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Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Five Worst Perfumes Found at the Flea Market (Sampled)

Previously, I ventured to the local flea market in search of craptastic gold. This time, I went back armed only with my wallet, Binaca (did you know they still make this stuff?), and a seven year old girl who gravitates towards shiny objects like Golem at the annual Kay Jewelry half-off sale. Because he liked rings, you see. It's not my best metaphor, I know. Moving on.

After bouncing from various jewelry stalls, we ended up at a surprisingly fancy and well-stocked perfume stand.


Mixed in with the usual expected standards like dusty, long-forgotten bottles of Drakar and Obsession were some truly inspired concoctions of scents that could have only been produced in either an alien world that has only the vaguest notion of what human beings should smell like, a third-world sweatshop, or a meth lab co-located in a botanical garden. And I was determined to sample them all. Here are the worst:

5.  Tweety

I'm not going to mock the Superman perfume. Superman is awesome and you can tell just by looking at the guy that he probably smells awesome too. I'm guessing coconuts with maybe a hint of lilac. No, it was the Tweety perfume that really intrigued him. Birds, even sentient, talking birds, are usually not the sweetest smelling of creatures. They're called fowl, for chrissakes. They poop in mid-flight which, although this is something I can only dream of doing, doesn't exactly lend itself to a night out on the town. 

The description on the bottle
...joyful citruses in top: bergamot, grapefruit, orange and pineapple. A heart awaits us with raspberry, rose, jasmine and water lily, while base notes add patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver and musk.

What it actually smelled like
A hobo who stumbled into a fruit cart. Desperation. 

4. Spongebob
It's right there in the song folks. Spongebob "lives in a pineapple under the sea." What about this says 'alluring scent'? Dead fish and ocean saturated fruit. Yummy. 


The description on the bottle
...flowery, refreshing and a lovely floral with sweet and citrusy fruits.

What it actually smelled like
Surprisingly very similar to the Tweety with just a hint of anxiety. In fact, I suspect they just switched the label. Or it could be that the over-powering scent of eau de diseased bird has overtaken my olfactory senses.  

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Alright, whoever created this perfume obviously was not at all familiar with the characters. The ninja turtles were normal turtles who became mutated as a result of contact with radioactive sludge. To protect their identity, they live in a hidden lair in the damned sewer with a giant talking rat. This is eau de toilette in the most literal, awful sense of the word. 

The description on the bottle
Musk, Citrus, and Fruity.

What it actually smelled like
Musk is a surprisingly accurate description. Musk, however, is not what you want your child, whom I assume this perfume is targeted at, to smell like. Musky is how you describe the back of a shag-covered van. Or a guy named Vince with his shirt unbuttoned past his ribs. Musky is not how you want to send your daughter to pre-school. That's why you bathe her. 

2. Smurfs

Hopefully, you can see the big blue Smurf bottle in the middle of this picture. At this point, the perfume stall owner caught me snapping a picture with my phone and accused me of working for a rival to steal his prices. Apparently the world of flea market perfume is a cut-throat world filled with espionage, spies, and the constant threat of betrayal.

I guess Smurfs aren't so weird a concept for a child's perfume. They look clean enough even if they live in mushrooms. I've certainly had more than my fair share of Smurfette-related fantasies. But that's not Smurfette on the top of this bottle. It's Brainy Smurf. As in the most annoying, hated Smurf of all, and I'm including Hefty. They could have called Brainy Smurf Cock Block Smurf. Or Never Going to Get Any Smurf. It's not a scent you want on you or your child. That kind of shit doesn't wash off. 

The description on the bottle
A Floral Fruity fragrance for women. The fragrance features apple, mandarin orange, melon, pink jasmine, white lily and iris flower.

What it actually smelled like
Surprisingly not bad. Though I dare you to answer the question, "What is that lovely scent you're wearing?" at a party with a straight face (or any hint of dignity). 

1.  Justin Bieber, "The Key"


It's not a surprise that this is a thing. Every celebrity seems to get their own perfume at some point. Even Paula Dean has a chicken fat flavored cologne. But Justin Fucking Bieber? C'mon. He stopped being interesting or remotely likable three years ago.  I found myself wanting to punch the bottle. 

The description on the bottle
Honestly, I didn't read it. I was dealing with a lot of unexpected anger that this perfume was a thing.

What it actually smelled like
Douchiness. Pure, undiluted douchiness.


I ended up buying my daughter a bottle of Taylor Swift perfume ("surprisingly understated and sweet") just to convince the stall owner I wasn't secretly trying to overthrow his vast perfume empire.  

Ultimately, I left the flea market smelling like a combination of fermented fruit, long illness, and musky failure and yet somehow still feeling like a winner (at least I wasn't the guy who bought the Justin Bieber bottle).