The Saddest Perfume Names

Anna Karina

Perfumes themselves should give us emotions. These emotions are why I think many of us enjoy this olfactory “hobby”. We really get hooked when we smell a perfume that puts us at a loss of words. Now some perfumes give us emotions…negative emotions but I don’t see this as a bad thing. It gives us something to talk about. And today I’m talking about sad perfume names.

This isn’t a list of perfume names that I find offensive (should save that for another day!) nor is this a list of perfume names that I think are “bad”. This is a list of perfume names that I find sad. The names themselves give me feelings of sadness. It’s not the actual perfumes (that’s another post as well!) but it’s the names. The titles of these perfumes leave me feeling a bit glum.

sad perfume names

Here they are in not particular order of glumness:

Britney Spears In Control Curious – Other than being nonsensical in the English language, this fragrance is completely ironic. Need I go on? No. This name makes me so sad since Britney has never had a chance to be in control of anything during her entire life. It’s the saddest perfume name in the world.

Caron Aimez-Moi – I love this fragrance but the name is sad to me as it reeks of desperation. “Love me”. I imagine, from the name, that this perfume has very low self-esteem and I want to give her a pep talk.

Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons Luv <sic> Me – See my response above, but this one is even sadder…I don’t have to explain why. I’m sure you see it.

Escada Desire Me – This makes me sad in the way that the Caron does. Except this time, the desperation seems more young adult seeking acceptance through sex. The name is less innocent. I mean, it isn’t a super sad name, it just makes me sad. I want to help it have better self-esteem and some RuPaul self-love type speech.

Jean Paul Gaultier Fragile – I love this big tuberose. But, the name always makes me feel “fragile” and fragility isn’t glamorous. It didn’t even work for Judy Garland.

Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria – I don’t understand this name at all. Why would intense happiness and feelings of self-confidence be forbidden? This perfume wants us to be sad. Or maybe it’s talking about meth…or mania. I don’t know but I don’t like it. It forbids my happiness. Plus, the entire ad campaign was mega pervy and insinuated to the sexualization of minors. Not cool. Not ever cool. OK, this has just taken me from sad to mad. Review here.

Juicy Couture Couture Couture – This one is only sad to me because of my speech therapy background. It appears that this perfume has a fluency disorder and I want to help her by teaching her techniques that she can use in her daily life to aid in more fluid communication. Full review.

Like I said before, I’m not commenting on the quality of these fragrances, just their names. I know I’ve left some off of the list. With a million perfume launches a month, it’s difficult to keep these things straight. And honestly, most of the names that stick with me are the silly ones or the ones that are “WTF”.

Are there any perfume names that you consider “sad”? If so, what are they?

*Anna Karina pic from www.fanpix.net.

30 thoughts on “The Saddest Perfume Names

  1. Funeral Home by Demeter. (’nuff said.)

    L’Eau Froide (who wants to sit in a bucket of cold water?)

    Don’t Get Me Wrong I Don’t Swallow (this is all kinds of bizarre and sad.)

    Juliette Has a Gun (and we all know what happened to her…)

    Womanity (sorry, it doesn’t sound like it’s PRAISING females. (maybe it’s just because i despise all TM frags. ALL OF THEM.))

    Unforgivable Woman (which is an unforgivable frag.)

    Poison & it’s flankers. (because Poison will kill you.)

    L’Heure Bleue (although it refers to dusk or dawn, it’s kind of a melancholy one, no?)

    Passage D’Enfer (if i didn’t know this was a perfume, i’d assume it was the stretch of highway that runs through wyoming.)

    • These are great additions. How did I forget Unforgivable Man & Woman?! I couldn’t stand those names when they came out. And I agree with L’Heure Bleue. It’s not an offensive name, but it is melancholy…and so is the actual fragrance. It’s what I wear when I go through a Morrissey phase which for some reason I can’t grow out of. And Funeral Homes are depressing for most of us. That one instantly conjures up sad, sad thoughts.

