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  1. #1
    itsthepens's Avatar
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    Question the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    i'm aware that much controversy has transpired on these boards with regards to fragrances being, to varying degrees, targeted towards a gay demographic, and i hope that this thread doesnt blow on the embers of that unpleasantness. however....

    In a couple of the magazines i purchased this month (AXM and Attitude) i noticed ads for a new fragrance called Army Red ( http://www.armyred.co.uk ) which is, according to their site's blurb, 'a gorgeous and brand new fragrance with the handsome and intelligent gay man in mind.'

    the copy is, as is evidenced from the small exerpt above, woefully poor, as are the imagery used and the frankly apalling bottle design - an abhorrent uber-muscled attempt at a Le Male-style masculine form, with the laughable addition of some badly sculpted jeans. (seriously, have a look - it's really awful!)

    what is interesting, however, is the way they describe the fragrance - in quite 'fragrancey' (for want of a better word!) terminology,

    'Top notes of tamarind tree leaves and coriander and lemon open this fragrance, which then lead to a spicy warm heart and a woody base with hints of amber and leather.'

    So - has anyone smelt this? if so, is it as horrifyingly low-grade as the bottle design and marketing?

    from what i understand, discussion of what is/is not 'gay' isnt well tolerated on the boards, so i'll try to keep my opinions brief and un-inflaming:

    i'm intruiged to see products targeted at a demographic of which i am a part, which mainstream advertising tends, by and large, to pussyfoot around. whilst this particular product seems to have R&D and advertising budgets akin to what's currently in my wallet, it does seem to fit the very 'scene'-oriented target audience who are also the demographic for clothing brands such as Rufskin. (ArmyRed's website lists future product releases such as lubricant, condoms and underwear).

    whilst this is product from a small manufacturer, targeted at not only a small demographic but indeed a very particular sub-category of it, it superficially seems to mark a social shift in terms of the very existence of gay-targeted products.

    One view: this is as ridiculous as such (hypothetical) products as an Asian fragrance, or a Stupid fragrance. ('Moronia - a basic scent for those who can't read this'. [fragrance notes: crayons, rubber bedsheets, kerry katona])

    Another view: almost all fragrance houses use sexually-themed imagery within their advertizing, and this is almost* exclusively heterosexual in theme. why should this be so? sure, a White fragrance or a Fat fragrance would be simply unacceptable (hilarity aside), but gay people are a minority in quite a different respect in that we differ from other people in a way which is overlooked by much of the advertising world.
    but...
    gaultier is a good example of a house which has flirted with adrogynous and sexually ambiguous imagery, to great commerical success i might add. i guess this, though, strikes an agreeable balance - this is not 'representation', nor is it dismissing or ignoring the gay audience. moreover, whilst homosexuality is never explicitly referred to, the exposed male form, external to heterosexual confines, abounds within fragrance marketing.

    ---- i hope this doesnt turn into too heated a discussion, i mainly wanted an exercise in thinking-out-loud to clarify my own opinions. i hope my little mini-essay provides some food for thought. ----

  2. #2


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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    No offense to the gay community (I have a very close gay friend and even a transgender friend who is drop dead gorgeous, I am not kidding. LOL. Do you notice that heterosexual people, including myself, always seem to add this caveat whenever they make such a remark that is critical, etc... re: the gay community?) but the ad looks very trashy and is not tasteful, IMHO. Well, in any event it is an untapped market in terms of fragrances.
    Last edited by TheAttorney; 14th November 2008 at 02:00 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    That bottle looks familiar, "Le Male" maybe

  4. #4


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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
    That bottle looks familiar, "Le Male" maybe
    exactly.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
    exactly.
    As Warren Zevon would say, "send lawyers, guns and money, the sh*t has hit the fan."

  6. #6

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    As a gay guy...
    It looks tacky. Seriously. In poor taste and just... yergh.

