Thursday, November 20, 2008

What does Michael Phelps smell like?

Off the top of my head, I would've guessed chlorine. Turns out, the Olympic swimmer is partial to a cologne by Yves Saint-Laurent. How do I know this? Because People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive will hit newsstands tomorrow. The issue features "scratch and sniff" ads—based on confessions by several celebrities of what fragrance makes them feel sexiest. Some actor I've never heard of who is on a show I've never seen ("Gossip Girl") reveals that freshly cut grass does it for him (not sure how his girlfriend—or boyfriend—feels about that). Actor Taye Diggs digs vanilla, chocolate, sandalwood and musk essential oils. Why would anyone wear a fragrance that smells like food? the Madame asked me. That'd just make be hungry. I'd tell the Mister: Stop pawing me—I'm savoring my chicken-fried-steak perfume.

Apparently this type of sensory advertising is nothing new at People. In 2006, they included a "lick the page" ad designed to tempt readers to buy Welch's grape juice. Oh my lord! Don't people know where that magazine's been?! She explained to me that People is the magazine that shoppers usually flip through as they're waiting in the grocery line. Then they put it back in the rack after they've left their grubby fingerprints all over it.

No one in this house licks magazines, though if you accidentally drop one on the floor, the very confused, troubled fat cat Isabel might pee on it. Trust me, that's a scratch-and-sniff you don't wanna be a part of.

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