Friday, December 21, 2012

Group Blogging Project: The Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present, and Future

Christmas--the secular festival, rather than the religious one--is about fantasy. Elves and sugarplum fairies, and a jolly old grandfather climbing down the chimney to give you sparkly things, never forgetting the batteries.

So as I thought about ghosts of past, present and future for this group blogging project (thanks to Natalie for organizing and Undina for the theme!), I found myself interpreting "ghosts" not as the dead, but as all those fictional spirits of Christmas. Santa Claus. Charlie Brown and Linus. Mr. Scrooge and Bob Cratchitt. Rudolph and Yukon Cornelius. Harry Bailey and Zuzu. Frank Cross.

"Frank who?"

Frank Cross! You know, the gleefully evil work-driven television executive played by Bill Murray in the movie Scrooged. ("When you don't work late, I can't work late. When I can't work late, I CAN'T WORK LATE!") When people of taste debate the best version of A Christmas Carol--the old-fashioned charm of the early Alistair Simms film, the drama of the George C. Scott version, blah de blah de blah, I hold firm to my favorite*. Scrooged. So there.

So... what fragrances would the Scrooged ghosts wear?

The Ghost of Christmas Past is a madly cheerful and cheerfully mad cigar-chewing cabbie who forces Frank to relive his early years. This ghost enjoys life--or would enjoy it if he had one any more. The office party, the young lady handing out portraits of her anatomy at said office party, the love of Frank's life (Claire, played by Karen Allan at her most incandescently adorable)--he enjoys them all, and lectures Frank on his lack of appreciation.

Ghost of Christmas Past: Let's face it, Frank. Garden slugs got more out of life than you. 
Frank: Yeah? Name one!

What does the Ghost of Christmas Past smell like? To look at him, you wouldn't imagine him wearing any sort of fragrance, but we'd all argue that perfume is a part of enjoying life, right? Right? Don't laugh; just humor me here. When I  conjure him up in imagination, in his cab, I smell a tiny thread of artificial pine, one of those hanging car fresheners, in a desperate losing battle with an ocean of stale cheap cigar. But if we imagine him on a date after a hard day of reforming the living, what fragrance does he wear? I struggled with this, until Himself presented me with the only and obvious answer: Hai Karate. Of course.

What about the Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Carol Kane? This spirit is playful, charming, ruffly-pink--and intermittently violent. ("The bitch hit me with a toaster!") She sings, she dances, she plays Trivial Pursuit along with mortals that can't see or hear her. She covers Frank's ears to keep him from hearing about his Christmas gifts. And then she hits him some more. ("The truth is painful.")

This one was a struggle--what fragrance is playful and loving, vain ("Oooh, a Christmas party! I’m so glad I wore my pretty dress!") and occasionally vicious? It occurs to me that that's a personality profile of a cat, but that doesn't give me the answer. After long deliberation, I'm going to go with Chanel Cristalle. It's beautiful, feminine, even swirls-and-ruffles feminine. But that galbanum sharpness hints at claws, perhaps as sharp as those of No. 19, even though they're better-concealed.

And the Ghost of Christmas Future? Dark. Cloaked. A skull for a face. Screaming creatures hiding in the folds of its robes. (Frank: "Did our people do that? We're gonna get letters.") For this ghost, I choose the most frightening, most soulless, most despair-filled fragrance that I know, so horrible that it has no name known to the general public, despite sharing our lives from cradle to grave...

White laundry musk.


That's the end for my scented ghosts. But don't forget to visit the other bloggers in the project!


*(Our household is not unanimous on this--Himself argues for the WKRP in Cincinnatti version as the very best, but he does give Scrooged second place.)

**(A side note: You may recall my Postal Regulation Phobia. I have a similar level of Copyright Regulation Phobia. Therefore, I will be linking you to images of the characters of Scrooged, rather than pulling them into the post.)


  1. Scroodged is one of my favorite movies! I've just bought it as a gift for my vSO.

    I don't know how to scent the first and the third ghosts but for the Ghost of Christmas Present I'd choose Candy by Prada.

  2. YOu had me laughing out loud with your idea of perfume for the Ghost of Christmas future. :)
    I shudder just considering it.

    I love the fact that the title of the event gave us all an opportunity to treat it the way we felt right and we ended up with such wonderfully different posts. :)

  3. Martha, this is just fabulous! I saw Scrooged so long ago that I can hardly remember it, but I looove Bill Murray, and reading this has just cemented my choice of movie for this evening. Whether I have to go through Netflix or Amazon, I'll be watching this tonight.

    (Oh, and the thought of Hai Karate!! Just saying the name out loud makes me giggle.)

    Merry Christmas to you ... I hope it brings you much joy.

  4. Howdy, Undina! Yes, I love the movie so much. I can't make up my mind whether I'd argue that it has everything a High Quality Serious Movie needs in spite of having the vibe of a guilty pleasure comedy, or if it's just one of those highly detailed comedies that's full of favorite moments. Either way, great movie.

  5. Yo, Ines! Heh. I struggled with the fragrances for the other two ghosts; Future's fragrance was instantly obvious to me.

    Yep, it was a great project. :)

  6. Hey, Suzanna! Thank you! Yep; I haven't re-watched Scrooged this year yet, and now I have to.

    Merry Christmas to you, too. :)

  7. I have never ever seen Scrooged - I better go try to find it - maybe it's on Netflix?

  8. Scrooged is hilarious. Bill Murray is hilarious (and isn't it interesting that so many comedians turn out to be fabulous character actors?).

    Loved the post. Have never smelled Hai Karate, but I'm imagining, and it seems right for Buster Poindexter (whose real name I never remember). And I don't like Cristalle, but I get what you're saying about GoCPresent. It's a TOASTER OVEN!!

    Gah, laundry musk.

  9. Hilarious post!

    You have dealt The Ghost of Christmas Future a cruel hand. If the spirit ever drops in on me, I should hope he chooses something much funkier...perhaps, Muscs Kublai Kahn.

    Happy holidays!

  10. Yo, Carol! Yes yes, find it! It does appear to be on Netflix, though as a disk, not streaming.

  11. Mals! Yes, Bill Murray is amazing; he can definitely transcend plain comedy.

    Toaster oven as weapon! Whee!

  12. Hey, JoanElaine! Well, he is a pretty nasty ghost, after all. Of course, now I'll think I'm smelling him every time I step into a laundromat...