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5th Jul, 2022

Solihull final year advertising student co-designs UK's first socially-distanced perfume

Catherine Vonledebur 26th Oct, 2020 Updated: 4th Nov, 2020

A SOLIHULL-born final year creative advertising student and her business partner at Bucks New University are creating a bit of a stink – with their latest design!

Former Tudor Grange pupil Charlotte Frankel and Inês Moreira, who go by their company name Charlotte and Blue, have come up with ‘Merde: Eau de Distance Sociale’ – the UK’s first socially distanced perfume.

Instead of drawing people to you, this new scent is designed to do the opposite – repel them. Forget aromas of sandalwood, jasmine or orange blossom the girls’ fragrance will conjure up smells of fish, feet, rubbish, morning breath or sewage.

The innovative High Wycombe-based students were given a course design brief to come up with their own advertising campaign and product by Simon Lloyd, who created 2019’s John Lewis and Waitrose’s fairy-tale Christmas advert.

Charlotte, 21, from Solihull, said: “It had to be current, and that morning there were many articles about Covid and the rise of positive results, so we looked at if there was anything we could do to reinforce social distancing.

“What we have created is a socially distanced perfume. People are no longer respecting social distancing as much hence how our product will help. Let’s just say it won’t be the most pleasant-smelling aroma and if someone comes too close, you can spray it and they will easily move away. It will be connected through the NHS app and they will notify you when you need to spray as it is all done through Bluetooth.

“Which leads me onto the scents…Fish, feet, rubbish, morning breath, faeces, sewage, are just a few. Delightful… I know! More than anything, the name is just to show it is an unpleasant smell. The name is also French making it sound that little bit more luxurious.

“Depending on how much the idea blows up will depend on if we do sell it as a product. However, we have set up a GoFundMe where we will keep the donations that we used to buy the supplies but any profit will be donated to the NHS and retailTRUST (a registered charity supporting those working and retired from the retail industry) to say thank you for all their hard work during the pandemic.

“We are testing the perfume out and aiming to get people’s reactions and gage how effective they think it could be. As for our Course Leaders, they loved it. They think it’s new, fresh, witty and will certainly put a smile on people’s faces!”

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