How do you sell a smell?

It is a shame for me to admit that in the times of financial hardship the first charm I will compromise is perfume. I came into the wonderful world of scent particularly late in life. When my friend used to display her empty perfume bottles on a glass shelf as though they were trophies and always ask for a new perfume for Christmas and birthdays I was far more concerned with shoes and jewellery.  This never meant however that I would go about town smelling of soap – in fact quite the contrary – I smelt like a woman of great taste and elegance. I  was lucky enough to have my mother who owns or has once owned all the perfumes a connoisseur of smell should own, Elizabeth Arden Red Door, Yves Saint Laurent Opium, Christian Dior Poison, Chanel No 5, Chanel Allure and her now signature smell Bulgari Amethyste – her perfume collection inevitably became my perfume collection.

I have never been lured by faddish or celebrity perfumes and strangely no advert can sell a smell to me regardless of how beautiful and intriguing I find the perfume commercial or how intricate the bottle has been designed. Perfume for me is simple, it’s all about the smell. I like perfumes that are dense in smell, with a rich multitextured scent that lingers and takes a moment to figure out exactly what the perfume is saying. It exhubes an air of sexy mystification and an aura that is effeminately powerful.

Perfume, like everything else I put on my body, is personal and demonstrates my imagined and ideal self.  But when it comes to deliberating the perfect shoe and the perfect perfume why is it that I will invest more time deciding which perfume is right for me than I would a pair of shoes, when the shoe is more financially taxing? Perfume is the least conspicuous adornement, but something about it makes it feel like it’s the most significant. It demands that the scent worn fits like a glove and remains reliable in its reflection.

Perfume adverts have mastered the art of selling an ideology and of course life is better when it smells so. But the scent I spray onto my skin- on the wrists of my arms, the nape of my neck and the collar bone and decolettage  is a highly intimate relationship between myself and my body.  The world can see my shoes, but only those close enough to me can smell my scent and this is why it demands so much attention.

My scents are Christian Dior Hynotic Poison and Kenzo Amour. I have had a relationship with these fragrances for the past four years, should my feelings ever change then as will my perfume, but till then I am happy. They have a similarity in fragrance, but I feel far more powerful being Hypnotic. I have never seen either of the commercials, my selection was based merely on emotion.  Regardless of the times we live in an advert cannot sell intimacy, a perfume commercial simply makes for beautiful viewing.

This is the Dandizette Perfume Commercial List from the most favourite, to the least.

1) Paco Rabbane Lady Million and One Million

Naturally this makes the top of the Dandizette list. A million pairs of shoes? Yes Please. A one million pound diamond ring? Yes, of course…Contemporary, opulent and indulgent. This is the kind of scent that you stop someone in the street for, just to ask, ‘What are you wearing?’ Everyone knows someone who has purchased this perfume this year.

2)J’adore Dior by Christian Dior

Simple, sensational and sensitively sexy, J’adore Dior’s commercial with Charlize Thieron is perfection. The combination of the soundtrack, the crushing of gold jewels beneath a strapy sandal, Thieron’s perfect decolettage and the dress that dreamily sheaths her body is all a genius perfume advert make.

3) Chanel No5

Audrey Tatou is the epitome of french elegance and sophistication. When this commercial feels so right it makes one wonder why Lagerfeld would ever cast the likes of Lilly Allen and Kiera Knightly. Evidently the genius Lagerfeld knows exactly what he’s doing.

4) Beyonce Heat

Has having a second self ever been so attractive? There need be no words for the fierceness of Beyonce’s Sasha, but a reference to the temperature comes to mind. This commercial most certainly is HOT, in fact so hot that viewers complained that the advert was too sexually provocative and petitioned to have it removed from daytime TV.

5) Dolce and Gabbana The ONE Gentlemen

This makes the Dandizette list for the sheer fact that Mathew McConaughey is definitely The One and ultimately, who really cares if he’s a gentlemen or not?

6) Dior Homme Un Rendezvous

Starring Jude Law and directed by Guy Ritchie, the commercial edited for TV by no way does this short film any justice. The famous words ‘ Don’t you worry about that, you’ll know when I’m there,’ said by Jude Law, have grated on me over the past prime time perfume advertising months. However, watching the full length version takes this commercial from one of the Dandizette’s least favourites to half way up the list.

7) Calvin Klein Euphoria

Natalia Vodianova has the sexual seduction of a feline and the innocently youthful glow of sincerity that combined makes the sophisticated woman that she is. Calvin Klein Euphoria makes the list because he chose the perfect model, if after three children we can look half as great as Natalia wouldn’t we too be euphoric?

8) Yves Saint Laurent Belle D’opium


YSL’s infamous perfume Opium was launched in 1978 – her big sister Belle D’opium was launched this year. The commercial is fronted by French model Melanie Thierry who dances to a track that seems to have a resembalnce to Michael Jackson’s Do You Remember the Time?

9) Gucci Guilty

Does this advert strangely look like one of the scenes from Sin City? Gucci Guilty’s commercial was directed by the Sin City Graphic Novelist Frank Miller. Starring Rachel Evan Wood and Fantastic Four’s Chris Evans.

10) Thierry Mugler Angel

Starring Naomi Watts Thierry Mugler’s Angel commercial is by far one of my least favourite. From the man that once designed the costumes of Beyonce, clothes the likes of Lady Gaga and designs perfume bottles beautiful enough to stand as ornaments on a mantle piece this commercial most certainly took the jam out of my doughnut.

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