It’s that time of year again! Time for the traditional Q+M fragrance ad holiday wrap-up. It’s the time of year when I feel bad about my life choices because some butthole was paid millions to do terribly what I do fairly well for hundreds. So strap yourselves in and get ready for this year’s head-back-eyes-closed, house-opera remixes and no shortage of “well, we put hot dudes in it too so it’s not sexist anymore right?” (hint: nope!)
Paco Rabanne: Pure XS
Paco Rabanne is back this year, and thank god for that. Here we have a young man who decides to take a bath in his great, great, great grandfather’s bath-library. Apparently, he’s taking said bath as a break from a classy cocktail party because, what’s this!? A dozen models also stole away in full evening attire to creepy-peep a scope at his knob. Dicks are just pretty. Our saga ends, predictably, when all the models pass out because the director had an Ax Body Spray spot shooting in 10 minutes. Buy this perfume, it’s called Pure XS… get it? Like Excess!?
Yves Saint Laurent: Black Opium Floral Shock
Here is a spot by Yves Saint Laurent, which loosely translated means, “really, no one thought this ad might be a little racist?” Here, we have a young white woman lost in China or possibly Hong Kong. She walks past a couple nefarious looking locals with her head down, terrified, until she finds a quiet space to do what any resourceful white-lady lost in a foreign city would do – apply Black Opium Floral Shock by Yves Saint Laurent. No matter where you are, or how dangerous the different-than-you people are, just a few spritzes and a door will appear to a club with 100% white people. And fish. Buy our smell, find clubbing white people anywhere, be safe.
Bruno Banani: Fragrance Lab
Our “how it’s made” entry this year comes from Bruno Banana (yeah, it’s Banani, but sometimes autocorrect just has better ideas). Deep under the Jersey shore (undisclosed my ass) there is a secret lab where Robert Palmer’s band uses zero-G chambers to choose the perfect peppercorn. The lighthearted, pixel-anchored titles (“nope”) show us that someone in the process was thinking “maybe we shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously,” but, you know, not enough to ditch the laser-diamond-bottle-maker. Wait, something is missing though… insert dude-being-fawned-over-by-models-with-no-humanity… there it is. Perfect.
Gabrielle (by Chanel)
Despite serious nonsense, Gabrielle by Chanel ran off with the “what?” award this year. Let’s see if I can break it down. The lady who makes out with teenage vampires wakes up and thinks “oh god, what have I done with my life.” Then, a really on-the-nose song tells her to run, so she runs (with sparks!). A wall of gold-crystals representing her agent’s inability to break her out of type-cast roles despite a gig hosting SNL looms before her. She screams, and flies towards it with Christopher-Reeves-Superman level special effects and BOOM everything is… the same. She’s woken up at 1PM again. She’s still famous. She’ll pity you over her $30 brunch.
Versace: Dylan Blue Pour Homme (2016)
Okay, this one is from 2016 but I couldn’t help myself. There’s so much going on here. One of the last hold outs of “Smell: The Film” trend in fragrance ads, Versace imagines a world where people knew who Bruce Weber was before he made the news for groping a model. This is a world where a “sports club” of models kick-box and make out in their underwear while having what we hope is water rain down upon their bodies in a rail-yard. A world where mostly-nude dudes sell ice cream to children from a dumpy van and don’t get arrested. I love this spot because I can really relate to it. This is basically my life. Well, except for the slap-fighting. That’s just weird.
Happy Holidays everyone, tweet me some of your favorite fragrance ads of 2017 before the crippling depression sets in!