Thursday, December 11, 2008

One more reason I don't like celebrity scents (with long afterthought about aging)

I haven't tried Dianne Brill's perfume. I just received a sample. Here's the thing: I don't want to like it. Isn't that awful?

Reason #1. Just read the first sentence of the ad copy:

Diane Brill's lifetime up to this moment provides the inspiration for her signature fragrance.

I am not a stickler about the English language, but honestly, with all the money that goes into developing perfumes and cosmetics, don't you think that this opening salvo could have been better written?

It's such a badly written sentence. I don't know why it sticks in my craw so much. It's causing all sorts of snarky responses in me. What if they left out "up to this moment"? Thus; Diane Brill's lifetime provides the inspiration for her signature fragrance. That's a perfectly good sentence. I suppose it sounds like she's dead. Ah. That's why someone threw that "up to this moment" bit in there. I see it now.

Okay. I'll let that one slide.

But wait, here's sentence #3: Dianne Brill's Perfume is the essence of Ms. Brill's philsophy, which is to deliver a feeling.

This stuff reads like the bad English put out by Japanese companies. Ms. Brill's company is not in this category. What's up with their writers?

As to that philosophy, yeah, I agree. It's really good to want to deliver a feeling. What feeling exactly are we talking about? I suppose it doesn't matter.

Oh sorry. There is a next line, so the question will be answered.

The feeling that you get when you open a present of lingerie, jewelry or exquisite bonbons.

That was it. What feeling is that? It depends, doesn't it? If someone gave me one of those S-shaped diamond necklaces, I'd be speechless and stupefied. Well, that's not exactly a feeling, is it? What if a stranger gave me a diamond engagement ring? I might be scared. If I received a gift of lingerie from a relative, I'd be shocked. Bonbons? Does anyone give bonbons as a gift? Well, I like those Lindt chocolates with hazelnuts inside. I suppose they are bonbons, so if I got some of those, I'd be pleased.

Ms. Brill, am I to believe I will feel all the emotions of a lifetime by wearing your perfume. That is what you mean, right?

Somehow, I think not.

Dianne Brill was the nightlife queen in the early 80's club scene. I remember liking her some, only because she wasn't thin and seemed to be totally okay with that. I was rather saddened to see, that on her website, she gave up being an proud big woman a while back.

I will try the perfume. Oh, how I want to hate it!

Photo note: Diane Brill and Elvira
Bobby Sheehan, 1977-82 (unspecified)

Addendum: I felt a bit disturbed after posting this. It was the photograph that created this uneasy (queasy?) feeling that I have. The black and white photograph above reminds me how innocent "we" were thirty or so years ago. Elvira was someone who was fake. Look at her, how truly fake she is. It's a fun fake, like Dianne Brill or Amy Winehouse's bouffants. And Diane B. back then? Honestly, I love her weight. She looks like a real person, all dressed up and having fun.

Go over to Dianne Brill's website (link above) and look at the photographs of her today. Oh, sure, she "looks good." No, I'll disagree with that statement. It's creepy for someone to look younger at middle-age than they did when they were twenty-something.

Last night, I watched the original CSI for the first time in at least a year. The woman who plays Katherine, whatever her name is, looks younger than when the show started. I watched her forehead during the entire episode. Did it move? Not really. Botox strikes again. So much for having models of good looking older women.

When I was a teenager and my mother started her flipping-out-over-I'm getting-old-and-undesirable phase, watching the changes in her were upsetting. I thought I was just a selfish little brat, wanting my mom to stay the same. In retrospect, I think there is some of that in there, but there was a larger issue. I wanted to see her grow old gracefully, for then I'd know I could do it too. I would have also been less worried about her mental state, but that's another story. I basically missed the last year of my mother's life because of her face lift. She didn't want me to see her until she was all healed.

I kid around about how I'd like to get a chin job, a neck resurfacing, a bit of surgery on my lower belly (and if I think about it, a whole host of other places). Heck, I don't have kids. Why should I be a decent role model? But why should I care at all? This is my body. It's falling apart, both on the outside and the inside. Gravity takes it course, as it should. My grandmother's boobs hung so low that they rested on the top of her apron waistband. That was what grandmothers looked like in my mind. There was something almost reassuring about it.

Why do we have to look perpetually young? Greater minds than I have asked that. I've read about this subject in so many places, yet not one person has written about why the youth standard has become so imperative right now. Maybe it's those aging baby boomers. They were in love with their youth and don't want to give it up. I think that may be part of it, but it certainly isn't the whole thing.

