July 10, 2007
Perfume and Car Brand Naming: Bulls Good, Horses Maybe, Hummers Never
I'm inspired by the launch of the new Lamborghini cologne to do a quick run down on how perfume naming and exotic car brands go together.
First of all, it seems to be that foreign sports cars--particularly Italian brand names--are the ones that lend themselves best to perfume brand naming.
The Bugatti perfume (limited edition) goes for a cool five grand and comes in a very interesting bottle.
Ferrari has already sewn up the perfume and cologne market, of course, with the intelligently named Donna Ferrari perfume for women. Italian car brands just have such a sex appeal built into them that crossing over into colognes and perfumes seems easy... even the logos seem to work.
American brand names offer a harder challenge. Witness the Mustang Men cologne. It's really hard to get by the fact that if you are a guy slapping this stuff on, you might smell like, well, a horse.
Of course, since Ferrari has a colt on its bottle and Lamborghini has a fighting Miura bull, this should not be a problem, but that name--Mustang--that's a little tough.
The logo of a farm animal is one thing... but actually naming a perfume after one, that's a whole different story; especially since a huge part of the target market is women buying gifts for men.
But the hardest perfume brand-naming job by far has to be Hummer. How on earth did Elizabeth Arden sell men a cologne with the name Hummer on it? Aside from the multitude of off-color jokes it will inspire, a Hummer itself is just not sexy. It's a mean machine. Which is why it seems destined to fail in the US.
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