A Rose By Any Other Name

26 August 2008

Today I went to David Jones in Sydney (a rather ‘upmarket’ department store) where I was greeted by a young woman dressed as a ballerina.  She handed me a small piece of card, on which were written the words “Dirty English” in an Olde English typeface.

Now I know I wasn’t looking my best but I didn’t have coal smeared all over my face and, to the best of my knowledge, I didn’t smell.  And she hadn’t heard my accent.  I was confused. Was this some sort of Pom joke I hadn’t heard of before?

No, apparently.  I was told to sniff the card.  It had been sprayed with a man’s fragrance called, of all things, of course “Dirty English”.  Er?

I think it’s likely that the majority of men’s fragrances are bought by women and this would be borne out by the fact that I was handed this card.  But who would you buy this one for?  As David is both English and Aussie (like me), I think he may take offence if I presented him with a bottle.  What focus group thought this one up?  And why would they think that the word ‘dirty’ would be appealing?  Nobody makes soap for ‘dirty’ skin and despite the fact that there are shampoos for just about every condition (dry hair, flyaway hair, coloured hair), I’ve never seen one labelled for dirty hair.   

I don’t want to appear over-sensitive but would the manufacturers (a company called Juicy Couture) have got away with this if they’d called it Dirty French or Dirty Japanese?  Or maybe Dirty English is the first in a series. 

Who cares?  I won’t be buying any.


  1. Won’t be getting your cash out from under the soap, then…?

  2. I wouldn’t want to “cozy up” with anyone wearing it!

  3. Was that what she was there for? I walked past DJ’s yesterday and saw the Fairy too. But she looked like a real scraggy fairy!! Explains it then!

  4. What kind of a name is that?

    As a teacher of the language [which can make me really dity sometimes – it’s so inconsistent] I’m still offended! Makes no sense at all!

  5. Breaking news: I’ve been into a department store in England, and it’s just come on sale here! What sort of people are going to buy this, for themselves or someone else???

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: