The youngest Levy got braces this week. I reveled in the opportunity to sit by her side to offer moral support, because the orthodontist’s office has great magazines and I was woefully out of touch on new product developments and interesting ad campaigns.  Herewith the round-up:

Perfume cage match: Lancome’s Magnifique, with glamorous Anne Hathaway, meets Givenchy’s Absolutely Irresistible and funky Liv Tyler.  Both use a red color scheme, but the winner hands-down is Magnifique.  It’s an elegant ad, Hathaway looks ravishing, and the name, while not thrilling, is concise.  Absolutely Irresistible is apparently a “flanker” perfume to Givenchy’s Very Irresistible, and I don’t think either of those works.  Plus, the picture of Tyler is kind of goofy.  I am guessing I’d also like the Magnifique scent better, as Absolutely Irresistible apparently contains an element of patchouli, which makes me violent.

Now for the celebrity perfumes, and another cage match between two divas:  Talk about uninspired nomenclature – Christina Aguilera’s new scent is called – you guessed it – Inspire.  And the tagline?  Keep your seatbelt on for this one: “Follow your inspiration.”  Has motherhood stripped her of raunch and pizzazz?  Her perfume website merely exhorts the customer to “stand up for what you believe in and strive for your dreams.”  Aguilera poses beatifically in the ads’ photos, which is incongruous with both her image and, IMHO, the purpose of wearing perfume.

In sharp contrast is the campaign for a new fragrance from Jennifer Lopez: J. Lo’s new scent is called Deseo, which means “I wish” or “I desire” in Spanish.  Her tagline is evocative – “Let desire lead you,” and the sultry photos of Lopez convey an image that matches the perfume’s name.  J. Lo wins this match handily.

Now off the perfume trail, but continuing on in the luxury goods market, we have a jewelry brand called Tous.  Needless to say, I have issues with this mark’s pronunciation.  I would expect monoglot Americans to pronounce it as “toose.”  French speakers, however, would pronounce it as “two,” except of course if it preceded a word beginning with a vowel, in which case it would also be “toose.”  Singer Kylie Minogue is this company’s celebrity endorser, and “her” slogan in the print ad I saw was “I love Tous.”  Well, my polyglot brain goes crazy there – is she saying “I love everyone”?  I guess I just worry way too much about these things.

Just a really great ad – Edward Norton for Breil Milano watches.  Never heard of the brand before, but here’s an example of outstanding photography of a really interesting actor, not just a pretty face, that helps propagate brand recognition.

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, an ad campaign I’ve been meaning to comment on for quite some time: Mucinex and its anthropomorphic Mr. Mucus.  Why, oh why, do we have to be assaulted by this grotesque character?  And the slogan “Mucinex in. Mucus out.” – feh!  Believe me, I’m not a squeamish sort, but I find the constant repetition of the word “mucus” in the Mucinex television commercials really unappealing, to the point where if I were afflicted with a condition for which their products might help (and I no doubt will be this winter, and as we always ask in our family, “Where DOES snot come from?”), I would deliberately not consider their products.  So there, Mr. Mucus!  (Almost as annoying as these commercials, and only tangentially related, is the misspelling of mucus the noun as “mucous.”  The latter is the adjective.  Thank you.)

Holiday greetings to all.  I hope to provide ski-blogging this season!