Selling Fragrances Without Glamour

From the classic

to the contemporary

more than just about any other genre of advertising, perfume ads traffic in glamour. You can't, after all, show a picture of a smell. Instead, you create an atmosphere that represents something about the dreams that smell promises to fulfill.

So I have to wonder whether the recession-oriented strategy of these new fragrances will work. (I'm also extremely skeptical about those alleged survey results about chocolate versus fragrances, especially since a new Boston Consulting Group report names perfumes and fragrances as one of the hardest-hit categories since consumers started cutting back on purchases.)

Or is Unilever (the company that gave the world "the Axe effect") cleverly packaging utilitarian deodorant as glamorous perfume?