Which Woman Are You Tonight?

Before I forget –August 30 is the cutoff date for registering online for the Chi-Cocoa Scentsation. I think we have 35ish people!!! It’s gonna be fun. I think we’re getting a bunch of swag from the stores, plus our bottle swap, plus the afterparty… I can’t wait to meet some of you.

Also, Vogue in September has an interesting article about having a passion for stinky foods (durian, ripe cheeses, fermented fish), which you might want to check out from the skanky smell perspective, and Denyse has done another great post on stink.

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Today we feature most of the PR blitz for Guerlain´s new LE at Bergdorf, Les Elixirs Charnels. My comments are at the end. Put your seatbelt on, and here we go. It’s LONG. Try to speed-read it without missing the, uh, flavor.


Which woman are you tonight?

Guerlain has always celebrated femininity in the most audacious ways. Now, with a new collection of three deliciously deviant Eaux de Parfum, the perfumer breaks the rules and fires the imagination once again.

LES ELIXIRS CHARNELS, created by Christine Nagel and Sylvaine Delacourte, evoke the desires of a woman who loves to play with different personalities, the better to surprise and to seduce.


“A creature of Sizzlin (sic) Sensuality” – ORIENTAL BRà›LANT

“I just love it. I love it when I become that unpredictable and compelling creature, sure of myself, and sure too that he will instantly satisfy my every whim. No words are needed, one sign says it all. That´s how it begins.

I hold his gaze in mine, stroke his cheek with the back of my hand, then slowly slide it down his neck. He is hypnotized, transfixed. He knows he is in my power, follows meekly wherever I lead. I put my hand to my throat to give him a little of my essence, then I start again. Capturing the ELIXIR CHARNEL, my skin becomes the scented seal of my call to love.

This silent prelude already simmers with a sensuality that is instantly perceptible in my fragrance. An oriental, naturally, vibrant as an embrace. Full and warm, it is irresistibly addictive with vanilla and tonka bean. At the same time, storax imparts an intensely animal quality, creating an aura as seductive as my feline form stretched out on the bed. Throughout the composition, contrasts and surprises fuse voluptuously, while – thanks to a touch of white almond – the Elixir also has the softness of my palm when I decide suddenly to come over all tender with him.

If my fragrance had a colour, it would be the colour of the blood that rushes to your cheeks and throbs in your temples. A deep, dark red, the symbol of an intense desire and a passion of which you can never have enough.

“A Femme Fatale” – CHYPRE FATAL

He has been watching me sleep for a long time. I can sense it. He has had my body, but not the most secret part of me, my ELIXIR CHARNEL. The two of us are but one: the visible and the invisible, the tangible and the intangible, the deceptively innocent milky white of my skin on which I unveil my fragrance. The scent of an extremely elegant and innately rebellious woman, if you believe what people say about me. An icon of absolute seduction, like those legendary creatures who will forever inhabit the collective imagination.

As he contemplates my curves in the moonlight, he breathes in the Elixir that I have left on my shirt. He loves to feel it change, from one minute to the next, as he bends over me. It is a fruity chypre with an intense aura, composed silently to announce my presence and to impress my image on the memories of others. Around a hieratic rose to which patchouli brings its spicy, woody overtones, vanilla and white peach sensually soften the harmony.

I always open my collar to put more fragrance on my décolletage. Playing with the appearance of a strict suit, I can thus arouse passion with the mere glimpse of a curve unconstrained by the artifice of lace. That is what people prosaically call “the fire beneath the ice” of Hitchcock heroines. Fascinating women who are never completely won.

In a few hours from now, I will leave without a word. As always, he will watch me put more ELIXIR CHARNEL on the scented cotton, and he will not try to make me stay. He knows there´s no point. Will I be back? Maybe. Or maybe not.

“A Charming Childlike Woman” – GOURMAND COQUIN

The moment I like best? When I tie my scarf around my neck before going to meet him. I let the silk become suffused with ELIXIR CHARNEL, the essence of a deliciously mischievous woman.

He cannot resist my childlike charms. Especially when I snuggle up to him like a kitten before sliding between the sheets for a not so restful siesta.

It´s time to play my favourite game, the one where I blindfold him and drop onto his skin a sprinkling of black peppercorns and a trickle of chocolate. Those are two of the notes of my fragrance – a sexy and very feminine gourmet composition. A dash of rum, and the spice and cocoa bean become quite intoxicating.There´s also a rose harmony with voluptuous overtones of vanilla.

