The smell of success

This Christmas there is a perfume for everyone

Umbreen Ali
By Umbreen Ali
Columnist
December 13, 2012, 10:24 am
The smell of success

The advent to Christmas sees the production of the customary big budget, feel good adverts.

John Lewis, Boots, Asda (a little less feel good and more, ahem, sexist) and Marks and Spencer are all at it.

M&S managed to sustain an ad campaign with no famous faces this year but instead recruited the directorial skills of the genius behind Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ video.

Furthermore, we are bombarded with endless editorials dedicated to finding that ‘perfect’ gift for every possible being in your life. Even the dog. Apparently the most sought after Christmas present for the canine is the perfume.

The ‘eau de toilette pour chien’. Because dogs are so aware of exuding a tantalisingly lingering scent. Isn’t that as inane as putting lipstick on a 5 year old?

But Christmas is now always associated with the perfume. And how did boy bands or male pop stars selling perfume become the norm? And just to reiterate, boy bands and male pop stars selling female perfumes.

It’s bad enough that Brad Pitt compromised all semblance of cool by being the first male face of Chanel No 5. 

Isn’t that an advertising oxymoron? It’s like having a man sell us sanitary towels. Yet somehow JLS, Justin Bieber and now even the world domineering One Direction have honed in on the lucrative action.

Although One Direction also have their own toothbrush and toothpaste range with Colgate. The epitome of rock and roll. Even Mercedes Benz has announced a new fragrance for women which will be available next year. Whatever next, the high street version that is the Toyota scent?

Steps, also known as ‘Abba on speed’ has a new fragrance that reached number 1 in the perfume chart. How did that happen?

They haven’t released a single in years. And the only reason they have even been in the public eye since is because the blond one became immensely overweight and then lost the weight and made a DVD out of it, only to then use the hard earned money to eat comfortably and put the weight back on again.

Weight loss DVD’s should come with a contract whereby the protagonist must sustain the advertised weight loss for a five year period or the consumer gets their money back. False advertising, consumer rights and all that.

And why are perfume ads filled with ridiculously beautiful people? It’s the kind of beauty that is unattainable, kind of like the Victoria’s Secret’s models.

The backless dresses, perfectly coiffed hair, endless flirtation to a backdrop of sensual music. Julia Roberts’ new ad for the Lancome perfume, ‘La Vie est Belle’ sees her bound by some sort of glistening crystal marionette.

How on earth will that appeal to the everyday woman making school lunches for her children? No doubt the 44 year old Ms Roberts looks phenomenal.

But la vie is probably more than belle if you have an army of hired help around you to ensure you look immaculate at every stage.

Celebrity scents may well be the smell of success. Even Pizza Hut has caught onto the trend, albeit in a pernicious manner as they launch ‘Eau de Pizza Hut’, a limited edition pizza scented perfume.

Although after the sushi scented perfume and bacon ‘flavoured’ shaving cream, perhaps it is time to sack the marketing director.

We’re just waiting for Psy to release the Gangnam Style perfume. Now that’s an ad campaign worth waiting for.

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