    No. No. No.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I could be wrong but it seems to me that Tom of Finland beat these guys to the punch by almost a year and about a hundred pounds of studded black leather. The purple version of Red doesn't seem to do much for the line, either, although I gotta admit I'm somehow drawn to those spiffy tighty red and whiteys. They remind of me safety gear and you can never be too safe when all you have between you and the cold cruel world is your undies.
    Last edited by noirwest; 14th November 2008 at 02:37 AM. Reason: just being safe

  8. #8
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    That was tacky as Hell!

    Seriously though, isn't any ad with only one sex represented potentially gay-targeted?
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I would say that it looks like a million bucks, but I don't want to insult the frag (you may have missed the recent thread here for a similar startup fragrance). I can't find the link to that one.

    Well, it better be good, or it will probably disappear in a flash. If a serious nose here likes it, I might try it. Now my question is - will it appeal to the straight nose? And if so, will it smell differently if I'm a supporter of gay marriage? Enquiring minds...

    Personally, I think it's a bad move (monetarily) to overtly define a frag as "Pour Gay" or "Pour Lesbienne", if you're looking for anything but the oddity corner of the market. A "real" fragrance house would never do that, I don't think. But I assume that the novelty angle is what this startup wants. It's probably more attractive than the difficult path that most niche houses have to follow (meaning make really good scents and then suffer anonymity anyway).

    Recently, I saw a guy in the store pick up a bottle of Le Male and ask if it was a joke. I'd love to have seen his reaction to this!
    * * * *

  10. #10

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    armyred.co.uk : neither handsome nor intelligent

  11. #11
    itsthepens's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirwest View Post
    I could be wrong but it seems to me that Tom of Finland beat these guys to the punch by almost a year and about a hundred pounds of studded black leather.

    indeed, i stand corrected. tom of finland fragrance - how didnt i know about this? now THIS has queer culture significance.....

  12. #12


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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
    As Warren Zevon would say, "send lawyers, guns and money, the sh*t has hit the fan."
    I dont mean to railroad the thread, but, Silverbullet if you are a fan of W. Zevon there is a great documentry documenting the final few months of his life. Awesome.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I hope I do not offend...but I think this campaign was not done intelligently, ie, consulting the community it intends to reach. If they really had connections into the community, I do not think it would have turned out like this. It doesn't even rise to the kitsch level, imo.

    And what is it with the beefcake on the front page? Sure he has a great body, but those warpaint markings just don't cut it.

  14. #14
    noirwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Hey! I'll have you know Adam Ant ran buck wild all over the eighties with stripes just like that!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirwest View Post
    Hey! I'll have you know Adam Ant ran buck wild all over the eighties with stripes just like that!
    LOL, geez, I forgot about that! I must say, he did it with far more flair, though

  16. #16
    itsthepens's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    I hope I do not offend...but I think this campaign was not done intelligently, ie, consulting the community it intends to reach. If they really had connections into the community, I do not think it would have turned out like this. It doesn't even rise to the kitsch level, imo.

    And what is it with the beefcake on the front page? Sure he has a great body, but those warpaint markings just don't cut it.
    actually, i suspect that this may well reach EXACTLY the right target audience! i'm thinking topless dancing, hardcore clubbing, loads of poppers and one-night-stands..... ha.



    edit: i've just realised my post before this thread was about a 'clubbing' frag - oh dear.....
    Last edited by itsthepens; 14th November 2008 at 03:04 AM.

  17. #17
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    itsthepens, are you referring to the model with the painted stripes? I don't know...maybe I am not so well versed in gay subculture. Most gay men I know are refined men with superlative taste in clothing, fragrance, decorating, etc. I just don't see that this fragrance presentation is refined enough, even for "gay kitsch".

  18. #18
    Subhalen's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    You know, I am far from being gay and what I like about this website is the wealth of knowledge from everyone on fragrances. I have oftentimes asked everyone their opinions on scents that my wife would like based on what she finds arousing or "just smells damn good!" I find it tacky that one company markets something in such poor taste to "target one group of potential buyers."

