I’ve had obsessions with Obsession. I’ve gotten lucky while wearing Lucky. I’ve given in to Very Irresistible and adored J’adore, and Happy always makes me happy. These perfume names all make sense; they describe a feeling, a response, or a theme associated with the fragrance. But gone are those simple days of cohesion. Where once, fragrance names, though always random, were meant to sound exciting, alluring or at least moderately interesting, we must either be running out of synonyms for “sexy” or the industry has just stopped trying. So with the looming threat of a warm, sweaty summer (yeah right, Evanston), here are some fragrances with names so ridiculous that I don’t care how good they smell. Wear at your own risk, lest you have to tell someone you’re rocking “Breeze Machine.”
1. Must by Cartier
Okay Cartier, I have no idea where you were going with this one. Must? Must what? What must we do? It sounds kind of like musk, which makes me think of the mating habits of the puma and not of something I would ever want to smell like. Must doesn’t make me think of an aroma; it seems like an unclear assignment that is impossible to follow. I don’t think fragrances should be obligatory.
2. The Beat by Burberry
I stand with Fergie on this issue: the beat is supposed to be something energetic, lively, fast-paced… it’s supposed to be something that moves. So I don’t understand how scented water can in any way be reminiscent of a beat in the first place. A beat is a sound. Perfume is a smell. I get that some senses work together, but I don’t think this is one of those cases. Furthermore, the description says it has “energy.” I know that’s exactly what I want to smell like; that’s why I bathe in Rockstar every morning.
3. Alien by Thierry Mugler
When I think of things I idolize and aspire to and specifically want to smell like, aliens are ALWAYS at the top of my list. I guess there have been moderately attractive portrayals of aliens (E.T. was cute enough), but I can’t imagine many people aspire to that look when going out. And pop culture and media depictions have given me no reason to believe aliens have a smell worth emulating.
4. Sloth by Gendarme
What do you think of when you hear the word “sloth”? My mental image is something close to Jack Black in Orange County and features such subtle nuances as dirty socks and Cheetos crumbs. That ranks low for me on the desirability index. Again, where fragrance names were once supposed to excite, now they just make me feel like staying in bed for days. I wonder if this comes in Unwashed Sheets?
5. Pi by Givenchy
Seriously. Pi. As in, the mathematical symbol. Now I do not doubt that there are men out there, probably many of whom went to or currently attend Northwestern, who would be entertained and amused by this concept. But I want to know who at Givenchy smelled this concoction and decided Pi was the best way to describe it. There are very few sensory experiences that make me think of a mathematical principle. Men’s cologne is definitely not one of them. Pi isn’t even technically a word: if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that emulating Prince will only lead you astray.
6. Fuel for Life by Diesel
Fuel is something that gives nourishment, makes something move or keeps something going. Fuels that humans need include food and water and semi-regular exposure to bad pop music. Perfume does not equal sustenance. Unless people are drinking this stuff to stay alive, I think this title is kind of misleading. And if they are… I bet it’s not really working out.
7. Cumming by Alan Cumming
8. Moon Sparkle by Escada
Last, but most definitely not least, is probably the best name ever given to a line of men’s cologne. Moon Sparkle has that edge guys are looking for. Actually it sounds like a name I would have given to a My Little Pony when I was seven. I wonder how many men have the gumption to waltz up to a counter and demand a refill of Moon Sparkle? I have no doubt that that’s something rugged guys should want to smell like. I haven’t seen any commercials for this, but I really hope they feature cowboys and outdoorsmen. Hey Escada, I think you should look into a Bear Grylls endorsement; hunting, rugged men who eat animals alive, like Survivor Man, will be all over Moon Sparkle.