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Friday, March 13, 2009

From The Mouths of Husbands: Mr Colombina Reviews Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby, I Don’t Swallow

Colombina: “Dear Husband, it has been a while since you wrote a guest post for me. Would you mind reviewing a fragrance for me?”

Mr Colombina: “No problem love. What’s it called?”

Colombina: “Don’t get me wrong baby, I don’t swallow.”

Mr. Colombina: “Come again? …. TOO MANY JOKES!”
{head explodes}

Wait … Bina, can we not use that ‘mouths’ of husbands bit for this one particular review?

Suffice to say, I will take my usual, professional approach to this and extol my utmost and sincerest high-class review, paying careful attention to describe the effervescent nuances of … oh who am I kidding? Are you serious? I mean I know there is no industry in the world like the fragrance game to demonstrate the “sex sells” mentality but …

Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby is from the makers of “Delicious Closet Queen” (Etat Libre d’Orange), If my high school French serves me correctly, I think that roughly means something about the state of liberated oranges or something.

As a so-called unisex scent, this blatant ‘shock-value’ name fails on two levels.
And the thing about ‘shock value’ is that until the public reaction is gauged, you’ve always got the PR team on standby (like when French Connection UK opened up all its “FCUK” shops across Britain) ready to tell us all it’s just a joke…or perhaps more appropriately in this case, a gag.

Firstly, if it is so named as to appeal to men (beyond the 13-year-old giggle factor), then he is wearing a pointless fragrance. Regardless of name, a fragrance is always a statement about the wearer. Whereas the name of this fragrance seems more to suggest a statement TO him rather than by him.

A statement from him might be something more along the lines of “Don’t get me wrong baby. I don’t put the toilet seat down,” And while that delivers the same (“I am going to disappointment you”) message, I don’t think the word “toilet” is going to appear on a fragrance bottle any time soon. Eau de toilette, yes … Eau de toilet, no.

Secondly though, and this is important … if it is so named as to appeal to women (beyond the 13-year-old giggle factor), then it is playing right into the hands of perhaps one of the greatest myths of all time.

Ladies, let me school you a little. Back away from the Cosmo and hear the truth. Now for the sake of keeping this a ‘family’ blog … I am going to substitute the word ‘swallow’ with something … perhaps something more Clintonesque” like “I don’t ‘inhale’. “

Whether or not you ummm … ‘inhale’ … generates not even the slightest bit of interest nor value to any male. This is the greatest over-rated thing to be proud of since George Bush declared “mission accomplished”. We had removed a dictator, with apparently little concern for where all the little minions were dispatched.

Don’t get me wrong baby, but all we want is to get the air out of the oxygen tank. What you do with it after that (inhale or not), means as much to us as what colour will be this year’s black. All my life, I have heard women brag, “and I INHALE! “… like there was some sort of merit badge for it… and I thought …. “So?”

With that behind us, let us get to the scent itself. And yes of course, I had some preconceived notions that what I was about to smell would … through that good olfactory magic … whisk me away to the romantic and luxuriant ambiance of a 3x3 glass booth in Times Square. (Un soire a la Light District Rouge)

But no. The name is all bark and no bite (which given the nature of the overtly titillating name, might not be such a bad thing). The smell is about as sexually charged as dirty talk from Stephen Hawking.

It starts of very flowery (lily of the valley, jasmine and orange blossom to be precise) as if the premise is to suggest that opening the evening with a presentation of flowers is the first stop towards converting an otherwise reluctant participant in - what the maker’s website refers to as – “an American kiss”. Damn, no wonder so many immigrants want to come here.

Ah, but there is the rub. (sniggering)

When one is presented with a preface of “don’t get me wrong” to any forthcoming statement, the expectation is that what follows should come as a surprise, and somewhat in the category of disappointment. And indeed the ensuing scents do not disappoint in their ability to disappoint.

As if to suggest aroma one might receive from another’s mouth, the fragrances trails into a concoction of sugar and edible (swallowable?) sweeteners (like a mix of marshmallow and Hubba Bubba). It ends up smelling like “Loves Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby Soft.”

Don’t get me wrong baby, I salute the effort even if I think the premise tries to be a bit too clever for its own good. At the end of the day, I just did not think the combinations and the mutation from one sweet smell to the next was either memorable or exciting.

