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Meaty scent not fit for most kings

December 22, 2008

For you last-minute shoppers looking for the perfect (and more importantly, easy) Christmas present, there's an obvious candidate out there. It's a new body spray from Burger King that smells like -- there is no way to put this delicately -- meat.

Perfume that smells like fast food. Talk about a gag gift.

This is the most controversial news in the fragrance industry since Elizabeth Arden produced a NASCAR cologne that smelled like ... well, I don't know what it smelled like, but anything would have to be an improvement over the scents typically associated with car racing.

But this meat fragrance, I don't know. Do you get fries with that? At first, it sounded like a slam dunk because I assumed it was a perfume for women. That would make scents, so to speak, because it would combine a guy's two most favorite things -- chicks and flame-broiled burgers. Although what woman would want a man who is attracted to the smell of grease, I can't rightly say.

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But then, I found out this is a spray not for gals, but for guys. What woman is going to be turned on by that, Annie Oakley? "Oh he's perfect -- kind, sensitive, caring ... and he reeks of ground beef."

I'm afraid fellows would put it on hoping to attract females and instead be followed home by a pack of dogs. You're looking for a date and instead, Fido buries you in the backyard.

Worse, it's a proven fact that men are genetically incapable of using less than a half-gallon's worth of fragrance at a time. So forget a slight waft of burger; he's going to be a walking concession stand. Instead of a romantic dinner, you're going to think you're on the food concourse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Flame sells for $4 a bottle, so you know you're getting quality. It's marketed on the Web site flamemeetsdesire.com under the slogan "Set the mood, no matter what mood you're in the mood for." Maybe. But what if you go on a first date only to find out she's a vegetarian? Might as well have a fragrance that smells like laboratory test mice.

It could work if you're headed to Wal-Mart, I suppose. If not, go with the shampoo that smells like Twinkies.

The Flame Web site, which is a bit hard to navigate, also somewhat curiously features a dimly lighted photo of a bathtub and candles. I can understand that one, since most fast-food cooks I know tell me the first thing they want to do when they get home from work is take a shower.

The second scene is of a flute of champagne. Then comes a page filled with roses. Maybe the message is that on Valentine's Day, you can buy her a dozen Whoppers.

But the next scene is truly disturbing. It's a naked (save for a towel) BK King on a bearskin rug in front of a medieval fireplace beckoning "come ye hither" with his hand.

After that is a beach at sunset, a fireplace, a rainbow in a waterfall -- but it's all rather superfluous because you can't get that horrid picture of King No-pants out of your lemon.

I'm not an advertising guru, so maybe this will work. But personally, I wish they'd go back to the rather harmless "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce/special orders don't upset us."

I'm a lot less upset by special orders than I am by an advertising spokesman who is one towel away from regiporn.

And I really fear the copycat factor. Elizabeth Taylor is going to scrap White Diamonds in favor of White Castle. And can the town of Wasilla be far away from introducing a line of eau de Moose?

All we can do is pray that this doesn't give Allied Waste any ideas.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or by e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com .

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