So! I got the Curious Britney Spears fragrance set. I dared. Well, actually, my brother and sister-in-law dared to give me the set. It was a holiday gift.
It is an exhilarating white floral wrapped in the sensuality of vanilla-infused musk. Well, that's what britneyspearsbeauty.com, the official fragrance site for BRITNEY SPEARS™ products has to say about it. I think the smell of it is fruity and kind of more adult-y smelling than the other Britney Spears perfumes. By adult-y I mean that it smells like something that when I was a kid I imagined adult perfume would smell like. I do actually have another Curious perfume of Brit's but it was a precursor to this version of Curious. That one was all about pink packaging. This one is all mostly a blue theme, with occasional pink, and lots of black.
So this is the Curious one I got, pictured here.
This is the one I already had, pictured here. A tiny tiny tiny picture!
My fave of Brit's scents is Believe. FYI.
But! I have not tried the newer ones, like the Circus line or Radiance Line.
I mean, I like this one too, but really, the best one is Believe. That one was more musky. The smell and the color of the packaging makes me think of her Slave 4 U era, like kinda spicy and pheromone-y. Also the color of the Believe stuff was the same green she wore for her famous MTV awards where she danced holding a boa, and they recreated part of that when Glee did the Brittany/Britney episode. Lots of green.
I like this incarnation of Curious stuff too, but I doubt anybody around me would be titillated if they smelled it on me. Still, it is pleasant. Some of the words and phrases britneyspearsbeauty.com used to describe this line of fragrance include:
I guess I can detect the magnolia. At least, what I imagine magnolia smells like. Pear? Don't know about that one. Not sure I can detect any hints of that. I thought maybe I'd notice it more when I used the "Curious Lather Me Up! Shower Gel." But no, I didn't sense any Anjou pear. Mostly I have just been poofing out sprays from the atomizer and sniffing the air. Or lightly misting it and then moving my head around where I just sprayed. Why am I not spraying it on myself? Because I don't want to smell like a hooker. But oh! I love atomizers! I can't stop playing with it. It's a poofy thing that I can poof! Poof! It has the dangling little tsi-tsis hanging on the end like on the pink Curious bottle too! How luxurious. Anyway, lotus, well, I like the way lotuses look and I know I've definitely had them in food before (and Asian pastries) but I'm not sure I would recognize it in a fragrance. Star jasmine! I didn't know there were different types of jasmine. How exotic! And sandalwood. Makes me remember my days working at The Body Shop. I got really into dewberry when I was there and when I went to college my friends told me that they could smell when I was somewhere before they were there because I wore that much of it, like they'd say "Were you in the student union quad earlier? Because i think I smelled you." Many people have told me that I put on too much scent when I wear perfume. I guess it's because I can't smell myself after a while. (Or you get used to the scent, which makes sense considering when I would go into to work at The Body Shop, it always smelled awesome when I came in to work but then since I was immersed in it all day I couldn't smell it after a while.) I know this sounds crazy but I love it when people wear too much perfume or cologne. That smells good to me. Maybe that's another reason why I overdo it.
Anyway, even though I personally like the Curious stuff, reactions from critics are mixed.
If by "reactions from critics are mixed" you mean reactions from a test audience composed of one of my cats who smelled it and left the room and a roommate who pronounced "That smells like a French whore. A cheap French whore," then yes, reactions from critics are mixed.
My response to being told that I smelled like a French whore was: "I like it. What do you not like about it? Lots of people liked it in 2004. It was actually the top selling perfume of that year." Also I read somewhere on the internet that as of this very moment, her beauty products are the top selling perfume products in the world.
My roommate responded, "Because of the marketing. That's why you like it. Lots of people eat at McDonald's. You think it's because they have good food? Go wear your synthetic ambergris outside! Quit trying to make excuses for this cheap whore you're so obsessed with!" Then he went to bed.
I thought "Mom, what WAS the marketing for Curious like when it came out?" I went and rewatched the commercial for it on You Tube (I say rewatched because once I watched it I realized I'd seen it before.) You can watch it here if you need to consult it (I know you're really dying to go watch a Britney Spears perfume commercial):
If you watch it you may recognize that plot acceleration device used in commercials and movies, where they show two people meeting and a potential "what if we followed this thread?" montage sequence in fast-forward for about 10 seconds, and then they go back to the present. I saw it once on a commercial (for what I don't remember), where a girl and a guy who have never met see each other in the elevator and you see them both, eyes locked, in the span of a few seconds, go through in their heads a rapid-fire succession of images that imply they date, get married, have kids, etc. And then it shoots back to them in the elevator in the present. Also, I've seen this device used in an episode of Doctor Who where they do this sort of flash-montage sequence of showing the tenth doctor as a human (not a Timelord -- long story), and he's married to this human woman, and in the span of a few seconds you see them raising kids, growing old together and then him on his death bed, satisfied, thanking his wife for his life with her -- but then it flashes back to him in real time, and in this instance, based on what you know about the situation at hand, the viewer is made to think of this particular instance with this plot device, "Ah, the life that will never be." Spoiler? Sorry.
