Frank Bruni used to be the food critic for NYT. Since he left that post, he’s continued writing for the paper on a wide range of issues. Most recently, stinky congressional perfume.
Bruni argues that with more and more celebs putting their names on cologne and perfume, D.C. politicians need their own. As far as I can tell, this is a satirical piece from Bruni, but usually satire has hints of humor. This just reads like a fever dream that Bruni once had where he fantasized about what members of Congress smelled like. (Spoiler alert: They smell like martinis, shirt starch and shamelessness.)
Now, this is a odd idea to begin with. It’s not like these politicians are popular people. Just look at the approval ratings of Congress and you’d know that a minority of Americans like what they see. Why would anyone want to smell like Congress? Bruni writes, “Think about it. Actors, athletes, models and singers have signature scents. Snooki has two. So why not one for the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee?” Gee, Frank… I don’t know why no one ever made the connection that since people buy merchandise that’s been endorsed by professional athletes, they’d be JUST as willing to buy stuff from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Ill.) whose brand might be Au de Fatass, a lovely blend of his favorite foods, shrimp and Cheetos. Or Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), whose scent may be something young, fresh, beachy and Dominican.
Which politicos get their own cologne?
Bruni begins with a scent for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called “Amnesty.” He writes that the fragrance is for the “man or woman who craves a clean break, a new beginning. I imagine a top note of citrus, nodding to Rubio’s native Florida, and a middle note of tea, nodding to his party-within-a-party.” First things first. Man OR woman? Since when do both genders like to share cologne? Is that a new thing? The perfume is going to smell like lemony tea. Why not just go dump a bottle of Lipton on your head?
Bruni goes on to list several Democrats and Republicans and the scents they might own. Few are funny. Most are boring. Some are just bizarre. Like this one about Hillary Clinton: “Of course Hillary Clinton’s stratospheric approval ratings demand a cologne all her own. It should be a symphony of spices and flowers from the different continents she visited as secretary of state, a bouquet of international ambition, with a moniker to match. All our diplomats will wear Beyond Borders, or they’ll wear nothing at all.”
Aaaaaaand now I’m picturing Hillary Clinton naked. Thanks, Frank.