    To rip off Andrew Zimmern a little bit (but in a different perspective)...,"If it smells good... Wear it!" Who the hell cares if you are gay or straight!!

  19. #19
    noirwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Oh dear is right. Target audience lock acquired, prepare to paypal!

  20. #20

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    So what if the ad is tacky. It wouldn't be the first lame fragrance ad. The important question is...does it smell good?


    akdeluxe

  21. #21
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Subhalen View Post
    You know, I am far from being gay and what I like about this website is the wealth of knowledge from everyone on fragrances. I have oftentimes asked everyone their opinions on scents that my wife would like based on what she finds arousing or "just smells damn good!" I find it tacky that one company markets something in such poor taste to "target one group of potential buyers."

    To rip off Andrew Zimmern a little bit (but in a different perspective)...,"If it smells good... Wear it!" Who the hell cares if you are gay or straight!!
    Or if it is "men's" or "women's" fragrance, for that matter.

    Thanks for bringing it back to the juice!

  22. #22

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I think the reason Gaultier has commercial appeal is because it doesn't cheapen the gay audience as this add does...

    Quote Originally Posted by itsthepens View Post

    gaultier is a good example of a house which has flirted with adrogynous and sexually ambiguous imagery, to great commerical success i might add. i guess this, though, strikes an agreeable balance - this is not 'representation', nor is it dismissing or ignoring the gay audience. moreover, whilst homosexuality is never explicitly referred to, the exposed male form, external to heterosexual confines, abounds within fragrance marketing.

  23. #23
    Sugandaraja's Avatar
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I find most ads marketing products aimed at the gay market tacky ( this is coming from the gay male viewpoint - lesbians may have more tasteful advertising ).

    It's a cliched formula by now - take overblown macho imagery and give it the soft-core touch.

    Tom of Finland has some excuse because it's being true to the source material, but products like Army Red turn me off in every sense.

    Honestly, I don't want soft-core in my fragrance adverts - I want to be made to feel classy, sophisticated, and that I'm getting something interesting and unique. If you want to take it to a sexual level, market along the lines of attraction, not by plastering the bottle with my supposed objects of desire.

    Of course, I realize fragrance advertising isn't aimed at the Basenotes audience in general, but this applies to anything asexual marketed to a gay audience.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Fleur du Male is so gay
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  25. #25

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianroy View Post
    Fleur du Male is so gay
    In which sense, nose or eyes?
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    In which sense, nose or eyes?
    Both:d
    No seriously I just associate it with gays, probably cause I know some who use it. Actually I don't know one straight man to wear FdM, but thats just a coincidence.
    I for one hate it but that's another topic
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    To be honest there are different gay people, some might like the tackyness of it or consider it a joke and buy it. Others who might be younger and are just coming out might like the fact that there is a fragrance for them that isn´t very expensive and connects with them more in that time in their life than anything else.

    And I know especially for younger people something that could be used as a signal is very much wanted, if you know someone is wearing a perfume marketed to gay people you might find it easier to talk to them and see if they are single or not.

    Oh with young I mean around 15 year old, I doubt 15 year old gay guys are already sophisticated connoisseurs
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  28. #28

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    that bottle is hideous. from the marketing spiel on that site, it sounds as if its a "celebrity" fragrance, fronted by mr gay uk? they could have at least tried to get a celebrity. and even if this was the most divine fragrance ever, i don't think i could ever own a bottle that ugly.
    oh, and there looks to be lube and condoms coming out alongside it. i wonder if they contain the same scent.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I don' think it is the first fragrance targetted to the gay market, take Gaultier's winks tothe gay community in his ads. Didn't he resort to Pierre et Gilles' creativity in his campaigns, two overtly gay painters? Besides, what about Tom of Finland?

