Thursday, April 10, 2008

When We Take Things for Granted

Some things are taken for granted. Well, they shouldn't be! One of them is that Baby Doll by Yves Saint Laurent was a separate, individual creation. Or so I thought, till very recently. I am sure most of you did as well. Not so! Leafing through the new Perfumes The Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez I came across the statement that Baby Doll started its arguably adolescent career as a flanker* to Paris, also by Yves Saint Laurent.
I was a bit dubious to that and mailed the authors to clarify and they confirmed that it is indeed so. In the beginning it was called Baby Doll Paris and the box with "Paris" in the same typeface as the original Paris fragrance and similarly designed and hued bottle do have a passing resemblance to the classic rosey fragrance Paris by nose Sophia Grojsman. Who would have thought?
It didn't help that Baby Doll has slowly but surely accumulated a whole clique of flankers itself. I did a little research: From Baby Doll Light (predictably) to Baby Doll Lucky Game (which is lighter by all accounts and less sweet);

through Baby Doll Angel Bleu (which is a twisted kind of name, confusing it with other fragrances which bear those monikers)
to the latest limited edition of minis in all the colours of chewing gum, er, the rainbow.
And counting...

A flanker with flankers. Now, that's a sad thought indeed!

*Flanker is perfume-speak for a new fragrance that launches on the tail of a successful one by the same house, utilizing the same name with a slight variation/addition and design of the packaging, to capitalize on the previous success.

Next: a surprise review! Stay tuned!

Pic of Baby Doll Paris with box from Ebay, of Baby Doll Angel Bleu from Ebay, of Baby Doll Lucky Game from MUA, of Baby Doll minis from Sephora.


  1. I can't help wonder if there are more examples like this.

  2. There should be! I will probably research it at some point :-)

    PS. got your mail and will reply shortly.

  3. I always thought it was tied into Paris. I think I saw Paris on the box or a SA told me. I don't remember now. Perhaps it is the similarity of the bottles. I thought it was a lighter version of Paris.

  4. now that it is pointed out, it seems some how bizarrely obvious, I admit standing in Sephora, I am sometimes confused by the boxes of Paris and Baby Doll, considering they are both done up in vibrant pinks.

  5. Karin, you're more perceptive than I am, obviously. I don't know about "lighter" though: seems equally strong to me!

  6. Dear Jen,

    yeah...somehow when it is explained it all ties in, but for the longest time I thought they were seperate things! They don't smell anything remotely alike either.
    But the boxes give the game away...should have paid more attention I guess.

  7. Well, it took Luca and Tania to tell us, and maybe it shouldn't be such a shocker that most don't realize it considering so much stupid juice is put out by companies these days. I mean look at Gucci and Versace, they can't seem to stop putting out fragrances with the same name over and over.

  8. Exactly right, J, exactly...
    It's all those silly matters of having to come up with an appropriate name (not so easy as it sounds) and copyrighting it.

  9. I have to admit that you're right - it's slightly depressing to think that the perfume industry finds more profit in flankers than in new releases. *sigh*

  10. It's with a heavy heart that I acknowledged the fact, Risa :-(

  11. Anonymous15:14

    I liked it when it was launched and remember it was marketed here as a "new face"-kind of Paris. In fact it led me to trying the original Paris later on. Nowadays i don't wear both of them anymore. Strangely i don't miss them which IS sad as i adore YSL per se.

  12. YSL had a rather sophisticated record up till Baby Doll which was markedly teenager-aiming I thought: more in design and concept than smell, mind you (I liked the grapefruit, I couldn't stand the sweetness).

    From then on something snapped and they lost the homogenous "feel" they had. There are diverse things in the brand now. Some artsy (Nu), some sophisticated (Rive Gauche, Y), some very cozy and smooth (Cinema), some exhuberant and ultra-feminine (Paris), others exotic and iconic (Opium), a few rather run-of-the-mill-trendy(Elle)....see my point?

    I love YSL though, you know it ;-)


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