David Lynch directs a sensuous commercial for Opium Perfume, in which extreme closeups of eyes and other body parts deconstruct the body you're supposed to be desiring. Weirdly, Lynch's perfume ads are far from being the most unnerving or strange of all the classic scent commercials.
Barbara Herman, author of a new book called Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume, has been posting tons of strange old perfume ads on Youtube lately.
And the biggest surprise is that the David Lynch ones are downright restrained and logical, compared to several of the others. See for yourself!
Gio by Armani, filmed by David Lynch — a weird Hitchcockian noir pastiche with surrealist touches. Kind of awesome.
Coty Wild Musk, 1983. This is my personal lead contender for the most alarming — cave people spraying animal musk on each other to "turn fear into fascination." Great slogan, or GREAT slogan: "Use it before you stalk [someone]."
Cachet Perfume, 1984. Dancers in headbands leap and cavort behind an independent cream-suited lady who is "ready now."
Rive Gauche Perfume, 1977. This is like a masterclass in how social change gets broken down in pop media — the woman who's too independent to marry is spraying her legs — over and over — with perfume until they're drenched in the stuff. And then she gets in the car and drives off, because she's so contemporary. Amazing.
Love's Baby Soft, 1975. Actually, THIS might be the most disturbing perfume ad. There's nothing more irresistible than a baby — so turn yourself into a baby. A SEXY baby. Wait, what? It's something to do with being mentally regressed to infancy via some sort of brain-siphon ray. "Because innocence is sexier than you think." Umm... eww.
Ambush Perfume, 1960s. This one is just so creepy.
Opium, 1986. A woman in white goes to an Indiana Jones temple and picks up a guy who's either Tarzan or Conan, I can't tell which.
Andron, 1981. What if the people inside Tron's Game Grid were sexed up?
Exclamation. A very young Famke Janssen appears to have telekinetic powers in this one.
Check out more insane videos — including the Charlie perfume ad — over at Barbara Herman's Youtube page!