    Now, I have this big question: is there such thing as a gay market? It would be like, say, a fat market, a brunette market, or a 5.5 foot tall people market. Gay means that a man prefers men when having sex and / or establishing a long term emtional and sexual relationship with men. But this definition can't say much about other traits. Gay men can be tall, short, fat, thin, blue eyed, brunette, blonde, mongolian, caucasian, black, effeminate or virile, whatever.

    I think that reducing people to their sexual and emotional habits is blatantly stupid. However, many straight as well as gay people think this is far from being stupid in terms of identity issues.

    Guess the bottom line is... how does it smell? Is it good,or bad?
    Last edited by Pollux; 14th November 2008 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Incomplete sentences

  30. #30
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianroy View Post
    Both:d
    No seriously I just associate it with gays, probably cause I know some who use it. Actually I don't know one straight man to wear FdM, but thats just a coincidence.
    I for one hate it but that's another topic
    I'm straight and I'd wear Fleur du Male.
    I also know of a few people on this website that are in the same 'boat' and have no problems wearing it.
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  31. #31

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    That advert is a shocking gay cliche and seems to contradict the sales pitch 'a gorgeous and brand new fragrance with the handsome and intelligent gay man in mind.'

    I dont get why people would feel the need to purchase a gay fragrance , are gay people more gullible than any other demographic or something

  32. #32
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    I find this whole concept idiotic. Not idiotic in that something is marketed to gay males but idiotic in that fragrances/scents/Colognes/perfumes..whatever you want to call them have no gender. You can mix up a batch of anything and it isn't going to tell you anything. There are gay and straight men here that prefer the female version of scents. There are gay and staright men that like lighter scents or what is considered more feminine scents. There are gay and straight males that like heavier scents, etc, etc, etc...........

    Now looking at the ad, that looks like a trashy bottle.

    As far as advertising. I'd think that there was some crossover in ads when you have a tan guy in speedos pimping Cool Water or D&G Light Blue. The theory that straight men will want to be like him and gay men will want to look at him. Am I wrong on that from an advertising perspective?
    Last edited by ToughCool; 14th November 2008 at 12:41 PM.
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  33. #33

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post

    As far as advertising. I'd think that there was some crossover in ads when you have a tan guy in speedos pimping Cool Water or D&G Light Blue. The theory that straight men will want to be like him and gay men will want to look at him. Am I wrong on that from an advertising perspective?
    I think you are quite right . Still Im quite offended that a fragrance is marketed exclusively towards gay people , I guess thats just me though ....

  34. #34
    AromiErotici
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    to varying degrees, targeted towards a gay demographic, and i hope that this thread doesnt blow on the embers of that unpleasantness. however....
    LOL....does this insinuate that a fragrance smells different on ( and to) someone who is gay as opposed to straight?

    Well, it better be good, or it will probably disappear in a flash. If a serious nose here likes it, I might try it. Now my question is - will it appeal to the straight nose?
    Well said. After all, does it matter who a fragrance is originally targeted at? If it smells good, it's good to go.

    Honestly, I don't want soft-core in my fragrance adverts - I want to be made to feel classy, sophisticated, and that I'm getting something interesting and unique.
    Agreed. It's all about the juice. The packaging is secondary...but it should be done with class.

  35. #35

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    The first "gay" marketed fragrance was by Mister Co. I believe. This one looks like a pathetic attempt to target the gay community by biting off of the Le Male bottle along with a kitsch marketing ploy. The website looks homemade. This isn't just tacky the entire outfit looks cheap. I do know that my gay friends have a lot more care for aesthetics than my straight friends do, so it boggles me how any human in their right mind thinks Army Red will survive the market.

    About Fleur de Male, I'm a straight guy and do wear it on occasion. On me it smells a bit too much like Le Male so I don't wear it much. I hate the bada bing bad da boom tough guys with muscle shirts who wear too much Le Male. I swear if anything inspires me to knock someone out it's those fools at a club.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Last edited by anak; 14th November 2008 at 03:55 PM.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    As far as advertising. I'd think that there was some crossover in ads when you have a tan guy in speedos pimping Cool Water or D&G Light Blue. The theory that straight men will want to be like him and gay men will want to look at him. Am I wrong on that from an advertising perspective?