For a brief moment, I thought perhaps they meant they don’t (as our mothers all told us not to) swallow BUBBLE GUM. But then I was overcome with a mixture of reminiscing about baseball cards (which always came with a stick of sugary gum when I was a kid) and the need to get some fresh air.

Don’t get me wrong baby, but I neither buy a fragrance because a bunch of juvenile marketing lads were having a giggle with the name. Nor do I think … “hmm if I (pay for and) wear this stuff, that means somewhere, someone is going to ….

I suppose Ford could abandon names like “Escort”, “Taurus” etc. and call their next car ‘Chick Magnet” and some sad saps would buy it. But I am not swayed by a name, I am moved by the quality of the ride.

Don’t get me wrong baby. I get it. But what I don’t swallow is the marketing tact. In fact the whole joke factor left a bad taste in my mouth.

I mean use sex to sell perfume if you must …..Use sexy and brooding femme fatales in your print, TV and on-line ads. Have them pouting and toe dancing on clouds and across tables … looking all Parisian and like rapture incarnate, whilst shirtless men who just fell off the cover of a harlequin novel come prancing in like Michael Flatly after a Bowflex workout. Just don’t force it down my throat.

Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby may not swallow but … it sucks.

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Blogger elle said...

As always, hilarious post! :-) mean they *didn't* intend for me to interpret this as referring to bubble gum?! I'm shocked! The notes, however, certainly sound as if the target market is the bubble gum chewing crowd.

10:12 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

THANKS Elle ... the bubble gum, girlie giggle crowd IS ... if nothing else ... at least in some DES RES locales happy. So you may be on to something.

10:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! Loved this review! Insightful and witty, perfect.

11:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

ROTFLMAO - this is exactly what I needed today! A good reminder that perfume is supposed to be fun, after all - not to mention the fun of the, um, other stuff. :-D

12:26 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I could barely finish this after "as sexually charged as dirty talk from Stephen Hawking".

Hawking should be righteously offended. Careful the man could take you to the moon and back before you knew it.

Don't get me wrong baby it's all in "the head".

You cracked me up. Loved it.

1:29 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just thought I'd mention, as a proud South African: the name refers to a province of South Africa, The Orange Free State (ok and that one is a looooong story, wiki it), because one of the originators of this stuff is originally South African. See? We're good for something...

3:50 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Mr. Colombina, you have made me day! Wonderful post! And, since I'm broke, I'm always glad to hear about another scent I don't have to smell. Off to swallow more coffee.

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Koki said...

Wonderful post, Mr. C. You captured the, err, "essence" of this fragrance very well!

8:15 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thank you for the compliment and thank you for reading!


8:33 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


What a great name for one who appreciates scent! Glad to have brought you some fun! Thanks for reading!


8:35 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I am a HUGE admirer (dare I say, FAN) of Mr. Hawking. Colombina gave me a book of his ("God Created the Integers") and I have watched about a billion interviews with him and read many of his papers.

Still ... dirty talk from him would hardly be tantalizing aural sex.

Did you say "head"?

[too many jokes]


8:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When I was a kid in the South they told us that if you swallowed a watermelon seed, a watermelon would grow in your stomach.

This was during the late baby boom. There were lots of neighbor ladies walking around who had obviously swallowed watermelon seeds.

So to this day I don't, y'know, swallow them.

Or buy perfumes with a ridiculous name like that.

Great post! I was hoping to read one like it some day!

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I love learning something new. Having spent a good bit of time in The Nederlands, and knowing Safra's Dutch heritage, that makes so much sense. I am going to learn more and wikipediate to learn more about the Orange Free State.


8:46 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Glad to have given you a smile. Nobody ever spits out their coffee now do they.


8:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ok Mr. C, I should mention it USED to be a province (they got rearranged in the 90's). I'm (shame on me) not even quite sure, but I think the new name is simply the Freestate.
I am glad to have added something to your day! Now come and visit South Africa! Bring perfume, all the MANY MANY kinds I cannot buy here.

8:49 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thanks for the kind words!

It was like walking a tightrope to capture the essence on this one ... trying to avoid the obvious entendres; spitting out the first things that came to me ... and actually addressing the most important thing ...the scent.

Ironically, (and I am no expert) but I got two distinct waves of smell ... neither of which were in and of themselves unpleasant ... it was the combination - more precisely, the transition from first to the second that didn't work for me.


8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Wow! You said a mouthful!

