Monday, December 22, 2008

I just don't know anymore

I have never fully understood perfume. Yes, it can smell nice in small amounts. It can spruce up an evening out, I guess. Or it can make you smell like a grandma. Any time I go to a mall I hurriedly sprint through the perfume section, hoping that one of the salespeople doesn't manage to squirt me with anything after asking, "Would you care to try our new fragrance?" Perhaps it's because I have sensitive sinuses and anything too overpowering makes me sneeze, but I just never really understood the hype.

This typically doesn't tend to be a problem. I don't know if I have ever gotten into a conversation with anyone under 50 about buying different perfumes. But all of a sudden the advertising industry has decided that I must buy perfume and lots of it. I thought this was some sort of British phenomenon until I came back to the states for the holidays and realized that it is everywhere. Has perfume all of a sudden become ridiculously popular? Or does the credit crunch mean that people have to find new and less expensive ways to feel glamorous? Well, I can't go on vacation anymore, but if I buy x perfume I'll feel confident and sexy and it'll be like I'm on vacation every day!

What drives me insane is the sheer amount of these perfume ads. Every day I will see a new one that I had never seen before. This has created an avalanche of over the top, obnoxious, and long fragrance commercials, which dominate pretty much all ad time. When salespeople and cool looking bottles aren't doing the trick, TV commercials are the way to go. The problem is that potential customers can't smell the product so somehow their attention needs to be grabbed. They have kept getting more and more extreme and I no longer know which fragrance I should be wearing.

Here are some samples. I have ordered them in what I consider to be least to most extreme:

Here is a relatively simple one for Chloé Eau de Parfum with a CSS song in the background. Somehow the model's dancing/hair flipping doesn't quite suit the music.

Bond Girl 007 from Avon: apparently a more adventurous fragrance. No celebrity in the commercial but it does play off of Quantum of Solace.

A Touch of Pink from Lacoste: A little more action in this one. Stupid little preppy dress with a girl who sounds like she never properly learned how to speak.

Fuel for Life by Diesel: There are about a thousand different ads almost exactly like this one.

Magnifique by Lancome: Oooo a celebrity! It's Ann Hathaway and a really annoying song!

Inspire by Christina Aguilera: She wants you to know that she can play this game too.

Diamonds from Armani: Even more glamorous than Magnifique, here is Beyoncé going completely over the top.

J'adore by Dior: You know what would trump Beyoncé's ad? Charlize Theron getting naked:

Insolence by Guerlain: Hilary Swank wants you to know that she can get naked too, with awful music in the background.

Chanel No. 5: The ultimate annoying and most extreme perfume ad (and possibly most extreme ad in general) out there. Baz Luhrman+Nicole Kidman+randome dude+too much money=a poorly acted Moulin Rouge ripoff with a slightly hotter lead male role. Oh, did I mention that the ad is 3 minutes long?

You may be thinking, "Geez Rageoline, you kind of went over the top with all those videos." But you know what? These videos represent only a fraction of the crappy commercials that I have to see every time I turn on the TV. How am I supposed to decide which stupid fragrance I should purchase? The whole purpose of a perfume commercial kind of becomes irrelevant once the competition creates their own commercials. Hopefully this phenomenon will end after Christmas, or else I might just go crazy.

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