Am I jasmine and vanilla, with subtle notes of orange blossom? Maybe I’m sandalwood and lavender, infused with a hint of frankincense.
Honestly, Ravishers (yep, that’s what I call you now), I have absolutely no clue how to lead into this piece, so I’m just going to get straight to the point.
Apparently, we Black women have a smell. And it’s been bottled and labeled and is being offered up for consumption by Sunflower Cosmetics. Yep. You read that right. There is a legitimate company out there who is selling a perfume called “Black Women.” If my girlfriend hadn’t posted a picture of it in a local shop, I would have called her a damn liar. But there it was, hanging out on the shelf with “Red” and “Tupac.” Ravishers, I promise you I am not making this up. I couldn’t if I tried. I'm just not that good. It’s REAL. And for just $2.00, you too can smell like me (or Tupac)! Wow! Two whole dollars!! Can you believe it? For less than the cost of a Starbucks Pumpkin Loaf, you can harness the very essence of not only an entire GENDER, but a whole damn RACE!
I bet Rachel Dolezal showers in it.
That was mean. I take that back.
But get this — for $3.00 more you can roll me all over you. Yep, Eau de ME also comes in a convenient rollerball! LUCKY YOU! I’m so convenient! But let’s keep it real — WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL IS THIS?
What do I smell like?
Am I jasmine and vanilla, with subtle notes of orange blossom? Maybe I’m sandalwood and lavender, infused with a hint of frankincense. I have no idea what this company thinks us Black women smell like because this is what it says under the “description” tab on their website:
“*Name trademarks and copyrights are properties of their respective manufacturers and/or designers. Sunflowercosmetics.com has no affiliation with the manufacturers/designers. Our interpretation of these fragrances was created through chemical analysis and reproduction, and the purpose of this description is to give the customer an idea of scent character, not to mislead or confuse the customer. It is not intended to infringe on the manufacturers/designer's name and valuable trademark. These are perfume oils, not original perfumes or colognes.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been around the block with perfumes, and I’ve never ever, never ever, EVER seen a perfume called “Black Women” that this perfume could be modeled after. The ONLY thing that even remotely comes to mind is the spoof perfume that Grace Jones developed in the 90’s Black cult classic film Boomerang, called “Strange.” The tagline was “It Stinks So Good,” but even THAT was a spoof.
However this, my darling Ravishers, is not. This is legitimate, pay some cash, and smell like someone’s interpretation of an entire race and gender, perfume. I guess I should be thrilled they didn’t go the stereotypical racist route and say something like “this contains notes of fried chicken and catfish, with subtle overtones of okra and cornbread — now you too can smell just like Big Mama’s kitchen!” So, they didn’t go that route (THANK YOU LAWD!), but that doesn’t make this any less offensive.
However, in trying to be fair, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and see if maybe they had a perfume called “White Women” or “Asian Women” or gasp, “Latin Women.” Because surely, if one set of women have a scent distinct enough to warrant their own perfume, the rest of the women on the planet do too, right? RIGHT?
Ha! Sorry ladies of the world. You lucky fembots get nothing. NOTHING, I say! Sunflower Cosmetics simply deems you not worthy of your own Eau de Toilette. Poor, sad — able to claim your own individuality and not be bottled up into someone’s ridiculous interpretation of you — you.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get my $5.00 together so I can get my “Black Women” rollerball. I would hate to walk out into the world and people not know how to identify me because I simply don’t smell right.
*This just in — as I continued to scroll through the lovely and oh-so-empowering website of Sunflower Cosmetics I came across something that made me empty the entire bottle of Chardonnay into my glass. I’m just going to leave it right here, and you can do with it what you will. As for me? I. Am Going. TO DRINK.