Firstly apologies for failing to blog Week 9 due to a mixture of illness and too much stuff to do. A quick recap. The teams were asked to select artists songs and mix them to create ad-friendly jingles. Empower were asked to do a football tune but somehow Thomas picked a love song that sounded a bit like the Laughing Gnome but with Marianne wailing over the top of it. He then alienated all the clients by aggressively asking for too much money. Unison (lead by talent manager Dean despite Lottie’s 15 years’ experience playing the tambourine) did a bland poppy number which sold more so somehow Dean not only survived but won the task. Amazingly Thomas got the (regretful) boot. Not so amazingly Marianne got a non je regretted boot.

So in Week 10 our remaining six wannabes are therefore summoned to Burlington House where they have to break the smelly market by creating and branding a new perfume and pitching it to two major retailers.

Dean’s moved over to Empower with Lewis and Pam who has to lead the task and as a beauty brand owner no pressure love. She asks the boys to suggest markets and Lewis is very excited about Unisex, but Pam wants to go for the female market (with two blokes on your team what could go wrong?). Even Dean backs Lewis (“Unisex is on trend”) but that’s because he has no creative thoughts of his own, but Pam sticks with girly pongs as the market. Pam picks “degree in marketing” Lewis to do the packaging and puts Dean on the perfume as she wants to work with Lewis on design. Lewis is worried about leaving Dean unattended, and to be fair Pam is too so she agrees to go with Dean and trust Lewis to create her vision. He asks for her vision and she waffles about “Simplicity” and “breaking the mould”. “Are we happy we know this woman?” she asks. They all mumble yeah and Lewis starts sketching ideas on his way to the design studio.

Over on Unison, Lottie yet again thinks she’d be perfect to lead as she’s passionate about perfume and likes classy, classic looks and scents. Carina is like “no fucking way” as she thinks Lottie can’t lead for toffe (she has a point) and puts herself forward too. Lottie lays her top experience on the table “I helped three friends pick their wedding perfumes” (probably because they didn’t want you as a bridesmaid Lottie), but Scarlet votes for Carina and Lottie pulls her TM Hacky Face.

Ep10 Lottie

Scarlet suggests going unisex and Carina envisions a lady in a suit. Lottie says it should be androgynous. “What’s that?” asks Carina. “Imagine Cara Delevingne in a suit”. Carina is all “That is literally what I just said less poncily”. Scarlet’s happy to do all the packaging by herself whilst Lottie and Carina go make the perfume and poster.

To the Hampstead Perfume Laboratory where the perfume boffin tells everyone about base, middle and top notes, advising the perfume makers to “be instinctive and know when to stop”. Pam’s keen o citrus. Dean just smiles and nods and holds out numerous swatches of scents admitting finally he can’t smell anything anymore.

Carina is after a “power smell”. I’m thinking kebab fart, but they mix up Jasmine and vanilla and every aroma known to unisex-kind eventually settling on a heady mix of coconut rhubarb, lavender sandalwood, basil, etc etc.

In the design studio Scarlet simply gets on with things deciding on a hexagonal shaped bottle and leather effect box with black and rose gold colourings with minimal wordiness and it all looks quite nice. She comes up with “Captivation” as the brand name and “Feel the power” or some such shit as the tag line. She’s happy to sign off and her design assistant looks cheerful too.

Lewis (and his poor design studio assistant) go through a long dark afternoon of the soul however as he twats about self-brainstorming himself down a rabbit hole. At first he’s on brief with a plain simple label but then he argues himself into a “bold image” suggesting “independence…someone breaking norms… freedom…outdoors” with all the logical reasoning of the Bat Computer before ending up with a label showing someone mountain climbing. WHAT? He calls Pam to tell her and she puts him right “Most perfume bottles wouldn’t have a photo on the label” (unless you shop at Savers and only from their bargain bin). “Help me not see that tomorrow” she insists. It’s all too subtle for Lewis though as he mindfarts brand names (“Independence… Horizon”..) plumping for “Determined” which goes on the box in a stupidly non-determined girly font. He has “Eau de Parfum” correct on the bottle and then changes the spelling to “PARFAM”. Classy! Claude winces at Lewis’s creative block and the design bloke looks practically suicidal as he waits for Lewis to decide on a slogan which after much painful word soup ends up as “Break boundaries, move mountains”. “What’s a mountain smell like?” muses Lewis. Depends what it’s made of.

In a Luxury west London hotel Lottie manages the photoshoot getting Carina to pose as some high powered business bitch on the phone whilst her micromanaging male boss leans over her shoulder and reaches for the same bottle of perfume as her. So not that empowering then. Carina’s not sure the message is clear but Lottie insists Carina trust her (“Can you raise one eyebrow Carina?” “Can’t!”). The packaging design comes through and Lottie’s pissed off and says it looks “appalling” (“Captivation is an uneasy word. Grammatically it doesn’t make much sense” – then it’s an IDEAL perfume name – never heard of Obsession? Eternity? Joop? Even fucking Tramp (by Lentheric)). Carina however thinks it looks strong.

Somehow Pam has ended up at a beach bar for their location shoot which is awkward as she doesn’t want any beach in the picture. Dean spots some flowers against a brick wall and gets the poor model to squat by them. Job done! “When I saw the flowers a little flick went off in my brain and I thought wow this is my time to shine” gushes Dean completely inappropriately. They’re still waiting for a logo until at the 11th hour in crawls Lewis’s label with a short short wearing free spirit looking at a mountain. Pam and Lewis facepalm. Dean is not so secretly delighted at how shit it is as it takes pressure off him. Pam is fuming (“My god it’s SO bad!”).

