We used to have exquisitely romantic names for perfumes such as “Chanel No.5”, “Arpège”, “Evening in Paris’, and “L’air du Temps” by Nina Ricci. Those names evoked glamour and passion and when I dabbed them delicately along the pulse points on my wrists I felt as if I were transported to a place where life was special.
This week I visited a perfumery. There are still some classic perfumes but there is also an irritating addition to the range.
One of the newish perfumes I discovered was “Curious” by Britney Spears. Appropriately named since Britney can hardly be called “Desirable” except perhaps by traffic police. It is indeed a curious name and one can only marvel at who would buy such a fragrance.
The next perfume name which failed to impress was “Paris Hilton” by Paris Hilton. I’m surprised that they were charging for it, knowing Paris’ habit of giving it away for free as long as the cameras are rolling.
Mariah Carey and Celine Dion have perfumes named after them. Mary-Kate and Ashley are also in the perfume naming business, as is Hillary Duff.
Are we really meant to believe that these people are what they call in the perfume industry “noses”? What input would they have and really who could be persuaded to buy such perfumes?
The answer, apparently, is little girls who used to borrow mummy’s perfume and who now demand a perfume brand of their own.
So who are the role models for such pre-teens?
A couple of anorexic canaries, a publicity seeker who’ll go the the opening of a door if the papparazi are there, a mentally unstable has-been in need of treatment, a little performer called Hilary whom I’ve never heard sing and a couple of songbirds who sing quite well. But how does that qualify them for a perfume label?
Perfume used to be the domain of elegance, the last thing one applied before going out or retiring for the night. I know full that the entire industry is about money and selling to children is only another way to make money. Nevertheless, I deeply resent this intrusion by some cutesy wootsey lolly water for adolescents. Please don’t invade the last bastion of adult glamour. There’s little of it left for us.