I came across these two Yardley of London ads from 1974 issues of Mademoiselle magazine for You’re the Fire skin ‘inscents’. I admit that I was a bit horrified because #1) I don’t remember this product AT ALL, #2) the ads are rather frightening, and #3) it shows how Yardley was completely changing its marketing contributing to its demise. Long gone were their romantic, mod ads of the late 60s and early 70s, with cool Glimmerick and Pot o’ Gloss makeup, and the glorious Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Olivia Hussey and Patsy Sullivan as models. You’re the Fire was a skin inscent. Since you need real fire to burn regular incense, this way YOU can be the fire by letting the heat of your body release the scent. “Because no fire’s as exciting as the one within you. Unless it’s the one you light within him. Go ahead, light it.” The model has actual fire in her eyes, so it must work? 😀 We’re getting down to serious business in this ad. Apparently the sultry redheaded model is a victim of spontaneous human combustion as she is engulfed in flames. No doubt caused by applying said product. Why anyone would want to be so hot is beyond me, but I’ve always been the cooler Nordic sort!
Needless to say, this ad and product campaign had a limited run and probably limited success, with good reason. You can’t take an extremely popular and much beloved cosmetics company like Yardley of London, and completely turn it on its ear. Its devotees were cute and pretty teens, not sultry sex goddesses.