    *takes deep breath* I guess it's time to out myself. I am an advertising copywriter by trade. (And yes, I agree with Bill Hicks.) I know that the perfume market is vastly overpopulated, with how many new releases each week? So in order to get some kind of attention, these marketing people have decided to target the 18-25 gay male demographic. Actually, a pretty smart marketing move, since these are young affluent people who spend money on going out and looking good, so this is a hot market for any grooming product. From a business standpoint, it's solid. But creatively? Gah!

    I've always thought the reason Cumming was so well-received was a) it's good juice and b) the campaign is intelligent and witty. So you perceive yourself as intelligent and witty. That's how ads work - the idea is that they offer an answer to your question, a role model, a best friend, a new and improved you...
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
    No offense to the gay community (I have a very close gay friend and even a transgender friend who is drop dead gorgeous, I am not kidding. LOL. Do you notice that heterosexual people, including myself, always seem to add this caveat whenever they make such a remark that is critical, etc... re: the gay community?) but the ad looks very trashy and is not tasteful, IMHO. Well, in any event it is an untapped market in terms of fragrances.
    As a gay your comments do not offend me. Lets face it, the advert and bottle are shit. I think perfume is perfume whether it be worn by man, woman, gay, cat, dog, banana whatever! No need for labels!
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  38. #38
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbird View Post
    So in order to get some kind of attention, these marketing people have decided to target the 18-25 gay male demographic. .
    Personally, I think the 18-25 demographic will have better taste than this. I think it'll be the older men (bottle design makes me think the leather crowd) without much knowledge of fragrances that this will appeal to.
    Last edited by FlyingLotus; 14th November 2008 at 05:01 PM.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbird View Post
    *takes deep breath* I guess it's time to out myself. I am an advertising copywriter by trade. (And yes, I agree with Bill Hicks.) I know that the perfume market is vastly overpopulated, with how many new releases each week? So in order to get some kind of attention, these marketing people have decided to target the 18-25 gay male demographic. Actually, a pretty smart marketing move, since these are young affluent people who spend money on going out and looking good, so this is a hot market for any grooming product. From a business standpoint, it's solid. But creatively? Gah!

    I've always thought the reason Cumming was so well-received was a) it's good juice and b) the campaign is intelligent and witty. So you perceive yourself as intelligent and witty. That's how ads work - the idea is that they offer an answer to your question, a role model, a best friend, a new and improved you...
    Thanks, nice post. My question was legit. I'm a straight male with a wife and kids and the speedo guy does nothing for me but overall I like seeing ads so I can sniff the juice. As I said above, I think it is idiotic to make a scent that is supposed to express ones sexuality. Heck I know people who might think a straight guy loving cologne is considered "gay." No offense to anyone..I have many gay friends/close family members.
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  40. #40
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    The gay men I know would not touch this.

    To me, it looks like marketing for gay stereotypes, as conceived by cynical heteros with no taste.

    Distasteful and embarrassing.

    The juice probably sucks too.

  41. #41

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Army Red: The fragrance for gay communists

  42. #42
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    the older gay friends of mine (and no this isn't a straight man's disclaimer. I, too, am one) have mentioned Antaeus as having been marketed to them. Prior to that? hmmm, I would imagine that beauty products overall, with their vision of a world gone right, would have been like flame for the moths of the effete aesthete.

    my two cents on this is that the ad looks like something that would pop up after your McAfee subscription ran out.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    to varying degrees, targeted towards a gay demographic, and i hope that this thread doesnt blow on the embers of that unpleasantness. however....
    LOL....does this insinuate that a fragrance smells different on ( and to) someone who is gay as opposed to straight?
    what?! no, not in the slightest! i was talking about how posts regarding gay-targeted fragrance marketing haven't always gone down well on the boards - specifically a thread involving 'lucius vorenus' - and i was saying i hoped not to have a repeat of that!

    sirslarty - 'the fragrance for gay communists' ! i actually just coughed diet coke onto my laptop laughing at that.

