Friday, July 11, 2008

When it Comes to Scent: Are Men Animals?

In this recent discovery of Chanel commercials we spanned the spectrum from the surreal to the atmospherically descriptive and it's now time to come to the anthropologically evolutionary.

Without spoiling much of the fun of watching the Chanel Allure commercial unfold: Does the lost link still exert its powerful hold on hominids? This is a popular theory, if only because it makes for greater sales of fragrance. And subliminally we would all like to believe that subtle, invisible touches play a major part in human interaction. Wouldn't it be magnificently practical, unscrupulously cunning and efficiently manipulative to be able to rely on smells to produce the desired effect? Imagine the possibilities: attract those we desire, repel those we despise, batress our persona when talking to bosses and less-liked authority figures, invoke respect and then shed the cool facade before it becomes aloof, excite passions and then reliquinsh them when satiated or bored with the simple shoosh of an atomiser...Wouldn't it be something!
On the other hand is the sensitivity to smells and the desire to act upon them tied to neoevolutionary anthropology, attributing specific evolutionary features to specific cultures? Another issue that has its own little enigmas attached provoking heated debate along the nature or nurture dilemma.
And is this evolution strictly misandrous, since the evolution of women is sadly misrepresented, even in scientific circles?
Whichever of those issues applies, this is still a profoundly interesting commercial. Not to be missed!

*It appears to be a legitimate commercial. Interested to hear if anyone of you has seen it broadcast.

Clip originally uploaded by allaboutnemo on youtube


  1. Andy13:35

    Love it!Great! The first commercial that I see where she actually sprays her feet and where he actually smashes his banana.

  2. Anonymous07:44

    Those men, apelike and salivating, you'd think that they would be smelling something much better than Allure, eh? Besides women do not respond like apes in cases of sexual provokation, they have a different body language.

  3. Dear A,

    it's certainly different! I deduce you mean in general, huh? (Or have you seen another version of this clip?)

  4. Dear Aline,

    I think Allure gets a bad rep despite itself. For the record, I believe the edt is superior to the simplistic vanilla of the edp. And the parfum is pretty nice in this one!
    I believe the concept of the commercial is not about how good a perfume is in terms of aesthetics, but how effective in exciting animal instincts.

    As to women behaving differently, like I said that's a vast untapped resource for cultural anthropology :-)

  5. While I am not crazy about Allure myself, I suspect it really is quite appealing to men. Guys love the vanilla, if I may make a gross generalization ;-)

    About women in anthropology, it seems to me they actually have gotten a fair amount of attention in "pop" anthropology. I'm thinking here of Desmond Morris, for example--whether his attention is worth much to us is another matter!

    I enjoyed this commercial, but I am baffled by one thing: ALL the men are extremely unattractive. I mean, thank god they're caged--who would want any of them getting loose? It seems like wanton cruelty to tempt such sorry specimens.

  6. Dear M,

    thank you for your interesting comment!

    I agree with you on the pop anthropology, we don't need that :\

    An observation: it's actually the edt which is much less vanillic, in the commercial. The edp has a bronzey-beige cap, the edt a silvery one ;-)

    As to the men depicted, I think that's exactly the aim of the commercial, you nailed it! To show how much power and cruelty it would give the wearer to wear this.
    Women (OK, not all, some) are known to like to tease without specific aim...a traditional cruelty of them, with which I personally don't agree; but it happens a lot.

  7. Anonymous14:57

    I can tell you that I was wearing Allure during my university studies and I got many compliments, all from women of various age categories.
    But I won't buy it again, I think there are much more interesting scents to buy.

  8. Did you wear the EDT or the EDP? I want to know.
    For some reason the EDP is more popular, although I find the EDT far superior (so is the parfum).
    I have the EDT but it's true the compliments are from women! Maybe it should be renamed lesbo-chic :P

  9. Anonymous15:44

    I used to wear EDP.

  10. Thank you!
    As I thought :-)


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