burberry-2.jpgAs a wee nipper, there was one thing which made my life a burden. Smellies as I called ’em. My mother liked her perfume, and the rest of us had to put up with this. She preferred brews with a strongish niff, and sprayed them on liberally. I remember getting splitting headaches as a child in the car sitting behind her, a headache that would only be properly identified fifteen years later with a brief poppers experiment. In my teen years I realised how smellies could actually save your bacon at Christmas (if make it smell less bacony). A smallish bottle of whatever your Mum fancied would normally be just in the price range for parental present, and was – unlike anything else I could have bought my Mum, clearly a present for her*. It was clearly not a present for the rest of us, who needed a paracetamol when she got trigger happy.

So Christmas does mean perfume to me. It also means the massive influx of perfume ads. They were showing the entirety (including credits!) of the Nicole Kidman “I’m a dancer” ad before Casino Royale, which indicated Christmas is around the corner. So this Burberry ad happens to be a Christmas ad just because it has come out at Christmas. Which is a good enough reason because smellies don’t advertise at any other time. It hit me when I saw it at a bus stop, you don’t SEE perfume ads any other time of the year.

Anyway Burberry Smellies then. In particular Burberry London: because despite being the clothier of the chav generation (how pleased are they by this!) they also make a number of smellies. But this bus shelter ad I found remarkably silly. Advertising both Burberry London for Men and For Women it features two British actors. Representing the men is Mr Fantastic himself, el-substandard Stretcho and Horatio Hornblower: Ian Griffiths Ioan Gruffudd. In the Lady corner we have the reincarnation of Princess Nefertiti herself, academy award holder Rachel Weisz. The ad depicts, scrapbook style, their typical day together in London, in some sort of magical courtship. See:


EXCEPT EVERYONE KNOWS THEY ARE NOT A COUPLE. What is Burberry London trying to say? That spray me on and you too can be unfaithful to your fiancee who you just had a child with? Or that you might dump the bird from 102 Dalmatians? But its just an ad, you say, don’t take it so literally. So don’t put their names on the advert. It is all rather odd. Especially as there seems to be a subtext that both are Londoners, when Griffiths Gruffudd lives in LA and Weisz lives in Brooklyn. Here it is, see what you think:

*Aprons, oven-gloves and pots are presents for the house and earn a frown around the Xmo tree.