      Juliette Has a Gun – Not to get into anything political, that’s not what this is about but I have a reader/friend that refused to try the line because of the name. She doesn’t believe in the glamourization of guns. Before she mentioned it, I didn’t actually think of the brand name at all. And then a lightbulb went off and I was like “yes, that could be off-putting as a name”.

      Womanity makes me laugh. It would be a great drag queen name. – Thanks for the laughs! I needed them on this lonnnggg Friday afternoon.

  2. “I imagine, from the name, that this perfume has very low self-esteem and I want to give her a pep talk.” and “It appears that this perfume has a fluency disorder and I want to help her by teaching her techniques that she can use in her daily life to aid in more fluid communication.” – priceless! :) Thank you for the smile.

    I went through the perfume names (first in my head and then in my database) looking for a perume name that make me sad. There are many names I dislike (I’ve been collecting them for a post. Maybe.) but sad… Since I don’t read French (I have to go and translate to know what the name means) I suspect some of those that might have had that effect are lost on me. But I could think of one that I hate – but it actually also makes me feel sad: Burqa by SoOud. I’m sad that a European brand thought of naming their perfume like that and I’m sad for modern women who wear it either not understanding the name or disregarding it.

    • My pitiful French (and other language) skills kept me from adding many French ones. As you can see, these are mostly in English. I’m sure there are others out there, in non-English, that are sad but like you said, lost on some of us.

      I will say this, which may be another post like I mentioned in this one, I can’t stand the idea of this line. It bothers me for so many reasons and Burqa is one of those. If you read the copy, you’ll be left confused. It’s “selling” a group of women to Western men by making them appear exotic and forbidden. Gets on my nerves. I’ve asked my Muslim friends both in the U.S. and those living in pre-dominantly Muslim countries how they feel about this name. The answers I have received have been mixed, almost 50/50. Some say it’s very offensive to them and others say it’s not a big deal to them (but they did not read the copy). Not to get political, etc. I realize that it is a very complex topic, but it does bother me just because I find it insensitive since it is created/marketed by a European brand (and France has banned burqas!).

    • it’s not sad, per se, but Ma Griffe means “My Claw”. whaaaaaa????

      french names are HILARIOUS, especially when non speakers use french in delightfully horrible ways to make whatever it is sound “classy”.

      maybe that’s yet ANOTHER post! of course, Etat Libre D’Orange is going to win in any given strange name category.

      • There are so many WTF ones out there.

        I love when brands want to sound “more classier” by throwing together a few French words that were just MADE to be butchered by American English accents. Like SA called Tom Ford Plum Japonais this…
        Tom Ford Plum Ja Pony Ass.

        As a brand, I’d rather it be Japanese Plum than having my SAs calling it Plum Ja Pony Ass.

      • As I understand it, Ma Griffe means “my signature” as it’s primary meaning. (And it was my first signature fragrance, by chance.)

        • Yeah, “griffe” can mean talon/claw but it can also mean signature/brand/label. It’s without a verb but it has a pronoun and I assume most of us don’t have talons ;)

  3. Interesting post.
    For me:
    L’Heure Bleue. The blue hour. More melancholia than sad, yes. But it does have that bittersweet tone of dusk.

    Mitsouko-reminds me of the opera “Madame Butterfly’

    La Fin du Monde. Come on, the end of the world. That’s really sad. Most of ELDO’s name come across to me as frat boys launch a perfume shop.

    I really like the Passage d’Enfer one. The road to hell. I’d put in Texas rather than Wyo. But I’m biased.

    • Guerlain used to be the best at melancholy and had all of those tragic love story inspirations. Now they’re just Petite Robe’n.

      ELdO does seem very immature most times, like young boys that have just learned a new offensive concept. For me La Fin du Monde is sad but not sad-sad. It’s more sci-fi, I love a post-apocalyptic film. But, even those films have a sad ending…maybe I’m just messed up.

