Britney Spears Sells Smells: A Fragrance Commercial Retrospective

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Today is Britney Spears’ 30th birthday! Rather than curling up in the fetal position and wondering where our youth went, we’re celebrating by reviewing the odd and amazing commercials for some of her fragrances. While the ads may err on the ridiculous side, they sell a s—ton of scents. According to trusty ol’ Wikipedia, her first perfume, Curious, raked in $30 million in sales during the first three months it was on the market. Below, we break down all the weirdest and WTF-est moments from her the commercials for her three main fragrances: Curious, Fantasy and Radiance. (Girlfriend’s got nine total. Yes, nine.) Let’s get this perfume party started…

Fragrance: Curious
Released: 2004
WTF is going on in this thing: Hotel sex, that’s what’s going on in this thing! Britney and her glorious curls and bootleg jeans are staying next door to an anony-hunk in a hotel the rest of the world could never afford. They eye each other in the hallway as they enter their respective rooms and then each get turned on from staring at a doorknob. (So hard! So round!) Britney then teaches the world what sex with a stranger would be like through a series of quick video clips mixed with flashes of them f—ing all over their suite: lightening, clouds, flowers blooming, two dolls getting shoved together by a little girl, the inside of a clock, a cartoon, a rodeo,  and — for your final and most iconic cliche — waves crashing.

Britney and her beefcake linger outside their doors as the voice over whispers, “Do you dare?” The voice probably should have uttered, “If you decide to bone this guy, wear a condom. Sure, he’s handsome and probably smells like martinis and mulch. But you don’t know where he’s been, ladies. Take care of you!” But then she would have had to call the fragrance Cautious instead of Curious, which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Fragrance: Fantasy
Released: 2005
WTF is going on in this thing: OK, so Britney Spears is a “goddess.” We buy this; back before she made friends with an umbrella and some hair clippers she was totally goddess quality. She’s in a misty forest peeking around some sort of magical tree when bam! Kevin Federline A model and K-Fed lookalike named Nick Steele and his string-cheese hair show up to do a little gold digging. [Ed. Note - We had always thought this part was played by Kevin, but Wikipedia has opened our eyes. We're going to work under the assumption that Steele's character is supposed to be K-Fed and continue our review as such.] Britney’s voice over labels him a “hunter,” which is the most accurate description we’ve ever heard of her ex-husband. After all, he went hunting for his meal ticket, devoured said meal and then barfed up “Popo Zao,” the worst song that thankfully never was. “There wasn’t a single part of her he didn’t want to touch,” whispers Britney. To which we reply: 1.) “You mean like your bank account?” 2.) “Zing!” 3.) “Ugh, we know, we all watched you guys get it on in Chaotic.

The Kevin lookalike lumbers through the woods past a tree with their names carved in a heart (tragic foreshadowing at its best), until he shoots her with some stupid Magic Love Arrow to prevent her from going on her “Goddess World Tour.” (This is when we officially start to hate the writer of this ad.) Also there’s an owl watching the whole thing, because of course there is. Breathy Britney announces that the goddess and the hunter live happily ever after, and they do — until she divorces him in the middle of her second pregnancy, flashes her vag a bunch of times and well … you know the rest. A fantasy indeed!

Fragrance: Radiance (rebranded as Cosmic Radiance in 2011)
Released: 2010
WTF is going on in this thing: Remember that whole mental breakdown thing that went on for two years? Nope? Well, neither does the Britney in the Radiance commercial. The singer dashes away from waiting fans and paparazzi after a performance and gracefully walks on cobblestone in heels (this is not so much radiant as it is miraculous), until she stumbles upon a fortune teller storefront. Wow, fake fortune tellers sure are different from the one that we visited off of Route 9 during our senior year of high school, who smelled like Newports and told us we’d marry our high school boyfriend! (Didn’t happen.) The mystic has used her powers to find the one sexy hanging bead door in the world and beckons Britney toward her crystal ball. Judging from the amount of candles in the room they shot this thing right after The Police did their video for “Wrapped Around Your Finger.”

“Do you want me to tell you your future?” the psychic asks. Britney stares into the globe, ponders the possibility of more mortifying VMAs performances down the road, and replies, “No thanks. I choose my own destiny.” Which is a lie, because her father chooses her destiny now. Britney then exits and comes to stand on the smokey cobblestone street, where she advises the viewer to “choose your own destiny.” This is great advice. Side note: We totally chose to eat a burger for lunch today, so mission accomplished, destiny! But this perfume is called Radiance. Was there no one available to come up with a tagline that actually incorporates the name of the scent? How hard is it to write “Radiate the best you,” or something? (That’ll be $1 million, please.)

[Photo: GettyImages]