The TSA and the Scent Grenade, Part II: Spicebomb! [Correction]

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The term "scent grenade" didn't occur to me until this morning, or else I would have used it yesterday ("TSA Confuses Perfume Bottle With a Grenade"), but better late than never. (Turns out I'm not the first to think of it, unfortunately, but I'll come back to that.)

Spicebomb!A reader informed me (thanks, Chris) that there is at least one other perfume bottle out there that would terrify the TSA even more than Jimmy Choo's. In fact, this one (designed for men) is expressly modeled after a hand grenade and is even called Spicebomb! (italics and exclamation point mine).

Behold it.

Again we see the iconic "pineapple" grenade shape and styling, but this one actually has a pin to pull, and it also comes in scarier gray and black. In terms of distinguishing it from a real grenade, though, my rule of thumb from yesterday still works:




But just imagine how seeing someone waving this bottle around on an aircraft might panic the passengers into … well, they'd either see it was perfume and ignore him or get up and beat the crap out of the guy with the "grenade," just like they did with the shoe and underwear bombers. Thanks, TSA, but we'll handle it.

I think the most dangerous thing about Spicebomb might be the ad copy. View it below—if you dare: 

In 2005, Viktor&Rolf launched its first bomb: a profusion of flowers in a feminine perfume, sensual to the point of excess—Flowerbomb. Today, it is the turn of the masculine codes of perfumery to be dynamited: Spicebomb offers us the promise of a concentrate with an explosive personality. Deliberately powerful, exaggeratedly sensual, decidedly audacious. 

The bottle, a reworked custom-built grenade for a perfume made up of explosive scents, is encircled by a black band that cannot contain the force of the fragrance. An olfactory explosion is ineluctable.

An explosive encounter between two accords with detonating tones: the first, explosive, fuses zesty, fresh notes while the cold spices leave their icy bite. The second, addictive, combines a middle note of incandescent spices with a wholly masculine combination of leather and tobacco as well as the brute force of vetiver. 

Wow, that is some absolutely terrifying nonsense. Who are these mysterious Germans anyway and why are they planning to dynamite the masculine codes of perfumery? I didn't even know there were masculine codes of perfumery and now these anarchists want to blow them up! If the black band is not strong enough to contain this fragrance, don't they need to use something stronger? I'd advise them to do so if they don't want to get sued for designing a defective product, once the olfactory explosions start happening.

There is such a thing as a "scent grenade," I just learned, but that term seems to be mostly used in hunting; one apparently throws a scent grenade to attract a desired animal to that area in order to more easily kill it. For example, consider the "Rut Grenade":

Once upon a time the hunter had to go into the Kill zone to place his or her Deer scents or urine. Any good Hunter knows the less human and unnatural scents in the area the better. The Rut grenade makes it possible to throw the whitetail deer Scents or "Estrous Rich" urine into an untainted hunting area without leaving unwanted and unnatural scent that could SPOOK the Whitetail of your Dreams away.

The company currently offers three fascinating scents: "Scorching Doe" (made with the urine of a doe in heat), "Buck Confrontation" (made with the urine of a male deer), and "All Season Anytime" (a "curiosity scent" with notes of vanilla and apple). The future target smells what it desires and is enticed into the kill zone.

I guess to be honest about it, Flowerbomb and Spicebomb are designed to do basically the same thing, though for very different purposes (and mostly different ingredients). So maybe it's ultimately a good thing that the TSA is trying to keep one of these from being detonated on a plane.

Correction: A source in The Netherlands (thanks, Marijn) wanted to clarify that Viktor and Rolf are not "mysterious Germans," they are well-known Dutch fashion designers, and indeed they are. The first draft of that sentence actually referred only to the "Teutonic-sounding names" or something like that, the point being that such names sound slightly scary to a native English speaker, or at least scarier than, let's say, French names. The actual nationality was not especially relevant to that joke as phrased, so I did not look it up. But I ended up referring to them as "Germans," and although that is the same joke, the change did create an inaccuracy.

I would like to apologize to Viktor, Rolf, Viktor&Rolf, and the people of The Netherlands for this unintended error. This should not be interpreted as any sort of apology to the writer and/or translator of the ad copy above, however, because that remains utterly ridiculous.