If, like me, you never miss an episode of NPR’s “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” then you probably already know Burger King in Japan is releasing a Whopper-scented cologne with the tagline “No Whopper, No Life.” Which, like so many perfume taglines, is mysterious to the point of ridiculousness, and nowhere near on-the-nose, even though it’s a smell. Also, it sounds a little too close to “No woman, no cry.”
Let me be the first to say, barf. OK, I’m probably not the first to express that sentiment about L’eau d’Whopper. But I mean it the most and with grand gusto. A Whopper perfume is just disgusting enough to get a columnist like me to rant about it. Brilliant. The good news, however, is that if this is what fast food places are resorting to for attention maybe we have a shot at not being steamrolled by the flame-broiled. And hell, I would much rather someone spritz on squirt of burger scent than take their children to Burger King every night for dinner. Remember those stupid spray diets? It’s like that.
One of the things about eating a Whopper is that I want the smell off me immediately. I don’t want people to know I’ve eaten a Whopper. Better yet — I’ve never eaten a Whopper. I swear! What’s that onion smell wafting off me? Nuttin’. I’m makin’ a big tomato sauce.
While I was pretty sure this Whopper perfume is going to be an April Fools’ joke — it was slated to be released on April 1, but there is no sign of it being fake — one thing I am for is food-inspired fragrances. They are known as gourmands, and I find myself creating a lot of them for my perfumery of one. Most recently I put together saffron and bergamot essential oils, musk, and dark chocolate and leather notes. The beautiful thing about making a gourmand is you can take it sensual with musk and take it away from foodstuffs territory. I know some people like to pull sheet trays of pastrami into their lovemaking (I’m looking at you, Costanza) because it’s the “most sensual of the cured meats,” but I’m not even a whipped-cream girl. So my gourmand fragrances aren’t like wearing pure strawberry, let’s say. I love a gourmand but I want it out of the kitchen.
One thing that smells better than burgers on your skin is lemongrass essential oil. According to my scientific sources lemongrass promotes psychic awareness and purification. That sounds better than helping with bladder infections and parasites, doesn’t it? More importantly, lemongrass smells sweet and inviting, suffused with a spicy cloud a second in. On its own it almost has everything a perfumer or perfume-wearer could want. I highly recommend putting some in a spray bottle with witch hazel and water to spritz yourself during the summer months. For DIY burger perfume, put burger in blender with perfumer’s alcohol, strain results through cheesecloth, put in bottle, dab on, be banished to cave.
Jenn Sutkowski must be getting full psychic waves from her lemongrass essential oil because she predicts burger cologne will make people groan. And she loves burgers more than most people. Find her flipping burgers of the mind at jennsutkowski.com.
This Full Frontal column was originally published in the Newport Mercury.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.