The Cologne Wars

The fragrance industry has turned into a celebrity playground as the stars cram containers with their odours. Just about any top female star you can think of has a perfume named after her. Think Shakira (above), think Kylie, think Mariah Carey, think Kim Kardashian, think Beyonce, think Miss Piggy and her Moi brand (this is true, by the way).

I’ve always wondered what role, if any, the celebs play in the process of making the aroma. Do they ask for certain elements or a particular smell? Do they like the finished product or is it all a cash cow? Would they be smelt dead wearing their perfume?
Then there are the buyers. Would you buy a perfume just for the name? The smell must be the most important thing. You don’t buy the brand because of the packaging, why should the name make any difference. Buying Maria Sharapova’s signature scent (left) isn’t going to make you serve up an ace. And what happens when the star’s time in the spotlight has faded, you’ll be left with bottles of washed-up has-been whiffs. You can’t wear it anymore. Imagine being at a party and someone asks what that you’ve got on and you say, Susan Boyle.

None the less you know you’ve arrived when your smell is on the shelf. Male stars also have Aftershaves named after them. I’m patiently waiting on one of the big fragrance houses giving me a call to see what kind of smell I’d like in the JW10 Aftershave.

After much consideration I’d tell the perfumery company to include the following ingredients: chicken tikka, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, red onions, BBQ sauce. Now I know that sounds like a sandwich but it would also make a good aroma. Men would go to town splashing this nectar all over, as the saying goes. I considered adding cola to the mix though I might then get carried away and start drinking the stuff.


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6 Comments on “The Cologne Wars”

  1. Dunno about perfume.
    But the after shave scam has been going on for years.

    Suddenly there is a 4-point advertising blitz for a new after shave.
    1. Image of bloke:
    2. Image of bottle:
    3. Image of bloke splashing bottled stuff on face:
    4. Image of beautiful women fawning all over bloke.

    I’ve fallen for it time and again.
    But three out of four ain’t bad.
    Is it?

  2. I think after shave should be clearly labelled with 'Pull' factors – just like 'Sun' factor creams.

  3. I Love Shakira's dancing, but that breathless, “I wanted to find a way of expressing…” would put me right off her perfume.

    Unless oozing it made me think I could dance like her (or sing like Susan Boyle). (Or cook like you, JW…)

    REM's vid is quite alarming but strangely, my toes often smell like honey too. I only know them from the 'Raspberry Beret' cover they did with wonderful Warren Zevon.

  4. Expat Says:

    I've been a Chanel 5 girl since I was 18 or so and a sailor (Hello!) wannabe-boyfriend brought me a bottle. I think I've told that story before.

    Do you have those awful people in the UK who try to spray you with scent when you walk through the department store's cosmetics department? And do you know how hard it is to buy anything labeled 'aftershave' these days? It's cologne for men now. My other half would die before spraying on cologne.

    I'm attracted to the smell of freshly sawed wood and a newly painted room. Anyone who bottles that mix for men has my custom.

  5. Oh thank god, Expat – I thought they were fumigating me

  6. JW10 Says:

    Sorry about the delay, folks, done some extra shifts this week, couldn't get out of it.

    I've said before I like the smell of new magazines. That would be my ideal bottle of scent. I would hope, though, that eventually my skin doesn't go all crumbly like a used magazine or that the odour makes me roll my face up and swat flies.

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