bag. She's hooked me up with Marc Jacobs' Daisy, Dior Miss Dior, Thierry Mugler, and Jean Paul Gaultier Classique X — the type of scents everyone would expect me to wear. But I won’t change. Instead, I just sit back and enjoy the surprised looks I get when friends or co-workers tell me I smell nice and I tell them it’s Paris Hilton and that they can get their very own bottle for under $20.
I ran out of Paris Hilton a few weeks ago. I just didn’t have the time to run down to CVS to replace it. I substituted it with the aforementioned Marc Jacobs Daisy, but it just wasn’t the same. When I finally had Amazon ship a new bottle to the office, no one here (and I mean no one) believed I wasn’t trying to be ironic! But, what can I say? It smells amazing!
Now, I'll admit that I keep a bottle of Miss Dior displayed more prominently in my bathroom (it’s much prettier). Truth is, though, I'm a Paris Hilton woman. So go ahead and judge, but sniff me first. Like I said, I smell great.
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