"From Donald Trump's Latest Misguided Deal...The Smell of the Donald. Combining The Scent of Sweet Success with the Acrid Stench of Bankruptcy. Available at casinos, condominiums, big banks and other failed institutions."
In the context of the Presidential Primaries, we were reminded of the fact that candidate Donald Trump is the only presidential hopeful who has a couple of perfumes to his name: the now defunct Donald Trump, The Fragrance (2004), Success (2012) and Empire (2015).
While researching the products, we happened on a vintage MAD issue which made fun of several celebrities supposedly or actually launching a perfume...
Donald Trump, The Fragrance (2004) - now available at online discounters. Please note the winning smile on the ad before the scent got retired. That winning smile though has not been retired.
It's been a long way since 1992 (see 1st image). In 2016, we're looking at the possible crash scenario of seeing "The Donald", as he is known to many, at the White House and not just appear on Celebrity Apprentice, in trade magazines, on flashy buildings, on take-notice merchandise - including fragrance bottles - and in society gossip columns - or be made fun of as in the MAD cartoon. He might be given access one day to the nuclear codes...and become the COMMANDER IN CHIEF. He might additionally plaster "TRUMP" in gold on the façade and roof of the White House - because that's what he loves most, his name, Broadway-sized-and-shiny-shiny-bright.
You have to wonder, with that candidate's monolithical ideology of success, what might happen next? "Success! - we dropped an H Bomb and I put my name on it "Prez. Trump's Bomb, successfully yours - take that in your unsuccessful a$$"(?).
Trump is obsessed with proving that he knows what success is, even baptizing his second fragrance after his main idea. He also signed or co-signed over the years a series of advice books on entrepreneurship, so much so that his name is associated with the idea of glitzy monetary success although his belief that you have to have what it takes, in other words, have inner talent for succeeding in becoming rich, is disquieting and less than democratic. See for instance his book co-authored with Robert T. Kiyosaki entitled Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-and Why Most Don't, which sounds bleak enough for a future prosperous America where riches are widely spread instead of going to an elite of super business men.
As we understand it, the game plan for him as a presidential contender is to build a new Wall of China but at the same time to repel the unsuccessful Mexicans, the greedy Chinese and the dangerous Muslims (the obvious-looking ones only who wear a beard and a veil) from the United States of America? Is that a joke?
People, we'd like to remind you that the national political power of a global superpower is not a joke. It is for real.
Success was created with Five Star Fragrance-Parlux. It is still available.
The greatness of America lies in great part on its great impact abroad. If it were constrained to the American market living in autarcy and gleeful isolationism, it would become a big, fat, great province. At any rate, it wouldn't work.
Fortunately, when we turned towards the Donald Trump Fragrances page on Facebook, we saw that Trump does not hate everything foreign, including his wife Melania (see 2nd image) from Yougoslavia, now Slovenia - and Mexican food. So, as we understand it, Trump is going to allow Mexican food goods and Mexican chefs to cross the border, while allowing burritos to continue to thrive in America and Tex-Mex cuisine.
If that China Wall had been there before burritos were introduced to American culture, there would be no burritos nor taco stands in this great land. Indeed, he states that cilantro was used in his perfume Success - a foreign herb with a strong Mexican flavor,
"Success By Trump Fragrance Note of the Week:
Coriander offers a herbaceous, woody, and spicy scent which is extracted from its seeds. The leaves from this plant are called "cilantro," a very typical herb used in Mexican cuisine."
Isn't that reassuring? His own signature perfume contains a hint of Mexicaness rather than the wholesale scent of rapists. The problem though is that Trump's perfumes, with all his advertized business savvy, have never been able to really take off, like he would like America to do. This is his third attempt - and it ain't easy. He has 3 perfumes to his name, he married 3 times, and as Prez you get only 2 terms - a hint of possible things to come?
In 2004, he issued a debut perfume in partnership with Estée Lauder called Donald Trump, The Fragrance. At the time, William P. Lauder said,
"We are excited to work with Mr. Trump, whose commitment to excellence and desire for perfection is unparalleled. Mr. Trump's extraordinary presence makes people take notice and ensures quality in all that he creates."
Unfortunately, charisma is not enough to succeed in the business of fragrance and Donald Trump, The Fragrance got shelved.
Much has been said about the celebrity perfume industry, whose death knell has yet to resound. While celeb scents have been around for longer than we usually think of - Josephine Baker had one in the 1920s - it's Liz Taylor who gave new and defining impetus to that industry from 1988 with Passion, but especially from 1991 with White Diamonds - still the #1 bestseller in America today; it's like the Abraham Lincoln of perfumes. The field is a great moneymaker when you succeed at it - but it must be said that many are called and few are chosen.
Jennifer Lopez is the next big name in this line of ventures with Glow by JLo, which again broke sales records from 2002; it's like the Ronald Reagan of perfumes, if you're a Republican.
Empire, his third fragrance with perfume company Parlux and The Trump Organization
In this very competitive biz, Donald Trump, the man who promises to save America from itself and "make it great again", was not able to make his fragrance deals outshine those of leading ladies Elizabeth Taylor or Jennifer Lopez, or succeed as much as that of Sean John (also by Parlux), by a long shot. He did not make a real mark because business may be based on figures but it is also based on intangibles. He's keeping at it but it's been 12 years - and by his own admission he wouldn't rely on fragrance as his main source of income.
So, let's not confuse an ideology of success - which must never be punitive; Trump would be the first to point that out for his own self - with a more complex reality landscape. It is much easier said than done. As a business entrepreneur you can try all your life if you wish to and can, as a President of the United States you have one cycle, perhaps two cycles of 4 years - and The Donald might not get it on time. Meanwhile, you might get shelved and he will just have a bigger-value name: Ex-President Trump.