Monday, December 24, 2007

Optical Scentsibilities: Bras de Fer

Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier has always had some tongue in cheek imagery for its presentation. And it stuck with audiences, if only for its unapologetic exploitation of the homosexual connotation of sailors, alongside its sweet lavender-ladden scent. The issue is well documented, in fact, as attests this book devoted to it. There has even been an exhibition about gay life on the high seas. In times when sea travel was taking forever, it was to be expected.
In one such advertisement stylized pouty sailors cross their arms in a bras de fer that has them glistening their muscles in a nod to 90s gay culture. Or is this a cliché?

Whatever it is, it's certainly not that original, as far as perfume advertisments go. The bras de fer idea had been already tentatively explored in Eau Folle by Laroche print advertisements as far back as 1970. Only the couple is not indicative of a homosexual rapport, here using a man and a woman. And the mood is much less mock-serious or pouty, but more exuberant, fun and casually flirty.
Now, this curious little hat does remind me of a cook on a ship! But maybe that's just my twisted imagination...

Pics from parfumdepub


  1. I love that second picture. This ad certainly would make me want to try the scent!

  2. Yeah, isn't it quite something? You don't see ads like that much today.


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