Photo of
June 15, 2009


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Do you want cheese with that?
Do you want cheese with that?

If ever an image would prompt you to bleach your eyes then it is surely this horrific pic of Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan posing as a Burger King medallion man. Shot using a model’s body and Morgan’s fizzog, it is supposed to advertise Flame, a perfume which is designed to bring to mind the smell of the fast food company’s meat products.

Most commentators reckon that the entire thing is a hoax but Burger King’s PR company are insisting that the perfume is for real and will be on sale at £4.99 in fifteen locations across the UK.

That the smell of food can act as a powerful trigger for memories comes as no surprise but how many people want to be reminded of Burger King? I imagine that fewer people still actually want to smell of the place.

If the product is real then it is hard to see how it will ever live up to its PR promise of offering the ‘scent of seduction’. A more likely scenario is that it will offer the scent of being starving and stuck in an unfamiliar city centre late at night with no other food options available.

It’s a common tactic for casinos to pump citrus-scented air through their gaming rooms in the early hours of the morning to wake up sleepy punters and keep them at the tables longer. The only time I’ve seen restaurants use smell to enhance the dining experience is at Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant in Gleneagles. I went there to interview the chef when he was setting the restaurant up some eight years ago and he showed me how every table had a little bundle of herbs attached to its underside so that guests would get a whiff as they sat down.