Bum Notes

I was in Boots the Chemist the other day, gazing wryly at yet another vessel of lychee-rose-vanilla-amber pink stuff. And then a ghastly realisation took hold:

I was cradling Kylie Minogue’s behind.

Right there, in the store. Her bum … her backside. No word of a lie. Two buttocks. And a crack!

And – most uncomfortable of all – it smelled terrible!

Of course, I refer here to Kylie’s first ‘celebuscent’, Darling, to all intents and purposes a sweet and innocuous fruity floral. So why package such princessy contents in a glass posterior with a spray pump? Was this some signifier, seized upon in the course of a fragrance focus group?

Q: With what do you associate Australian pop star and sex kitten, Kylie Minogue?

A: Her arse! We want to be able to hold and smell her arse!

For me, the combination of ‘fruity chypre’ and celebrity cheeks is faintly incongruent though, in fairness, Ms Minogue is not the first with such arse-y allusions. Some four years prior to the appearance of Darling (2006), plumply rumped movie star Jennifer Lopez brought out her heavyweight Glow, resplendent in an appositely pear-shaped frosted bottle. (As she once confidently trumpetted: ‘Guys dig my curves!’)

While JLo’s torso-shaped flacon is arguably more obliquitous than Ms Minogue’s, the former’s cheerful addition of a ‘bling style’ pendant and chain means that neither star’s bottle truly triumphs in the taste stakes.

For my money, the finest example of a tush as a receptacle for eau de toilette is Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1937 scent, Zut. Launched in the same year as her bodacious Shocking, famed as much for its raunchy signature as its collectable ‘Mae West’ torso-shaped bottle, Zut supplies the crucial lower half of the female anatomy. Its bottle consists in an abdomen and a pair of shapely legs, with a fallen skirt in folds around the torso-less figure’s glass feet. Hilariously kitsch and even bordering on the grotesque, this little lady maintains her modesty in a voluminous pair of drawers.

Which is more than can be said for some appearances by Ms Minogue!


  1. Obliquitous is a great word! I love your tart put-downs, Scentimentalist.

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Frances! Just hope you don't think that I was calling *JLo* a tart!

  3. Goodness me - I have clearly been going round with my eyes shut. In my defence, I am quite good at recognising tops shaped like butterflies and taps.

  4. Exquisitely witty and very to the point: it's often the visual which reveals so much in the subliminal messages we get about scents. Rumpy seems to be big right now!