Celebrities not making scents

Lancôme, Chanel, Estée Lauder … sacrebleu! With so many French words floating around the makeup counters these days, aren’t you glad that we have the familiar faces of celebrities to help sort them out? Thanks to them, I can easily distinguish Trésor de Lancôme from Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle by simply asking myself, “Do I want to smell like Kate Winslet or Keira Knightley today?” Everyday it’s a toss up.

Lately it has become more chic for celebrities to promote their own brand of stink, rather than promote a designer perfume (e.g., Celine Dion, J. Lo, Britney). But now some new pitch women have been added to high-end fragrances’ ad campaigns and thank goodness for that — it’s reassuring to know that our old favorite smells still have star power.

Recently, it was announced that Nicole Kidman, who was the face of Chanel No. 5, had been replaced by the adorable French actress Audrey Tautou, who will always be Amélie to me despite her other successful films (Dirty Pretty Things, Happenstance, The Da Vinci Code). Tautou will become the Chanel spokesmodel in early 2009, with a debut commercial helmed by her Amélie director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Déjà vu! Chanel’s tribute to great directors and their actors began with Nicole Kidman working on her ad campaign with Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann.

Naomi Watts has been chosen to represent the fragrance Angel, created by Thierry Mugler. Mugler said in a press release that “Naomi displays a modern touch, a personality that blends sensuality, voluptuousness and evanescence to evoke the many facets of Angel. A blonde fragility, a natural tenderness, an emotional seductiveness.” Somewhere in there I’m sure he meant to add “and she’s super-famous,”, but Watt’s “evanescence” distracted him.

Eva Mendes was recently added to the Calvin Klein family of products to represent a new (and yet to be named) fragrance. Mendes will become sisters-in-smell with fellow Calvin Klein spokesmodel Scarlett Johansson. Other beauties representing bottles: Katherine Heigl is the face of Nautica’s My Voyage perfume, and Lost star Evangeline Lily was picked to represent Davidoff Cool Water for Women. I wonder if her years trapped on that island became the inspiration for the decision to hire her. Those ad executives should have an award pinned on their lapel for outstanding achievement in thinking outside the casting box.

Perfumes are not for all of us — personally, I prefer a refreshing $10 misting spray from the Bath & Body Works than an eau de toilette — but I can appreciate the nostalgia and the imagery a memorable smell can create. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times another has girl walked by me wearing the same perfume as my girlfriend and suddenly it’s like she is right there. And at the end of the day it’s her I think of. Kate Winslet? Not so much.