I too am a product of the late baby boom and I too was told that if you swallowed seeds, the plant would grow in your stomach. I know now it was told to me by my dear Aunt Addie who was obviously kidding but I took it so seriously that to this day I think is why I don't eat tomatoes, grapes with seeds, anything with pits, watermelon or sunflower seeds.


9:00 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


In my travels, I met quite a few people from South Africa, many of whom invited me to visit on any number of occasions, and I regret that I (as yet) never took them up on the offer. I have always wanted to see Kruger National Park, Sun City, the KwaZulu-Natal beaches and the Groot Constantia.

I'll bring a camera ...let Colombina bring the fragrances - she is an expert. I am just ... well not an expert.


9:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Well Mr C, we're recession-friendly down here with our mickey mouse-currency! I believe it's ten to the dollar or something like that. Maybe come for the soccer world cup next year! And don't miss Cape Town on any account. It's where the cool people stay :)

9:25 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Yes I have been told the dollar to the rand is quite favourable to Americans. In fact, when a friend of mine went there, rather than buy a watch, he just hired some guy to walk behind him and constantly tell him what the time was.


9:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had a dollar for every time I laughed, "oh my goodness!", during this Friday morning read, I'd have a lot of fun at the PCourt. Thanks for such a good time (cheekiness intended).

The name and notes are not interesting to me in the least, but this was a necessary review, thank you for indulging us.

As for the names of scents, it seems that Americans (probably others as well), are more attracted to those in French as opposed to English ones. Hence your toilet-toilette reference. Ridiculous ones like Ici (c-cedille), meaning Here, or Toujours Moi, Always Me, Je Reviens are just examples. Am I a cynic? :-)


9:45 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Lovethescents ... all the world ... lovesthecynics ... well at least I do.

I agree with your assessment that Americans in general become francophilic when it comes to perfume call it "eau de watereverfrancais" and a sale is made!


11:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG Olfacta, now you're cracking me up!!

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

Hahaha! I have missed your posts... this is hysterical.

Is it really that bubble-gummy? To borrow a quote from my misspent youth... gag me!

12:18 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


I think this one does tend to test the gag reflexes.

Perhaps marshmallowy as much as sugary but the sugary part just put me in the mind of bubble gum sugar. For what it's worth, I used to quite regularly as a kid, swallow my bubble gum but usually by accident or where there was nowhere appropriate to spit it out.


12:34 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All my life, I have heard women brag, “and I INHALE! “…"!
Mr C, you must've had a very liberal upbringing:-)

Thanks for the laughs and the astute diplomatic assessment.

12:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the funniest, wittiest, most thigh-smacking review I have ever swallowed, I mean, read, Mr. Colombina. Although "Don't Get Me Wrong Baby" may not merit wearing, I salute it for having generated your review! Bravo!

7:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever laughed so hard all over a perfume blog, and I love laughing even more than perfume. Wish you'd, um, come here more often. (Not that I don't love Ms. C too)

9:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

Bravo, Mr. C! A hilarious and entertaining review!

11:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

The whole semantic field of Mouths of Husbands, swallowing, gags, Clinton and, farther away in the spectrum of physical prowess, Stephen H. has been thoroughly woven into a well deserved disdainful gesture for the guys who concocted the banal and rather vulgar little scent...Great.

5:32 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Not so much a liberal upbringing as it is a case of post-catholic-school-awakening, mid 20's rebellion.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm here all week. Tell all your friends ...Be kind to your waitress. Try the veal ...and drive safely.


10:19 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...


Glad it was good for you. It had been a while since I posted. How often I come here is really up to Ms. C.


10:21 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Thank You Jarvis. Thank you for the kind words.

Mr. C.

10:22 AM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Well said Eleven,

IF you want to laugh at a thought.... imagine the sound of Hawking's vox box saying, "Don't get me wrong baby ... I don't swallow".

I used some software to simulate that and it's hysterical. I just couldn't figure out how to attach it here. Priceless.

10:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand why a woman would think that "inhaling", or for that matter, "smoking" is worth a brag. All I say, girls, is that you have something to brag about when a man "smokes" you. Can't say I'll bother to test this fragrance, either-- there are plenty more fish in the sea!

1:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You said it, Gretchen! :-)

1:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Dimi3 said...

Great! Very funny. Thank you.

2:00 PM EDT  

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