One of the challenges in reviewing celebrity perfumes is that it's difficult to ignore your opinion of the famous person behind the juice. Would Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker have been such a runaway hit if, say, Bea Arthur were behind it? (I would so buy a Bea Arthur scent, for the record.) Or would a well-done perfume like Britney Spears' Curious be considered more sophisticated if it weren't connected to a pop singer?

Which brings us to Paris Hilton and her fourth fragrance, Can Can. I normally wouldn't pick up a perfume by Paris; after all, I need my $55 more than she needs it, and I can't imagine telling people that I'm wearing Paris Hilton. But I wondered if my opinion of Paris was clouding my judgment. So to get an honest and fair opinion of Can Can, I set up a blind smell test by inviting other Sugar girls to smell the scent — without knowing its identity. Would they like Paris' perfume if they didn't know who was behind it? To find out,


Yesterday afternoon, I sat in a small room and invited everybody to come in for a sniff. I didn't tell anybody what they were smelling until after they'd shared their opinions, and I remained stoic and neutral. Here's what they had to say:

  • CitizenSugar liked it; actually, she was the only one of the group who said she'd definitely wear it. "Is this Aquolina Pink Sugar?" she asked.
  • TeamSugar said it was "overwhelmingly sweet, like smelling cotton candy. It's not a classy or sophisticated fragrance."
  • GiggleSugar said it was too sweet for her. "I do like it, but I wouldn't wear it," she explained. "It's a very sexy fragrance — like sophisticated cotton candy."
  • LilSugar said she "kind of liked it," and would wear it if the scent faded a bit.
  • YumSugar said it was too feminine and girly for her own tastes, but that it was a fine scent. "It smells like sugar — like cotton candy," she said. "I'm not that sweet, but I could see some people in Sugar HQ wearing this."
  • GeekSugar wasn't a fan. "Maybe it's because I have Skittles in my mouth," she said. "But it's too sweet and candy-ish. It's not awful, but I wouldn't wear it."

So, there you have it. Incidentally, after discovering the perfume's identity, everybody felt that Can Can captured the essence of Paris Hilton. I agree with them; it's fun and flirty, but it's not cloying or juvenile. Ultimately, though, there isn't much substance to the sweetness.