Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mouthless Flowers

How do we feel about quiet perfumes? Should quiet, soft scents be marketed to women as "feminine" in lieu of other types of fragrances today? Are we subversively sending a message that women should keep silent by taking the notion of "soft = feminine" at face value or does perfume have nothing to do with fashion and the way it shapes belief systems in our society?

Today I'm wearing Dolce & Gabbana Sicily again, a scent I would describe as a soft scent. I do like it a lot and I think there's something to be said for perfumes that are well-mannered and aren't too strong, but strong scents can be worn subtly in small amounts, too, so what's everyone talking about when they say soft scents are feminine?

It's my theory that many people think of soft (powdery) scents as feminine, and sharp (high-pitched, bold or bright) scents as loud and therefore unfeminine. Everyone's entitled to each their own perceptions of scent and femininity but I don't want the quieting down of women to take over the way perfumes are marketed to women, especially not right now when the 1950s trend is taking over everything else, from our clothes to our TV programs.

We might not think of advertisements as messages but they are. Words themselves are messages--I think of how the word for "gardenia" in Japanese is "kuchinashi" which sounds like "mouthless" (kuchi (mouth) + nashi (without)).

Perhaps I'm just thinking too much and should go arrange some flowers or something like a proper lady ought to.