He knows my smell, but he always forgets the names of the ingredients. That makes me laugh, but of course I never tell him, so his senses can discover them through these tantalizing olfactory riddles.

I curl up beside him once again, and this time I tie the scarf around his wrist to show that he belongs to me.

We drift off vaguely into sleep, but I know he is keeping one eye open. And quite right he is too! After all, I might awake at any time, ready to tempt him with new discoveries.”

* * *

Did you make it through? Wow, huh? So, let´s all towel off and grab ourselves something restorative to drink, and discuss.

1) Who did they write this for, and why? I mean, bless them, are the folks at the Guerlain counter supposed to pass this on to the consumers? Or is stuff like this written to keep the owners´ relatives employed while driving me slowly insane?

2) And charnel is the French word for carnal, fine, but I had to look that up. Does that make me dimwitted, or did you figure that out on your own? If you didn´t, did the word instead conjure up (as it did for me) a charnel house, i.e., a place of death, and/or where they keep the bones? Does that bother anyone besides me, or am I shamefully Anglocentric in my thinking?

3) Two of the three of these are gourmand, and twenty bucks says they smell pretty much like the last few gourmandy releases from Guerlain. Let´s dump them all in a vat and call them Plus Que La Pluie Ganache. Another ten bucks says the “intensely animal quality” in Oriental Brulant will be mostly undetectable to the human nose, because that would funk up the scented seal of the call to love of which you can never have enough.

4) Sizzlin sensuality aside, it is hard to pick the most startling lines from this. I think “the softness of my palm when I decide suddenly to come over all tender with him” sounds deliciously porny. “He has been watching me sleep for a long time. I can sense it. He has had my body, but not the most secret part of me, my ELIXIR CHARNEL…” sounds simultaneously creepily stalker-ish, vaguely obscene and kind of hilariously wack. On the third hand, there´s the Charming Childlike Woman, whose favorite games involve blindfolds, pepper and chocolate – as opposed to Boggle or Old Maid, I guess. “He cannot resist my childlike charms. Especially when I snuggle up to him like a kitten before sliding between the sheets for a not so restful siesta.”

5) For anyone who is now getting irritated, thinking I´m smirking about the as-translated-from-the-French quality – I am not. It´s the whole over-the-top fever dream aspect that astounds me. How do you say I need some hip waders and a bigger shovel in French?

6) HIERATIC? Oh, for Pete´s sake. What, it had better flow than sacerdotal? They couldn’t work in gnosis? Or chthonic? Or maybe they were meaning it in the Egyptian sense, I don’t know.

Which woman am I tonight? I am the woman who finds all this a bit befuddling. I think: 180 years of perfumery and we have come to this? Multiple pages of white noise, just so much soft perfume porn that feels like it would smell if it were written on dryer sheets? I am the Guerlain house whore – and yet, I am bored with these games of chocolate and blindfolds. Will I be back? As they say in the ad for Chypre Fatal … maybe. Maybe not.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Kristy for extracting the bottle photo from my pdf file so I could load it in here!

RHM September 4, 2008

I've smelled & tested all three of the Elixir Charnel long before I read any of the ad copy. I did not care for any of them, nor will I be purchasing any of them. I am not impressed with the copy, it tells me very little about the fragrance, nor does it inspire me to do anything but roll my eyes & worry about the direction of a once grand fragrance house.

GGS August 29, 2008

Yes. Thank you. Well-said. (I see I wasn't the only one that pictured a *mammal* seal when reading that line!)

Kathryn August 29, 2008

Well, yes, in French Carnal Flower would be Fleur Charnelle. My point, evidently badly made, was that Malle (or whoever) had managed not to mangle French and English into some weird Franglish that makes little sense in either language. We agree that would be silly. But the use of the French name in the Guerlain copy still seems....strange. Considering that charnel has a disturbing alternate meaning in English, it just seems tone deaf to write something like "Capturing the ELIXIR CHARNEL, my skin becomes the scented seal of my call to love." And it verges on the hilarious if one pauses to think that "seal" also has an alternate meaning in English, that of "large aquatic mammal." There are just so many things that are odd about this. It may be good French, but it's certainly bad English.

