Monday, May 21, 2007

Smelebrity Number Nine

Paris Hilton, Jennifer “J. Lo” Lopez, Liz Taylor, Britney Spears, Sarah Jessica Parker, and even Donald Trump: These are all celebrities with a fragrance on the shelves of your favorite department store. To date, it’s hard to name a celebrity who hasn’t thrown her scent to the shelves, as if she’s a dog at a park, madly spraying every tree, bush and swath of grass possible.

As a soap and water gal, I’ve never really taken to perfume. Everything I try on overwhelms me, and I end up fleeing a store called something like Scents for Cents with my eyes and nose watering. I drive home with the windows down, wondering how anyone determines what their favorite fragrance is, and if I’ll ever feel like spending the equivalent of a tank of gas on something I’ll likely tuck into one of my toiletry bags at home, forgetting it until airport security officials confiscate it the next time I travel. And how do you shop for the stuff without trying a bunch of it on?

I know it must be hard to pull together a commercial for something so intangible, but the television advertisements only serve to bemuse me. And they’re a treasure trove of information compared to the copy that goes into each print and catalog ad. I was thinking that what’s in the bottle either smells like something or it doesn’t, but that’s me: A fan of the “You’re soaking in it!” campaign.

One designer scent goes so far as to claim that it’s “A new fragrance interpretation that is the essence of enchanting femininity…” I’ve always wanted to know what enchanting femininity smells like, and now I can find out by driving to the nearest Sephora. What a relief.

I admit that I’m a cynic, but really—haven’t we exhausted the possibilities? Aren’t there a finite number of ways that one’s wrist or neck or cleavage can smell, and haven’t we formulated them all? With its textures and variations in preparing it, and its visual context, food is much more complicated than perfume, and if you ask most people, it always “tastes like chicken.”

So in the spirit of stopping the insanity, I’ve devised a plea and an opportunity. Forget “enchanting femininity,” let’s get back to basics, back to the beginning. Call it appealing to the lowest common denominator if you want. Call it dumbing things down if you want; I call it getting back to basics. I call it keeping it simple and real, and when word gets out, Jeremy Piven, it’s going to be huge, and you missed the boat.

Celebrity perfumes account for 7% of the US prestige fragrance market, a $2.8 billion business. That’s some pretty good scratch, and shoot, if someone can get away with pushing a bottle of liquid claiming that it’s a new “fragrance interpretation,” there must be a way for someone genuine to grab a piece of the action.

Introducing my idea for a new smelebrity fragrance: Sniff This, by Snoop Dogg.
Instead of calling it an “olfactory experience,” I plan on making this marketing plan a no-brainer, targeting Snoop Dogg’s loyal—if impaired—niche demographic. Sniff This is a unisex fragrance with bong water high notes, Cheetos middle notes, and a malt liquor base note, and I plan to roll out this scent-sational stuff at the next Widespread Panic show. So if you want to work this one out, Snoop, give me a call. You’ll find me in the book, I’m living on Shakedown Street right now.

And P.S., Dogg,
Don’t limit yourself to perfume, G. Have you seen KY’s new offerings and super-high production value TV advertisements for products from your personal lubricant aisle? We could call it celube-rity. Don’t forget to thank me when you’re a gazillionaire, yo.


Patti Auburn said...

My co-worker introduced me to This guy, Christopher Brosius is in Brooklyn and makes a variety of unusual and lovely scents. So far my favorite is Black March which is described as "A fresh clean scent composed of Rain Drops, Leaf Buds, Wet Twigs, Tree Sap, Bark, Mossy Earth and the faintest hint of Spring Flower Bulbs as pretty and bright as rain drops on black twigs in March". My favorite part is the mossy earth - it really kind of smells like rich wet loam, though it is the first note to dissapate, but what is left behind is a sweetness which is so ethereal that I cannot describe it.
Perfume is so expensive - I'd much rather support this guy's amazing creativity than any celebrity that slaps his/her name on a bottle. I do love your Snoop Doog idea though!

Chris said...

Celube-brity. Brilliant.