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Do they have heterosexual targeted fragrances

  45. #45

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    The bottle and the picture of the young man are done without class.....Looks to me like this would be a Great turn-off to any community.....Including the Gay community.
    Gary

  46. #46
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    It says most about the people making and marketing those bottles - whoever they are.

  47. #47

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Ugliest. Bottle. Ever.

    I doubt that the actual fragrance fares too well, either.

    I also think that this ad is offensive to gay men, and I'm one of them.

    In other words, three strikes and it's out.

  48. #48

    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
    No offense to the gay community (I have a very close gay friend and even a transgender friend who is drop dead gorgeous, I am not kidding. LOL. Do you notice that heterosexual people, including myself, always seem to add this caveat whenever they make such a remark that is critical, etc... re: the gay community?) but the ad looks very trashy and is not tasteful, IMHO. Well, in any event it is an untapped market in terms of fragrances.
    Speaking as a gay man here, I completely agree with you about the trashiness.

    It's a stupid marketing ploy, and I'm sure it's bound raise a few eyebrows in its stereotyping.

    And no one needs a caveat... even if you are a lawyer....

  49. #49

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oaksbluff View Post
    the older gay friends of mine (and no this isn't a straight man's disclaimer. I, too, am one) have mentioned Antaeus as having been marketed to them...
    Rumors within gay communities seem to spread as wide as in the fashion and fragrance world. I had heard this one before but there is no substance to it, Oaksbluff.

    Chanel have never marketed any fragrance to gay customers in the past. And if - über masculine Antaeus wouldn't have been the best candidate. By the end of the seventies the perfume market for men had really just started to expand, and perfume brands were trying to convince heterosexual men that they had something better in store for them than after shaves and a classical, non floral cologne. What your friends may be referring to is perhaps something that Luca Turin said on several occasions, and again here:
    << I have it on good authority that the fragrance was christened by the great publisher Dan Halpern, who at the time ran a literary magazine of the same name, during a coversation with Chanel's owner, Jacques Wertheimer. I confess I missed the point of Antaeus when it first came out in 1981, partly because it became the first gay masculine fragrance, and several years had to pass before the guys learned to use less than half a bottle per day....>> Perfumes, The Guide, p.73

    added: Turin had gained that first impression where he had lived in the eighties: Paris, not London, Rome or New York! I googled for a picture of Antaeus 1981 and found this on a Hungarian website, newer, I suspect.



    Antaeus, the mythical figure,was married.
    Images Parfums has two more. (84 and ??) :
    Last edited by narcus; 15th November 2008 at 03:27 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  50. #50
    Oaksbluff's Avatar
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    Talking Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Rumors within gay communities seem to spread as wide as in the fashion and fragrance world. I had heard this one before but there is no substance to it, Oaksbluff.

    Chanel have never marketed any fragrance to gay customers in the past. And if - über masculine Antaeus wouldn't have been the best candidate. By the end of the seventies the perfume market for men had really just started to expand, and perfume brands were trying to convince heterosexual men that they had something better in store for men than after shaves and a classical, non floral cologne. What your friends may be referring to is perhaps something that Luca Turin said on several occasions, and again here:
    << I have it on good authority that the fragrance was christened by the great publisher Dan Halpern, who at the time ran a literary magazine of the same name, during a coversation with Chanel's owner, Jacques Wertheimer. I confess I missed the point of Antaeus when it first came out in 1981, partly because it became the first gay masculine fragrance, and several years had to pass before the guys learned to use less than half a bottle per day....>> Perfumes, The Guide, p.73

    I had forgotten about that Luca Turin reference. The mentions I'd heard of such a phenomenon predates any experience I have with him, though.

    Whether or no the marketing was specific or inadvertent, it seems like the scent did become a gay "hit," as it were. I don't have any real vested interest in this being correct or erroneous. The advertising was sorta Bruce Weber-ish beefcake; perhaps this is what endeared Antaeus to the gay folk? Who can tell.

