Saturday, October 27, 2012

When the Scent of Fame is Rotten

I was aghast to read last week that Lady Gaga's perfume, Fame, sold six million bottles in its first week.

Six million. That's more bottles than the entire population of Denmark!

100 ml bottle of Fame Eau de Parfum is approx £55.00
I must be getting very old and cynical (and possibly a skinflint) because I cannot imagine why on earth anyone would want to buy a perfume by Lady Gaga who, in all likelihood, knows absolutely nothing about the art of perfumery. Now I might be doing her an injustice and perhaps she has played a part in the development of this product to a greater or lesser degree (Notice that diplomacy, Readers, I am really trying really hard to write balanced, politically correct articles these days) but she's a singer, not a professional perfumier. It wouldn't be unfair to assume that her sole input was assigning her name to a product that the manufacturers, Coty, believe will be profitable for both her and them.

Or to surmise in my normal language:

What a complete utter con.

Of course, celebrities are always putting them names to products and cashing in on their fame. Now in principle, I don't have anything against that; most celebrities have a limited shelf life and they need to capitalize on their success whilst they can. ( Basically, it's called greed. But, hey ho, we all like a bit of spending money- count me in if I rocket to international stardom.) However, what I find hard to accept is the increasing magnitude of celebrity marketing power. Of course, Lady Gaga is internationally famous and considered an icon for her generation but is she on an equal footing to Elizabeth Taylor whose perfume brand, White Diamonds, amassed her a fortune greater than that of her acting career? I think it is unlikely. ( That's a "no" then, folks.)

God, this politically correct style of writing wears me down. Who invented it? Some idiot at The Guardian who had a career in the civil service first?

So anyway, in 1991 when White Diamonds came on the market Elizabeth Taylor would have been fifty nine years old and an international star for forty seven years. She commanded the respect and admiration of generations of women. In contrast,  Lady Gaga is twenty-six years old and her popularity most probably lies with the younger generation. As a middle aged (now depressed at admitting my age again) woman but also a contemporary music lover  (hip, funky, sassy, that kind of stuff) I am very familiar with Lady Gaga's music but do I hold her up as an icon? Would I ever be influenced by her personal choices?


And I suspect most women of my age feel exactly the same. (For example the ladies of my book club are more likely to be influenced by Nana Mouskouri... or Emily Pankhurst or very possibly by...Richard Armitage.)

Now if I am correct then maybe we could deduce that the majority of purchasers of Fame are young women.  Thus, I have to ask the question: how do they all afford £55.00 for a luxury purchase? 

Of course, there are many young, successful women out in the world with credit cards disposable incomes and they are entitled to spend their credit income in any way they so wish.

Or maybe they just all had their birthday in the same week?

Or maybe they' d all been saving up their allowances and students grants for a whole year so they could rush out and by Fame.

I don't know, Readers. I'm perplexed by the enormity of celebrity marketing power and very possibly the gullibility of the masses. However, one thing I know is that if do become an international star I am going to market that boiled cabbage water I'm so good at producing and market it as Fume.

You'll all buy it won't you?


  1. Perfume makes me extremely ill, so no, it will not be gracing our household in the foreseeable future.

  2. I know how you feel, G. I dislike those strong, overwhelming perfumes. One wonders why some women wear them; I can only imagine that they have severe sweat problems or they are carrying a dead cat in their handbags. If I ever buy Fame (and it's unlikely) it will be in spite of Lady Gaga rather than because of her!


I am always delighted to receive comments!

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...