Saturday, April 7, 2012

Marc Jacobs Dot: new fragrance

Marc Jacobs is debuting a new perfume, called Dot in a "cute" ladybug bottle, in July 2012 for the US and in August internationally.
Dot is the third major women's scent from Jacobs, who's also issued Daisy, launched in 2007, and Lola, in 2009.

Dot's dot-bedecked bottle is supposed to evoke a "ladybug with butterflies alighting on it". Marc Jacobs Dot fragrance has top notes of red berries, dragon fruit and honeysuckle; a heart of jasmine, coconut water and orange blossom and a drydown of vanilla, driftwood and musk. Sounds totally innocuous. 19-year-old Codie Young fronts the advertisements.

I personally find the bottle juvenile, in a really bad way. Then again I found Lola kitch as well.


  1. The bottle is kind of cute but the perfume itself is nothing I would go for.

  2. Eld,

    I don't even find the bottle cute enough. Or perhaps over-cute. Still, MJ has that inoffensive, innocuous, nubile thing down pat, seemingly.
    I wish there were more people willing to take chance in the mainstream market, most everything sounds so boring. :-(

  3. annemariec22:59

    Juvenilia sells, as we know. I'm sure Dot will sell and sell and sell. I feel sorry for the perfumer/s feeliong obliged to respond to this brief.

  4. The bottle's cute but the young lady looks anemic. Amemic's oh-so-chic for a dark, gothic scent, but this cutesy-tootsy bottle needs a smiling, perky model!

  5. Mimi G01:34

    Elena - I cannot stand that bottle- it's freaky !

    Happy Easter to you and yours, Elena ! Many hugs.

    Mimi Gardenia XXX

  6. I agree with Amy. The bottle doesn't match the model. It needs someone cheerful and playful. The bottle looks a bit clumsy.

  7. Emilia Telese11:18

    hello Elena, first of all, although this is the first time I write, I have been following your blog for a while, as an artist working with the way we communicate through our body and a fellow mediterranean (Italian) fascinated with the meaning and resonance of scent in our life, I really enjoy all the heritage that you always draw upon in such a great way when you write, made of the crossing of cultures which we always witness in the Med, and how you manage so effectively to create a new language around perfume, art and many other things.

    Now I have noticed that there seems to be a big trend at the moment for juvenile packaging in perfume. Gone are the minimalist bottle concepts of Miyake and CK which were new since the early 90s, now it seems to me that with many, many new releases, the permacupcake perfume concept is now reflected in the kitsch, baby-style packaging of many previously "respectable" houses, what with Dot and Lolita and Vera Wang Princess, DKNY Red Delicious, as well as the usual suspects, such as Diesel (perfume shaped as a loveheart for the girls, a fist for the boys, scope for a gender role stereotype subplot here) and many more.

    This reminds me a bit of the early 70s trend for Avon to come up with novelty bottles shaped like gnomes, dogs etc, and you could argue that whimsicality has always existed in perfume packaging to some extent, but this time it seems like the pseudochild dial has been turned up to 11, what with all the bows and little princess motifs.

    Do you think that the market-driven youth culture obsessed perfume world is now simply reflecting the candy juices in the bottles, and is going to slowly and inexorably erase all traces of adulthood or is it just a passing trend?


  8. MariaA18:10

    I think the bottle is plain ugly and I absolutely LOVE ladybugs. They are such a good luck sign. I will be willing to look past this and be objective of the fragrance but I don't have high hopes for this...

  9. Anonymous04:41

    For heaven's sake I hope that fragrance cheers up that model! She is downright depressing to look at.

  10. The marketing theme seems to be Alice in Wonderland, although when I look at this picture I hear Jefferson Airplane's "Ask Alice" and imagine a juice a bit like TH Loud. If I was a teen I'd find that kind of fun... But the fragrance here sounds utterly boring.

  11. annemarie,

    I fear most perfumers have thrown the towel and just focus with any real interest on their own houses/projects now. Any originality is usually squashed like a bug by the big companies, exceptions not withstanding.

