Sunday, September 25, 2005

Eau de Toilet.

One of the reasons that I can barely be bothered to finish reading a book these days is because my five magazine subscriptions tend to keep me busy. I was recently sprawled on the couch reading Elle magazine, which I love for several reasons. One is the way in which its articles seem scientifically calibrated to my age and station ("Single and Loving It: Is Now the Best Time to Be on Your Own?"; "Metabolism Magic: Exercise Less, Live Longer"). Another is how it reminds me of Nora Dunn's "Saturday Night Live" character Pat Stevens (a former model... "thank you") and how she occasionally likes to pick up "a big book," which would always turn out to be a fat fashion magazine. My "big book" is Elle, and it arrives each month stuffed chock-a-block with pictures of clothes I can't afford, skin products I can't afford, hilarious achievements, and perfume samples.

If the perfume samples don't totally suck, I usually rip them out of the magazine and rub the bejeezus out of them on my wrist. Here are some brands recently seen in my latest issues:

Christian Dior
Calvin Klein

I was flipping and ripping when my eyes rested on this last example. I blinked. Were they for real? Here is what I saw: On the front flap, a woman kneels in a white dress (white's big in the menstruation industry) in a placid pool of water, blue sky behind her. There's a fragrance flap and the copy reads, "Beguile your senses. Succumb to the freshness."

I am not shitting you, I swear.

When you turn the page, there's a coupon for a dollar off any Tampax Fresh product, and the words "Get fresh. The new cardboard tampon with a light, clean scent."

I was being invited to smell a tampon. I could even rub the tampon scent on my wrist if I wanted to. This made me glad I was alone in my apartment, alone with the tampon smell. It's not something you want to be caught sampling in the presence of other humans. We're talking, after all, about something you put inside yourself to keep blood from coming out. Do I really need to smell it? Does anyone really care what their tampon smells like? Am I behind in fashion trends and wearing some hopelessly outdated tampon? Shouldn't this be in a men's magazine? Is Tampax hoping this fragrance will "cross over"? Conversely, will Chanel start making its own tampons, thereby creating a whole new way to layer scent?

The sample, in case you were wondering, smelled like a teen perfume, or maybe a car deodorizer. It was very floral and sweet. I could not detect any base notes of blood, estrogen or uterus. I imagine that it would protect me quite well if I happened to have my period but also was swimming in shark-infested waters. Other than that I couldn't really see what the fuss what was about.


  1. don't they always use blue liquid to simulate the --- um --- nevermind.

    i have the chicken pox. no lie. well i haven't had it diagnosed (dr. tomorrow) but i got me a fever and red spots all over my face.

  2. Anonymous10:35 AM

    Move over Menthos! There's a new "FreshMaker" in town!

  3. I saw that same add in a recent issue of JANE and I had the same reaction. I, too, commented on it in my blog a while back. Advertising is shameful nowadays.


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