Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Let's Ban Those Light, Fresh, Aqua Noirs

I appreciate that coming up with a fitting name for a perfume must be almost as difficult as creating the juice itself. Whether we like it or not, a fragrance's monicker becomes an integral part of its identity, a hook upon which the collective consciousness hangs its responses - positive or otherwise - to the perfumer's creative efforts. What was it William once said? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. It sounds convincing, but I'm not sure it's true. Would Poison have sparked the same emotions if it had been called Tuberose Bomb? Would Angel have been a hit if Mugler had plumped for Funfair? I think not, somehow. Labels do matter. Shalimar. Ambre Sultan. CK One. These are classic names that now seem inseparable from their respective perfumes.

But some names aren't quite so successful, are they? In fact, some of them feel as though they were cobbled together by a clueless marketing department utterly devoid of any creativity or style. And today - with no small measure of facetiousness - I would like to present my personal list of the ten words that should no longer be permitted in perfume names. You will immediately notice that all of the words below already exist in several highly-regarded scents. That's fine. They can stay as they are. But from this point onwards, I really think we could do without the following:

1. Extreme
2. Noir/Black
3. Light
4. Fort/Forte
5. Eau
6. Night/Nuit
7. Sport
8. Fresh/Fraiche
9. Aqua
10. Intense

I would, of course, love to receive further nominations from you. There are no prizes to be won, but the most appropriate and/or imaginative entries will be awarded several nods and chuckles.



  1. I would like to add
    especially when preceded by 'Pour'
    - it's really time we got away from gender stereotypes!

  2. Actually, I think you've covered all the bases there. I can't think of another cliche to add. I agree, get rid of them all!

    'Funfair' instead of 'Angel' - ha! I love it. Very appropriate for that nuclear candy-floss.

    Btw, I tried the new Goutal. I was only able to get hold of the EDT, and I'm afraid it made no impression on me. Just an opaque layer of aldehydes, then eventually a slighty plummy drydown. I didn't get original Femme from it at all. Maybe I need to try the EDP?

    I did try Fleur de Male again - and found I liked it, after all! The call of the orange blossom.... :-) So I bought some, or so I thought. When I opened it at home I found I had Le Cologne, not the edt. It's a totally different scent. It was the only version they had, and the SA assured me it was the same as the tester, but it's not at all. I hate when that happens. I wonder what are my chances of returning it, opened? I mean, Le Cologne is nice, but I don't feel the love

  3. Can`t think of another entry for the list, but has any one scent tried to claim all of these factors?? :-)

  4. I think "noir" jumped its 100th shark recently when it was appended to "Hello Kitty" — as in, Hello Kitty Noir.

  5. I am, rather worryingly, having trouble responding to comments on my own blog!

  6. Ah, ok, where was I?

    Maggie, I couldn't agree with you more, but I can't see marketing departments ditching gender tags just yet. The concept would probably be too scary for most of them.

  7. Tania, thanks for writing.

    I'm sorry the Goutal didn't 'work' on you as it did on me, and no, it can't be the EDT/EDP issue, because I tried the former too. I haven't had a chance to smell the EDP yet.

    And as for your FdM story, I'd definitely take it back if I were you. It was sold to you with false information.

  8. Linda, I don't know, but if there was actually ever a perfume that contained all those words in its name, I'd be the first person to want to smell it!

  9. Barbara, I had no idea that we've now got a Hello Kitty Noir... but the thing is, in the context of a Hello Kitty scent, I think the name actually works quite well: Hello Black Cat...??!?

  10. Persolaise,
    I'm sorry too, I wish it had worked. Maybe I should try again, I'm sure being Goutal there must be more to it. Maybe it needs a few more sprays to 'settle' properly.
    I agree, and I will take it back.

    Hello Kitty Noir? I love that idea!

  11. Trying to make Hello Kitty noir-ish is like trying to make Barney the purple dinosaur thuggish.

    Take it from a lady who, as a tween, used to purchase Hello Kitty pencils with erasers that smelled like bubble gum. And the bottle is ridiculous!

  12. Tania, a re-spray might be worth trying, but as you know, sometimes, some things just don't work on some people.

    And as for the Gaultier, I'll be very curious to discover how you get on.

  13. Barbara, I remember those erasers well :-)

    And am I the only person who finds Barney a bit scary...

  14. Well, I tried spraying the Goutal a bit more - ok, it was dripping off my arm ;-) And I got much more from it this time. It's good, and I like it, but I don't need it.
    Hmmmph. Not terribly well! Because I had opened it, they say all they can do is order the one I actually wanted (Fleur de Male edt), and let me know when it's in, so I can exchange this one.
    I pointed out that, as I was unaware there WAS another version of FdM, the only way I could find out I had the wrong scent was by opening it! And it was their mistake not to notice.
    But that was the best they could do. I'm not terribly impressed.

  15. Tania, your Gaultier experience isn't great, is it?

    If you'd been shopping and gone home thinking you'd bought, say, a red scarf or something, and then discovered that the packet contained a green one, you would've been able to take it back without any problems, wouldn't you? As far as I can see, the error is theirs and they should take responsibility for it.

    But sometimes it's easier not to kick up a fuss, isn't it?

  16. Yes, that's a good analogy. But it was my lunchbreak, so my fuss-making time was limited. I wanted to argue - I'm the stubborn type - but I had to get back to work.
    Anyway, we'll see how long it takes them to call me. I figure I'll wait a week, and then go back and kick up tnat fuss after all!

  17. Tania, I'll be very curious to find out how this story ends.


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