We Like Your Music, But Do We Have to Smell You?

So many ways to smell like a prostitute, so little time...

I feel sorry for Britney Spears. Her cologne is on the sale shelf at Wal-Mart, in a box that’s consistently dented, and even the Christmas gift pack presentation can’t take away from the fact that she looks like a trailer park skank.

Britney’s cologne, called “Fantasy,” is on that shelf at discount stores that appears every Christmas. It’s full of gifts for the person you can’t think of anything to buy, the person you pulled in the gift exchange – again – and you’re tearing your hair out trying to find a personal hygiene item that you didn’t buy them last year.

The shelf has lots of good stuff. Foot massagers, shaving cream heaters, vibrating back scratchers, and lots and lots of cologne, all in gift boxes and some including heart necklaces, small teddy bears or, for the men, commemorative toy cars.

Britney’s in good company. On the shelf with her are Shania Twain’s cologne “Shania,” Celine Dion’s “Belong” and Liz Taylor’s “Passion,”  “White Diamonds,”  “Black Pearls,” Diamonds & Emeralds,” “Diamonds & Rubies,” “Diamonds & That Round Piece of Plastic In Mood Rings”  . . . need I go on?

What do these four chicks have in common? What sets them apart from the A-listers whose perfumes are in much better settings than on a shelf at Wal-Mart? And by that, of course, I mean, in the locked glass cabinet at Wal-Mart.

Sarah Jessica Parker poses for her perfume, “Covet,” in a white strapless evening gown with black gloves up to her pits and an unexplained unmatching navy blue ribbon floating from her back. Get a grip, Sar. You’re a big star. Pick a better outfit and run a comb through your hair.

Who decides whether a woman is enough of a diva that she gets her own smell? And how do they pick the names? At a Hollywood coke party? Mariah Carey’s perfume is called “M.”  Gwen Stefani has an “L.”  (It’s part of her L.A.M.B. series and according to the Macy’s ad I just got in the mail, it comes in an All Over Me Body Lotion. (I guess I’m supposed to put it all over me body.)  Patti LaBelle has “Girlfriend.” Jennifer Lopez has “Live.” (I don’t know if that’s “Live” as in “I’ll let you live” or “Live” as in “We’ve got a live one here, Hank.”)

Then there are the men.  Usher, Sean John (now on his fourth name) and Carlos Santana all have colognes, body lotions and body washes.

And these are just the singers. Every model, fashion designer and purse maker in New York has his own line of smells.  Who, by the way, is Tommy Bahama? And what’s his smell? I’m thinking that beachy mix of tropical suntan lotion and fat-man sweat.

There are so many people who are inventing perfume scents that eventually they’re bound to run out of good smells. Someone’s gonna get stuck with new car, Afro Sheen, and broiled fish.

Danielle Steele, Michael Jordan, Joan Collins, and lots of French people whose names I can’t pronounce also have their own perfumes. And according to the Associated Press, next out of the gate will be none other than Marilyn Manson.  

Now that’s a Wal-Mart gift pack just waiting to happen.