Imagine my glee when, during my Christmas expeditions to the Two Dollar Shop (as mentioned previously), I stumbled upon an eau de parfum! In a Two Dollar Shop! Smack me with a sockfull of wet lavender pulp! It wasn’t actually two dollars, coming in at a whopping five bucks, but, dear Acowlytes, this, by Two Dollar Shop standards, is a Luxury Item!

And, in true Two Dollar Shop fashion, this bottle of perfume is just like something in the real world only cheaper, crappier and made from toxic chemicals left over from industrial manufacturing processes.

Cowmrades! I present for your delectation: Bane eau de parfum.

A Bottle o' Bane

This is the definition of ‘bane’:

    bane [beyn]
    1. a person or thing that ruins or spoils

One imagines that this sense of the word is not what the creators of Bane have intended and they are in fact hoping to evoke a secondary meaning somewhat akin to spell or poison. Thus is the peril of attempting to be poetic in a language that is not the one with which you are familiar.

Of course, who am I to say? Going by the smell of the stuff, maybe the first definition is really what they had in mind. But more of that in due course.

A Box o' Bane

The Bane packaging is a triumph of product-design tragedy. The designer could only be said to have been successful if the brief went something like this:

Hey Adelheld!* What we’re going for with this is some kind of a half-woman/half-cobra embedded in a rock and obscured by a curtain. It should be really difficult to make out exactly what it is. Oh, and if you can save us some money by, say, using up some old tubes of paint you’ve got lying around – you know, those murky bilious greens that you’ve had sitting in a bottom drawer for a few years – that would be great!

Of course, the whole thing is nicely set off by the gold foil text that just screams tacky! glamour!

Which leads me to the next exciting feature of Bane. A shiny gold button on the box lets us know that this is not just any old Bane. No sirree!

New Improved Bane

This is New Improved Bane. It is at this point that I wish The Cow was scratch ‘n’ sniff because in all truth that’s the only way I could convey to you the full magnitude of the claim of ‘New Improved’. My God. New Improved Bane smells like a blend of cough medicine, window cleaner and those deodorant lozenges they put in men’s urinals. I shudder to think of what it was like before they improved it. Then again, being generous, maybe the ‘improvement’ was just in the colour? The label lists nearly a dozen colorants. Now what’s that all about? Who cares what colour the perfume is? It spends all its life in a dark red glass bottle and now and then you spray out a tiny quantity that atomizes into a virtually clear vapour. It’s madness – they could have ditched the colorants and had the product on the shelves for four bucks!

NOT Poison

Some sense can be made of the whole enterprise by examining a sticker on the cellophane packaging in which the box is shrouded. Here, the makers of Bane attempt to simultaneously align themselves with, and distance themselves from, Dior’s famous ‘Poison’ by telling us that Bane ‘compares’ to Poison but doesn’t use the same fragrances. This could be put more clearly on a label worded like this:

Dear Customer: If you lack discrimination, have no sense of smell and are a tightwad, you can buy this stuff and pretend it is Poison. It would be a fitting accompaniment to your fake Rolex, and the kinds of people you probably hang out with will never be able to tell the difference anyway.

Dear Dior Lawyer: Please don’t sue us. Even though we are attempting to trade on your reputation we are just trying to get rid of industrial fragrances left over from our disinfectant factory and only olfactorally-challenged cheapskates would think it was anything like your perfume.

Of course, I could be entirely mistaken here – the manufacturers might simply be equating Bane with rat poison. Or insecticide.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the gilded eau de parfum attribution, one could be easily forgiven for mistaking Bane for a competitively priced alternative to Mortein.

It’s just a shame that it smells so much worse.


*I couldn’t dig up much information about Bane (or ‘The Dorall Collection’) on the net (unsurprisingly) but as near as I can make out it is manufactured in Belgium. If that’s not the case I apologize profusely to all Belgians for the slight.


12 Responses to “ I Put a Smell On You ”

  1. nursemyra says:

    oh my this is hilarious! I can just imagine your face when you came across it (not literally)….

    too too bloggable

  2. What 2 dollar store? What ever happened to the Dollar Stores?

  3. I stumbled upon your blog because we have a common friend (Nursemyra). I don’t know much about perfume though, except it’s usually expensive and smells nice (most of it). You found some in a 2 dollar shop? Suspicious…

    By the way, your art is great, and I’m not just talking about the graphical work. I will check out your music as well.

  4. Perhaps it was not made in ‘Belgium’, but rather ‘Belgum’.

  5. Atlas Cerise says:

    I’d recognize that classic Universal Head package design anywhere!

  6. Buzzardbilly says:

    OMG that’s hilarious! Perhaps they called it bane because when you wear it you will be the bane of your coworkers’ existence?

  7. anaglyph says:

    nursemyra: Well, I was excited about it, but not quite that excited…

    Malach: Get with the program! You obviously missed that discussion.

    soundtrackgeek: Welcome to The Cow! And thanks for the comments!

    Colonel: It’s probably made from sorghum.

    Atlas: Oooh. Careful.

    Buzzardbilly: No doubt at all. If they could even stand to be in the same room with you for more than five minutes…

  8. Cissy Strutt says:

    Didn’t Nina Simone sing that wonderful song “I Put A Bane On You” ?

    Or was it Judy Garland who sang “Bane Bane Bane Went The Trolley” ?

    (Forgive me. It’s 40 degrees)

  9. Atlas Cerise says:

    How does this compare to Brimstone?

  10. anaglyph says:

    Cissy Strutt: I don’t know about those, but heavy metal band ‘Bane’ has a song called End With an Ellipsis. Though if they had any sense of elegance it should more properly be titled End With an Ellipsis…

    Atlas: The Devil wouldn’t be caught undead wearing Bane.

  11. no says:

    Made by the Arab,you know UAE,
    Claims to be our allies…

  12. john says:

    Dorall made in UAE,means Arabs

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