When was the last time you heard someone say "necking"? As in, a synonym for kissing or making out.
Necking is one of those words that can provoke a squirmy response. Since it is rarely used by anyone born after 1965, it tends to be loaded with generational awkwardness.
Aldo, however, is hoping we're ready to re-embrace the word.
Known for footwear and accessories, the brand has officially made its foray into fragrance and it's a go-big-or-go-home strategy; rather than a single scent to test the market, it has launched a family of five, complete with a cute campaign pegged to Valentine's Day.
Titled A is for Aldo, the collection consists of three unique women's and two men's fragrances, each represented by a primary colour. Their respective cube-shaped bottles are coated in a matte finish (black for men and white for women), and they can stack atop each other like building blocks. Top marks to the creative team for clean, novel design.
The scents themselves are simple, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Call them improved-upon interpretations of familiar formulas: The women's Yellow is a bright citrus, Red is a more predictable floral and Blue has a touch of gourmand. The men's Yellow is an inoffensive spicy citrus, while Red, a hearty, sweet and enveloping musk, is my personal favourite.
For the grouping, Aldo worked with four perfumers who have a solid track record (responsible for scents by DKNY, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, respectively) in the mainstream fashion niche.
The fragrances' official debut has been timed to coincide with Valentine's Day. Which brings us back to necking. The retailer will have a special lovey-dovey supplement to the site, www.aisforaldo.com runing through March 5. People will be able to upload necking-related pictures (via Instagram), which will be tagged in a way that relates to the different fragrances and colour personalities, according to Aldo's marketing director, Vyara Ndejuru.
The necking business is a clever tie-in for a fragrance, especially at this time of year, because a) the neck is ground zero for scent spritzing, even more so than the inner wrist and b) the neck is the body's most underrated sensual zone.
Certainly, the scents are a well-priced gift idea (the three sizes range from $15 to $45). "It's not one of those high-stakes gifts," Ndejuru says by phone from Montreal. "It's a fun wink and nod."
One remaining thought for long-time partners and singletons alike: Chocolate, flowers and dinner will not go unappreciated, but don't underestimate the power of scent to coax the chemistry along.