While shopping at Myer this week, surely not buying my wife a clichéd Christmas present (I don’t know why I’m bothering, she’ll never read this), I couldn’t help but notice the huge number of ‘Celebrity’ endorsed fragrances available. What struck me, apart from the vast array and how little needed to be achieved these days to be a celebrity, was what the purchase of these perfumes said about the consumer.
The biggest pile at the counter was Britney Spears’ Believe, I’m not sure if a big pile means that they expect a big demand or that they can’t move it at all. While I was waiting for an assistant a woman in her mid forty’s picked up the Britney sampler and sprayed a little on her wrists.
“Be careful with that,” I told her, “if you use too much of it you’ll lose your kids and have to do a stint in rehab.”
The woman took a good look at the bottle and then replied,
“At my age that doesn’t sound like a bad option.”
So is there more to it than that? Does Britney perfume capture the essence of ‘once upon a jailbait’ and trailer park living in one simple spray? Should Mariah Carey’s scent be a warning to your friends and family that you are about to have a very public breakdown? Will you feel the urge to eschew underwear and film your sex life if you coat yourself in the aroma of Paris Hilton? Is Amy Winehouse’s fragrance really just vodka?
Sadly I caved in to this latest piece of contemptable consumerism and bought Sarah Jessica Parker’s ‘Lovely’ for my long suffering bride. Unfortunately for me this probably means that she’ll develop a taste for expensive shoes and that her husband’s best work was done in his teens and he shows no sign of fulfilling his early promise.
Update: Now I’m doubly glad that I didn’t buy the Britney stuff, I couldn’t abide either of my sisters getting pregnant.