Ah, the potentially thwarted future history plot device. I am a TOTAL sucker for that. That shit just pulls me right in.
I am also reminded of the scene at the beginning of Slacker2 with the guy in the backseat of the cab doing this monologue (I think it was the director, Richard Linklater himself) about his thoughts on the what-if-each-thought-had-its-own-reality? type of premise.
It seems that if we expanded the concept of "Here's-what-this-reality-would-have-been" to include things other than the accelerated "potential time line" montage, we also have entire movies based around exploring that alternate reality. I can already imagine a lot of things that belong to that category, like immediately I think of those "good will to all" novels and movies where the main character is in some way shown what the world would be like without them, like It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol1, and an episode of Buffy where they show a Sunnydale without Buffy's ever having been there; her two best friends had been turned into vampires, and that was interesting. [Sidenote: What I like about vampires on Buffy is that most of the vampires were gross and not particularly sexy when they were doing their vampire-y activities. Is it like that in other vampire-y things in vogue right now? I don't know, I never really got into vampire movies and have only read the sort of canonical vampire-y stuff that good high school goths in training do, like Anne Rice etc.] In last month's Bust there was an article about the difference between vampires and werewolves, and that it was essentially a class difference; vampires are often portrayed as upper class and werewolves sort of represented the lower class, and they had all these examples to back up the assertion, but of course I can't remember much of it, although they did talk about vampires drinking out of goblets in castles and werewolves would be more likely to wear a shirt that says "Mustache rides" on it.)
I watched the commercial twice. Then I couldn't help but click on some of the other links: other Britney commercials for other fragrances, fan-posted cell phone movies from Britney's Circus tour, and make-up tutorials from a lot of women, my fave being a charming Welsh woman with the best accent ever demonstrating how to emulate Britney's eye makeup from the Hidden Fantasy Perfume commercial (I have seen a number of YouTube videos of different woman doing Britney Spears makeup demonstrations. I love that it's always in a messy room.)
Anyway, Britney’s newest fragrance commercial is for Radiance, which has some of the following characteristics: white flowers, amber, musk, tuberose, jasmine, orange flower and iris. The key for me on this one is that even though I haven’t actually smelled it I bet I would like it because it has orange flower scent in it and I looooooove orange flower water. In fact, just earlier today I had some orange flower water on some strawberries. How Moroccan of me. Orange flower water is like Dr. Brommer’s, you can use it for anything and put it on anything, and all it does for you is good.
Interesting that the commercial for Radiance shows Brit escaping from a pap crowd and going in to a fortuneteller who asks her if she wants to know her future and she declines, adding “I choose my own destiny.” I find this interesting in light of the discussion about alternate realities. The slogan for the product is “Choose your own destiny”,” which reminds me of that scene in The Matrix where Neo goes to see the oracle and she tells him “You’ll remember that you don’t believe in fate” or whatever. She also tells him to have a cookie.
1 I saw Slacker when I was in high school. Watching it more recently I was much more intrigued by it, mostly because of that monologue in the beginning, having realized that what that monologue really was, which was that was a set-up for the premise of the film. During that opening monologue, he talks about a dream he had on the bus, that it wasn't really about anything in particular, but just people talking and reading. He said something to the effect that each reality is competing, thinking it's THE REAL reality, and when we dream, really what we're dreaming is bleed through from the other reality. The implication is that throughout the movie, one scene/conversation ends at the same destination where another one is picked up, and in this the way, the movie becomes more than a stream-of-consciousness but a series of decisions to follow a certain reality at any given moment, depending on who walks by, and in that way, the audience infers "this is the reality we pick at this moment, but certainly those other realities are happening elsewhere." When seen through the lens of that consideration, the movie is much more interesting to me. Also, Slacker is funnier than I remember it being. I don't think I understood at the time why the movie was called Slacker but I get it now. I've always been too much of a type A personality to get into the psychology of the notion of the "slacker" as realized in that sort of Gen X-Coupland-intelligent-but-lazy archetype definition, but there are times where I admit that I am Type A about certain things and not Type A about others.
2 What's with all the Xmas alternate-reality things?