THE MOST TREASURED
brand IN luxury
... meets the MOST
REVILED SCENT IN LOCKER
3.4 fl oz. / 100 ml
essence of bro
mADE IN FRANCE
Just as Parfum is concentrated fragrance–meant to be diluted before application–so too Perfume ads are the purest distillation of the advertiser’s trade. Scent does not translate to image. How do you portray that single-sense experience, when smell is denied? Perfume ads are the apotheosis of all Madison’s Avenue’s bygone traditions, when glossy spreads in print publications were the apex of the art. A glam shot of a celebrity, a few luxurious words–and an image of a glass bottle inserted almost as an afterthought.
Yet for all that it cannot be represented visually, scent is a hotline to memory. In this way an ad for a fragrance is extraordinarily effective if you have smelled it before.
Certain smells are ubiquitous in American culture, and Axe Body Spray is one of them. “Iconic” is in no way synonymous with “good,” and in the fragrance world Axe deserves the label as much as [CENSORED]. At the end of the day, where icons are concerned, there is no good or bad; There is merely visible and invisible.
Picture [CENSORED] in your mind’s eye and you may see a certain golden color, perhaps conjured alongside generic images of Marion Cotillard or Brad Pitt. But think of Axe and you feel that acrid burn in the deepest recesses of your sinuses; you remember vividly the sun slanting through a high window to cast striped shadows through the half-open metal door of a school locker. You can taste it floating on the air–that brutal tactless scent–struggling valiantly to mask its wearer’s particular pubescent musk and failing, ever failing, creating a nasal cocktail of unrivaled pungency.
Smells like teen spirit.
It is culture, not price, nor exclusivity, that makes icons.