  51. #51

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    The first one that comes to my mind is.. Joop Homme.. Pink bottle and a weeery sweet smell.., and it`s for men??

  52. #52
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Hilarious thread - I missed this when I was in LA. So much has been said that I agree with, but Silverbullet's last reply brings up a good point:

    Quote Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
    Do they have heterosexual targeted fragrances
    In my opinion, the answer is yes! Many ads (or commercials) for fragrances show a man and a woman in romantic, erotic poses. Implying that if you're a man, women will be 'attracted' to you. Or if you're a woman, men will find you attractive, seductive, etc.

    Of course 'people' in general (on and off Basenotes) has no problem with these - since there is no stigma against heterosexuality. Yes, perhaps some of the more extremely racy ads (Webers' ads for Obsession by CK, Tom Ford's work for YSL, Gucci and his own brand, etc) stir up controversy because they tend to show a lot of skin - but ultimately they still get published, marketed, etc.

    Having said that - when have you EVER seen an ad or commercial for a fragrance, where two men (or two women) for that matter are clearly expressing attraction or lust for each other? I never have. And yet there are MANY gay men at the very top levels of the fragrance world (Tom Ford, JP Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, etc) who could easily have made this happen.

    Oh yes - and this Army Red fragrance looks extremely ridiculous. Regardless of who they've marketed it to.

  53. #53
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
    Do they have heterosexual targeted fragrances
    This is the first time I should have kept my mouth shut It was a rhetorical question. Ashikarazu.

    I also believe there is some stigma in parts of the gay community refering to heterosexual men/woman as "Oh, he/she is straight" with disdain, like it's some type of misfortune.
    Last edited by silverbullet; 20th November 2008 at 11:10 PM.

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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    when have you EVER seen an ad or commercial for a fragrance, where two men (or two women) for that matter are clearly expressing attraction or lust for each other? I never have. And yet there are MANY gay men at the very top levels of the fragrance world (Tom Ford, JP Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, etc) who could easily have made this happen.

    Oh yes - and this Army Red fragrance looks extremely ridiculous. Regardless of who they've marketed it to.
    am I imagining this, or was there a slew of JPG ads... all sort of Pierre et Gilles-ish, with guys checking each other out? I mean, not completely overt... but very much homoerotic.

  55. #55
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    firstly i must say i never thought this thread would garner quite so large a response! but it's certainly interesting to hear the spectrum of opinions on this one.

    as for the gaultier ads, i think pierre et gilles were actually behind some of the poster images.... i could be wrong, can anyone shed light on this?

  56. #56
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    it can smell like heaven but with that ugly,tacky and classless bottle I will never buy it.
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  57. #57
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    Default Re: the first gay-marketed fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Hilarious thread - I missed this when I was in LA. So much has been said that I agree with, but Silverbullet's last reply brings up a good point:



    In my opinion, the answer is yes! Many ads (or commercials) for fragrances show a man and a woman in romantic, erotic poses. Implying that if you're a man, women will be 'attracted' to you. Or if you're a woman, men will find you attractive, seductive, etc.

    Of course 'people' in general (on and off Basenotes) has no problem with these - since there is no stigma against heterosexuality. Yes, perhaps some of the more extremely racy ads (Webers' ads for Obsession by CK, Tom Ford's work for YSL, Gucci and his own brand, etc) stir up controversy because they tend to show a lot of skin - but ultimately they still get published, marketed, etc.

    Having said that - when have you EVER seen an ad or commercial for a fragrance, where two men (or two women) for that matter are clearly expressing attraction or lust for each other? I never have. And yet there are MANY gay men at the very top levels of the fragrance world (Tom Ford, JP Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, etc) who could easily have made this happen.

    Oh yes - and this Army Red fragrance looks extremely ridiculous. Regardless of who they've marketed it to.
    Very well said!

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