Summer The Bad Girl Mermaid and Her Fragrances

Posted by
Sarah Colton
 July 4, 2016

Image:  John William Waterhouse Resonance



Bad Girl Mermaids and Their Fragrances

Part 1  Bad Girls Perfumed Suntan Oils (AKA Bad Girl Mermaid Tail Fragrances)


In honor of all you Bad Girls (and Boys) heading to the beach or the pool over the next few weeks, is dedicating the months of July and August to BAD GIRLS MERMAIDS–tales and tails – from this venerable and most treacherous tradition in Bad Girls Perfume history.

So, dive in, all you Mer-people. It’s time to play!

And who knows? If you’re bad enough to post a comment, offer a tip, or divulge a tale, you might even win one of the excellent Bad Girls mermaid perfumes that will be bobbing along in each week’s tide – all the better to carry off your OWN special Bad Girls Mermaid exploits.


From time immemorial, Bad Girl Mermaids have been calling

men away from firm footing on land to deep water, hidden

shoals, or ever-receding horizons.


In Greek mythology, sirens were creatures with voices of angels,

upper bodies of beautiful women, and the cold hearts of man-eating,

fishlike predators. They sat on rocks and shores and sang so seductively

and compellingly that anyone who heard them was so possessed that

they rushed to certain doom….


Ah yes, much has been written about the songs of Mermaids.

Yet I’m here to tell you that Mermaids’ real power is in their



Homer, of course, omitted any details of mermaid

fragrances in his tales, but it doesn’t take much imagination to

know they would smell like some combination of the tropical

flowers they wore in their hair, the fruits and coconuts that

grew on their islands, and the bracing ozone-y air of breaking

waves. Most importantly, however, the most fascinating and

alluring thing about a mermaid is the animalic, female odor of

her tail. Without her tail or the odor of her tail, the mermaid

loses at least half her power, as we shall see.


In contrast to Homer’s Mermaids who were clearly and

powerfully predatory, the mermaid in Hans Christian Andersen’s

1837 tale, The Little Mermaid is portrayed as being

innocent, sweet, and sometimes even helpful toward men.


I don’t buy this Mermaid “good intentions” interpretation for

one minute. For one thing, anyone with even a cursory

understanding of mermaid physiology is going to know her

intentions would have to be “conflicted” at best, which definitely

qualifies her as a Bad Girl.


The way I see it, we never get a chance to see the true intentions

of Andersen’s little mermaid simply because once on dry land she

has no power to carry them out. You’ll remember that before she

came ashore as a woman, she traded her fragrant mermaid tail for

the much longed for legs of a human. Indeed, without the fragrance

of her tail, Andersen’s “sweet” little Mermaid finds that her

powers of seduction are considerably diminished, and she ultimately

loses all to the treachery of a man guided by human laws.

The moral to this Mermaid’s tale lies in the Mermaid’s tail.


When venturing onto the shores of man, a well-advised Bad Girl Mermaid

should never leave her tail – or at least the fragrance of her tail – behind.   

(The full, UNEXPURGATED  version  of the above

text can be found in the ‘Mermaids’ section of  Bad Girls Perfume,

Chapter 6 “Advanced Techniques For Special Prey”.

(available in kindle or paperback editions).



Bad Girls Mermaid Tail Fragrances to the Rescue



Taking cues from mermaid history, numerous perfume brands

have rallied to the Bad Girl Mermaid’s cause by concocting an

abundance of quite effective fragrances to help them achieve

their ends.


Starting in 1927, Jean Patou created Huile de Chaldée, the

first commercial perfumed suntan oil (AKA Bad Girl Mermaid

Tail Fragrance).  Working with perfumer Henri Almeras, Patou loaded

Huile de Chaldée with hot sultry mermaid notes such as tropical

florals, vanilla,and amber.


A single whiff of Huile de Chaldée conjured an abundance of tanned,

oiled, fragrant, and glowing flesh, beaded with droplets of

salt water, exposed in the skimpiest of attire against the most

primal of backdrops − sun, sand, and surf.


Indeed, Huile de Chaldée was so enormously successful that it inspired the

creation of many other suntan oil companies, thus variations on Patou’s

fragrance formula become the signature of beach fragrances

for years to come.


In France, the best-known brand to follow the sun

after Huile de Chaldée was L’Oréal’s Ambre Solaire in 1935,

(now sold under the brand name, Garnier), which like Huile

de Chaldée oozed with the aroma of tropical flowers.


Ambre Solaire pub 1936


Across the Atlantic, Coppertone captured the coco-nutty appeal of tropical paradises.


Coppertone ad 1972




Other important North American brands included


                                                                                       Bain de Soleil

Bain de Soleil Vintage ad


                                                                                          Sea and Ski….”


Sea and Ski vintage ad


Bad Girls on land and sea were quick to pick up on the vast and seductive power of suntan oils and lotions (AKA Bad Girl Mermaid Tale Fragrances).

