Sunday 4 October 2009

Tight Fist Tip #26: You Smell Fine Without Perfume and Cologne

Yeah, This Guy Is Totally Getting Laid Tonight

For some types of products, like say a car or a computer, in theory an advertiser's job is pretty straightforward: you make some ad that stresses the features, quality, or price or your product, and maybe combine it with some gimmick like a semi-nude female or flashing colors and call it a day. But the problem is, this technique relies on your product having some type of defining feature that can be seens as 'better' than its competitors. In other words, you need to rely on some objective measure of quality. But what if you product has no objective measure of quality? Well, this is where advertisers need to get especially tricky, and where Tight Fisters need to be especially vigilant. One thing marketers can do is try to invent objective measures of quality by inventing new words, such as I wrote about with the wine industry.

But the perfume industry has a really unique task. When they come up with a new scent, it basically smells just like a million other products out there. I mean, how many variations of 'chemical-flower' or 'chemical-musk' can you really come up with? (As a side note, natural musk is derived from a gland near the testicles of a certain type of deer. Mmmm, deer testicles.) Also, flowery oil is pretty cheap, but companies want to charge a bazillion dollars for their smelly crap.
I Voted For Obama, But My
Scent is McCain All The Way
So, in order to launch a 'new' product they need to come up with some fancy marketing wizardry to convince the public that they have gone to far reaches of the earth (ie their lab in Indiana) to corral a scent so incredibly desirable it is like nothing you've ever smelled before. In fact, not only is this scent totally amazing, but it is so incredibly great-smelling that it will be like putting your nose on crack, and that everyone in a 50-mile radius area will want to simultaneously copulate with you. And also, it will make you smell just like...Celine Dion!

Wait, what? I don't know who the genius was that first decided it was a good idea to market perfumes by branding them with celebrity names, but thanks to them you can choose which celebrity you want to channel any given night. Is tonight an Usher or Carlos Santana kind of night? Oh, the tough choices we face in the modern era!

So with all these choices, how is the Tight Fister supposed to choose? If that is your question, you have not been paying attention, because only a complete idiot would waste their money by buying smelly oil to smear all over themselves. Look, if you smell bad TAKE A FREAKING SHOWER. Then you will smell fine- see how easy that was? If you somehow think that covering up your nastiness with a strong dash of cologne is going to get you laid, you are in for some serious disappointment.

I Think The Pheremones Came
From Never Showering

You would have to be a complete idiot to think that wearing P Diddy's scent is going to help you score, but it would of course be a different story if the commercials told you otherwise, right? I mean, why would commercials lie- no way they could get away with that! Well, that is the tack taken by the whiz-kids who run Axe Body Spray. Supposedly, mysterious 'sex pheremones' present in this cologne have super powers make women wet their pants at one whiff.

Never mind that scientist still don't really know whether pheremones are present in humans or what role they play. I'm sure those guys at Axe have it all figured out. But what's really interesting is that, according to wikipedia(for what that's worth), human sex pheremones are theorized to be secreted by men's armpits. So of course, the proper technique to attract women at a club is to use deodorant to block out all your natural pheremones, and then rely on the incredibly amazing synthetic ones that they put in Axe. Right, great idea.

And finally, if the desire to waste money on smelly water in fancy little bottles is just irresistable, at least don't throw your money down the toilet just to buy a smell endorsed by a celebrity or some brand. Instead, go for one of the knockoff 'smells like' fragrances. Really, these things smell just as 'good' as anything out there and cost a fraction of the price. No one will ever know the difference, and even if they do no one with any intelligence will care. And if you want to pull an extreme Tight Fist move, just hit up a free sample at a department store before you head out. It's still stupid smelly water, but at least it's free!


  1. Hey girls, guess how many times I've ever smelled a girl with terrible body odor. Hint: Never! Girls generally don't smell, and if they do, its minor and inoffensive.

    Here's another question: How many times a week do you get deodorant all over your expensive shirt/dress? A. Constantly.

    Occasionally wearing perfume is OK, but only when you look really good. As long as the smell is good (you would really have to go out of your way to find a terrible smelling perfume) the main effect is to draw my attention to you. If you buy a really expensive perfume and I associate it in my head with sweatpants and a t-shirt, you've wasted your money (unfortunately I also associate most perfume smell with fat girls who spend their time and money on clothes and make-up instead of not eating).

    Guys: if you don't wear deodorant (and take the precautionary measures of cleaning your body and clothes occasionally), slap on the store brand before you go out for a big date. Your girl will ask you "are you wearing cologne" (because most people cant tell the difference, they just know they smell something). Don't give a definitive answer -- just say, "I wanted to dress up for you." Total deodorant expenses per year $2.

    I have smelled people who use cologne/perfume very effectively, they spent a lot of money and it was worth it. I also saw this guy in New Orleans jump up steps using his arms while in a handstand. Just because it is possible to spend money effectively doesn't mean its easy.

  2. Matt, that was a great comment.

  3. If only I could have found a woman that smelled like Celine Dion, how much better would my life have been! I had to settle for Matt's mom. Haha

  4. I'm one of those intolerable hippies who thinks that perfumes smell disgusting and natural body odors smell wonderful. I tend to put on anti-perspirant anyway (that crystal stuff :)). I just think of this because I've been with a few women wearing perfume/make-up recently and I felt things would be better without.

    Isn't it strange that you have to be a hippie to think natural body odors smell good? Who told us these things smell bad?

  5. i must disagree with matt -- i have definitely noticed B.O. on a few women before... so.. please don't skimp on the deodorant

    tight fist.. i must disagree with you a BIT.. insofar as one or two decent bottles of cologne/perfume can extend a laundry cycle, especially for nicer clothes or even dry-cleanables...

    for those who live in an apartment that requires coin-laundry and of course for dry-cleanables.. a bottle or two of cologne/perfume is a money saver!

  6. Dude...dry-cleanables? It's like you were just asking for problems.

  7. I like where Calvin is going with this. Clothes simply disintegrate after being washed too many times, making them seem clean would save money. I recently lost my jeans like this, it was heartbreaking.

  8. Have you tested the delicious green apple from DKNY? You can now enjoy the crisp and tart green apple from DKNY perfume with the launched of their new DKNY Be Delicious perfume in 2009. Parfum Mandarina Duck