Christina Aguilera's second fragrance with Procter & Gamble is the newly launched Inspire. Her last fragrance, the eponymous Christina Aguilera, launched in 2007 but never made it to the US, and I can't say I thought it any great loss. It was a not particularly memorable sweet floriental; this new one is supposed to be "a modern take on the Pop Art era" + a reflection of "the energy and excitement" of Tokyo. I haven't any notion of what such a thing ought to smell like, but in the event it turns out to be a tuberose-based floral.
According to a P&G spokesperson quoted at Women's Wear Daily earlier this year, Aguilera "loves tuberose fragrances but they tend to be a bit heavy so we kept working on it to make it more young". I'd say they succeeded. Inspire is a white floral, as advertised, but it's a very modern white floral: nothing heavy, nothing indolic, nothing that smells remotely like real flowers, much less like a classic white floral perfume. The top notes are fruity and tart, and more fresh than sweet. It's gardenia-ish in the early stages, but without any of heady stuff you'd expect from gardenia (the notes: mango, citrus, freesia, rose, gardenia, orange blossom, sandalwood, musks). The dry down is more of a blended white floral. I suppose it's tuberose-ish, kind of, in a very clean, tuberose air freshener sort of way. The base is pale musky woods.
I had meant to try Inspire next to some other tuberose-ish white florals, but time is short, and perfume launches are many. I just couldn't make myself do it. Suffice it to say that Inspire smells derivative of too many other scents to bother naming, much less wearing all at once, and it does not smell like any huge investment was made in the raw materials. You could do far, far better if you were after a white floral — although I have to wonder if white florals are really what today's young celebrity fragrance audience is after — but you could also do far, far worse if you were after a fragrance with a celebrity face on it. Inspire will not make the top or the bottom of my list of celebrity fragrance favorites for 2008*, and I predict I'll forget what it smells like entirely before the month is out.
Christina Aguilera Inspire is available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in Bubble Wash and Body Lotion. Note that as of this writing, you can request a free sample at the website; in a few weeks they'll send you a postcard with a tiny little pre-moistened towelette under foil wrap.
* By my accounting, J Lo's Deseo is still the best celebrity fragrance anyone has managed to come up with this year. I still haven't decided which is the worst, but if you know, do tell.