  12. Amy,

    anemic is an excellent description and the incongruence between concept, bottle and model is indeed scary!

  13. Mimi,

    hope you had a great Easter, thanks for the wishes and for stopping by!

    I don't like this bottle at all. AT ALL. Freaky is a good word IMO.

    (Then again if someone is reading and finds it super cute don't feel offended, everyone has their own ticks)

  14. Maggie,

    there are many of us out there, aren't there. I wonder how it will go down towards the people it's intended to aim at.

  15. Emilia,

    first of all welcome to Perfume Shrine, I hope you find it both hospitable and enjoyable here, and thank you for all your wonderful, kind words. You're too kind; mille grazie!
    As a fellow Med resident, there's a kinship, isn't there. :-)

    You make an excellent point regarding the market exigencies: "permacupcake" is really just a perfect descriptor! Haha!
    Yeah, I hadn't really thought about the comparison with the 1990s (we tend to look down on the 90s in regards to perfumes, because they were so "sterilised" and yet the designs were really good!), so your comment is taken with much head nodding. It's as you say.

    In regards to your question, the more we idolize youth (NB. we always did, but now we do it differently) in terms of an ideal that can be attained via external means (how we dress, what supplements we take, which plastic surgery procedures we undertake and what other "tricks" we use) vs. internal means (how we think, how much we retain an inquisitive spirit, who we respect and think highly of), the more the juvenile style is going to manifest itself as a "permacupcake" fixture here to stay rather than a passing trend.
    I do think it's at its aesthetic past expiration date myself, but we need to really get sick of the plastic surgery atrocities before we realize that a little maturity never hurt anyone, be it bodywise or bottlewise. ;-)
    If that makes sense!

    I do recall there was a brief phase during the 1990s when it was "super trendy" to carry Hello Kitty bags, hang on pacifiers on your clothes as an acessory and dress in baby pink and such. Perhaps it was a backhand style "revolution" of a generation against their mothers who wore the pants and the shoulderpads and talked like truck drivers in order to be taken "seriously"; like men, that is.

    Kids have never been forced to grow up so quickly and grown women (and men) have never been asked to be kept at a young age for so long....What an irony!

  16. Maria,

    I also love ladybugs and find the bottle ugly. I don't know if it's better in person but on paper it's...eek.

  17. anon,

    true...I don't have high hopes though.

  18. axum,

    something tells me you had far more intelligent thoughts about this than it was intended!

    I doubt they even thought about all those references you cite, it seems we have again a nubile, young, innocent gal, lying prone and defenseless to the charms of a greedy product out to get her money (and perhaps her sense of aesthetics as well). All the MJ campaigns seem to give me that exact same vibe; I don't know...perhaps I'm biased. :/

  19. Anonymous14:50

    The ladybug bottle would'nt be so kitche-freaky-ugly if it didn't have silly silicon rubber butterflies stuck all over it (I don't like the rubber flowers on the MJ Daisy bottle, either, but they make a little more sense design-wise, I guess). The anemic Kate Moss look-alike model is definitely incongruent, she just looks unhappy to be holding an ugly bottle of yet another fruitjuice. The only Marc Jacobs fragrance that I have smelled and liked is Bang, and I thought the marketing campaign for it was offensive and the packaging is gross (a naked Marc Jacobs holding a bottle of Bang between his legs - no thanks, I'll pass this one by). Daisy is a pleasant floral, but has no depth. It's safe and innocuous and ultimately unmemorable. I haven't smelled MJ Lola, yet, and I'm not sure that I want to. Perhaps I am a bit biased, but I just don't perceive Marc Jacobs as a doyen of good taste, sorry! ~ danoji ~

  20. D,

    I agree with you 100%. Bang I did like but only because it reminded me of Poivre Samarkande. :/
    To be perfectly honest, I don't know what MJ's claim to designer fame is. I haven't seen a single design by him that has wowed me; they all feel deja vu, mediocre, bad taste, like rags more than luxe clothes. Let's just say he's not a new YSL or a new Dior (even if he's sneaking his way into the latter)


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