I would prefer not to obsess over celebrity perfumes, but walking through Myer yesterday I was a little bemused by the effort they’ve gone to spruiking Sarah Jessica Parker’s new The Lovely Collection. As expected there was a big stand with massive SJP images everywhere and flowers in rustic baskets. So far so Gwyneth. But they significantly upped the ante by deploying a phalanx of girls in massive, frilly flower dresses (and incidentally, layers of fake tan, Lancome-lady style) who were tasked with handing out flowers to passers by. I felt this was a little over the top, particularly in the context of Myer’s crumbling Lonsdale street store with its everpresent scent of baked cookies. While they were trying to evoke ‘loveliness’, they were being very aggressive about it.
This brutal marketing strategy makes it extra amusing hearing SJP talk about the ‘inspiration’ behind her range — somehow I can’t reconcile the whimsy of it with the cut-throat world of celebrity perfumery. Yes, she might be inspired by ‘dawn’, but somewhere along the line there’s a laboratory, chemical synthesis, factories and cut-throat marketing strategies. Whereas the image celebrities prefer to cast over their perfumes is much more organic, as if ‘I really loved this idea and I seemed to have accidentally excreted this perfume. Wow.’