It should come as no shock to you Christmas shoppers out there that perfume and eau de toilette sales soar at this time of year. With millions of fashion brands, celebrities (from the A list right through Z), and even television shows and film productions (Twilight or Glee scented parfum anyone?) producing a handful of fragrances each every year, it can be kind of difficult to choose which to go for, particularly if you are purchasing as a gift.
For those of you out there who don't know (usually men panicking about what gift to buy) perfume can be a very personal gift which some people would often rather choose for themselves. The scent that a person wears represents who they are and often who they would like to be, so you have to know someone quite well if you think you can choose something of your own accord which they would personally choose to wear on an almost daily basis. I say a daily basis as I wear perfume every day, and I don't believe that the people who read my blog are looking to buy something for someone only to be used on special occasions... that would be a waste in my opinion.
So with all that said, I hate to pile on the pressure, but it's there. You don't want to offend someone by getting them a super-duper sweet girly perfume when they wish to be taken seriously, and similarly, you don't want to get a really subtle, 'classy' or 'sophisticated' scent for someone who would rather be commended for their fun-loving personality.
The pressure is there. So what do you do? Sniff all the sprays until your nostrils burn? Do 'eeny-meeny-miney-mo' on the first three bottles that caught your eye? No. This year, it's so much easier than all that, because an abundance of new perfume ads have graced our television screens during prime-time viewing, featuring beautiful, successful women with attractive, intelligent friends, as they head out into their perfectly idyllic surroundings without a care in the world (apart from how sexy and confident they're new perfume makes them feel, of course...)
Here is a handful of my six favorite perfume ads at the moment, which have really caught my eye, and my first impression from the advert itself...
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
This advert suggests to me that the perfume will be quite an acquired taste... a 'dangerous' option, which some people might shy away from because of its rich and decadent scent, but others will become addicted to perhaps becoming their signature scent for life.
The One by Dolce and Gabbana
This advert confuses me so much. The television advert only lasts for 20 seconds or so, which means that a lot of the sense (whatever sense is there...) is lost (IN TRANSLATION, sorry, couldn't resist.) It's clear from this full version of the advert that Scarlett Johnasson is being interviewed by a newspaper journalist. However, the advert leaves more questions to be asked than answered. 1) Why did her Italian boyfriend's mom break up with her for him? 2) What starts with the letter 'M'? 3) What the hell does the sunshine smell like??? Also, I don't know whether we are supposed to question whether she is answering these questions as Scarlett or as another character... Having said that, perhaps this is a clever trickery as she does call into question what an actress actually is, or who she is when she states, 'Actress is the hardest, because you never know who you are.' This advert is just weird and awkward. I assume that the perfume is supposed to smell like the 'sunshine' and thanks to the terrible product placement towards the end of the clip, I know what the bottle would look like on a store shelf. However, I'm sorry to say that although I LOVE Scarlett Johnansson to pieces, I would not buy this perfume... and she probably shouldn't either, I think this may well be her worst work in fact :(
My ultimate favorite perfume advert of this season. I want to be Audrey Tatou. She has the most beautifully chic, yet simple, classic clothes, hair and make-up. She is a young girl traveling in a foreign country, in a foreign way (naked on a train?) and yet she seems confident in her own skin, she explores all these new sites alone, and she really doesn't NEED a man. And yet, at the end, once she's learnt who she is on her amazingly idyllic vacation, she gets the guy. The guy who has been driven wild by her presence since their outward journey, yet all the time she is cool, like she hardly knew he existed. This advert is so empowering to me, and it makes me want to kill for this perfume. On the television ad, the actual Chanel bottle isn't featured, apart from the fleeting shadow which is created by the light of the window which we see in this clip flash across the carriage. And yet, I remember that this is No5. This is Chanel. I imagine this scent to be quite warm, spicy perhaps, or faintly musky. Perhaps a quite subtle but never powdery. Sexy, sophisticated and chic. Of Chanel, I would hardly expect anything less.
This is an advert which made me sit up and listen. Although I don't personally hold much of a torch for Charlize Theron herself, I couldn't help but notice the familiar faces of the Hollywood-glamour archive as they slipped in and out of the shots. Did you spot the radiant Grace Kelly gazing into the distance? How about Marilyn Monroe effortlessly applying her iconic red lipstick? Marlene Dietrich is probably less known to our generation, but even if you don't know who she is, you would have to be blind not to have noticed those sharp cheekbones as she posed for a picture... As if all that isn't iconic enough, the backdrop of the Versailles Hall of Mirrors adds an extra something special to the advert. This advert looks expensive, so I expect the perfume will smell so also. On top of that, I can see that this fragrance is intended for a woman on the go, someone wishing to be noticed even in a room full of the most beautiful women ever to walk the earth. I don't really know how I expect it to smell... the hourglass shape of the bottle suggests that the scent may be slightly feminine but it's clear this scent is for a woman, not a girl.
Beautiful by Estee Lauder
This advert is just so sweet. It's simple, it's obvious, I like it. The bride is beautiful, the perfume is called 'Beautiful' and I expect it will smell beautiful too. There's really not a lot left to say! Although I do predict that I will find this scent quite fresh, sweet (but not in a sickly way, much more subtle and sophisticated than that,) and perhaps quite subtle for that innocence which one would expect such an angelic bride to possess. If this is all correct, then I wouldn't usually expect I would like it as a winter scent. However, I'm sure I'll love it nonetheless as in my books Estee Lauder can do no wrong :)
Valentina by Valentino
I must admit that I find this advert to be quite cliche... The whole 'famous-actress/model-in-high-demand-escapes-to-cause-a-bit-of-harmless-and-tame-mischief' thing has already been executed perfectly by the goddess that is Keira Knightly in the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle adverts over the years of her reign as Beauty Supreme. And yet, whilst the concept isn't particularly new, I can't say I'm not a fan of a young girl breaking the rules to have some fun and I think Valentino has portrayed just that. I would expect that Valentina will be quite a fun, memorable scent. Inoffensive and enjoyed by all sorts of people (friends, boyfriends, and in extreme cases, media alike) the Valentina advert gives me the impression that this may be quite a safe choice... But who knows?
Each of these adverts has its merits and gives a very clear overview of what they want their perfume to voice. However, do the general atmospheres created by the adverts directly translate to the scents? Well, over the next few days, I'm going to be testing them out and giving you my verdict... If in doubt, don't judge a perfume by it's advert. Just wait for me to post my mini reviews instead!
Hope you enjoyed watching the clips... Have you tried any of these perfumes? Are there any other amazing adverts I've forgotten to mention? What is your all-time favorite perfume? Let me know :)