Bela August 29, 2008

Carnal Flower is an *English* name composed of two English words: it would have been moronic of Frédéric Malle (or whomever) to call that perfume Flower Charnel, i.e. one English noun + one French adjective. Only Miller Harris and a couple of other silly people would do that. Elixirs Charnels is a *French* name made up of two French words. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kathryn August 28, 2008

Oh, the identity politics of perfume! I just got an email from Estee Lauder with the subject line "Are you an Idealist or a Perfectionist?" What does that, compared to the Guerlain Elixirs ads, tell us about the difference in American and French concepts of who women are? Well, maybe that's overstating it. There is that very refined questionnaire on the Frederic Malle website attempting to match your personality with their perfumes. I'm glad Malle had the wit to call his perfume Carnal, not Charnel, Flower. (That was one of the matches they came up with for me.) Whew, provincial French-bashing narrowly avoided. But at the very least, the Guerlain perfume porn and other perfume identity marketing does say something about the audience the corporate perfumers are trying to reach. In the case of the Guerlain Elixirs, it strikes me that the marketing must be aimed at men, and specifically those with fantasy lives that are far more extensive than their actual relationships with real women. Pretty sad, but it's so over the top that it's funny, too. And on the topic of over the top, Rizzo in Grease and the Madame in Moll Flanders (mentioned by allabouteve above) were both played by Stockard Channing, who went to Harvard/Radcliffe as history and literature major. I think her performances in those roles demonstrate that it's possible to play at being bawdy without being completely oafish. Really, the worst thing about the Guerlain ad copy is not so much that it fooled around with sex role stereotypes, but that it did so in such a truly stupid way.

Bela August 28, 2008

Re. 2) This is what I've just written on MUA. It's relevant here too: Since the original name of the series is in French, it's up to Anglophones to get over the fact that the word sounds like something distasteful in English. It can't be helped: 'charnel' means 'carnal' in French, and *nothing else*. It has no mass-grave connection. As we know, any word in any language can have a bad or hilarious meaning in another. So what? It's impossible to take into account *all* the ignorant or dirty-minded people out there. My advice is to learn some French and stop being so squeamish.

sarasotagirl August 28, 2008

*lights cigarette*

allabouteve August 28, 2008

Wow.How ridiculous for Guerlain.I just saw a movie called "Moll Flanders" (Robin Wright,Morgan Freeman..)yesterday and this could have been written by the Madame (how's that actress called that was Rizzo in "Grease"??)who was teaching Moll how wonderful it is to control a man only with the force of her body...I mean, hellooooo...we've moved on something like a century since then..this is nooooot the way to make us buy this stuff!!(I admit,it made me laugh, that's true..but that's it!) Talking about Guerlain..why is it that limited editions like Spirituese Double Vanille are so hard to get here in Europe?Are they only sold in the Guerlain boutique in Paris and in..maybe Bergdorf Goodman??And why does it seem that special things (even if I'm not willing to buy it)like these are first released over there in the States?I had a look at the Guerlain website..nothing.

minette August 28, 2008

yes, but how do they smell? leave this sort of purple prose to people like me please, guerlain! i love writing in the guise of the perfume. it's great fun. but i'm not selling them. :d

gina August 28, 2008

omg I really just want to throw up.

GGS August 28, 2008

Bless you March, I was laughing out loud throughout the post and the comments. My husband had to stop what he was reading to come over and see what was so funny. I couldn't wait to read him the one about the peppercorns and chocolate. For some reason he wasn't bowled over with desire! But he did think it was funny. He knows my smell, but he always forgets the names of the ingredients. HA HA HA Let's call them the 'Fumes of Death.

dissed August 28, 2008

Initial reaction: Huh? Say WHAT? My vote goes to Suffering Bastard.

Jemimagold August 27, 2008

All I can say is that I literally got *shivers* (and not in a good way) running up my back reading that horrid ad copy. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was an April Fool's Joke, in August.

Kim August 27, 2008

Well, I'd like the bottles if they made the labels sleeker rather than quasi goth/romantic. And the prose - enough to make me not want to bother smelling them. What is Guerlain thinking? If they are trying to go mass market, do they really think that the masses are going to read that much material before buying a perfuem? I barely read my cell phone directions!

Cait August 27, 2008

Ohh, still battling nausea after reading that shite. These seem so uninspired, too. From Guerlain? The grand perfumer? No mystique, no ideas, just retrograde ad copy from hell? If this is the future of perfumery then I guess I can stay in the wilderness debt free.

Robin August 27, 2008

I'll admit it -- I always start in "skim" mode, so it took me a few good seconds to understand that this wasn't something hilarious you wrote up over a few good drinks. Regardless, it's the best laugh I've had all week, so huge thanks! I love that the bottles match the Harlequin prose.

