Jewish World Review March 10, 2006/ 10 Adar, 5766

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Smelly products | So have you heard about that new perfume called “Daytona 500”? It sounds like a set up for a joke but it happens to be true. Someone actually has marketed a fragrance and is calling it “Daytona 500.” Of course this leaves us all to speculate just what this new perfume might smell like   —   i.e. an automobile engine? Perhaps gasoline fumes? Maybe burning rubber. Oil? Exhaust fumes? Any smell that I can associate with auto racing or cars in general is not something I would care to splash on me after a shower.

Just who comes up with these things? Maybe it’s the same people who have come up with another new fragrance   —   “Desperate Housewives.” I’m not kidding. Now, what so you suppose “Desperate Housewives” might smell like? I’ll let you make up your own joke with that one. My mother was a housewife for years and she smelled like chicken liver sometimes. I don’t believe she was ever desperate. The dictionary defines desperate as being frantic, reckless or hopeless. I don’t remember Mom displaying any of those characteristics. What would frantic, reckless and hopeless smell like anyway?

If these new fragrances catch on we may very well see other sports and television show orientated colognes pop up. You know, like “World Series” perfume. I can see the ad copy for that one now   —   “You’ll hit a home run when you wear World Series.” Or “Make the catch of your life with World Series.” “It’s a whole new ball game when you put on World Series.”

How about “Super Bowl” perfume “for the woman who wants to score a touchdown.” Maybe the idea of a scent that congers up sweaty 300 pound guys falling into mud is sexy to some women. Remember, they came up with “Daytona 500, right? And how sexy smelling is a gas station?

“Basketball” perfume   —   finally, a scent especially for really tall people. “When you wear Basketball, every date will be a lay-up.” You could have a fragrance for every single sport. Sumo wrestling, boxing, ice hockey, track and field   —   these are all possible new perfume franchises. Then they might came up with the best one yet   —   “Locker-room” At last a fragrance that goes with the way most people look today. “Locker-room   —   the perfume for today’s lifestyle!”

But we shouldn’t leave out the biggest potential market segment of all   —   all the people who don’t do any sports at all. They need to come up with a special fragrance for them as well. Something like “Couch Potato.” It could smell like Cheetos or McDonald burgers.

As far as perfumes based on TV shows, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an “American Idol” fragrance. Ad copy might read: “Use American Idol for the sweet smell of success.” “Law & Order” might smell like gun powder and leather law books and, of course, they would market several variations on the formula.

“The Sopranos” perfume would have the delicate aroma of Parmesan and provolone with just a hint of something fishy. Ad copy: “The Sopranos   —   the perfume you just can’t refuse.”

If television show titles prove successful as perfume names, why not go to movie titles next? “Gone with the Wind” cologne would have a mint julep old South scent. “For the man who just doesn’t give a damn!” The color would be scarlet red. “Casablanca” would smell like a gin joint. “The Philadelphia Story” would smell like old money.

Why don’t they put out perfumes with scents that are non-traditional, but that some people enjoy smelling? For instance, cologne that smells like a good cigar that you could wear to places that don’t allow smoking. What about “Tar?” I know people who actually like that smell. Or the aroma of fresh paint. A perfume that smells like buttered popcorn might do well with movie-goers. “Hot Dogs with mustard” aftershave might be a big seller with sports fans.

Then there are certain scents that might come in handy under specific conditions. Like “Vomit” for single young girls who have to walk home alone late at night and don’t want to be followed. “New Car aftershave” for guys who want to impress their dates. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” is the perfume you splash on to show your boss how hard you’ve been working on that big account. And “Caviar and Champagne” is the stuff guys wear to pick up chicks. “Street Person” is the thing to wear when you’re going down to the FEMA office to put in for a big government payoff.

How about “Body Odor cologne” for people who just don’t want to be bothered.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2005 Greg Crosby