French Perfume Commercials – oui ou non?

Has anyone else noticed the weird and, not necessarily, wonderful perfume adverts that abound on television at this time of year?

I’ve written before of my love of fragrance:

but this love doesn’t always extend to some of the bizarre perfume commercials that are all over our screens at Christmas.

By the very nature of perfume, it is difficult to convey its essence without actually smelling it! I have read  descriptions of perfumes which describe them beautifully but when you actually get to try them they may not live up to expectations.

French perfume adverts are particularly ‘over the top’ in my opinion. Although it’s not only the French ones. Gucci Bloom, I’m talking about you!

Many of these fragrance commercials feature celebrities. My favourite perfume, of the moment, is ‘La Vie est Belle’. Julia Roberts is the star of the advert for this fragrance which is set in Paris. Neither of these facts have any effect on my perfume choice. I actually sniffed the fragrance on someone else, liked it and decided to see if it would work for me. My ‘research’ (looking on Debenhams website) tells me that the ‘stunning glass bottle’ , which contains the perfume, represents the shape of Julia Roberts mouth. Really?? I had no idea.

Another perfume commercial, also shot in Paris, is Coco Mademoiselle which stars Keira Knightly. It involves her riding on a motorbike through the empty streets of Paris – that must be a first! I mean empty Parisian streets, of course! Without getting into too much deep analysis, I imagine that KK is representing a strong, powerful, independent and beautiful woman. Is the inference that if we buy this perfume, we are demonstrating our similar characteristics? Or am I overthinking this?!

Finally, I’m singling out the latest Jean Paul Gaultier perfume: Scandal. This is a relatively recent advert which – guess what! – is located in Paris. The story, behind this commercial, is of Madame la Ministre. She works for the government during the day and parties (or worse?!) in Pigalle at night. My research tells me that this perfume ‘embodies day and night’ and that the star of this commercial is a Hungarian model. I have yet to try this.

There are so many other perfume adverts I could have included but three are probably enough for one blog post!

What do you think? Do perfume commercials encourage you to try or buy? I’d love to know…

17 thoughts on “French Perfume Commercials – oui ou non?

  1. Is that Uma Thurmon in the Scandale Commercial? To tell you the truth, the only advertisements I’ve seen were the Julia Roberts one and the Kiera Knightly one. It’s so weird. I’m very brand loyal to Guerlain and Fragonard. I’ve said it before and my signature scents are “L’Instant” by Guerlain for winter; “La Petit Robe Noire” by Guerlain for Spring and Fall and Fragonard’s “Fleur d’Oranger” for summer. I did discover a GREAT new parfum company when I was in France the summer before last and I did some repurchasing this summer. The brand is “adopt'” and the parfum comes in little spray tubes for less than seven euros. I am in LOVE with the “oud ambre” scent–it has a masculine vibe–like tweed!
    But the “L’Instant” I swear I’ve never had random men come up to me to compliment me on the scent I wear. It happened again the other day. I think it’s because the perfume sold here in the States is garbage for the most part. Yes–I’m a scent snot. I refuse to wear scents that are overly sweet or “fizzy” or that give me a headache!!! I’m rambling. Have a great Christmas!!! XOXOXOXO


    • Thanks for commenting, Catherine. After your recommendation, I tried ‘Fleur d’Oranger’ which smelt lovely on the tester but not on my skin, unfortunately. Now I’m on a mission to find the Adopt brand that you mention. I couldn’t find any in the little town where we have our house, so I’m going to be heading to Toulouse where there must be a stockist. I quite like masculine perfumes. Do you know Molton Brown? They do some fantastic shower gels – at a price! I’ve been blown away by your Christmas preparations. You make me feel like a sloth!!! When I read everything that you have prepared, I need to lie on the sofa with a cold flannel on my head. Haha! Have a wonderful Christmas 😘 xoxo


      • LOL. June. Oona cant stand Fleur d’Oranger. She begs me not to wear it when she’s around. It gives her a headache. NOW–what’s funny is that Chanel’s Madamoiselle is HER signature scent and I can’t wear it at all. It smells like $hit on me and gives me a headache. Scents are so tempermental. I do believe that you will be able to find adopt’ in Toulouse. I think they have a location there! Have a wonderful Christmas!!!


        • Haha! My eldest son realised he was allergic to his girlfriend’s perfume when his lips and eyes became massively swollen after kissing her! She’s stopped wearing that one…Joyeux Noël


  2. Tbh, I don’t take much notice of these commercials, because i) yes, totally agree, they are over the top and ii) it’s important not to have too many fragrances otherwise they don’t get used up! Being frugal here, I think! However, I am intrigued by the fragrance La Vie Est Belle – might treat myself to that 🙂


    • Perhaps you could do a post on frugal fragrance? I can remember when I was a student, I used to use essential oils as they were so much cheaper! Not sure if that’s the case nowadays. I do think the cost of some perfume is exorbitant. I’d like to know what you think of La vie est Belle. I’m sure you deserve a treat! Happy Christmas x


  3. I will have to say that ads don’t sway me one way or the other. I pretty much always buy my perfume decanted from The Perfumed Court. I can get specialized sets such as “classic French” and it’s the only place I can find the original Tabac Blond-expensive but such a treat.


  4. No wonder the perfumes adverts are so lavish – we bear the cost! I love perfume and tend to get it as gifts from husband and daughter, though sometimes need to buy it for myself. My absolute favourite is Chanel Allure, but my favourite every-day one is Giorgio Beverley Hills which I’ve been using for over twenty years. I’ve had lots of different ones in between and there are lots that I like, but I’m never without a bottle of Giorgio. Although it was pricey when first introduced it can be bought pretty inexpensively nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not familiar with Chanel Allure but I have a friend who always wore Giorgio Beverley Hills. I’ve been reading about a new Prada perfume which sounds lovely!! However, I haven’t tested it yet.


  5. I really chuckled reading this post, and I clearly need to start watching tv again, just for these perfume advertisements. The Johnny Depp one makes me cringe, mainly because he is dressed exactly how I, in my secret fantasies, would like to dress and adorn. And I couldn’t even watch the Brad Pitt one. I love very expensive, sultry, exotic perfumes, which sadly, my income doesn’t love…. (sigh!…..)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought Julia Roberts was so airbrushed in that commercial she almost looked like cgi. Those daft perfume ads would never entice me to buy a fragrance. I chose my current fave (Dior’s Addict) after loving it on someone else. Like Cathe, I’ve had so many compliments on this perfume, mostly from men. In the summer I prefer something lighter and citrussy…Ô de Lancome, which was well priced on Brittany Ferries.
    Bonne Année June.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Oud | Fancying France

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