Elle August 27, 2008

OH. MY. GOD. Thank heavens I didn't read this directly after having lunch. WHO the h*ll wrote it? They should be forced to post their picture alongside it. And who put their stamp of approval on it? Unbelievable! They want self respecting, grown up women to fork over $200 or more dollars for scents w/ this sort of ad copy? OK, I may indeed love one of the scents (I've heard good things about the chypre), but I am definitely going to have to try to erase the memory of this copy from my mind. Oh, and aren't they introducing them in NY first? If so, then you'd think they would indeed be a little more aware of the "charnel" associations.

Disteza August 27, 2008

Which woman am I tonight? I am the unimpressed, apathetic woman who is not only unmoved, but swirls amongst her intense desire to mock such bad prose and her child-like confusion at why Guerlain feels the need to turn to porny bloviation. #-o I also got the connotation of charnel=death, even though I know charnel=carnal in French. I was, frankly, disenchanted with the whole thing. I mean, this is freaking Guerlain! Why are they bothering with all the copy? Are the new frags really that bad/boring? On an aside, didn't LMVH or one of it's lookalikes acquire Guerlain?

sybil August 27, 2008

I figured charnel meant something different in French, but yeah, the slaughterhouse association was rattling around in the back of my head when I read this...along w/ "she's pretty proud of herself, isn't she?" The whole thing is just full of obnoxious. Didn't they have anyone proofread it, in any language? This is not sexy!

violetnoir August 27, 2008

I usually have something to say, but all that tussling between the sheets palaver has left me depleted. I think you summed it up quite nicely for all of us, March! This proves the point that truth is always stranger than fiction. Hugs!

PlaysbyScent August 27, 2008

‘Charnel’ certainly brings back memories of the Black Death and narrow streets reeking with foul stenches, doesn’t it? 8-x Although I don’t like the word ‘carnal’ all that much more in English anyway, it’s up there with ’intercourse’ for sucking all the fun right out of hanky-panky. “Will the defendant please answer the question - do you or do you not have carnal knowledge of that woman?” I’m not sure where the pepper is going to end up, but if you thought sand in your bathing suit was bad… Anybody else worried she’s going to inadvertently come up with the recipe for gunpowder? I rather enjoyed the gormless statement ‘...he always forgets the names of the ingredients.’ Ethylene glycol monophenyl ether, ethylene glycol diacetate, propanoic acid; methyl anthranilate, isosafrole - poor guy. I have the same problem. I could forgive the stilted translation but still found it painful and uncomfortable to read. I wonder if it might have been a little more palatable told in the third person rather than the first? All that me-me-me is terribly in-your-face and sounds like bragging; third person allows the reader to insert themselves into the scene without some egotistical drama queen having got there first. ‘...unpredictable and compelling creature...as seductive as my feline form...the softness of my palm...milky white of my skin...my childlike charms...a deliciously mischievous woman...I can thus arouse passion with the mere glimpse of a curve unconstrained by the artifice of lace...scent of an extremely elegant and innately rebellious woman., if you believe what people say about me…’ Oh gawd, just die already.

Aparatchick August 27, 2008

They nearly lost me at "mischievious gourmet fragrance for a childlike woman," but I soldiered on. I thought this must be like the Dark-and-Stormy-Night Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest, in which people actually try to write a stupendously bad opening sentence. Crypt-Keeper Porn, indeed!

Denise August 27, 2008

I didn't make it through; I kept giggling. I hope no one is reading these at work! Can't tell if I would be interested in these; I keep going back up to look for notes and then getting distracted by the images of a scented seal and a woman with a handful of peppercorns in one hand and a squeeze bottle of Hershey's syrup in the other. Baffling.

Melissa August 27, 2008

Argh! I have this hideous image of an elegantly dressed Jacques Guerlain holding the arm of some grand dame who has just allowed him to place a few drops of one of these exquisite new creations on her wrist. And then he rather haughtily exclaims "Madame, he will not be able to resist your childlike charms. Especially when you snuggle up to him like a kitten before sliding between the sheets for a not so restful siesta." Yes, Rick (above) is correct. The patriarchs are rockin' their graves as we speak.

Patty August 27, 2008

Didn't you and Lee and me write something along these lines as a joke this year? Do you think they're, um... stealing! from us? :) I'll reserve judgment on the scents until I sniff them and just ignore this overripe prose. Lord.

