Sunday, July 19, 2009

The stink of Michael Jackson? Scentxploitation of the famous dead.

"An entertainment manager is causing a stink as he plans to release 19 year old bottles of “Mystique de Michael Jackson” - a perfume created by Michael that never made it to the shops. [...]around 400,000 bottles of “Mystique de Michael Jackson” for women and “Le Jan de Michael Jackson” for men were made, but most were destroyed before hitting the shelves".
Apparently someone salvaged a few before the allegations for child molesting ruined the whole venture and now is planning on auctioning them driving the fans of the dead star into a frenzy to get a piece of this specific -admittedly "turned"- olfactory Jacko memorabile.
Read the whole article here

We had presented one of Michael Jackson's scents a while ago when talking about the Celebrity Scent Phenomenon, arguing it's not such a recent one as all that. You can read this article and see photographic evidence on this link.
Our culture is apparently deeply and disturbingly immersed in the cult of the famous, whatever form that may take....


  1. Just "Ugh" and "Eww" is my response to this news.

  2. I'll second Jenavira13's response, though I do wonder why numerous bottles of perfume would go "putrid" in less than 2 decades. I have bottles that are 40+ years old that smell just fine. Wonder what was in Michael's juice?

  3. Can't say I'm surprised. There are often vultures hopping around the dead.

  4. Yes, I find this highly disturbing as well... creepy!

  5. "Le parfum posthume" - Is it a new genre? I've never thought of that before! But it is rather disturbing and .... too soon.
    At least for what a fragrance would represent.
    But what is "stinky" in this story is how the fragrance is described - putrid. Hard to believe that a perfume made in 1990 using many synthetics would turn very bad, when even old vintages preserve quite well.
    I hope to see a photo soon, if the story is true and not another headline :)

  6. J,

    exactly, it's rather in bad taste, especially since the person was connected to the dead star.

    Then again, nothing could possibly surpass the auction of John Lenon's glasses (allegedly blood-splattered) or the even more preposterous request of someone of George Harrison's entourage (His lawyer? Not 100% sure) to sign his guitar while on his death-bed. Ugh indeed!

  7. M,

    I hear you! (see above)
    It makes one wonder though because the tone of the article is poised on those catchy turns of phrase (stinks, stench, putrid etc), therefore, what exactly is happening might be nothing serious to do with the juice but only sensationalism from someone who isn't well aquainted with the intricasies of fragrance. Or it might not. :/

  8. P,

    you know better than I do about the music industry especially.
    I wonder however why the manager got so many bottles in the first place: Had he foreseen it would become a collector's item when eventually MJ would die (since it wasn't likely the accusations would ever allow him to become the star he was in the 80s ever again)? Did he expect to succeed him in dying, and therefore be able to capitalize on the "loot" before it was too late?

  9. J,

    it is creepy! Good word!
    I can never understand this mania around dead celebrities. Collecting their oeuvre in their respective fields is all well and nice, collecting personal items or things they were involved in no matter the quality/subject just because leaves me baffled...

  10. O,

    it's a disturbing idea, if it catches on!! I hope not, but when ever single celebrity has issued a fragrance what would stop them from producing post-mortem creations? Imagine: an Elvis cologne, the quartet of Beatles scents ("mix and match to produce a 5th Beatle, your very own!"), Jim Morrison's scent mojo etc etc.
    The Rigor Mortis line of scents!!

    It does make me wonder whether this is a piece of sensational journalism, especially since the tone of the article is playing with turn of phrases having to do with "bad" smells ("Bad" being one of MJ's hits)> see my reply above.

    Unless there was some unstable ingredient in there which might account for it (I am thinking of the pear impersonator in Petite Cherie or something along those lines: would it be a possibility?)

  11. Hi E -- Hmmmm...well, when I worked in music it was a sort of axiom that "managers" (and yes there were exceptions) tended to be people who couldn't do much of anything else. I'm not familiar with Michael Jackson's manager but it seems that everyone around him wanted to cash in somehow. And my guess is that no one around him expected him to live to a ripe old age. So I imagine we will see many such "collectibles." I read somewhere that Elvis once had a mole removed, and it was saved and sold.

  12. P,

    you win!!!!! The Elvis mole issue is probably the grossest and creepiest thing I have ever heard in relation to fan memorabilia!!

  13. P -- You'd be shocked at some of the Elvis memorabilia! It's a little like the relics of saints in the European cathedrals. Toenail and hair clippings; a vial that once contained "Elvis sweat" -- these are things I've heard about, God only knows what's out there that I haven't! There are people who have made their homes into Elvis shrines, and on the day of his death -- mid-August sometime -- the faithful line up at Graceland. I wonder if the same kind of thing will happen with Michael Jackson now.

  14. P,

    I knew about the pilgrimage to Graceland in August (we get a televised "tribute" every year, same as they do with Marilyn and the Hiroshima bomb, all in August, I suppose it's because August is a "dead" month news-wise so there is leeway for such shows). Yet I had no idea about the Elvis sweat and nail clippings stuff and oh dear, how very lucky that I hadn't! I feel a little less ...sane after finding out about these. :/

    To be perfectly honest, I don't expect the MJ mania to go to such extremes as the one with Elvis: First because Elvis had amazing charisma and sexual attraction, which accounts for more of a mania within his fanbase; and secondly because the child molesting accusations have distanced a lot of folks who might have reacted otherwise if things were different. Elvis didn't have such dark things in his own story.
    Do you agree?

    Then again I might be proven wrong...

  15. Hmmm...well, Elvis's fanbase is aging now, and in twenty or so years, most who actually saw him perform will be gone. And his sexual charisma was pre-1960, for the most part with the exception of his 1968 "Comeback" TV special. But Jackson never had any threatening or "dangerous" quality as Elvis did in his early days. Jackson was always childlike, and ultimately became a sort of sacrifical lamb to his own fame. The pedophilia didn't seem to bother a lot of people, which I thought was a bit shocking. Now that the mania has cooled, we'll see if the accolades -- many from publicity-seeking types like Sharpton, hooked on fame themselves -- continue.

    Elvis's "base" was always the working-class white Southerner, for the most part. Some academics who study such things believe that the Elvis cult has all the makings of a religion.

    I don't think we really know all we will know about Jackson just yet, or who, if anyone, will line up for him years from now. I don't think there's ever going to be a Church of Michael, though.

  16. That's an interesting point of view and one which no doubt presents some sociocultural aspects into the equation, very aptly delineated by you. The makings of a "religion", of a cult, being a white background of humble origins in specific regions of the US. I wonder whether the international appeal has something comparable to lean on as well. But you're right, the fans aren't getting any younger.

    I found the paedophilia issue rather alarming as well despite my general disregard for the ethical conduct of famous artists (being of the "I'm only interested in the work produced" school of thought); I draw a line at children, I guess.
    It remains to be seen what will happen with Michael's fan base, the whole last goodbye was "too big" in projection, but didn't feret the fandom expected from plain folks from what I read, right?

  17. I think the police dept was expecting a big, unruly mob scene but didn't get one, as they had cordoned off four blocks around the Staples Center. The cops there always expect big trouble when there is any sort of multicultural gathering; a legacy of the LA riots. But it could also mean that the post-death mania will die down quickly (and rightfully so, IMHO).

  18. P,

    could be that, as I hear the interacial factor was closely monitored. I do hope there is no "death mania" over this for much longer, it's getting creepy.

  19. Moreover, Joe Jackson' s partner, Julian Franck Rouas, has been pegged as a scam-artist in the news. I found this blog that shows the disturbing truth about this so-called perfumer. A Must Read:


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