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Don’t get me wrong. I’m as big a fan of Johnny Cash as anyone and admit to laughing through Jack Black movies. Nonetheless, I’m confused about the deluge of men’s fragrances that have based their identity on black. Can we blame this fragrance marketing/positioning on the success of Drakkar Noir—that ubiquitous fragrance that scented bars and board rooms alike upon its introduction in 1982? Or are darker forces at work?
I’ve pinned the ads for a number of these fragrances up on my bulletin board, and handsome, masculine faces stare at me from behind Kenneth Cole Black, Stetson (yes, it’s back in … ) Black and two Azzaro fragrances—Silver Black and Onyx. Armani Code is also up there with a dark, brooding face and a pretty, yet somewhat obscured, woman. Granted, the name Code doesn’t refer to the absence of color, but the packaging falls into the same void as the others. I found three of these ads in the same issue of a consumer magazine. If it wasn’t for editorial curiosity, I’m fairly sure the magazine would have found its way into the trash while I operated under the assumption that someone had a lot of marketing dollars to burn on multiple ads for the same fragrance in a single issue.
Besides the aforementioned fragrances, a quick Google search revealed Polo Black by Ralph Lauren and Ferrari Black Eau de Toilette—Obsession Night for Men by Calvin Klein turns up, too. It seems to me that these fragrances are in danger of falling into a black hole on store shelves as well.
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