On this perfect spring day, at the lavish Simmons estate in bucolic New Jersey, a phalanx of hunks wearing white suits and pink shirts greet journalists at the launch party for Kimora Lee Simmons’ first fragrance, Goddess. Fruity cocktails are served in the garden, which has been festooned with pink roses and orchids, a table laden with “goddess” foods such as figs and cherries, and male models in metallic body paint perched on pedestals. So far, so goddess. Then, without fanfare, Simmons arrives wearing a pink satin gown and the 30-carat diamond ring that inspired the bottle design.

As she traipses through the courtyard greeting guests, a camera crew follows. Simmons pretends to fall into the fountain pool. (“Now that would be something, wouldn’t it? I’d be like a desperate housewife!”) She goes over to the DJ and compliments her on the compilation CD she had sent. The girl looks bashful to be singled out by the goddess herself. Simmons then turns to the camera and says, “Today, the vibe is all about cool and sexy.”

After some mingling, everyone moves into the opulent living room, where Simmons reappears for the formal press conference in the same dress but more diamonds — rows of white diamond bangles and a large pink diamond on her right hand. “First of all, thank you for coming all the way to New Jersey. If you need anything, feminine products, a drink, whatever, just holler.”

Her lawyer and manager, Jack McCue, attributes Simmons’ success in the United States, where she has her own television program, to the “girlfriend factor.” Network executives, he says, want a woman who will be the viewer’s girlfriend. Judging by the spellbound faces of many of the journalists who are sinking comfortably into the plush silk sofas and who wore their sharpest stilettos in her honour, Simmons clearly plays the part well.

During the presentation, Simmons talks about the fragrance — a “passionate white floral” that has top notes of gardenia, white rosebuds and the soft finish that comes from musk and exotic woods. She talks about diamonds. (“You know how emerald-cut diamonds can sometimes be milky? My Asscher-cut diamond has more facets, like a woman, so it has more sparkle.”) And she talks about empowerment and how Baby Phat gives women power.

The sun has now set, the press conference is over and women are climbing into the waiting limos to get back to the city. Kimora gives a few more sound bites (“There are great beauty products at any price; there is no excuse to look bad!”), before slinking down her long, gilded hallway with her entourage, trailing behind her the sweet smell of success.

TOP NOTES: Gardenia, white rosebuds, cedrat flower.
HEART: Blue lily, hyacinth, black pepper, seringa.
BASE NOTES: Soft musk, exotic woods.