Friday 24 May 2019

Don't get me started - a perfume that claims to make you feel younger

A new perfume is said to make you feel younger. But is there really a need for it? asks BRENDA MCCORMICK

The beauty world has always been a bit of a strange place, but things seem to be veering into the ridiculous of late. We’ve had face creams with synthetic snake venom and ones with snail slime, both said to to do wonders for lines and wrinkles, and now we have a perfume that is meant to make you appear younger. Yep, a perfume.

It's called Ageless Fantasy (who came up with that name? It sounds like a sci-fi Mills & Boon novel) and apparently 'defies your skin's natural age-revealing scent'. By doing so, you'll be delighted to hear, Ageless Fantasy makes men believe that women are 'at least eight years younger'.

In essence, as it were, your perfume will make men in your vicinity think you are almost a decade younger than you are. Yeah, right.

Now, the notion that certain perfumes or aromas suggest youth or maturity is not a new one by any means -- rose is generally considered a mature or okay type of 'old lady' scent, while grapefruit is thought of as fresh and young. Me, I switched from Davidoff's watermelony Cool Water Woman to the more grown-up No5 around the time I turned 30.

I admit I haven't had a whiff of Ageless Fantasy yet, but it is full of pink grapefruit, mango, pomegranate, jasmine and musk, and a quick look at reviews suggests it is a nice fruity perfume by itself, never mind the claims. And I'd be inclined to believe that such a blend may help you appear more youthful, in personality, if nothing else, so surely any light, fresh perfume will make you seem younger?

Apparently not, and Ageless Fantasy goes further in its intentions. How weird and Dr Frankensteinish is it to claim the company is 'focusing on ways to neutralise the body odours from a woman'? The website explains that these abhorrent body odours 'change due to age, diet, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, blood sugar level, stress, physical activity, body chemistry, fat levels, illness and other factors.' So then, the entirely natural elements of a woman's actual living body then?

Good God, is this where the rampant anti-ageing industry is headed? Are intelligent women going to buy into ideas like this in order to try to appear young, instead of embracing life and maturity and enjoying it? Sadly, they probably will.

I interviewed make-up artist Laura Mercier recently and nearly wept with relief at the woman's outlook on the beauty industry. She told me with amazement, and more than a little sadness, about women in her industry who know on a practical level that all these magic potions won't - can't - work but nevertheless get seduced by the promises and marketing.

But in truth it's not about whether they work or not: the very notion of 'anti-ageing' should be abolished entirely. It has nothing to do with looking good or feeling confident and embracing all that is unique about you. Instead, women are being pushed along in an aggressive rush of marketing and manipulation designed to make them feel insecure, imperfect and inadequate. Such a daft creation as this product merely draws attention to the pressure on women, and increasingly men, to be perfect and forever youthful -- focusing on what Laura Mercier called 'the envelope' and not on everything that a person has inside.

Its grapefruit aroma may well make people think you are younger than you are, but Ageless Fantasy seems to be a perfume with top notes of clever marketing and a base of making women feel uncomfortable and insecure about who they are. Truly there is more happiness to be found in reality than in this sweet-smelling fantasy.

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