But what, you may ask, is the connection between Sindy and a new perfume with the rather curious name of The Social parfum? Well, my initial take on the scent was that it's not so much about being sociable as about dressing up. For the distinctive feature of The Social parfum is that it is one scent, however, as a kind of 'fashion accessory', for want of a better term, you can buy one or more spare boxes (The Social parfum calls them 'covers'), from a range of fairly vivid shades, swapping them over as the fancy takes you. I see echoes here of the different coloured bottles of Kenzo Amour - there you can pick a bottle at the outset in your preferred shade, but if you then fancied a change, you would have to commit to buying a second bottle. Here of course you are only investing in a replacement box.
So at some point over the summer I was contacted out of the blue by The Social parfum. After my usual demurral and request for a sample instead - I levelled with them and admitted that I didn't think this perfume would be my cup of tea - the company assured me that it was no trouble to send me a complimentary bottle anyway. Shortly afterwards, a bottle duly turned up in its default white plastic box, together with a separate pink box to swap the flacon into - why, they didn't even ask me what colour I'd like, hehe! ;) ;) At a pinch you could even just swap the top over, so you would have a white bottom and a pink top, though I am not sure why you would want to do that, unless you were very drawn to the look of Neapolitan ice cream.
Yes, this whole 'dressing up' game is doubtless not aimed at the likes of mature women in their 50s, I sense - or even immature 50-somethings, which is more apt. I am guessing from the marketing photos that their target audience is teens to early 20s, though even that age group has surely long since abandoned their dolls. But hold on, hold on.....I suppose if people swap the covers out on their mobile phones or Kindles etc - which is a distinct possibility - there might be a market for doing this with perfume bottle boxes after all...?
|The Dolly Mixture / Neapolitan look|
I should perhaps have clocked the blurb on the brand's website sooner - the rationale behind the launch is set out there. And I think we can guess the target audience from the inclusion of the word 'totally' - that's 'yoof speak' all right, though I am occasionally guilty of it myself. Hmm, now 'code' in what sense? 'Code' as in a received mode of behaviour, like 'dress code', or 'code' as in speaking in a secret language with your mates? You know, in a Masonic funny handshake kind of way? Could be a mixture of both in fact.
"The new perfume code.
The one and only women's eau de parfum you can totally mix & match as you like. 6 covers 1 fragrance for the new social woman.
Collect them all, share your personal parfum with your friends and get social!"
And another thing - this is eau de parfum, not 'parfum', though I don't suppose anyone looking at the presentation would be misled into thinking this was extrait strength...
Also, the 'parfum' is only 'personal' if you happen to have chosen a different box from your pals - the perfume of course remains the same. And that's always assuming you know anyone else with it in the first place. But that is most likely the whole point - a group of young female friends, united by a common perfume, but distinguished by their own choice of coloured box.
It's a concept, no question, but I wouldn't buy into it now, and I am not sure I would have done so back then, had I been into perfume at that age. Though as I say, there could be something in it, based on the swappable mobile phone covers fad. I'd be interested to hear what any readers think of this, especially those with daughters in the target age group.
I also took a look at The Social parfum's Facebook page - it is an Italian company and there are a number of photographs on there of young women holding little cards with the house's heart shaped logo on them, looking happy together - and quite sociable, it must be said - in piazzas up and down the land.
And what about the scent itself, I hear you ask?
Top notes: bergamot, blackcurrant, white peach
Middle notes: waterlily, rose, almond blossom
Base notes: exotic woods, vanilla musk
Hmm...The Social parfum reminds me a bit of how I would imagine a mainstream take on L'Artisan's Mure et Musc to smell, and it also has some crossover with YSL Parisienne, which I remember describing once - rather uncharitably perhaps, looking back - as 'disgruntled purple talc'. I am wearing the two scents side-by-side, and there is a definite resemblance, though The Social parfum has a cleaner blackcurrant note and a marked kind of nuttiness to it (or pepper, maybe?), where Parisienne is more powdery. For the market they are aiming for, The Social parfum is probably in the right ballpark, even if it isn't my thing. If you are any age and a particular fan of blackcurrant, it might be worth a sniff too, though I am not sure that these are available in store anywhere.
Oh, and if anyone is curious about the colourways, they are as follows - mostly on the bright side, as I say:
LIGHT DUSTY PINK
The separate covers are 11 euros each and the 50ml eau de parfum + a white cover (the 'starter cover') is 67 euros, which strikes me as rather expensive for what is essentially a mainstream scent from an unknown house. I note on the bottom that the perfume is made by ROLS SAS in Italy, a company of which I can find absolutely no trace in Google. And having had a little play with the shopping part of the site, there doesn't seem to be a way you could pick a coloured cover as your base box, meaning that if you fancy anything other than white, you automatically have to fork out the extra 11 euros for the spare.
|The gargoyle reassembled the boxes into their correct colours|
So may I ask...do you swap your mobile phone covers, or Kindle or iPad covers etc, and would you be inclined to do so with perfume boxes - just for the hell of it to ring the changes, or to differentiate yourself from your friends' bottles?
And if not, do you know anyone who might?