Portmanteau Commentary: Getting back to basics - Perfumes now to define countries?

I had a conversation with my best friend Nelly who had just found out that Lithuania has commissioned a perfume named after the country, after watching a Colbert Report.

The fact that too many runaway celebrities think themselves so incredibly nice smelling that they find it appropriate to have perfumes created based on their own smell, which always seems to contain more personality descriptions than smell descriptions and are always a mix of alcohol, sweat and an additional scent... orange for "perky and fresh", rose for "sweet and cute"... that's annoying enough.

Don't get me wrong, the creation of a perfume after your own personal taste has been part of the perfumery business since the very beginning... but the idea is that it stays personal. Just yours. Marketing certain smells is plain weird and I think we have lost the sight of, like Colvert points out, how weird it is to be able to say to someone "Wow, you smell like Britney". Has anyone else noticed that more often than not, the perfumes are named after dancers, who presumably smell of sweat most of the time? Who wants to be associated with someone else's smell anyway?

And now there has been a nightmare introduced and I pray to Chanel that it does not turn into a trend. Bottling up the "essence" of a country's smell is a sure and fire way to creating hierarchies of perception and increase, or worse, reinforce preconceptions about a country.

“For Lithuanians to identify themselves with this perfume, we’ve added the smell of wood fires that can be associated with pagan rituals, as well as moss and wildflowers.” (National Post)

In comparison to that, smelling like another human almost seems normal. But still, it would be fun to pick out the bad smells one associates with a country and wonder what they'd be like in a bottle because who is to say an entire country smells of a single smell anyway? Nelly started with "fish and greasy chips for England" but there's the smell by the cliffs of Dover, the smell of inner country mustyness and rain, and personally, always the smell of loud cars in London. Where can that be tied down? The only consequence, surely, is that the results become narrow and nationalistically perceptive, which is the opposite of what a perfume should be.

Let's go back to the original concept idea, which is having your own smell that is a mix of your shampoo, soap, hand cream and environment.

You could also create your own perfume. Although the mix of smells made my sensitive tummy go yonder when I went to visit a perfumerie in South France, I am sure other would thoroughly enjoy creating their own smell, which is actually cheaper to do than the perfume I actually use (Penhaligon's Elizabethan Rose) and have been using since I was 13.

I came across this Virgin experience day (check it here) where you can create your own perfume for less than £50! That's pretty cool. Just make sure you don't attach personality traits to the smell or feel like hiring a marketing director and distributor, and we're good.