LOS ANGELES, California / The Los Angeles Times / Opinion / September 18, 2011
Seniors should have our own scents, perfumes that could help dispel some serious prejudices and stereotypes about older people.
By Sy Rosen
Justin Bieber's line of perfume — for women — recently made its debut. He seems to know his market. One teenage girl gushed, "I love him! I love him! When I use the perfume, I feel him!" And it's not only Justin — I call him Justin although we travel in different universes. Last year, there were 69 new celebrity perfumes. There was Katy Perry's Purr, Beyonce's Heat and Jennifer Aniston's creatively named Jennifer Aniston.
Entitled: This complex mixture combines the aroma of freshly baked apple pie and sturdy, just-harvested Oklahoma cornstalks to produce an uplifting fragrance that embodies the American spirit and gives rise to the notion that we seniors worked for and earned our Social Security benefits.
Scents that make sense. (Illustration by Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles Times)
In addition, the slight hint of naproxen for arthritis, Razadyne for Alzheimer's and Lucentis for macular degeneration has an underlying subtlety that lets people know what is in store for them, and that everybody will eventually need Medicare. Of course, to keep this perfume real and honest, there also has to be the slight scent of fear that these entitlements might be taken away. This is derived from the sweat of a "tea party" member of Congress.
Power: When we worked, people valued our opinions and were a little intimidated by us. Now, they roll their eyes when we talk. With the combination of the scents of the lion, jaguar and alligator, we will regain that lost power. To that we also added hair follicles from Bill O'Reilly and Alec Baldwin, replicating their complete scents. This potent mixture says, "I am still powerful — and a little crazy."
Relevance: Most people think that older folks aren't relevant anymore, and that we don't know anything about the world, especially pop culture. Combining eau de rock concerts, tanning salons, vodka and prison cells will tell everyone that we are familiar with Snooki and Paris and Lindsay and the New York housewives and the mob wives and … hmmm, maybe relevance isn't that good.
Wisdom: For those who think we're losing it, one whiff of this stuff will change that! This fragrance is derived from a 200-year-old oak tree mixed with the powerful aroma of first editions by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Melville and Jennifer Egan (to show that we are hip). It tells the world that we not only understood "Inception," but we also managed to stay awake during "The Tree of Life." The cologne version contains the scents of the ancient Maya and Aztec civilizations, which were celebrated for their brilliance in mathematics. One spray and everyone will know that we spend 20 minutes talking to the bank teller not because we're lonely but because we have discovered a flaw in their complicated accounting system.
Inevitable: It's easy to dismiss seniors because everyone thinks getting older will never happen to them. Well, this perfume is designed specifically to counteract that feeling. It's a blend of baby powder, crayons, stale corporate offices, Rogaine and Fixodent to give the fragrance of a complete life and send the message that someday you too will get older. One whiff of the senior wearing this perfume and empathy will be the reigning emotion. To quote that classic Kiss song, "You are me. I am you. We are one."
Other senior scents on the drawing board are Beyond Bingo, Computers Are My Friend, Assertive Not Cranky and Speak Softer I Can Hear You.
Sy Rosen, who has written for "The Bob Newhart Show," "The Wonder Years," "Frasier" and other television shows, is a playwright in Los Angeles.
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