      We used to call this one sidewalk where we used to walk the dogs, “Passage d”Enfer”. It was the most stressful sidewalk. House #1 Rottweiler. House #2 2 pit bull mixes. House #3 Doberman. House #4 world’s grumpiest English bulldog. And here I am with my evil little Napoleon complex frugs…

  4. Thank you for the hearty laugh this evening! “Juicy Couture Couture Couture!” Priceless. I agree about Womanity… I love the fragrance, but the name is so un-clever and weird and embarrassing… it makes me sad! So does Provocative Woman, which I have never sniffed, but it always seemed like a backhanded compliment, like something your sexist uncle would say about any woman with brains…. And then, not so sad, but funny, maybe funny sad? Well, at least unfortunate! for a fragrance–Poopoo Pidoo…

    • In my head, I still say Womanity like “Oh, the Womanity!” I can’t help it. The worst was when they sent me press info on the launch…now that was sad, well at least embarrassing.

      Ugh, Provocative Woman. That name is dumb. I remember when it first came out, I was given a sample at a department store as they were having a big launch for it. I remember she handed me the little sample (it was in a Bond No. 9 bon bon style wrapper) and I read the name and said, “Provocative Woman? This is such a dumb name”. She was nice about it, I mean she didn’t name it, but I was actually surprised by how silly it was. Not as silly as Womanity but at the time it was silly.

  5. This was a great post and the comments were a hoot too.
    I think L’Heure Bleue is a very melancholic name also, but it does fit so well.
    I couldn’t think of any sad names but plenty of stupid ones come to mind: Dans tes Bras is the most ridiculous (although it does set me snickering like a schoolgirl). Running a very close second is Poopoo Pidou – what were they thinking? Oh and White Shoulders always makes me think of dandruff, Infusion D’Homme conjures up images of grown men in tea cups steeping like teabags, and Beige makes me yawn just thinking about it (which is a shame because I quite like it).

    • So funny!

      Even just saying “L’Heure Bleue” is melancholy. I can’t say it without sounding like an apathetic high schooler studying French.

      Ugh, Poopoo Pidou! This reminds me of Rochas Poup’ee perfume! It didn’t fly in the English speaking world. Means “doll” but it’s poopy perfume.

      I’m with you with White Shoulders. I always think of a Selsun Blue advert. Dying at Infusion d’Homme.

      I actually like saying the word “beige”. And “garage”, I like that word too. I don’t think of Beige as beige at all.

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  10. For some reason, not only does CK’s “Down Town” depress me, it also annoys the crap out of me. Excuse my language.

    Seriously! Maybe it’s because, for me, “down town” has such a poor connotation, while I associate perfumes with glamour and/or power (depending on the scent).

    • I think it’s such a silly name. Is it trying to be aspirational? Does that name appeal to anyone? Plus, it just seems like such a silly inspiration – “downtowns” are usually a mash-up of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, etc.

      I prefer living downtown and like the good and the bad living that sort of “lifestyle” (granted, I live in a smaller city, so it’s less hectic). However, since it’s my “normal life”, I don’t see the glamour or how it would appeal to anyone shopping for a perfume!

      Let’s be positive, the only way they could have made it sound worse is saying “up town”, lol.

  11. The Juicy Couture one is especially funny because it’s a brand that is primarily known for making hideous velour track suits with lettering across the ass. Classy. It’s like they decided ‘hmm, if we put the word couture in there they HAVE to know we’re couture. Let’s put an extra one just in case.’

    Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit makes me a little sad because it makes me think of Antoine de Saint Exupery (Not to mention recent events!)

    Also someone had mentioned Samsara was an odd choice for a perfume name since it means wheel of life and/or wheel of suffering. Damn, Guerlain.

    • So classy :) And I’ve learned that if someone tells you that they are classy, they aren’t. And I guess I should expand that to “if they tell you that it’s couture, then it isn’t”.

      After doing this, I conclude that Guerlain is the moodiest, most doleful perfume brand ever. ALL of those classic perfumes were inspired by the saddest stories.

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