Perfume Adverts 2010 – The Pungent Smell of too much Perfume

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.

Inamo – Soho London

Inamo – Soho London

Located in the middle of Soho, Wardour street is host to Inamo, the oriental fusion restaurant. The decor, although incredibly minimal has a stylishly modern and chic appeal, the monochrome of the white walls and chairs, edged with black borders creates a clean and simplistic finish, juxtaposed by the red snowflake kitsch pattern that garnishes the windows. Tables are lined up literally inches apart and being unfortunate enough to be seated against the back wall, sliding in and out between the tables for necessary bathroom visits, gave my neighbours a discomforting amount of bum in their plates. Due to the proximity of neighbouring tables I was also able to decipher most of their conversation, which in turn they exchanged in whispers.

Like most patrons of Inamo, my partner had been drawn in by Inamo’s unique and innovative concept – the technological self ordering system and ambience selection. Above each table in the restaurant, set in a large white cocoon like lampshade is a projector, the white tables act as the projector screen as well as a touch sensitive, interactive pad. At Inamo, human service is a thing of the past and all ordering takes place through the interaction between your fingers and the hi – tech table.  On the touch sensitive table you can scroll through the menu, which displays descriptions, prices and pictures of each meal. In order to make a selection from the menu you tap on the chosen meal, which is then displayed on an orders list, once you have completed your selection, you tap on the order icon and miraculously your order is fed through a system which has your food on the table within fifteen minutes. No doubt it is needless to say, that the food is actually placed on the table by a human being and doesn’t digitally appear as you might expect.  As well as your table being an electronic ordering system, it also allows you to modify the colour and pattern display on your table, play games and watch the food being prepared in the kitchen.

For starters we ordered kelp marinated sea bass Sashimi, salmon and avocado Ceviche and a selection of Nigiri, followed by mains of Cinnamon Chicken and Black Face Lamb. Due to the safe, non adventurous nature of chicken and my frequency of consumption of this particular bird when I was younger, I am now adverse to ordering chicken when eating out. Against my better judgement I ordered the cinnamon chicken and was most certainly not impressed. Although having no idea what such a dish might or should taste like, I had imagined the cinnamon would make this dish far more exciting than it had. The chicken lacked taste and most certainly needed a good seasoning or at the least some salt, the cinnamon flavour was barely there and merely added a dark brown crisp to the outer edge of what was already a dry chicken.  The Black Face Lamb on the other hand was absolutely divine, seasoned to perfection, succulent, slightly pink and falling off the bone – sadly there wasn’t much of this dish to share to make up for my terrible chicken order.

If you are fond of oriental foods and don’t have a particularly significant appetite or are calorie counting then Inamo is most certainly ideal, the food is fresh, light and the portions are minuscule.   Unfortunately Inamo will not be a restaurant I will be dining at again.  The hard, slippery chairs, the proximity of the tables and the ordering process most certainly does not lend itself towards comfort and slow dining. In fact, upon arrival I had foolishly assumed that this was a modish fast food restaurant, a voguish Wagamas or Cha Cha Moon. I realised I couldn’t be more wrong once viewing the e-menu, which priced it’s cheapest main dish, a measly plate of vegetables, at eight pounds.

The touch sensitive tables and intelligent projectors are the true stars of this show, sadly, they did not dazzle me enough to offset the dissatisfaction of my meal, my discomfort and a seventy pound bill for two (one glass of wine), which I thankfully was not paying.