The smutty business of sellling perfume


I love wearing perfume. I wear it when I am at home, when I go shopping and I wear it to work. When I was younger I bought expensive perfume and now that I am more money wise I tend to buy slightly cheaper perfume as I can't really justify spending $150 on a bottle of perfume! 

I am not the only one who likes to wear perfume. It is a billion dollar industry that is only growing. In 1990, 76 new fragrance were launched worldwide, in 2011, this had increased to 1 047 launches (that is to say, new perfumes on the market) and already this year 500 have been launched adding to all the others that we currently have. Considering the economic struggles in many countries around the world, one has to wonder who is buying all these new perfumes, many are very expensive to purchase and not on the budget of most women. 

With so many perfumes flooding the market, advertisers have had to be more daring (cunning) in their advertisements in an attempt to grab our attention. Sadly, they have used sex in their attempt to sell -- and now some advertisements have become so raunchy they are now considered to be soft porn and cannot be shown on mainstream TV.

The Disney-owned ABC network in the States quickly found issue with the amount of cleavage she (Madonna) was flaunting and banned the ad until the creators agreed to a re-edit. It then joined an illustrious list of celebrity perfume endorsements deemed too inappropriate for the mainstream media. 

It appears that advertisers believe that to sell perfume it needs to be connected with sex -- but not the old fashion romance, but provocative sexual scenes. 

Ad Week contributor Robert Klara, “It’s gone from a knowing cleverness about sex to the rawness of a porn shoot. Marketers have lost the whole meaning of why [people] wear fragrances and moved away from reality in fragrance ads. Today, cologne is positioned solely around beautiful, young people—and you only sell it with sex.”

This has been the situation with Lynx (male deodorants/body wash) who have been running a number of very racy (and sexist) advertisements which are aimed directly at the male teenage market.  They appear to deliberately run advertisements that they know will offend but make sure these advertisements appear on YouTube, so even if the ad is pulled from TV, it still goes viral on YouTube and they get their "message" to the audience it was intended for (free of charge).  From what I can gather companies are not fined for creating and showing offence ads, they are just asked to removed the ad - so no penalty for going beyond what is considered socially acceptable.

They have pushing the boundaries of advertising for a long time and using sex to sell perfume isn't new. Back in 1971 when Chanel No. 5 was struggling, they created a number of ads that were considered sexy (but nothing like todays versions) which result in the perfume regaining popularity and making it the number one best seller (where it still remains today). Today's ads have continued down this path but pushing the boundaries as far as possible to "grab our attention".

However when an is ad banned (which appears to be quite common these days), the perfume company gets the attention it wants and therefore free advertising via the news.  As one journalist says "you’ve got to wonder -where will they go from here?" - just what I think too.  

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All quotes are from the article "The highly sexual art of selling perfume", 21st May by Sarah Oaks (Daily Life). This also includes the statistics on perfumes. Please note that the article includes photos that may not be considered approximate.

Comments

  1. Advertising and all other media like that is just disgusting - an abomination. Yes - and where WILL they go with it next??

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  2. Jo: I actually wish all perfumes in everything would be banned [solve the advertising issue too ☺]. They are an immediate migraine trigger for me, signaling a super bad one, & I am forced to avoid people who indulge in perfumes, though some are worse than others & in this case cheap is definitely nasty!

    The sin of Babylon was sexual idolatory ~ which tells me when we are on God's time~line. It will only get worse as Satan gets more desperate but so far as we are able we must stand against the tide.

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    1. I get migraines from perfumes too. I can usually tell just by the smell if it's going to be a migraine triggering type for me. I've had to get up and leave church services (go stand or sit in the back) because of someone's perfume. :-P I wish it wasn't allowed it public situations.

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  3. My husband doesn't like most perfume smells, so I have to be careful what I wear - there are a few he can cope with which are the ones I buy. He has worked with a few women that wear so much perfume (in a confined office space) that he has ended up almost ill from the smell. When he has said anything they don't like it.

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  4. Most advertising is just so bad these days!!! we don't watch much commercial tv and when we do we have to have our hands on the remote everytime to turn it off or change channels when all the horrible ads come on!

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    1. We hardly ever watch commercial TV for the very same reason - we tend to watch mostly DVDs (or the ABC). On those occasions when I do watch TV and see all the ads I really dislike them - they are loud, hyped, silly and exhausting (if you know what I mean).

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    2. Jo - yes - exhausting, loud and insulting to the intelligence! I only see them when I watch some home improvement type stuff online and occasionally on YouTube, but I almost always turn the volume down or off and some I scroll down so as not to see the pictures - and these are not sexually explicit - just bothersome.

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  5. I do not wear perfume at all, but I sure am tired of seeing sex being sold everywhere! Also tired of no one putting any clothes on! I feel bad for our little son when we go out--that there is so much flesh he's being exposed to, and our daughters who see the raunchy magazine covers when we go shopping. I have to take a proactive approach and teach them to look away, and also that these women are trying to get attention from men by exposing their bodies, and how wrong it is.

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    1. Violet, good for you for being proactive! I appreciate parents who instruct their children in righteousness so that they learn to discern between the holy and the profane and how to feel youthful lusts. It makes such a difference to start that early!

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  6. My brother has maintained for some time that many perfumes belong in the bedroom of a married couple. He bases this on the fact that the whorish woman in Proverbs 7 says, I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (v. 17). Also, perfumes and scents are mentioned in Song of Solomon as well. I agree with this, and I suspect that is part of the reason that these perfumes are sold with sex-oriented advertising.

    I remember hearing years ago that they had to change the way they sold some perfumes because they were so sexually stimulating to some men that women were actually endangering themselves by wearing them in some situations. Whether this was true or not, I know I've seen some people go rather berserk when they smelled certain perfumes. They definitely can trigger a sexual reaction in at least some people, and it behooves Christians to not only abhor the advertising around these things, but also to be careful what scents they wear/use in public or outside the bedroom. If one's spouse finds a perfume especially enticing, it would be wise to wear it only at home.

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    1. That is very interesting as I have never thought about scent in this manner. I have walked past perfume (or mens cologne) and thought how nice it was but certainly never in a sexual way.

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