MJ August 27, 2008

I thought charnel house too. The copy reads like submissions for one of those Worst Romance Story contests, or the Bulwer-Lytton Prize.

tmp00 August 27, 2008

well, my least French class was in college and I doubt I could ask for the bathroom so that "Charnel" has got some negative associations for me. I don't quite see why they went with it, frankly. Malle changed "French Lover" just to be taken seriously and Buick had to change the name of the LaCrosse in Canada when they learned it was slang for self-pleasure. I don't know; the "eau s'abbatoir" aspect to the name is almost as goofy as the prony prose...

Jerky Judith August 27, 2008

Hmmmm. . . If you are "dimwitted," I am an idiot: although I theoretically know French, my speed-reading brain saw "Charnel" as "Chanel." So I wondered why your comments (which I read more slowly) kept mentioning Guerlain!8-| Oh, well. I am sorta interested in Chypre Fatal. I am really sad that I won't be able to make it to Chicago. I was trying to arrange things so I could go, but I just buried under week. Will miss you. . .and all the fun>:(

barbara August 27, 2008

okay-I feel pimped...didn't someone buy Guerlain in the last few years??Someone who forgot their history of elegance?Porn(er, girl romance) sells- will it sell parfum, is the question? Anyone smell this stuff??I guess the new wave is to psyche us out-don't you want to BE these women???LOL

Debbie August 27, 2008

"He has been watching me sleep for a long time. I can sense it. He has had my body, but not the most secret part of me, my ELIXIR CHARNEL…” sounds simultaneously creepily stalker-ish," It is creepy as h***. And yes, "charnel" absolutely makes me think of guts hanging around, etc., like an Ed Gein find or something. Too gross for words. It could win the fake ad contest in a heartbeat. Who writes ad approves this stuff? Guerlain is not Walmart fragrance to be pimped. People were complaining about an ad for some Homme fragrance that showed wonderful animals, including a hot guy, drinking from a watering hole. That one was tongue-in-cheek, absolutely charming from the animals, and the guy was sexy. In contrast, the picture painted by these words.....eewww.

Billy D August 27, 2008

I actually laughed out loud at this: "He has had my body, but not the most secret part of me, my ELIXIR CHARNEL…” Mostly because I imagine some woman screaming out those last two words in faux ecstacy. What the hell is her carnal elixir??

Louise August 27, 2008

I opened the email with these descriptions in between classes, hoping that dear Jason at BG was maybe offering some samples :) Wrong /:) My first thought was that my 10th graders who have significant learning and language disabilities might have written better PurpleProse soft erotica. Hey, maybe we'll use that as an assignment? :d/ Then I guffawed. I think I lost all interest in the Elixirs, even before reading the notes, which seem either :-& or |-). The names of the individual perfumes are also awkward...Chypre Fatal just sounds moribund, Gourmand Coquin is sorta "flirty pudding", and Oriental Brulant begs the question "who/what is burning?" . The bottles look blah, these are "exclusive" at what 100 bottles per perfume, and the cost? $-) No thanky!

GalileosDaughter August 27, 2008

I immediately thought of charnel in the English meaning as well. Not good at all. Then to have this ridiculous copy...I cringe at what Guerlain has become. Are there no adults in charge over there any more? Plus Que La Pluie Ganache. Please don't give them any ideas! Let's all just pretend that the thought never occurred to anyone, please, and maybe it will all go away.

trinity August 27, 2008

Yes, the ad copy is pure dribble. But, has anyone SMELLED them yet? For God's sake, this is GUERLAIN we're talking 'bout. I can forgive anything if the juice is good. I think they need to hire a new advertising firm ASAP though!!

Shelley August 27, 2008

Ha! "Crypt-Keeper" porn (from Masha, above) is good...and helps explain "charnel." Yes, March, I too came up with the Anglo-sense of charnel on that one. Was a bit "huh?" at first. But I've been simmering with Denyce's discussion of skank for the past two days, and therefore entered a 'ah, death, the ultimate forbidden scent' approach to it all. Somebody in marketing is wondering while all those bloggers aren't eating this up...aren't they into this kind of stuff?

Olfacta August 27, 2008

"FumePorn." That's a good one. The next sound you will hear is me putting my finger down my throat... Ok I feel better now. Years ago Harlequin had a "hot romance" line. Nice to see that some of those writers got lucrative copywriting jobs from Guerlain!

