Le Prix Eau Faux 2014 ~ now accepting entries

Le Prix Eau Faux 2014

We are now accepting entries for the 2014 Prix Eau Faux, our not-annual contest to reward excellence in "creative fragrance writing", e.g., fake ad copy.

We have assembled a distinguished panel of judges for this year's contest, including several of us from Now Smell This (me, Angela, Jessica and Kevin), plus this year's guest host, Arielle from The Scents of Self.

The judges will select a group of semi-finalists, and then the readers will vote on a grand prize winner.

What's the point?

We love reading gloriously over-the-top fragrance ad copy. The ad copy that originally inspired our first contest back in 2008 was from By Kilian — in three short sentences, they managed to work in Faust, Rimbaud, Macbeth, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Pharell Williams and Baudelaire, and then they opened a fragrance description with the wonderful phrase "Beneath the pseudoinnocence displayed by Bergamot from Calabria...". In the spirit of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (aka "The dark and stormy night" contest), we wanted to know if our readers could do even better. In 2008, they did pretty well (take a look at the finalists and the winner) so we did the whole thing again in 2010 (here are the finalists and the winner) and in 2012 (finalists and winner).

What to do:

Think of a name for your new perfume house and your first perfume. Write a SHORT paragraph introducing your new perfume house to the world, and then a SHORT paragraph introducing your debut fragrance.

Try to stick to 5-6 sentences total. Entries that are more than 8 sentences or 175 words will be automatically disqualified.

The best entries will be funny and pretentious and at least vaguely plausible.

The prize:


The winner gets a $200 gift certificate from our friends at Twisted Lily.

The winner will be informed by email.

The rules:

You may enter as many times as you like.

Entries are to be sent via email to robin at nstperfume dot com (replace "at" with "@", dot with ".", and remove any spaces). It would help if you would put "Prix Eau Faux" in your subject line.

Include your entry in the body of the email (we won't open attachments).

Also include your name, and if you like, whatever pseudonym you'd like us to use should we post your entry online.

Entries must be original. We already know there is lots of funny ad copy out there, but please, write your own. Entries are to be text only: no images.

If you don't want me to post your entry in the event that you DON'T win, tell me so, otherwise we'll post your entry for everyone's enjoyment after the contest is over.

We will be accepting entries through the end of March, 2014. The semi-finalists will be selected in early April.

Questions? Post them in the comments.

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  1. lucasai says:

    I’ve got a question – what happens if the winner is from outside the US? Will such a person be still able to choose perfume as their price (regarding the shipping restrictions)?

    • Robin says:

      Excellent question, & did not even think about it, so very sorry. Will check with Twisted Lily, but we’ll absolutely work something out, I promise.

      • Robin says:

        And the answer is yes, you can still use the gift certificate, but the shipping cost will either have to come out of the amount of the gift certificate, or you’ll have to pay it separately.

  2. 50_Roses says:

    This is always so much fun! I have to say, though, that it’s getting harder and harder to outdo the real perfume copywriters.

    • Robin says:

      SO true! And the bar for “vaguely plausible” is likewise getting pretty low.

  3. morgana says:

    Great choice to include Ari on this!

    Looking forward to reading your winning entries :)

  4. shellyw says:

    I love this contest. I wish I were the literary sort. I will forward to reading them.

  5. Omega says:

    Lol, don’t think I can do better than Watermelancholy and I didn’t even enter it into the contest. haha.

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Oh yes, I will throw my hat in the ring…mwahahahaha. I look forward to reading the entries (winners and not winners).

  7. Supersmell says:

    Everytime I read “Eau Faux” it makes my hair stand on end.

    Was the wrong French grammar used intentionally as part of the joke?

    It’s Eau fausse, anyway.

    Maybe I’d call my fictional company “Ce n’est pas facile”.

  8. Flora says:

    I am really looking forward to this whether I enter and/or win or not! It’s always a ton of fun. :-D

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