Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Would you buy a Captain America-themed fragrance?

Diesel's Captain America-themed Only the Brave men's cologne

Based on the Marvel comic-book series, Captain America has all the makings of a summer blockbuster: a weakling-turned-superhunk, evil underground groups, stealth technology, a high explosion-to-dialogue ratio and a sexy female lead named Private Lorraine.

It's no surprise that the movie, which hit theatres yesterday, has already generated a line of action figures. But what are we to make of a fragrance tie-in?

To be clear, the scent in question was not specifically created for Captain America. Rather, the film (and its brawny title character) has inspired the design of a limited-edition bottle of Diesel's Only the Brave men's cologne. The signature fist-shaped silver bottle has been coloured metallic blue with the back of the hand boasting the Captain America logo.

Story continues below advertisement

Responsible for the box design is Bryan Hitch, a British illustrator who has been with Marvel for 23 of his 40 years. He is credited with breathing new life into the Captain America series and his involvement in the packaging is apparently a big deal for some fans.

It's just too bad Diesel didn't get an equally crackerjack copywriter for the promotional material, which is good for a laugh, if nothing more.

"When the world's peppiest superhero starts wearing fragrance, the result can only be explosive. From comics to fragrance, here's a story that goes woooshhh!"

I warned you.

Anyway, this special bottle is not the first example of a fragrance being pegged to a film. Only the Brave came out with an Iron Man 2 edition last spring that coincided with the sequel's release. In shiny red, it successfully resembled the armour sported by Robert Downey Jr.

Perhaps my favourite (although I admit it's never crossed my nose) has been the Harry Potter perfume, which was short-lived and hopefully smelled sweeter than Bertie Bott's candy beans in flavours of sausage and onion.

My perfume-blog pal Gwen Dunant of also reminded me that there have been various perfumes "inspired by" Sex and the City (independent of Sarah Jessica Parker's scents), including Sex in the City fragrances titled Kiss, Love and Lust - if I may, the bottled equivalent of bad one-night stands.

Story continues below advertisement

Fresh, the line of skincare, fragrance and cosmetics, introduced three limited-edition scents in time for last year's big-screen adaptation of Eat Pray Love. In fact, it was Sony Pictures that approached co-founder and fragrance designer Lev Glazman to develop the collection.

So in an age when any celebrity who approaches star status gets a scent how does a movie perfume stack up? For one, all of the aforementioned examples are time-stamped, scheduled to hit stores when the film is top of mind and remain available for two or three months.

Rose Piloto, the director of public relations for Fresh says the Eat Pray Love collection sold out in roughly six weeks. Clearly, the woman who reads Gilbert's books is already appreciative of scent.

On the other hand, I have trouble imagining that there's a huge demographic of men who obsess over comic books and adore fragrance simultaneously. Then again, maybe the Only the Brave Captain America edition will resonate with the young man who wants something cooler than Axe and knows his Green Lantern from his Thor. Heck, maybe he even hopes that a spritz of this lemony scent with its hints of rosemary, violet and cedar will imbue him with superhero-like seduction powers.

I think the only real downside of these movie-tie-in scents is that we'll likely soon see more of them entering the market. And, if not thoughtfully conceived, they could prove kryptonite to a brand's integrity. After all: a lot more goes into a fragrance's creation than flexing some fictional muscle.

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.