I want to admire old crones, women with creped skin and white hair. Why should any of us spend our whole lives worrying about what we look like?

It's odd. I didn't think I'd be someone susceptible to this. I never thought I was attractive and certainly didn't use my looks, such as they were, to any advantage. Youth was never an advantage to me, anyway. I "suffered" from the opposite problem of many. I actually looked too young for a good amount of my adult life. It was hard to get people to take me seriously. I looked like I was a high school student until I was in my late thirties.

What is the standard? It's Miss America, still, after all these years. That age is neither too young nor too old. Let's call it the perpetual 29. That sounds about right.


Anonymous said...

Oh, this is hilarious..."deliver a feeling"
Even I don't write that badly.
So, what the heck does it smell like?
March of Perfume Posse liked it so I expect it to be at least interesting.
OK, it's time for me to go and deliver a feeling:)

Julie H. Rose said...

Yes, I read Perfume Posse's review!

I had to laugh at myself, though - there were some typos in the post that I didn't catch (and probably are still some).

Hope delivering that feeling was fun! I'll let you know what it smells like at some point.

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean "at some point in your lifetime"?

Julie H. Rose said...

Yes, of course.

"Julie Rose's lifetime experiences, at some point in her lifetime, lead to her feeling, explained, of Dianne Brill scent, bringing all those lifetime experiences, before death of course. In addition! Julie Rose will speak to select people from the afterlife, with all her life experience, to deliver a feeling to you, the most select of sensitive persons, who purchase a $50,000 1.7ml of scent, in a hand-crafted bottle, made by psychic persons in undisclosed caves in France, of Julie Rose's Afterlife Eau de Toilette."
-Sniffapalooza Fall 2031 at Barney's

Aw, darn. I gave away my secret. It's hard to keep myself from delivering a feeling when the urge strikes.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing my ass off

jmcleod76 said...

I've got'cher feeling right here ...

BitterGrace said...

Hey, I'd buy some of Julie's Afterlife EDT before I'd shell out the bucks to smell like D. Brill's "lifetime up to this moment."

I have a theory that the only good celebrity scents are the ones that are utter failures in the marketplace. Ever try "Patti LaBelle?" Of course you haven't, but it's actually a really nice floriental. Priscilla Presley's "Indian Summer" was great stuff, and you'd probably be lucky to find a bottle on ebay.

Since I also just had a birthday, aging is on my mind, too. I can't say I never feel a pang about getting older, but it's about 80% regret for the time I've wasted, not anxiety about the changes in my body. I feel very lucky to have had 2 more-or-less vanity-free grandmothers when I was growing up. They made getting old seem like something to look forward to.

Julie H. Rose said...

TMC, looked at another way, it may mean you've transcended the perpetual story-making of our monkey minds. ;-)

BG-Oh, believe me, I am far more troubled by wasted time than wasted prettiness.

I think your theory about the celebrity duds may be true. The truly awful scents keep going strong (just check the Christmas displays).

I should write a post about the truly great female role models in my family, for there are quite a few. But I tend to write about the "bad things", don't I.

Eau de Afterlife c'est soir? Eau de Morte Julien pour vous? Ooh, I'd love to be a parfumuer!

Country Mouse said...

I loved this post Julie - thanks for all your thoughtful points and the feelings they evoked! There was something very reassuring to feel my Grandma's soft crepey skin and see my mother's grey hair growing in. I too wish I had more positive role models re: aging. The more cheerleading we can get and give for aging gracefully the better! One thing we can safely call "normal" in life is the aging process. It's inevitable. Obviously it's even more of a preoccupation when you take the cosmetic surgery route. The next stage of women's liberation will be taking back the energy we waste worrying about our weight and loss of youth. I'm so glad you tweaked my memory banks by posting on Diane Brill. I loved seeing her photo in Details magazine in the 1980's. She was beautiful, glamorous, quirky and her full figure was forever reassuring. I'll check her link. I'm sad to hear she's no longer the zaftig star she once was. I hope she is healthy rather than chained to the beauty myth.

Julie H. Rose said...

I had a desire to post the most recent picture I've seen of Ms. Brill next to this old one, but it felt a bit mean and I'm not one of those Go Fug Yourself people. Also, who knows? Maybe I'd get sued!

But go check out the other pictures. It's so interesting to compare. I don't want to make it personal; it's not about Brill per se. She is just an example.

As for the next stage of women's liberation, well, I'm concerned that the freedom to get yourself plastic surgery seems to be part of it. The ads for Botox say "I'm doing it for me!" And I've heard this from SO many women. So, I dunno. . .