It is shit though:

Ep10 Determination

The next morning the teams whiff their fragrances. Scarlet nearly chokes. Lottie gets revenge by moaning that Scarlet’s perfectly good packaging isn’t bold  enough (“I can’t read it from here” – then you will pick it up for a closer look won’t you – you picky bitch). Carina thinks Scarlet “delivered really well” and Lottie looks daggers at them.  Scarlet gets her own back on Lottie’s poster as she also picks up on the whiff of sexism (“The woman holding the phone looks like a receptionist” Lottie: “No it says POWER IS CALLING” ha!).

Lewis likes Pam and Dean’s scent, but it’s not reciprocated for his packaging and his misspelling of Parfum and Independent are pointed out. “I worked my arse off” whinges Lewis (should have used your brain mate). Pam doesn’t know why a woman going up a mountain would even need fragrance. “She’s breaking the mould” insists an increasingly emotional Lewis. “No she’s not” says Pam sadly “She’s walking through rocks”.  The poster is unveiled and Lewis realises just how off their brand he is, but Pam chivvies them up to prepare to sell it, whatever it takes.

Unison pitch to Debenhams who fan the perfume onto their nostrils. And then gag a bit. Actually they like the smell but find it feminine. Oh and pungent. Carina unveils the poster claiming the message is about the power stance, but the token woke bloke on the Debenhams panel finds it all a bit 1980s and wonders if they get the difference between power and “empowerment”.

I think it looks like one of those “erotic” Mills and Boon covers I’ve er heard so much about:

Ep10 Captivation

Lottie does a defensive tackle claiming she wanted to “capture a classic image and keep it timeless – but we could develop ideas with you alongside us”. They don’t look convinced. Deciding that the issue was the poster, Carina makes the call of not taking it to the next pitch with Boots. On your head be it Lottie says. Boots actually think the bottle and packaging are “unique” but ask to see a poster so they can understand the “story” (er it makes you smell nice”. Scarlet stalls “We are developing an ad campaign with a smartly dressed man and woman reaching for captivation” but Boots suggest it’s a “bit of a miss” not seeing the posters.

Pam preps Dean to talk about the scent. “Does he know what he’s doing?” Lewis worries. Dean is all “um er yeah”. He then goes on to drop the bottle in front of the Boots panel before wibbling on about the “smell that is oriented towards citrus…erm” and it just hurts to watch him limply waving paper scent swatches under their wrinkled up noses. Pam steps in to add more detail on ingredients and it’s down to Lewis to justify the packaging “it’s about someone who lives life on their own terms”. Boots think the bottle and imagery don’t match. They’re sharp.

Dean ups his game with Debenhams – losing the bottle in his pockets before spraying and wafting and describing the perfume as having (drum roll) “a variety of ingredients”. Jesus wept. The token woke bloke points out that despite Pam’s claims for the packaging not being sexualised images of women those shorts are very damn short – and then he spots the spelling howlers on the box. “Do you want to answer that Lewis [you twat]” Pam asks. He holds his hands up and admits he was pushed for time. Dean is practically ejaculating in glee (“Lewis messed this up! They HATED it!”).

Boardroom time and Sugar jokes that usually he says “smell what sells” (except he doesn’t) but now it’s the other way round and oh my aching sides, nurse the curtains etc. He thinks Determination’s packaging looks like a constipation cure and the bottle like alpine air freshener he’d keep in the downstairs loo – and Lewis gets a bit of a bashing (apparently there were THREE spelling mistakes on the box – I do like Sugar’s suggestion that PARFAM is cockney for Perfume though). Dean proudly states he was “instrumental in the smell” (of bullshit) but it quickly emerges that nobody trusted him to work alone. “It was like they were booking a babysitter for you” Sugar suggests.

Lottie takes responsibility for her poster (well she did it) but still considers it a classic and stands by it.

Numbers time. Boots ordered 8000 units of Determination for some ungodly reason, but Debenhams hated it.

Debenhams didn’t like Captivation but Boots, whilst concerned about not seeing the poster and thinking it needed some tweaks still went for 9000 units (SO NOT SEEING LOTTIE’S POSTER WON IT).

The girls are sent to get pissed on a speedboat whilst Empower skulk off to the sad café where Lewis looks on the verge of either tears or a Hulk smash.

Back in the boardroom and Pam is pulled up for not having any control over the team, meaning the product was disjointed. She points out that Lewis should have realised it doesn’t literally need to tell the story on the packaging. Lewis moans that Scarlet had more experience in girls products than him, but Karren snarks that he’s got the marketing degree whereas Scarlet works in recruitment and he concedes “she blew me out of the water”

Sugar turns to Dean “You’re so invisible I might ‘ave to start talking to you via a Ouija board!” (sick burn Sugz). Dean insists his business is ready to go. “The only person who thinks you contribute is you” rejoins Sugar. Lewis maintains that “at least I try (even if I fail)” and gets all emotional again. Sugar pretends he’s going to fire Pam “This was your opportunity to shine” but it’s no shocker when Dean is fired. The gormless twat launches into a speech after his “thanks for the opportunity” and Sugar dismisses him with a “Keep in touch” which Dean clearly thinks is serious “Will do!” Hahaha!

Dean has no regrets in the Taxi of Regret and says Sugar has missed out on him as a “young, fiery creative” (what?) and promises to stalk Sugar for ever as he “said stay in touch”.

Next week it’s interviews. Expect bollocks to be spoken, tears to be wept and ludicrous decisions to be made. If Scarlet doesn’t get to the final then I may well be out.


Liking:   Scarlett, Carina

Meh:, Lewis, Pamela

A Career in Twattery beckons for: Lottie

Bye bye: Shahin, Kenna, Souleyman, Lubna, Riyonn, Iasha, Jemelin, Ryan-Mark,Thomas, Marianne, Dean