Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Amphibia Eau de Toilette

A fragrance for muppet fans was a cute idea, but the image of Kermit with six-pack abs was a bit unsettling.

For some reason, Amphibia was deemed culturally significant enough to be added to the Smithsonian's collection. From the Smithsonian:

Amphibia eau de toilette was launched in 1995. It was sold exclusively at Bloomindale’s and was advertised as being "Pour homme, femme, et frog." The glass fragrance bottle is in its original packaging, which includes a cardboard box also containing a t-shirt with an image of Kermit the Frog lounging on his back and showing off his 6-pack abs.

Fort Myers News-Press - Dec 26, 1995

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 16, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: 1990s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Currier and Ives Toiletries

Many cultural touchstones of my youth have vanished, and mean nothing now to new generations.

"Currier and Ives" is one such.

At one time this name meant "nostalgic popular culture invocations of the nineteenth century." But given that meaning, what kind of smells would you necessarily associate with it? Horse manure? Coal fires? Unwashed longjohns? Was that what was meant by "manly elegance?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 29, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Advertising, 1960s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents, Nostalgia

Pseudo Corpse Scent

The Sigma-Aldrich Corporation sells a variety of scents including: Pseudo Corpse I (that smells like a body less than 30 days old), Pseudo Corpse II (that mimics the dry-rot scent cadavers attain after a month), and Pseudo Drowned Victim.

The scents are intended to be used for training rescue dogs, but I suppose they could also be used to enhance a Halloween costume.

Their product literature offers the following info about training dogs to find a corpse:

Canine reaction to a body can vary widely. The general categories of behavior are:

1 . Enthusiasm - the dog does not hesitate to approach the body. It may attempt to elicit a response from or urinate on the victim.

2. Cautious Interest - the dog slows its search, may become nervous and raise its hackles, but with encouragement, will approach the victim.

3. Avoidance - the dog will not approach the scent source and may actually attempt to leave the area. This behavior may become evident some distance from the body as the dog enters the scent cone.

image source:

More info: Discover magazine

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Dogs, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

The Scent of Gasoline

Ford has collaborated with fragrance firm Olfiction to create a scent called "Mach-Eau" that smells like gasoline. Or, as they put it, the fragrance has "smoky and rubbery accents reminiscent of the petrol smell so many love." They've done this, they say, for the sake of owners of electric cars who miss the smell of gasoline.

However, it seems that Ford isn't actually selling this fragrance. So we have to take their word for it that they really did create it.

More info: Ford Europe, CarScoops

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 17, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Cars, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Samsara Perfume

Samsara the perfume was created by Jean Paul Guerlain in 1989, and it's still for sale. Here's Guerlain's publicity blurb about the perfume:

In Sanskrit, Samsara means the eternal cycle of life. It is an imaginary place, sacred and mysterious, where Orient and Occident meet. Samsara is the symbol of harmony, of absolute osmosis between a woman and her perfume. It is a spiritual voyage leading to serenity and inner contemplation. The bottle, in the sacred red of the Orient, echoes the figure of a Khmer dancer in the Musée Guimet in Paris, her hands folded in a gesture of offering, expressing plenitude and femininity. The stopper evokes the eye of Buddha. A tantalizing floral-oriental perfume, Samsara is a harmonious blend of all-natural essences, including jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood and tonka bean.

I'm no expert on Hindu-Buddhist religion, but I'm pretty sure that Samsara isn't supposed to be a good thing. My understanding is that it's the endless, repeating cycle of birth and death from which we're supposed to hope to awake. Kind of like the endless cycle that Bill Murray's character, in the movie Groundhog Day, finds himself trapped in. Which makes it odd to name a perfume after this.

Of course, I'm over-analyzing this. Guerlain probably a) didn't understand the concept, and b) wouldn't have cared anyway because he just figured the name sounded exotic.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 06, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Aroma Discs

Donald Spector received a patent for these in 1985. They looked like small music discs. But instead of producing sound, they released an aromatic vapor when put in the 'player'.

I don't see what advantage an aroma disc would have over an incense candle (except, perhaps, for the lack of an open flame). Which, I assume, is why these are no longer around and incense candles are all over the place.

But Spector was successful enough to have his product featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, 1980s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Aroma of Cocaine

In 1981, Warren Woodford of Atlanta, Georgia was granted a patent (No. 4,260,517) for a method of producing the "aroma of cocaine". From the patent:

The present invention relates to a method and product for providing the aroma of cocaine and so called "street cocaine" to the olfactory senses using readily available, non-controlled substances...

Olfactory conditioning by brain trigger stimulus has recently found application in law enforcement agencies. In some instances, narcotics officers are permitted to light a marijuana cigarette during their training in order to allow them to later react to the characteristic aroma of marijuana smoke. Similarly, officers may be exposed to the aroma of cocaine so as to familiarize them with its distinctive aromatic smell...

Due to the legally controlled nature of such substances as cocaine and marijuana, it is usually not possible to freely disseminate samples of such substances to everyone who might wish to become acquainted with the aromas of these substances. Drug familiarization programs have as a result been limited by the availability of the drugs themselves.

It is therefore desirable to find alternative sources for the aroma of certain controlled substances.

I'm surprised this was never turned into a perfume.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 30, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Drugs, 1980s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Goldwater Fragrance

How many presidents and presidential candidates have had fragrances named after them? There was Donald: The Fragrance, which we've posted about before.

And back in 1963, Vi-Jon Laboratories of St. Louis, Missouri released "Gold Water: A Cologne for Americans" — named after Arizona senator Barry Goldwater.

The company also said it would be releasing "JFK — A Family Cologne." But I haven't been able to find any evidence that it actually did.

It's not quite the same as a cologne, but as we've also previously posted about, JD and Kate Industries released a whole series of politician-scented candles including Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Obama, Justin Trudeau, and Joe Biden scents.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 26, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

AI-designed Perfume reports on a perfume designed by artificial intelligence. So, when the robots take over, at least they'll smell nice.

what if an AI-created perfume could be more than a simple blend? In 2017, the Brazilian cosmetics company O Boticário decided to find out. It approached IBM Research to help design two perfumes using only artificial intelligence...

Because [The AI program] wasn’t programmed with tradition or emotion, it never had a mentor to instill “the way things are done.” For example, it selected fenugreek seed, which perfumers often avoid because it’s tricky to work with, as well as a frothy, milklike aroma from Symrise’s flavor division. “I wasn’t even aware of the note,” Apel says. “When I saw that happen, it really hit me: This was a unique approach.” O Boticário tested the AI fougère and ended up bottling it. The scent, called Egeo on You, launched in 2019, along with a machine-made feminine counterpart called Egeo on Me.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 20, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents


In 1960, Monarch Books announced the launch of Perfume-o-Books. These were books infused with perfume.

They had plans to use a saddle-leather scent for westerns, floral odors for flower-arrangement books, and food scents for cookbooks.

All of which seemed logical. However, they decided to launch the line with three movie tie-in titles: "The Enemy General," by Dan Pepper, "The Stranglers of Bombay," by Stuart James, and "The Brides of Dracula," by Dean Owen. These three titles were each infused with a "Chanel 5 type perfume."

They seem like very odd titles to have been perfumed. And evidently the perfume didn't appreciably help sales, because no more perfume-o-book titles were ever printed.

Richmond Times Dispatch - Apr 17, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Books, 1960s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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