If Scott Fitzgerald wasn’t the first to notice the difference between the rich and the rest of us, he was certainly the most widely read. It seems, however, money is only a small portion of the difference; the main component in today’s’ social stratification is how we smell. And for those wanting to smell like money without actually having it, the marketing mavens at Bentley Motors offer a solution: Bentley Infinite fragrance. While thinking a fragrance dubbed ‘Infinite’ should more properly hail from Nissan, Nissan doesn’t have the ‘Boys’ in their history or a ‘Blower’ in their museum. And to the oh-so-practical Japanese a branded fragrance, presumably, never seemed that important…
From the Bentley press release we’re told that the ‘launch of the new Infinite fragrance from Bentley signals an exciting addition to the men’s collection. Modern and alluring, Infinite embodies a desire for genuine freedom and individuality, inherent qualities in the DNA of the world’s leading luxury carmaker.’ Given that it’s been some forty years since I last used cologne, and even longer if I try to remember when I might have used one strategically, I had no idea that a body odor modified via an ‘add-on’ could provide ‘genuine’ freedom and individuality. For as long as we’ve had automobiles drivers have allowed what they drive to define them, but to use a Bentley-branded fragrance as a substitute for individual liberties would seem just the thing for Tea Party loyalists who – ultimately – grow disenchanted with a more generic Rand Paul, while waiting for Ted Cruz.
Back, then, to the fragrance itself, which will ‘appeal to those who are on a journey of self-discovery and want to make this a sensory and spontaneous experience. Bentley Infinite enhances the blends perfectly with the skin and gives its wearer a sense of youthful, contemporary elegance and vitality.’ If the vision weren’t intended to be contemporary, this descriptive would seem to play better with the Bentley of the Roaring Twenties, when the marque’s appeal was created not by the very wealthy, but by the sons of the very wealthy. Today, Bentley may not share the aging demographic of Rolls-Royce, but its owner profile is far closer to Jimmy Page than Jimmy Fallon. And owners of cars costing upwards of six figures shouldn’t be imbued with youth; they should, instead, be imbued with a healthy stock and bond portfolio, along with a much younger second wife. And she also drives a Bentley.
Finally, there’s the packaging. The Bentley Infinite bottle “speaks the same language of form as Bentley Motors. The bottle, crafted from high-quality heavy glass, is reminiscent of cut crystal whose straight lines run into elegant curves. The broad shoulders of the bottle are coated with metal and the metal cap is finished with a diamond cut. The combination of glass and metal give the impressive bottle a modern, luxurious feel.’
With that, we’re done, except for noting Bentley’s Infinite will be available in ‘selected’ (but of course) international perfumeries and department stores, beginning this April. And if I never see another Bentley press release regarding something other than its core products it will be too soon. A Bentley fragrance simply doesn’t pass my automotive smell test.