Just how much do Pizza Hut's devotees love the smell of a freshly-opened box of pizza? Enough for Pizza Hut Canada to commission a fragrance so disconcertingly weird that it crosses the bridge from kitschy merch to conceptual art. And I didn't even know there was a bridge at that location!
Eau de Pizza Hut is billed as containing top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough. Not exactly Chanel No. 5, but since only 110 bottles were made available to select pizza fanatics, it has the edge on Chanel in terms of exclusivity.
|Eau de Pizza Hut: more exclusive than Chanel No. 5.|
And exclusivity is a big deal when it comes to perfume, especially now that its luxury factor has been cheapened by non-stop celebrity fragrance launches. Releasing a perfume has become a rite of passage for pop stars extending their sell-by date, movie stars cashing in on their mystique, and reality stars classing up their trashy personas.
But it's not just the Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers of the world who are fumigating the faithful with their signature scents. Hipster stars like arthouse movie queen Tilda Swinton and indie folk singer Will Oldham have released bespoke perfumes. 60s bohemian beauty Jane Birkin's fragrance, L'air de Rien, is inspired by l'air de Jane's brother's hair and her father's stale pipe, along with the odor of dusty books. It's musky, personal and insinuating.
Further still from the mainstream are the art projects disguised as commercial perfumes. Australian design trio Greatest Hits devised “Stink Different”: an Apple Mac fragrance redolent of “the smell of the plastic wrap covering the box, printed ink on the cardboard, the smell of paper and plastic components within the box and of course the aluminum laptop.”
Moving into the “social discord” genre, American conceptual artist Lisa Kirk has created “Revolution”. Revolution contains the aromas of smoke, gasoline, tear gas, burnt rubber, and decaying flesh: an olfactory critique on luxury branding and political combustion.
Earlier this year, professionally-kookoo fashion house Comme des Garçons launched “Eau de Parfum”, a fittingly sterile name for a scent which pongs defiantly of glue and sticky tape. And provocative French fragrance company Etat Libre d'Orange puts the stink in “distinctive” with its notorious release Sécrétions Magnifiques. Sécrétions Magnifiques trumpets its blend of sweat, saliva, semen, blood and breast milk (I guess urine and feces weren't quite magnifiques enough). The odor can best be described as a blend of wet dog and Chernobyl, coaxed to maturity in a ship's bilge.
But back to the most exclusive perfume of all. What does Eau de Pizza Hut actually smell like? Well, to me it's an odd but comforting blend of cinnamon, baby powder and feet. I'm not sure, but I think the feet part might be the combination of the dough and cheese accords. After about 20 minutes, I start to smell the box -- which is a faint vanilla cardboard niff. It's really weird and I kind of like it.
Almost as much as I liked Burger King's limited edition perfume from a few years ago called Flame, described as “the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat”. Sounds like something your dog could wear -- if he weren't already wearing Sexy Beast, the world's first high end “pawfume” for canines.
This blend of sweet amber and spices is formulated specifically for a dog's sensitive sense of smell. But it smells so good, you might end up borrowing it from your pet. Which has to make Sexy Beast the most exclusive perfume of all.