Rick August 27, 2008

My initial reaction to this was the same as yours, March - a very awkward translation from the French, with its weird cadences and gnarly phrasing. But that doesn't excuse the content, which reads like a parody collectively whipped together by a jaded crew of put-upon copywriters. "My skin becomes the scented seal of my call to love" is some kind of classic - I keep imagining Tori Amos trying to sell that line over a run of pounding chords. But the line that really stopped me in my tracks was our wily narratrix's tossing peppercorns on her amour and topping them off with a drizzle of chocolate. I'm guessing that the original French must have implied a vixenish twist of the peppermill kept conveniently at bedside, but, in this version of the standard Lap It Up, Drive Him Wild scenario, you can't help but picturing the Charming Childlike Woman discreetly trying to pluck the peppercorns from between her teeth, which sort of undermines her little coup de théâtre. Oh, Guerlain, Guerlain. . .several patriarchs must be turning in their graves. Interestingly enough, Malle was going to call Carnal Flower Fleur Charnelle, but worried that it was too similar to Tubereuse Criminelle.

MattS August 27, 2008

Yikes. I had to stop reading and just skim down to your comments; I was cringing. I was embarrassed to be a human being. So what the hell is this stuff supposed to smell like? Your choice of pic to go with this crap was perfect 'cuz it sure doesn't seem like it was written anytime recently.

Erin T August 27, 2008

Forgot to say, though: Christine Nagel! Usually, she's kick A! Maybe I can still have hope, a secret, sizzlin hope....

Erin T August 27, 2008

I was reading Mary Roach's new book on sex this evening - don't miss her previous first book on death, "Stiff" - and so have already had that rare pleasure, literally barking aloud with laughter at something on the page. Your first point made me do it again. I did not guffaw during the actual ad copy itself, because I was so astounded and baffled. I think it was the mental image of the SAs handing this out to someone that finally woke me from my stunned state and gave me the belly laugh. Thank you so much. Agree with the second point, too. The name just seems doomed over here before you even add in all the pseudo-erotic backstory. (And I won't be able to wear the oriental now, reminded as I am of an infamous family anecdote where my brother spilled his gigantic Coke at a Sizzler steak house, after my father had warned him about ten times not to do it, and my father swept the whole flood off the table into my brother's lap. I am a creature of associations.)

Masha August 27, 2008

Crypt-Keeper Porn! I love it! I didn't know Guerlain had gone all Goth. Does BPAL know they've got serious competition? ;) OK, they're French, but English is now the primary global language and every company that has translations into English needs to hire a NATIVE SPEAKER! This reminds me of how the Chevy Nova never sold in Latin America, and finally, the marketing folks "discovered" that in Spanish, No-va means "No Go". I'm afraid these new perfumes sound like a Nova!

carmencanada August 27, 2008

Uh...ok. Somehow, this reminds me of the erotic short stories that are given away every week in August with the purchase of the French Elle (or were: I don't buy it any more). Soft pornish *pour femme*. Except that the Elle stories are written by real writers. Seems like a lot of trouble to sell the scents: also seems like someone came up with the idea of "we don't have the budget for tv ads, we'll just tell'em the story anyway". Sex scenes (even when just alluding-to-sex scenes) are the toughest thing to pull off for a writer. When that translates into the "every word must be given the go-ahead by marketing", on top of the writer's own trite fantasies, unwittingly revealed, you get this sort of Pablum. What would be hilarious is if this had been focus-grouped. Could you imagine the scene? I'm willing to think something was lost in translation, but still. You do have a good point about "charnel", it's a beautiful, evocative word in French but a very infelicitous choice in English. I thought it would be translated too on the bottles... And thanks for the link to my blog. The discussion going on there has been lively and scarily literate!

Catherine August 27, 2008

Okay, let's just say.... This is Harlequin *bull-crap.* I'd have some serious reservations. Come on--this is the land of *France*, not that there are complications about feminine sexuality and what it means. But this American (who's left two French fiancés...ummm, no I am not going to make generalizations...okay, I'll try not as I research the French phrase for shovel the romance sh-t) is really *(&^$&^W!!! Second, dear March, you are not just an Anglophile. I see Charnel and think of death and sex combined (is this my French theoretical/philosophical reading coming through? *chagrin* in the case of Guerlain--shame on you--or chagrin at my faux American education--reader decides). By all bias aside, I do wonder how it reads in the French language--is the subjunctive going on? Does this make a difference? **Call for the Francophiles (fluent French speakers-not me!) amongst us!** I'm just saying...Kilian's excess seems tame in comparison! And he was SO taken to task... I'm a woman who needs a good rose I can wear from Guerlain! That's who I am!

Cheezwiz August 27, 2008

I tried, I really tried, but it's impossible to make it through any of those without cracking up, or at least rolling your eyes. Prix Faux winners. Except it's REAL ad copy! b-(