For example, the Girl from Ipanema” a child of the 60s, would unquestionably have been deploying the powers of Coppertone, by far the suntan lotion of choice for several decades worth of North and South American Bad Girl Mermaids. Though walking on tall and tan (and young and lovely) human legs, The Girl from Ipanema was clearly a Mermaid, and a very, very Bad Girl Mermaid at that. Having most carelessly aroused the longings and desires of Brazilian musicians Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes through the irresistible sillage of her Coppertone, she went on to ignite those same longings and desires of every man on every beach − from here to eternity. Who among us, man or woman, has not been moved by The Girl from Ipanema? The unattainable beach girl. A walking, strolling Mermaid.


the Girl from Ipanema album Cover


Click Here for the Ultimate Coppertone-Girl Fom Ipanema Experience Sountrack


The rest is history, Bad Girl.  From this time forward, suntan oils and lotions with powerful, dangerous, and compelling fragrances became basic equipment for the savviest of Bad Girl Mermaids.



Questions for Bad Girl Mermaids to ponder while lolling on the beach or beside the pool:


* What kind of Bad Girl Mermaid are you? Are your intentions good, bad, or ‘conflicted’?


*How is the fragrance or texture of suntan lotion associated with your most cherished Bad Girl Mermaid memories or exploits?  


Tell all, Bad Girls. Here’s your chance to slather it on.  

We definitely want to hear a bit of tail splashing here!

(Names can be withheld upon request.)


Note: All readers (Bad Girls AND Bad Boys welcome) submitting comments, tales, tips, photos, etc. are eligible to win a 100 ml (3.3Fl Oz) bottles of Jean Patou’s notorious and scandalous Bad Girls Mermaid perfume, Chaldée.  First launched in 1927 with the same hot and sensual notes that made Huile de Chaldée a legend in its time, Chaldée was reformulated in 2014 by Jean Patou in-house perfumer, Thomas Fontaine.

Winners will be chosen in a random draw, and the perfume will be mailed later this month.


End of Part 1.  Don’t swim off though.  

Coming up next:  

How Bad Girl Mermaid Beach and Surf Fragrances Helped The Little Mermaid Turn the Tides AND the Tables on The Handsome Prince.


Disclosure : The opinions given in this blog post are my own. They are based on observations I have made as a journalist, blogger, and writer in interviews and store visits over a period of more than 15 years. I also constantly smell fragrances in perfume boutiques and department stores, as well as at trade shows, launch parties, and PR events where I often receive samples and/ or full bottles of fragrances from brands. The samples and full-sized bottles offered to readers of this blog post as ‘give-aways’ have been generously donated by the brands.


  1. Prudence Kilgour |

    You should havà little look at my Capri Collection – each with a beautiful mer’aid on th

    • Sarah Colton |

      Indeed, I LOVE your Capri Collection, especially Marina and Prudenzia. And your mermaid bottles…Divine. If I remember correctly, you told me some juicy stories of Capri and their inspiration. Anything hot to share from your most recent trip there last month? Mermaid sightings, tips, or tales? Tell, tell.

  2. Deborah |

    Poetic mermaid swimming your way…prepare to be seduced!

    Cryptically yours,
    a Bad Girl

  3. Helder Suffenplan |

    I loved that piece, Sarah!
    Did you know we have our own Sirene in Germany? Her name is Loreley, she sits on the cliff of a steep slate rock on the River Rhine combing her golden hair, unwittingly distracting shipmen with her beauty and song, causing them to crash on the rocks. Here’s her song, written by Liszt, performed by Tiri Te Kanawa: I wonder if you can be a BAD GIRL without knowing?

  4. Flomaid |

    My favorite mermaid in the “Little Mermaid” (Disney version) is the evil witch Ursula. She’s definitely a bad girl! Using all sorts of sorcery and frangrances to steal Ariel’s voice. She deserves her own chapter in the next installment of Bad Girls Perfume!

  5. Nancy P Togar |

    I am excited to get to read your book when I get back to the States. It should be waiting for me!

  6. Saskia |

    Random facts, related to the post: In Cuba, the Yoruban orisha Yemayá is sometimes depicted as a mermaid. I think she would most definitely qualify as a bad girl, but – unlike Anderson’s mermaid – there’s no potential loss of power, there. When in bad temper, she is described as having the conduct of a stormy sea, and she wields a strong machete. I imagine that her odor is part of her strength: As goddess of the sea, she is associated with marine life, but is said to prefer the smell of verbena.

  7. Meg Davis |

    Loved your take on mermaids those mysterious beings. Remember “Splash” and “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”? I really think they exist in some form. Great commentary on the sun tan lotions too-takes me back to Sea n Ski………enjoyed

  8. Sallie |

    Reading your comment about the girl from Ipanema and Coppertone, I must say that fragrance brings back so many memories of those fun-filled teen days at the pool, beach or lake and that incredible feeling of freedom as your mom drove off and left you with friends for a day of fun and flirtatious cavorting around the pool. Ah, what a carefree time that was. And recently, honest truth here, my 3 year old grandson began singing The Girl from Ipanema on tune all the way through!! Does this mean he’s going to grow up to be a “bad boy”? Time will tell….for now, I’ll enjoy his sophisticated taste in tunes. Yeah, none of that silly Row your Boat stuff for my Bennie.

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